Kickstart your career in SEO by doing THIS!

Search engines allow us to find every single piece of information we need at the click of a button, from bakeries near me, to the bus times, to our ex’s family holiday photos from 2013…who said that?

Luckily, search engines and SEO have been around since the 1990s, helping people to find a quick solution to almost any question they need answering. But only recently (ish) has the latter started to gain traction as a real profession, which means the need for SEO experts is only growing.

And due to this need, it’s made search engine optimisation a great line of work to enter, which is why we’ve curated this guide on how to kickstart your career in SEO.

Know What Employers Are Looking For


Regardless of the profession, when it comes to kickstarting your career, you need to ensure you have all of the qualifications that the employer is looking for. For SEO, there typically isn’t one set requirement for every position, and it will vary from job role to organisations.

For example, some companies will require applicants to hold a university degree, while others might veer towards physical experience and portfolio strength. When considering applying for a role, think about the type of expertise and experience the employer is looking for. Some may want someone who can navigate Google Analytics, and some may require you to be Google Ads certified.

Some other common skills are usually needed, and these include knowledge of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, target audience identification, keyword research, competitive analysis, and experience with website audits. And as well as experience in digital marketing, many organisations look for candidates who have excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Stay On Top Of Emerging Trends


The search engine optimisation landscape is constantly shifting, which means professionals need to continually stay up to date with best practices, updates and ever-evolving emerging trends. Whether it’s up and coming technologies or changes to Google’s algorithm, what was a successful SEO approach today may be old news tomorrow. 

This is why it’s important to show potential or future employers that you are aware of these emerging trends and can understand and use them in your current work. You can stay up to date by reading relevant SEO web resources and blogs and participating in forums that allow you to ask and answer any questions. 

Make Sure Your Writing Skills Are Up To Scratch


In the world of SEO, you’ll regularly find yourself having to write meta descriptions and page titles, as well as optimising the content of a web page and improving page headings. If your writing skills are not consistent with the level expected of a good SEO, you won’t be able to perform these tasks successfully. This will ultimately affect the rankings of a page as well as prove your search engine optimisation skills are not up to scratch. We’re not suggesting you need to write a novel, but a basic grasp of grammar will get you a long way.

Whether you plan on working with UK or US customers, it’s always a good idea to enrol on an SEO copywriting course to learn how to put together SEO optimised content successfully. And while it may be an optional step right now, once you realise the importance of good SEO copywriting work, you’ll know why clients and companies see it as a non-negotiable. Luckily for you though, if copywriting isn’t your strong point, most agencies now work with copywriters or content teams – so you just need the know how to be able to tell them what to do.

Ensure You Have Basic Development Skills


To start your career in SEO, you don’t have to be a developer. However, having basic development skills is a must. These include being able to read and understand basic HTML code, being able to understand the importance of JavaScript in the process of web development and knowing how a website is structured.

You also need to be able to work with standard CMS, such as WordPress, as these platforms are used to edit SEO-related settings like descriptions and page titles. So, as an SEO expert, you need to be able to guide developers into making SEO changes to websites you may be working on, so it’s important you know what to ask for.

Customise Your CV To The SEO Role


It can be very easy to fall into the trap of creating a ‘one-size-fits-all’ CV and submitting it to every position you apply for. But don’t!

Many employers want to know you are prepared for this specific role, and have not only read the advertisement but have also updated your CV to host the most relevant experience and achievements for the job. Essentially, they want to know if you’re qualified for the position or not.

So, before you hit the send button on your next job application, take a look at your CV and evaluate whether it features the strengths and qualities the organisation is looking for. Whether it’s restructuring your list of skills, or starting from scratch and re-writing your entire CV to fit the spec more, taking this extra time can often be the difference between being called in for an interview, or being rejected at the first hurdle.

If you need a helping hand, you can use those trusty search engines to find some example CVs for roles similar to what you’re applying for, and tailor yours around them. For example, is the company looking for an Outreach Specialist? If so, highlight all your link-building achievements. Applying for the role of Tech Specialist? Outline how you boosted a brand from the third page of Google to the first by ensuring their content, metadata and keywords were up to date and optimised. 


Who to follow


Ask an SEO professional where they find out about updates and keep up with trends, and they’ll tell you Twitter. It’s important to make sure you’re following the people that are well respected in the industry – plus, if you can reel off a few names in your next interview, chances are it’ll get you at least one big tick in the box.

John Muller – Search Advocate at Google


John is the first to know about updates, and often the first to hint that they’re coming. Most SEO professionals keep up to date with his tweets, and he often prompts interesting discussions in the replies.


Brian Dean – CEO of Backlilnko and SEO expert


Brian tweet all about how you can improve your SEO tactics. He’s well respected by big players in the industry as specialises in providing practical strategies you can use to get more traffic.


Lidia Infante – SEO Consultant, Speaker and Writer


As well as being clued up on SEO, Lidia extends her skills to wider research around equality in the industry and has recently completed a study of the gender gap in SEO publishing.

Aleyda Solis – SEO Consultant and blogger for Moz, Search Engine Land and Search Engine Journal


Aleyda not only tweets about SEO industry trends, tips and tricks, but also pours her vast amount of knowledge into some of the industries top tools and blogs (as above). We recommend signing up to her weekly news letter for free SEO related news.

Learn the ropes of key SEO tools


Google Analytics & Google Search Console


Hopefully you’ve heard of these already, as these tools are perhaps the most used tools in the world of SEO. At the moment, they’re totally free to use and if you have access to a website (i.e your own) its worth learning how to set your site up on these and then having a play around to find different data.



A great option for an all rounder, Ahrefs is one of the most popular tools in the industry, and the free option gives you chance to have a play around with the features without putting your hand in your pocket. Having a bit of experience with this will be a big boost for your CV.



Like above, Semrush is another popular all rounder. The keyword research tool is particularly popular and can be used a few times for free. Keep that in mind for upcoming interview tasks!

Have confidence!


If you’re serious about launching a successful career in SEO, it’s vital you take this advice on board. Whether you’ve been in your first role for a while and you want to jump to the next level, or you’re literally starting from scratch, a career in SEO is not for the faint-hearted but if you dive in with confidence and willing to learn – you’ll land a great job in no time!



Sophie Crosby

Head of Content (UK & ES) at Minty.

CIM qualified. Brand and content nerd. Cat lover and full time ice cream enthusiast.
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