Why pursue a career in search-engine optimisation (SEO)?

There are many reasons. Here are just a few of them.

1) The search-engine industry is growing at a fantastic pace. So are the work and the money to be made in SEO. Shares in Google, Inc. are as of this date (December 11) going for almost £600 each. The Internet is fast becoming the main avenue of commerce worldwide, and that means search engines are big business – and so is getting noticed by search engines. And that, in turn, means that helping companies to be noticed by search engines is very much in demand.

2) The pay is damned good. To start, an SEO specialist can make £30,000 – £40,000 a year. This can rise to the high five figures with a few years of experience, and incomes in the low six figures are certainly not unheard of.

3) A college degree isn’t necessary and you can learn everything you need to know online. The demand for SEO is so high and the availability of degrees in the field so nearly nonexistent that companiesseldomworry about this detail. It can’t hurt you to have a degree in something vaguely related (e.g. programming or network management), but there’s no shortage of work for those who don’t. You can learn all of the techniques necessary on your own by searching for them, and get hands-on experience by using them on web sites of your own design. There are also on-line courses in SEO available. Being able to demonstrate your proficiency with SEO is the important thing. Having an Official Seal Of Approval is not so important in SEO as it is in older, more settled fields of work.

4) It makes a good form of self-employment. If you want to be your own boss, doing something you can do on-line is a good way to go about that. As always, you sacrifice a certain amount to do this (notably benefits) compared to what is available with standard employment for a single employer on a W-2. But you gain a lot, too: potentially higher earnings, a variety of tasks for different clients, the ability to set your own hours, and the ability to take your job with you wherever you go – as long as you have a laptop and access to the Internet, you can meet your clients’ needs while taking a year-round vacation.

As with other industries, it’s likely that SEO is experiencing a rate of growth that won’t be sustainable indefinitely. At some time in the future, it will plateau, and at that point start it will become more difficult to break into the field. But for that reason as well, the career is worth considering now, so that you can get in on the ground floor.

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