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SEO: career of the future or dead-end job? In this post, we find out. We ask whether learning SEO is worth it right now, whether there’s a real future in it, and how much SEO experts earn, in general.

Is learning SEO worth it?

SEO – or search engine optimization – encompasses a set of practices designed to help pages rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). Companies, in particular, demand SEO services so that they can reduce their paid ad spend and attract more traffic.

Given the current importance of online visibility (particularly since the advent of the pandemic), SEOs aren’t short of work. People who can help pages rank higher are worth a lot of money to brands, particularly those who can do it quickly. Therefore, in the current environment, there are many reasons to learn SEO-related skills.

As such, virtually every active business is now looking to procure SEO services, either internally or from external agencies. Not only do they want visibility, but they also want to outrank their competitors. Brands that are closer to the top of organic search results tend to attract the lion’s share of clicks, with those lower down receiving far fewer.

Hence, SEO is highly relevant right now. As a tool, it lets firms jostle their way to the top of online visibility and generate more revenue. Good SEO offers key competitive advantage, and brands are always on the lookout for people who really understand it and can make it work.

Does SEO have a future?

Whether SEO has a future depends very much on the ecosystem that search engines, such as Google and Bing, create. Fundamentally, it revolves around the algorithms that these organizations use to rank pages.

SEO is a job that is changing all the time. Whenever Google and other search engines update their ranking policies, it changes the actions that SEO experts perform.

In the past, for instance, the goal was to stuff as many keywords onto a page as possible, boosting relevancy, as judged by search algorithms. After that, the objective became link building: getting third-party websites to link to the company’s domain. Then there were other strategies, such as producing valuable content and speeding up website loading times.

Over the years, the strategies changed a lot, but one thing remained the same: the fact that SEOs could do something to make pages rank higher in SERPs. By taking certain actions, they were able to put their clients at an advantage over the competition.

It seems unlikely that that state of affairs will change in the future. As long as search engines continue to use criteria to judge page ranking, there will be opportunities for SEOs to exploit this for the benefit of their clients. In fact, it is hard to imagine a situation where there are no actions they can take to improve page ranking. Almost certainly, there will be something that they can do, whether it’s speeding up a website’s backend, including better keywords, or improving the site’s existing content.

How much does an SEO expert earn?

How much SEOs earn tends to vary considerably. Most employers pay a base rate and then offer performance-related bonuses. An experienced SEO consultant can earn between $45,000 and $55,000 per year, on average. However, some companies pay considerably more. It is possible, for instance, to earn six figures as an SEO if you get a reputation for excellence.

Negative aspects of being an SEO

While SEOs earn good money and have enjoyable, ever-changing work, there are some negative aspects related to their roles.

Firstly, they’re entirely reliant on the whims of search engines. If Google, Yahoo or Bing decide to change the rules, there’s nothing that SEOs can do about it. Their only choice is to adapt to the new circumstances and carry on.

In some cases, this can cause real disruption. For instance, when Google began prioritizing content over traditional metrics, such as backlinks, many SEOs suddenly had to switch to writing. They had to become comfortable with writing blogs (or outsource the task to a third-party agency).

The second problem is that SEO generally takes a long time. While there are some strategies for speeding it up, many companies won’t notice any increase in website performance for six months, in which time, they might become impatient or frustrated. Because of this, SEOs must manage their clients’ expectations. They have to remind them that good work in this field takes time. banner

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