SEO Jobs: The Ideal Candidates

While it is difficult to find a good candidate for an SEO job, it is not impossible to get someone who has more specific skills than a general marketing field. Or even the online marketing sub genre.

Search engine optimization is a niche career that can also be a strategic task, whose specialists can command attention from information architects, copywriters, web developers and designers and ensure they’re all at the same page when performing an SEO campaign or website revamp.

I have compiled a list of possible requirements when posting an SEO job vacancy:

  1. Degrees in Marketing, Information Technology, Computer Science or Statistics.
  2. Good understanding in web design, architecture and development concepts.
  3. Understanding of JavaScript, Cascaded Stylesheets and HTML coding.
  4. Technical know-how on languages such as ASP.NET, PHP, ASP, CFML, Perl.
  5. Familiarity on web servers (IIS, Apache) and website management.
  6. Expert on keyword analysis, goal identification, tracking and measurement.
  7. Independent, creative and requires little or no supervision.
  8. Proven results on past SEO projects (keyword ranking, ROI, visitor traffic, etc)
  9. Understanding on technical writing concepts and various means of social networking.
  10. Keen observer of current trends on search marketing and different search engines.

Justifications

  1. The degrees obtained may not be very specific with SEO since topics in this field are still not within many degree program syllabus. (This is agreed upon on a forum feature.) However, having those degrees enumerate above could provide advantages on how to get around acquiring SEO skills at a shorter time compared with most of the other degree courses.

    For example, a web programmer who obtained degrees in Computer Science may not be as good at setting up baseline reports as someone who has a Statistics degree but surely he has the edge in website maintenance or JavaScript coding — two of important elements to consider about SEO skills.

  2. The SEO skillset should revolve around web design, development and architecture. Proper coordination is a key to SEO success. If I built a site with no adequate amount of text content allocated in the wireframes or prefer to use Flash without adhering to specific methods that enable search engines to access text content, my site’s visibility is in peril.
  3. This is related to the second item in a more specific way. Accessibility of web pages to search engines is the first step to get ranked. That is why understanding JavaScript is important as much as embedding the appropriate inline styles on emphasized keywords.
  4. Having programming skills is advantageous along with HTML coding, although I don’t see it as a must in the checklist of skills.
  5. If someone knows the basic operation of web servers, it will be easier to implement recommended techniques such as mod_rewrite or redirections.
  6. This is obviously very important. Selecting the right keywords to use, metrics to measure while getting rid of irrelevant elements will set the standards of accuracy in performance measurements and focus on relevant terms and content.
  7. Being independent means having enough room to cultivate creativity. It’s arguable that there are no hard and fast rules in SEO but it’s not difficult to justify that every website has its distinct SEO approach.
  8. There is probably no better way of proving one’s worth in taking an SEO job is showing some achievements in past works.
  9. Doing SEO campaigns with narrow coverage limits the opportunities a website could achieve. If the site specializes in space news, some articles could be perfect fit for Digg’s list of interesting social bookmarks. Since content is an integral part of a website, someone who can provide such competency will be very advantageous.
  10. SEO campaigns are performed not only through browsing and fulfilling the SEO checklist. There are other factors involved and most of the time, this is achieved through learning from past experience in SEO implementations and new trends (can also be considered speculative in terms of how search engine algorithms are updated).

Would you accept an SEO job vacancy if it were embedded on an e-mail marked by your e-mail client as spam?