What I wish I had known when I started out in SEO
"Your family will have no idea what you do for a living"
There’s no instruction manual when you change jobs, especially when switching to a completely new industry. Just before the pandemic hit in 2020, I decided it was time for a change of job and that’s when I landed my role at Seed in SEO. I had no idea what I was getting myself into as I had no previous experience, but I was excited for a new challenge and to build my knowledge of digital marketing.
Getting started in SEO
Of course, I Googled what SEO was before my interview and did a bit of background learning, but it was hard to understand the full scope of my new working life. But if someone would have told me I would enjoy it this much, I would have ran to the interview!
SEO is a continuously evolving part of digital marketing, making it tricky to learn it overnight (as with many other things) and even the industry “experts” are still learning new ways to better their SEO strategies. So, if you’re new to the SEO world, here are 5 things I wish I had been told when I started out in SEO that might help you.
5 things I wish I had been told when I started in SEO
1. SEO is a marathon, not a sprint
This may be a phrase that is thrown around a lot in the SEO world but it is true, SEO is a full on marathon. Unlike PPC that gets pretty instant results, seeing the benefits of your SEO efforts can take its time. This can often be de-motivating when starting out in this field and it can make you become impatient (and clients too!). Always remember that SEO takes perseverance, hard work and time.
2. Content Marketing is SEO
Before I started out in SEO, I had no idea that blogging and copywriting would play as large of a role as it does now. Any content piece that you want your audience to find will need an aspect of SEO- which is where we come in.
I was never a big writer before my time at Seed, now it’s my favourite thing to do- and you learn about a range of industries which is always interesting!
3. Tech SEO isn’t as scary as it seems
Steering away from the content side of SEO leads us to a rather large part- technical SEO. While training, technical always intrigued me but I felt as though it was a mind field of jargon and complicated terms that I didn’t understand. I picked up the basics along the way, but I have started to throw myself into the nitty gritty and focus on the part of technical SEO that interests me, and this has helped with the motivation to keep learning.
If you’re like me and trying to dip your toes into the ocean of technical SEO, my advice is to keep up to date with Google trends, there might be a new update that you find intriguing or relates to your work that you want to know more about. Core Web Vitals was a recent update that got all of our attention.
Finding blogs, webinars and podcasts on your chosen topic is a great way to pool your research together and get loads of expert opinions!
4. Your family will have no idea what you do for a living
This one won’t necessarily help with learning SEO, but you’ll certainly get used to the feeling that not one of your family and friends know exactly what you do.
If your family is anything like mine, even after explaining what you do a million times, they still don’t understand without Googling the exact definition. They might thank you though, a search engine optimiser sounds pretty fancy when they brag to their friends about you.
5. SEO Is constantly changing
One thing for sure I learnt fairly quickly is that SEO is constantly changing. Google loves to throw a spanner in the works and mix things up with their updates and the more people that innovate and get involved in SEO, the more techniques there are to learn. Our SEO department is always learning, striving to be at the top of our game.
We dedicate our Friday afternoons learning. Whether this is an internal collaborative session with other Seed members, or learning a course or attending webinars – we as a department love to brainstorm ways to better our service and stay up to date in the SEO world.
To find out more about our learning Fridays, check out our blog which explains our process and why we do it- and stay tuned for lots of Learning Friday content and experiments!
There you have it, my round up of 5 things I wish I had known before starting out in SEO. If you’re thinking about introducing yourself to SEO, I hope this helps you when it comes to your first day. Always remember to have a job description in the back of your mind when you get asked!