A bit of background
Search engine optimisation (SEO) has been constantly evolving since the creation of the first search engine. Over time, and with the ever-increasing demand for improved website rankings, it’s not surprising that it has become a full time profession with its own associated skill sets. Its ready acceptance into the professional world and the ongoing investment from companies worldwide is as amazing as the field itself.
Back in the day, website owners undertook what we now call ‘SEO’ as a matter of course. It was heavily tied into principles which no longer work for today’s more advanced search engines, with strong foundations in link exchanges and keyword stuffing. As search has become more advanced and continues to make more leaps forward with ever more complex algorithms, and as the Internet has grown exponentially over time, SEO has become significantly more demanding and now requires specialist knowledge, intelligence, creativity and testing for success.
Entrepreneurs – even those outside of the web industry – have quickly understood that publishing unique, quality content ensures more traffic and greater success. The need to sustain popularity by maintaining (and increasing) their production of excellent search engine friendly content has led to the rise in demand for experts in Search Engine Optimization.
In the current climate, with so many redundancies and concerns about financial security, it’s not surprising that many people are starting their own businesses on the web due to the low costs and minimal barriers to entry. As such, SEO is becoming an increasingly popular service for web designers, consultants and other web professionals to provide on an ongoing basis.
Why is SEO big business?
Well, if this question has to be answered in one sentence, the answer would be, “It’s a low-investment and highly profitable business that can be done from almost anywhere.”
The long answer includes a variety of other contributing factors, including:
The importance of search engines and the ever-strong influence of Google means that there are very few online business ventures and projects that don’t need to rank well or rely on search for a good percentage of their visitors. As a result, the inevitable high demand for optimisation work is one of the most influential driving forces behind the growth of SEO-based job opportunities.
Many success stories – and subsequent write-ups and blog entries – of individuals who created very profitable businesses, attracted large investment opportunities, or forged a lucrative solo ‘work from home’ career, are inspiring other job seekers to take matters into their own hands and opt for SEO as a career.
The flexibility to work part-time or full-time, as an individual or as part of a team, is very tempting. The is especially true for those who have family commitments or live in areas with few career opportunities. In many parts of the world, the web-based nature of SEO means that it is possible to make far more money than the typical living costs of the physical location, resulting in small pockets of richer communities in developing countries.
Low barriers to entry
One of the biggest advantages is that you can start in the SEO industry with a very low budget. All you need is a good grasp of the primary language of your market, a computer and an Internet connection, and the motivation to learn a new skill.
Despite frequent claims and suggestions that SEO might be dead, it’s actually stronger than ever; it simply evolves. With the continued growth of search engines and the move of traditional businesses to the web (including the widespread adoption of Internet-based elements and technologies for companies that still largely remain in traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ format), SEO services are only becoming more in demand and there is still plenty of room in the industry for newcomers.
SEO writing is a science and an art by itself. One needs commitment, dedication and hard work to reach the heights. To summarize, the popularity of SEO as an established career lies in its simplicity and flexibility.