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With the growing popularity of eCommerce alternatives across the globe, many Aussie business owners and professionals alike have been recognising the value of SEO and digital marketing. Whilst these concepts can sound simple enough to comprehend on paper, the fact of the matter is that SEO as a discipline exists in a highly variable business landscape alongside already being such a highly competitive professional field.
As a result, many digital marketing students looking to deepen their knowledge of SEO may find themselves lacking in professional opportunities to do so. After all, unlike creative industries that utilise digital technologies, you can’t exactly build an SEO portfolio independently and without zero business contacts.
You can, however, provide yourself with a strong educational foundation, and work your way up from there. Here’s how young Australians and budding entrepreneurs can effortlessly engage with SEO and contemporary digital marketing practises.
Enrol in a digital marketing course
Although you can learn by doing, enrolling in a digital marketing course will ensure that your independent study stays well-structured and adheres to an equally meticulous timeline. As we mentioned earlier, SEO is a discipline that’s also subject to rapid-fire changes and evolutions based on search engine updates and variations in consumer behaviour inspired by external economic or environmental factors, like the COVID-19 pandemic.
If there are any abrupt developments, you’ll absolutely want support when dissecting just how these developments may impact your existing knowledge. The best way of ensuring that you have access to this support from the get-go, is by enrolling in an established digital marketing course facilitated by experienced industry professionals.
Alongside this, enrolling in either a three year digital marketing course or even a short SEO course, will likely allow you to make valuable industry connections that may then help you find employment upon graduation, or even internship opportunities that’ll help kickstart your personal SEO portfolio.
Engage with SEO theories in real-world contexts
Once you’ve gained a solid understanding of SEO theories and techniques through both independent research and tertiary study, it’s well worth taking the time to apply this newfound knowledge to real-world contexts.
This isn’t to say that you should start working on digital marketing campaigns straight away. Instead, what you should strongly consider doing is analysing case studies and trying to understand why particular domains are ranking over others.
Download some handy Chrome extensions to help you better understand rankings on SERPs, and you’ll be well on your way to developing your own ‘spidey senses’ when it comes to analysing pre-existing optimisation on any new domain that falls into your lap, either through your studies or during your first weeks as an SEO professional.
Taking the time to cultivate an ability to effectively analyse landing pages, SERPs, and pre-existing optimisation measures from the get-go will ensure that you’ll have the foundations you’ll need to become a highly intuitive and effective SEO professional.
Take on contract or freelance work
Now that you’ve got all the makings of an SEO whizz kid, it’s finally time to start seeking professional development opportunities out in the real world! Apply for any vacant positions at local digital marketing agencies alongside also offering your services on a freelance basis.
Many agencies are more likely to take you on as a part-time worker or even as an SEO freelancer to begin with, especially if you’re applying for your first job in the industry. At this point in your career, however, a contract or freelance role may actually be more beneficial for you, as you can garner yourself a wide range of different industry experiences, gather the makings of a highly eclectic resume, and most importantly, discover for yourself exactly what you enjoy the most. Knowing what trajectory you’d like your career to take will undoubtedly make you a far more attractive candidate for future employment opportunities.
Build a wide and varied portfolio
It’s important to note here, that it can be difficult to know exactly what to include in your SEO portfolio. By its nature, SEO is a highly specialised and varied practice that involves elements of content and copywriting, web design, and market analyses.
As a result, your portfolio will likely include pages and pages of meta description samples, keyword targeting strategies, and graphs detailing variations in search traffic which may prompt potential employers to ask for further evidence that these variations can be attributed to be a direct result of your work as an SEO professional.
Proving your value or worth as an SEO professional can often feel near-impossible, given the largely impermanent and changeable nature of your work. Thankfully, you’ll find that the more experiences you’ll gather in this industry, the easier it will be to document them all.
Having access to industry software like keyword research services and ranking trackers will naturally, also help your portfolio feel a lot more thorough. On top of this, working with agencies and building their own strong case studies, will help you continue to forge your own place in this highly diverse industry.
Understanding SEO starts with study and ends with study. This is a field of digital marketing that is quite unlike any other, and requires all of its practitioners to be a veritable ‘jack of all trades’. The benefits to all of this study?
You’ll find yourself in a highly diverse industry and in a professional role that’s both well remunerated as well and truly never being boring! What more could you ask for as a digital marketing professional?