Search engines receive millions of visitors everyday and, therefore, it is important for businesses to gain as much visitations as possible by ranking higher for certain keywords. SEO has become a highly demanded skill for all online businesses, irrespective of whether these are expecting major part of traffic through this medium or not.
SEO is not a field where a single skill set is required. It is a combination of many different skills and knowledge sets which contribute to eventual success. Being in Delhi, Faridabad and Gurgaon for most part of my career and interacting with a number of SEO services companies in these regions, it is interesting to note the changes in the expectations regarding skills of SEO workers in these companies over the last 5 years or so.
In the past few years, profiles of SEO practitioners have changed at lot. In general, there are three levels of SEO workers: Executive (or Basic), Middle Level and Expert Level. The current expectations are briefly summarised in the right side panel. There can be various role mixes varying from company to company and from region to region.
Earlier, those SEO executives were taken who knew how to do the directory submissions and social bookmarking. Grades varied depending on the level of accuracy, relevance and speed of doing the tasks. There was hardly any knowledge of the on-page parameters for ranking. Content writers and creators were hired separately. There was actually a big chasm between the copywriters and the SEO practitioners.
Companies had separate vacancies for these people. Writing work was also given on freelance basis.
However, over a period of time, the companies increasingly began to seek an integration of the roles of content developers and SEO practitioners. This was necessary for two reasons. First, there was Google Panda update which dealt severely with low quality content and, second, there was a need for the same person to write quality content who also knew where it is to be posted.
At the same time, with the usage of social media by companies for SEO purposes, it became clear that text-written content would not cut ice with the social media alone. So, the scope of content creation in different formats had to be widened. This required involvement of graphic designers and industry experts who could create innovative infographics and videos. While SEO consultants were not expected to be masters in this field, the scope of their role widened to give inputs of ideas for this work. This meant that they were now required to work more closely as brand marketers.
All this while, the agencies also required that employees shall be good at understanding and implementation of the Google Webmasters guidelines in the development of websites and shall have command over Google Analytics for correct tracking and reporting purposes.