Is SEO a Good Career Choice in 2020?

Is SEO a Good Career Choice in 2020?
October 1, 2020

9 Min Read

SEO is a unique and fast-paced industry that has changed over the years. In the very early days of search engines, SEO could have merely been achieved through spammy activities like keyword stuffing and black hat link building. 

Search engines have now drastically evolved to deliver quality, relevant content to users and SEO has become a legitimate and developed profession. 

SEO now requires a diverse set of technical, strategic, creative, analytical skills, and aims beyond ranking a website to position 1.

Let’s discuss every aspect of SEO as a field for developing a successful career. 

Care to walk through some basics? Let’s begin …

Some Basics about SEO

What Do SEO Professionals Do?

A typical job of an SEO irrespective of working as an in-house executive or in an agency involves the following tasks: 

  • Researching on keywords and ensuring the web content contains them
  • Monitoring search trends and search engine algorithms
  • Evaluate web pages & recommend improvements 
  • Overviewing content and help in generating new ideas 
  • Optimizing site speed & mobile-friendliness
  • Ensuring search engines can efficiently crawl & index web pages 
  • Measuring website traffic, engagement, and conversion metrics

Who Do They Work With?

An SEO’s grind involves close efforts with a range of teams since they are involved with almost all aspects of a website. Some of the professions that SEO’s work with are designers, copywriters, project managers, content writers, etc. The core objective of their involvement is to ensure that their work is very much directed towards maximizing the site’s SEO potential. 

What is the Typical Career Path of an SEO?

SEOs are involved with a variety of projects, and hence they can diversify their career into different roles that are outside of SEO as well. They can undertake the entire project and become a project/product manager or e-commerce manager or strategist. On an entry-level, a typical SEO job will be involved with fundamental aspects of the field. 

Yet, we can deduce a loosely defined career path for you if you strictly work in the field of SEO

1. SEO Analyst

Analysts are mainly involved in keyword research, identifying site issues, and implementing site changes at the preliminary level. 

2. SEO Strategist

Strategists conduct deep research on industry trends and improve SEO performance by bringing up master strategies to execute.

3. SEO Manager

A manager trains and manages team members by overseeing their performance. He/She creates team processes and resources aligning with the campaign goals. Also, managers develop team capabilities with a motivating spirit.

Is SEO a Dying Industry?

SEO is a $70 billion worth industry(estimate) and is always thriving. It’s a long-term game whose timeline seems to stretch even farther. According to a recent study by Ahrefs, 95 percent of newly published pages don’t get to page 1 within a year. And for the approximate 5 percent of pages that do, it takes anywhere from 2-6 months for the feat.

Even though there are rumors that the industry is dying a slow death, it certainly can be considered false, as elements of it have either died or evolved into something new. And hence, applying tactics that are obsolete can actually harm your rankings. 

What has Changed?

SEO is certainly not dead, as the stats speak for themselves; an estimate of over 40,000 search queries occur every second with over 62 billion site visitors annually has proved that Google rules over the internet. 

And big game-changers in algorithm updates like Panda and Penguin have provided more quality to its usability. Google’s semantic technology understands user intent behind longtail searches and hence, refining SEO techniques and tactics are key to getting customers exactly what they need on the search engine.

The following are the few transformations that have made SEO an ever-evolving field aimed at providing more value to users.

1. Rise in Mobile Search

Google made a great move with its algorithm update mobile-first indexing and an upsurge in the number of people using mobile devices was witnessed. The update aimed at considering the mobile version of the website content for indexing and ranking it.

2. Rich Snippets

This was introduced in 2009, which aimed at providing all important information on the SERP(search engine results page) itself without having to actually visit those pages. This information includes ratings, votes, read time, etc.

3. Semantic Search

Google introduced an AI algorithm update RankBrain that helps Google process search queries and provide more relevant, contextual results to users, based on the intent of the search. 

4. Featured Snippets 

Featured Snippet is an information box that shows up above organic search results on the SERP that contains a precise answer to a user’s search query.

 5. Voice Search

There is a steady increase in the number of voice search queries, thanks to smart voice bots like Siri, Google Assistant, and Cortana. Optimizing for voice search results is an essential part of SEO now especially in local SEO. Betting on long-tail keywords is the best way to optimize for voice search. 

Top Skills Required for a Successful Career in SEO

The Bureau of Labour Statistics, the demand for advertising and marketing managers is expected to grow by 8 percent in 2028. Digital marketing and advertising roles are becoming more common and the job outlook for SEO is getting higher too. Let’s take a look at some of the top essential skills expected of an SEO specialist in 2020.

Technical Skills

1. On-page & Off-page SEO

On-page is optimizing your own website and off-page relates to how your site is ranked based on factors of your website. Both of them can be improved by including images, videos, content structure, internal linking, schema markup, etc. Link building is a great off-page tactic and many other technical skills like meta tags, XML sitemaps, status codes, robots.txt, and the ability to solve crawl issues are in demand by hiring managers.

2. Keyword Analysis

Deep research on keywords for your website as well as that of your competitors is required to provide actionable recommendations for improving content strategy. You must also be able to conduct thorough competitor research to determine how you can compete with them

3. Content Marketing

As an SEO expert, you need to understand content marketing at its core and how to create high-quality, SEO-optimized content that will engage your target audience. 

4. Data & Analytics

An in-depth knowledge and experience of primary analytical tools like GSC and GA as well as third-party tools like SEMrush to make informed decisions about future content and SEO strategy. Report building skills also come under this and you have many primary tools like Google Data Studio that help you create amazing ones. And of course, Excel skills cannot be overlooked for data building and visualization.


Although SEO jobs do not require heavy programming skills, having the basic knowledge of these programming languages is essential to fix technical issues you may encounter as an SEO expert. 

Non-technical Skills

1. Critical thinking

This is quite hard to measure, but an important skill to differentiate cause and effect. Your use of logic must be sound and the way you see the problem is more important than getting the right answer. Your approach to a problem would define your thought process and how to deal with it. 

2. Writing & Communication

We ain’t talking about writing articles or speaking at conferences though. But your ability to convince internal teams and clients to do the right thing is what reflects great communication skills. You need to refine complex ideas and concepts so that non-SEO people can make informed decisions.

3. Prioritization

This is a common skill required in every profession. SEO professionals need to have a strong understanding of the steps in every campaign and prioritize according to its difficulty and relevance. 

4. Drive, Motivation, and Adaptability 

To be amazing at SEO, you need to have the internal drive that forces you to keep learning. Because SEO is an ever-evolving career, you get to learn new things every day. Be it machine learning or algorithmic updates or a new search engine standard like Schema, there is always something to learn. 

Scope in Freelancing

A freelance SEO career can be an extremely fulfilling job in terms of the kind of work contribution and remuneration you get. It’s a great way to take charge of your career in your hands, working your own terms. 

Here are some tips if you’re starting out:

  1. Networking is key. Team up, attend conferences, and meet people of the industry. 
  2. Social networking sites like Linkedin are great places to meet people and find clients
  3. Offer trial or free services to build trust in your business. Rely on word-of-mouth referrals.
  4. Attend SEO workshops in your city. They provide good networking zones. 

Final Thoughts

The SEO field is diversifying and evolving with plenty of opportunities emerging that need SEO skills other than core SEO jobs. Some of them include SEO copywriting, writing, analysts, etc. 

With a career in SEO, you can work and learn with a wide range of professionals and be involved in many different projects. You can achieve a diversified background that will expand your career opportunities. 

Advanced SEO Training

Presently, there are no official government-approved certifications to SEO, though there are many organizations like Moz, SEMrush, ClickMinded that provide SEO certifications. 

Indian marketers provide Custom SEO Training Solutions for every need. Whether you’re a beginner or a company looking to learn the essential skills for your project, you are in the right place. We are a bunch of enthusiastic and self-driven professionals providing full-time SEO Services & Solutions to our clients and here’s why you should train from us:

1. Best of Knowledge & Experience

2. Have Deeper Insights into the Industry

3. Ask-me-anything Model for Professionals

4. Online and Customized Class-Scheduling

Contact Us Today!

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