How To Become An SEO

How To Become An SEO

How To Become An SEO

Episode 055

This week we’re talking about how to become an SEO.

We got inspired by an email we received from someone looking to crack into the industry and thought we’d dedicate an episode to that very topic – how to get your start as an SEO.

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Michael 0:00
Hi guys, Michael here before we get into the show, if you’re a Twitter user head to at service scaling, I’m tweeting a bunch of stuff. I’ve learned scaling our digital marketing agency, and I think you’ll find it pretty interesting. All right, let’s get into the show.

Unknown Speaker 0:15
It’s time for the SEO show where a couple of nerds talk search engine optimization, so you can learn to compete in Google and grow your business online. Now, here’s your hosts, Michael and Arthur.

Michael 0:37
Hello, and welcome to the SEO show. I am Michael Causton. And I am sitting opposite Arthur fabric. How are you going?

Arthur 0:44
I’m doing very good. You never let me introduce myself. Give it a go. And I’m Arthur fabric.

Michael 0:50
Are you want to do that? Let’s try again. I’m Michael Causton.

Arthur 0:52
And I’m Arthur fabic.

Michael 0:53
And this is the SEO show. There you go. We’ve discovered something new. Let’s let’s let’s roll with that. Let’s do it. Right. Well, outside of intros, we do have a topic for the show today. You can do the topic as well, you’re on a roll.

Arthur 1:08
Well, the topic today we have is ready. How we got into SEO or how do you become an SEO? Sorry?

Michael 1:16
It’s written right. Your one job I

Arthur 1:19
know. That is my bad, my bad

Michael 1:21
how to become an SEO? Because this question we get asked actually got an email from a guy the other day to the show. He asked how to get into SEO. And I’ve heard a big reply back to him never heard back from him. So I thought, let’s just do a show about how to get into SEO. So we can tell all of that know how to the world. So this show is dedicated to him? Well, it’s dedicated to anyone that wants to get into SEO, we’re going to help you we’re going to give information away that would help you get a job in SEO, because a lot of people wanting to get into it. It’s a growing industry. There’s demand for people with those skills. So it’s a good time to get into SEO how to become an SEO. But maybe let’s go back in time. Do you remember how you became an SEO?

Arthur 2:04
I do? I do. It was a long time ago now. 2020 13 almost a decade ago. Yep. So I had graduated from Macquarie doing a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in marketing, was looking for a marketing job but didn’t quite know what I wanted. I was just applying for any any kind of entry level marketing role, but at the time, at the time, it was very difficult to get your foot in the door. Everywhere it was they expected at least a year experience even for entry and entry level roles. One of my friends at the time was working at the iconic and she was doing a car. And I was speaking to one we’re out having drinks and she was like, You know what, you should try getting a job in our car. And she started, you know, listing off all the benefits and everything. You know, at the time, I didn’t really know much about a car. It wasn’t something that was covered at uni. I did think that was like a digital marketing. Cool Spot. Very brief. Like it just touched on everything. And yeah, everything she was telling me sounded super appealing. So I started applying for SEO roles, Junior SEO roles. And not long after that. I got a job at DGM where I met you

Michael 3:18
as we came into each other’s life.

Arthur 3:21
We did I still remember the first time I saw you on the bus to the office. That’s a different story. Oh,

Michael 3:26
I don’t even know that you completely ghosted me by

Arthur 3:31
the front of the bus. But

Michael 3:33
you have to you have to prove yourself in SCA before I told you Well, I don’t even remember, I probably didn’t see you. You probably

Arthur 3:39
didn’t see me. But um, yeah, I started my career in SEO as a junior SEO Link Builder, where for the first six months, all I did was link building. So going through blogs for our clients looking for sites that we could approach hitting them up and getting links for clients are

Michael 3:55
tough work. That’s why that is starting at the bottom and working your way up.

Arthur 3:59
That’s exactly it started from the bottom now. I mean, hosting an SEO, SEO podcast, or hosting?

Michael 4:07
Well, um, what about you, I, I was a DJ back in the day, that was my full time job. And towards the end of it, I was like I need to get out of this world and get a real job. And I remember like it was would have been 2007 I was speaking to recruiters and one of them was like, Have you heard about search engine marketing? 2007 Yes. And I’m like, What the hell search engine marketing and I looked it all up. And at that time, I didn’t go ahead with getting a job. I kept like being a DJ for a little while longer a couple of years later, 2009 It’s time to get a real job and I got a marketing job at a car rental company. And because I’ve learned of search engine marketing, I decided to revisit it there. And I was running Google AdWords it was called back then SEO campaigns all of my own but like I suggested it to the guys because they didn’t know it. But it got results got customers in the door and pretty soon And I wanted to be doing that all day long rather than the other parts of the job. I’ve done sales and stuff for them as well. Yeah. So I wouldn’t got a job at an agency, drawing on that experience that I’d got myself, you know, off my back and working there and then worked at the agency, and then had been doing some way shape or form SEO ever since. So I guess we both fell into it. But the point of this episode is for someone that knows they want to get into SEO, how to become one the moment. So we have what do we have here seven steps that you can go through that we would recommend you go through to be strategic about becoming an SEO. So first and foremost, before you go applying for jobs and stuff, you need to do a little bit of work and get familiar with the space, that lingo, the terminology, get some runs on the board yourself. So don’t just apply for jobs entry level jobs. Because we give you an example, we’ve got a job ad up at the moment for an entry level role, and it has like 200 applicants. So the ones that are going to stand out are the ones that have done some version of what we’re about to cover. So first cab off the rank, you’ve listened to podcasts, just like the SEO show. But other ones we can recommend authority hacker and the recipe for SEO success, which is another Ozzie SEO podcast,

Arthur 6:21

Michael 6:22
I guess. Would you consider I guess they competitive? I think so. I would say a colleague, I’d say competitor. Yeah, well, whatever you can get listen to, you know, this show. Those other two. There’s so many other there’s a lot. Yeah, there’s a lot of others. But

Arthur 6:39
authority hacker is probably one of the more known podcasts for marketing in general.

Michael 6:44
And listening to that, you’re gonna pick up you know, know how knowledge space lingo

Arthur 6:51
tips, tricks,

Michael 6:52
how to do SEO. Yep, pretty much. And it’s not just podcast, go on Twitter. Follow SEO thought leaders so people we can recommend them. Craig Campbell, you’ve been on the show. Last plug. Christina as URENCO, Brody Clark, he’s another Australian guy. And then there’s a guy in Nuttall who shares a lot about programmatic SEO. They have literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people posting about SEO all the time. You follow a few of them in your feed pretty soon he’s gonna have interesting case studies and threads that people put together results, tactics that are working for them, that sort of stuff. Yeah. Then go over to YouTube, and consume a whole bunch of SEO content on there. So an example Matt diggity also been on the show. He posts a lot of good content on there. There’s plenty of others. You’ll find your groove with the ones you like, but the general gist we’re making here is that the the University of Twitter, YouTube, even read it podcast.

Arthur 7:56
Yeah, read. It’s a big one for me, because I wasn’t big on Twitter back in the day, I would love to read it. So when I was starting off at DGM, I was always in like, our biggest car, just reading through stuff, posting myself, you know, questions, seeing what the community had to say. Yep. So flooding. Yep. I guess. Yeah. So flooding, flooding.

Michael 8:15
Absolutely. So that’s really what you should do for like, let’s say three months, I’ve just plucked that figure out of thin air. But if you do that, you’re gonna get a really good, you’re gonna be sort of tapped into the SEO world basically. From there, you might want to look at doing a couple of free courses. So once we can, I guess recommend would be you know, HubSpot and address both have SEO focus courses. with HubSpot, you get a little certificate and everything. The reason that you would do that is because it’s something tangible to point to when you do eventually go to interview for an SEO job. You know, I’ve got the certificates from HubSpot in SEO and then in the interview, you might name drop, Oh, yeah. So Matt diggity talking about that. And on Twitter, I was following so and so and, you know, agencies when they hear that stuff, that’s what they’re looking for. Oh, definitely. You’re engaged with the world. That’s almost an instant. Hi there, isn’t it? It’s yeah, because I tell you how rare it is. Very, very rare. Very rare. So you’re setting yourself up for success just by listening to all of that stuff, first and foremost, and then name dropping it where you can in an interview? Yeah.

Arthur 9:21
And you don’t have to just stick to free courses. There are paid courses. Obviously, not all of them are expensive. Most have a free course. I don’t like most that much anymore with these days. But I guess the fundamentals still make sense. So there’s plenty other Yep. It’s got to find them. Yeah.

Michael 9:39
I guess the other thing as well, like what we’re talking about at the moment is learning. You don’t want to spend all your time in the textbook, so to speak. What you also want to do is actually build a website and try to rank it and test things out. So that’s creating content on it. internal linking, trying to improve speed optimise ovation. So like all this stuff that you would have picked up from following people on Twitter and watching YouTube and doing courses, actually put it into practice on a website, set up search console on it, see how you’re being indexed. All that sort of stuff, again, is, you’re not going to be expected to be setting the world alight with the traffic, but it is giving you skills, practical skills, practical skills, very important. Yep. And it’s stuff again, you can point to when it comes time to actually try to become an FTO by getting a job or something like that.

Arthur 10:29
Exactly. Right. A lot of the candidates that are stuck out to me in the past, were people that have had their insights have had little side projects and things like that, because it shows that they have, I guess, that drive and, you know, like, even outside of SEO people that have their own little side businesses demonstrates to me that they are interested in marketing, and you know, they have that entrepreneurial kind of mentality, which is appealing. Yeah. And when you’re looking for someone to hire,

Michael 10:56
like, realistically, if you’re trying to get a job in SEO, and you don’t even have a website, or any thing that you can point to how interested are you really in it? Like if you’re just trying to get a job in the space? Are you actually interested in nerding out on that stuff? Exactly. So it’s an essential that for an entry level role that you can point to at least some sort of tinkering with sites.

Arthur 11:18
I can only imagine if someone came in and had their own site could like list off all these, you know, SEO peeps. And to me, that’d be like I said, instant hire, you know, it would be Yeah, yep. 100%.

Michael 11:29
So if you’re listening, future potential hires, do all this stuff, and you’re gonna come in and blow out. Be like, wow, hired. But it’s true. Yeah. No, it is true. The last thing I’d say, on this pre becoming an SEO, would maybe with your LinkedIn, you know, add those certifications on there. Drop a few posts about SEO, show that you’re interested in that stuff. Because Absolutely, as part of the hiring process. Anyone gonna go look at your LinkedIn? Definitely, whether it’s a recruiter, whether it’s the agency, people, so show that you’re interested to by having something to do with SEO, on your LinkedIn, even if you don’t yet work in it properly. Exactly. All right. That is, that’s the groundwork that’s the foundation.

Arthur 12:16
So if you do all those things, you’re guaranteed a job with us.

Michael 12:20
I can almost say for sure. But

Arthur 12:23
you’ll definitely impress anyone that’s interviewing you, I think so in a for an entry level role. If you’re just trying to get your foot in the door, if you do those things, I can guarantee that it will be I want to say guarantee, but you will definitely impress

Michael 12:36
you’re setting yourself up 100% Unless Unless you’re a total freak in the interview, you’re probably gonna get a job. But um, I guess once that’s all done, let’s say it’s three, four or five months or whatever, you got a bit of success with your website. You know, you’ve done SEO a little bit. There’s a few different ways you can get us four different ways you can go. The first one is you can try get a job at an agency like the way we’ve been speaking about this in the context of so far. This is what we recommend you start with what you could do the second thing is go try get some clients and just be a freelancer. You know, Hey, mister business owner, I am an SEO freelancer, because I’ve done three months of following people on Twitter, I’m ready to go. Let’s do that. It’s a tough gig, very tough finding clients, finding keeping them replacing them. It’s you’re doing a lot of stuff that’s not actually SEO and learning SEO. You’ll be doing sales sales. Yeah. Hustle trenching. Yeah. Trying to keep that client base, then revenue coming in. So I wouldn’t recommend you do that, like a good Freelancer is going to be appealing because I have a lot of experience as well. Probably not the best play.

Arthur 13:48
What about using or utilising something like Fiverr or Upwork? Yep. And creating a profile and trying to get little dribs and drabs of work on there, to build up a portfolio. So because you’ll probably be more likely to find work on up work than for pitching to.

Michael 14:06
Yeah. If you’re going in the Freelancer route. Yeah, maybe that start with that just to start because

Arthur 14:11
you can you can essentially, you know, credit profiles start trying to find clients, sorry, moved away from the mic there and get work that way to keyword research to you know, dribs and drabs of different things.

Michael 14:26
It’s not a bad idea. It wasn’t on the list, but you know what, I like it. The only thing is you’d needed you wouldn’t you wouldn’t be doing SEO full time if you did that. No, seemingly, you’d need at some other job on the side cuz

Arthur 14:36
Oh, you would. Yeah, definitely. But I mean, yeah,

Michael 14:39
sure, sure. No, but it makes sense. You could do that. And then you can sort of segue that or leverage that into more and more and more. If you just want to be a freelancer. Maybe that’s the way to go and never work in an agency. I think working in an agency is appropriate. We’ll come back to that in a sec. But um, the other thing you could do is just try and land a client side job. I had a son company or, you know, publishing company or any business that needs SEO people, but I think this is unlikely, because for for someone just starting out for entry level, they’re all the types of jobs that want people with like three, four or five years experience. The last one is state your ad agency, you know, there’s

Arthur 15:18
plenty of people out there, speaking it on Instagram and

Michael 15:23
talk YouTube, there’s YouTube videos, you know, start a digital marketing agency in one month and make 100 grand a month or, you know, ridiculous things like that. Lots of them will start and then burn out. Because should you really be running an agency when you’ve never really worked in the space? No, exactly. 100%?

Arthur 15:40
No, yeah, I mean, start off by trying to get your own clients, build an agency, it’s hard, very, very hard. Unless you’re a good salesperson, and you know, hustling people and just signing clients and not doing anything, which I assume a lot of these people might be doing,

Michael 15:56
yes. But that’s not a good, no, I’m still kind of stuck getting annoyed.

Arthur 16:01
And then also, you’re probably setting up a bad reputation for yourself as an SEO

Michael 16:05
Yeah. So I’m gonna say the best thing you can do if you want to become an SEO, out of those four, is get yourself an entry level job at an agency. So if you you could approach digital agencies, we get approached quite often, to varying degrees of quality, you know, some people just like I want a job. Other people will write like a really clever outbound email that references personalised things about us in the business. And obviously, that second one is the one that attracts more attention from us. But if you in your own way, let them know, you’re obsessed with SEO, and you’re looking to transition it into it as a career. And then talk about you know, I listen to all these podcasts and people on Twitter and YouTube, and I’ve done these courses, and I built this site and got results. And I’m just so keen to come to you guys, because I’ve looked at your Instagram, I’ve looked at your YouTube, you look like the place I want to work, and I want to learn everything from you. If the agencies are looking to hire, they’re probably going to speak to you 100% 100% Yep. So get that job. Because in an agency, you’re gonna be working on a tonne of different clients, you’re gonna get experience and all sorts of different sites, you’re gonna be working with people that have been in the game for years. So you’re going to absorb a lot of knowledge. So I would say plan to work there for at least two years, you know, absorb as much as you can get as much experience the types of sites as possible. From their book, if you stick with an agency, if you if you work there for two years, and then three, four or five, you’re naturally going to be promoted and given power over if you’re at an agency that’s growing, let’s say like a decent agency that’s growing, and you stick around, your experience becomes worth more, you get trusted more, you get promotions pay rises, as a company grows, you could expect bigger and better roles. So that’s one option. Definitely a good option. The other option is those those last three things becoming a freelancer starting your own or getting client side all open up once you’ve had a couple of years experience. Exactly. Yeah. So the world is your oyster as an FTO. Yeah.

Arthur 18:09
I love working at agency lifelike I mean, for me, personally, the fast paced kind of, you know, it just works for me. Yeah. I agree. Done it for Yeah, however long now, I know a lot of people go client side, but I think I get bored. Yeah, I mean, maybe I don’t know. But I love agency life. So if you’re looking to start out in SEO, definitely approach some agencies look for jobs and get your foot in the door.

Michael 18:35
That’s where you’re going to learn the most the quickest work on the coolest sites and have fun variety while doing it at the same time. Have fun, like minded people skill up. And, you know, then as we said, the world is your oyster from there. We like agencies, we’ve done it a long time. Variety is the spice of life, as they say, different challenges. I’ve heard that one they do quite often. You’ve never heard any of these things. No, I

Arthur 19:02
really haven’t. What have you. I don’t know. What do you do? When you hear saying normally do you always say I’ve never heard that one, although I hear but maybe it’s just a bit of a age difference between us

Michael 19:12
a bit of an age difference we’re talking to you live

Arthur 19:15
to your wish, roughly. So anyway,

Michael 19:20
that is how to become an SEO. Right. They’re all laid out neatly. If you’ve got the passion, if you got the drive, you should be able to get a job with a few months worth of work on your suit. Cool. Well, that right there is an episode of the SEO show. We’re going to be back with another episode next week. But until then, Arthur has something he wants to say. Happy Oh, happy SEO. Just playing a fair intro. We’re at 3d. I thought you’d pick up on it. But you know what, happy SEO going. There we go. Bye. Bye.

Unknown Speaker 19:54
Thanks for listening to the SEO show. If you like what you heard, don’t forget to subscribe. and leave a review wherever you get your podcasts it will really help the show we’ll see you in the next episode

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Arthur Fabik


Michael Costin


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