Connect with us

SEO

Growing Into In-House SEO Leadership With Tessa Nadik

Published

on

Growing Into In-House SEO Leadership With Tessa Nadik

Evolving and maturing in your career from a tactical SEO professional to a strategic leader is no easy feat, and there are plenty of people who will question your aspirations along the way.

Just ask Tessa Nadik, the Senior Director of SEO Product and Content Strategy for Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader.

“I cannot count the number of times I was told, ‘SEO is not a career path,’” Nadik told me recently.

“SEO is a fulfilling career path with endless growth opportunities, especially if you do well with analysis, critical thinking, and constant change. I spent too much time thinking, ‘What’s next?’ when in reality, SEO itself is a very valid career path,” she added.

Tessa was a technical web analyst for United States Steel when an acquaintance introduced her to an interesting opportunity: a small steel manufacturing/sales company looking to hire someone to build their SEO and inbound marketing presence.

“I honestly ended up in SEO by accident,” she said. As the company’s only marketing employee, she was on her own in figuring out how to resolve a manual penalty discovered on her very first day.

In this interview, Tessa shares her career journey from introverted marketer to in-house SEO leader – one who has become skilled in developing talent, motivating teams, and evangelizing SEO across the organization.

Paving A Career Path In SEO

Can you tell us more about what led you to a career in SEO? What was the path that brought you where you are today?

Tessa Nadik: “After spending a year in that first role, I went to DICK’S Sporting Goods, where my SEO career accelerated.

The team was larger than most, and I had the opportunity to learn more than I could have ever imagined, and quickly.

I worked a ton with our SEO SaaS on-site partner, Matt Grabiak, learning the ins and outs of technical SEO.

I am forever grateful for Matt and the other people I met along the way that taught me not just SEO but how to build and lead a team.

As an introvert, I never envisioned myself as a people leader in the early years, but it was necessary to move up in prior companies.

In my first role as a people leader, I learned a lot about managing teams and what kind of leader I wanted to be.

Since then, I have worked a lot on my role as a leader and my team’s environment. To my surprise, I also fell in love with leading teams, removing roadblocks, and celebrating their wins.”

Transferable Skills Will Serve You Well In SEO

You’ve worked in a variety of verticals – steel buildings, sporting goods, vehicles, education, and more. What would you say are the most important transferable skills in SEO that will take you anywhere?

Tessa Nadik: “There are so many different paths in SEO, but there are skills and characteristics that make for a successful SEO based on my experience.

Communication skills are a must regardless of position. Being able to communicate the who, why, and how effectively is invaluable.

Secondly, being adaptable. Algorithms change, industries change, and we have to change with it. There will always be parts of SEO and any career that we can not control.

However, we can control how we adapt, and if you thrive in adapting, you will do well in SEO.”

Evangelizing SEO At The Leadership Level

In your LinkedIn profile, one of your responsibilities is to “advocate and evangelize SEO through the organization and leadership.” What tips can you share to help others do this successfully?

Tessa Nadik:  “As Senior Director, my responsibilities have expanded.

Our organization has gone from around 11 to roughly 30. While this expands my scope, the leg work to evangelize is still there.

In this organization, we are fortunate to have a lot of executive buy-in – that was not always the case in previous roles.

SEO can take a back seat to other priorities, but anyone can change that perception with the right approach.

Not only is it essential to have executive buy-in, but your peers’ and cross-functional teams’ buy-in is just as critical.

Fostering those relationships and showing the value are two things that will change the game. You can’t expect a team to prioritize work when they don’t understand the ‘why’.

As an SEO, that is your job to show the ‘why’. SEO is no longer this black box where we have no idea what will happen. We certainly can make educated projections.

Throw that imposter syndrome out and own the fact that no one at your company can do this as well as you.

You also need to know when to compromise and when to push as hard as possible for something.

Maturing in your career means you can see the larger picture, which means SEO isn’t always the top priority. Being conscious of this is a game-changer and makes working with others more manageable and productive.”

Striking The Right Balance Between Leadership And Management

At your level of leadership, how is your time split between SEO strategy, people management, and other activities?

Tessa Nadik: “At my level, I balance my time around strategy management and pave the path for achieving.

I always emphasize that I’m a hands-on leader in that I don’t just talk about SEO or lead; I can also do SEO.

This is something I emphasize and is vital to me because when our team needs vacation time, or something else comes up, I am here to offer coverage and fill in without a problem.

I spend most of my time collaborating with our team to discuss and stimulate ideas to grow.

We have a great environment where everyone has a voice and is not afraid to say, ‘I don’t know.’

We all have strengths and weaknesses, and it is my job to make sure our platforms allow everyone to speak their mind, ask questions, collaborate with purpose, and grow in their roles.”

Making Sense Of Disruptive Trends

Are there any emerging trends in digital you think will become particularly disruptive and what should marketers know about them right now?

Tessa Nadik: “In my opinion, there are always trends that emerge and disrupt SEO.

This is why it is essential to make sure you are aligned with partners in your organization.

Think about the emergence of more paid features, video, social, news, and others that have entered the space.

Without productive synergies with your partners, this is disruptive to SEO, but it becomes a well-rounded strategy with partnerships.

Best in class enterprise SEO can’t be done in a silo alone; it takes a village.”

Closing Thoughts

What do you wish you had known before entering the SEO industry that you’d share with others to help them grow and succeed?

Tessa Nadik: “While not always easy, SEO is a fulfilling career path with endless growth opportunities.

SEO can be a great career path if you do well with analysis, critical thinking, and constant change.

Notice I said career path: I cannot count the number of times I was told, ‘SEO is not a career path.’

I spent too much time thinking, ‘What’s next?’ when in reality, SEO itself is a very valid career path, whether it’s traditional SEO or growth!”

More Resources:


Featured Image: Courtesy of Tessa Nadik




Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

SEO

Is AI Going To E-E-A-T Your Experience For Breakfast? The LinkedIn Example

Published

on

By

Is AI Going To E-E-A-T Your Experience For Breakfast? The LinkedIn Example

Are LinkedIn’s collaborative articles part of SEO strategies nowadays?

More to the point, should they be?

The search landscape has changed dramatically in recent years, blurring the lines between search engines and where searches occur.

Following the explosive adoption of AI in content marketing and the most recent Google HCU, core, and spam updates, we’re looking at a very different picture now in search versus 12 months ago.

User-generated and community-led content seems to be met with renewed favourability by the algorithm (theoretically, mirroring what people reward, too).

LinkedIn’s freshly launched “collaborative articles” seem to be a perfect sign of our times: content that combines authority (thanks to LinkedIn’s authority), AI-generated content, and user-generated content.

What could go wrong?

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • What are “collaborative articles” on LinkedIn?
  • Why am I discussing them in the context of SEO?
  • The main issues with collaborative articles.
  • How is Google treating them?
  • How they can impact your organic performance.

What Are LinkedIn Collaborative Articles?

First launched in March 2023, LinkedIn says about collaborative articles:

“These articles begin as AI-powered conversation starters, developed with our editorial team, but they aren’t complete without insights from our members. A select group of experts have been invited to contribute their own ideas, examples and experiences within the articles.“

Essentially, each of these articles starts as a collection of AI-generated answers to FAQs/prompts around any given topic. Under each of these sections, community members can add their own perspectives, insights, and advice.

What’s in it for contributors? To earn, ultimately, a “Top Voice” badge on their profile.

The articles are indexable and are all placed under the same folder (https://www.linkedin.com/advice/).

They look like this:

Screenshot from LinkedIn, November 2023LinkedIn content

On the left-hand side, there are always FAQs relevant to the topic answered by AI.

On the right-hand side is where the contributions by community members get posted. Users can react to each contribution in the same way as to any LinkedIn post on their feed.

How Easy Is It To Contribute And Earn A Badge For Your Insights?

Pretty easy.

I first got invited to contribute on September 19, 2023 – though I had already found a way to contribute a few weeks before this.

Exclusive LinkedIn group of expertsScreenshot from LinkedIn, November 2023Exclusive LinkedIn group of experts

My notifications included updates from connections who had contributed to an article.

By clicking on these, I was transferred to the article and was able to contribute to it, too (as well as additional articles, linked at the bottom).

I wanted to test how hard it was to earn a Top SEO Voice badge. Eight article contributions later (around three to four hours of my time), I had earned three.

LinkedIn profileLinkedIn profile

Community top voice badgeScreenshots from LinkedIn, November 2023Community top voice badge

How? Apparently, simply by earning likes for my contributions.

A Mix Of Brilliance, Fuzzy Editorial Rules, And Weird Uncle Bob

Collaborative articles sound great in principle – a win-win for both sides.

  • LinkedIn struck a bullseye: creating and scaling content (theoretically) oozing with E-E-A-T, with minimal investment.
  • Users benefit from building their personal brand (and their company’s) for a fragment of the effort and cost this usually takes. The smartest ones complement their on-site content strategy with this off-site golden ticket.

What isn’t clear from LinkedIn’s Help Center is what this editorial mix of AI and human input looks like.

Things like:

  • How much involvement do the editors have before the topic is put to the community?
  • Are they only determining and refining the prompts?
  • Are they editing the AI-generated responses?
  • More importantly, what involvement (if any) do they have after they unleash the original AI-generated piece into the world?
  • And more.

I think of this content like weird Uncle Bob, always joining the family gatherings with his usual, unoriginal conversation starters. Only, this time, he’s come bearing gifts.

Do you engage? Or do you proceed to consume as many canapés as possible, pretending you haven’t seen him yet?

Why Am I Talking About LinkedIn Articles And SEO?

When I first posted about LinkedIn’s articles, it was the end of September. Semrush showed clear evidence of their impact and potential in Search. (Disclosure: I work for Semrush.)

Only six months after their launch, LinkedIn articles were on a visible, consistent upward trend.

  • They were already driving 792.5K organic visits a month. (This was a 75% jump in August.)
  • They ranked for 811,700 keywords.
  • Their pages were ranking in the top 10 for 78,000 of them.
  • For 123,700 of them, they appeared in a SERP feature, such as People Also Ask and Featured Snippets.
  • Almost 72% of the keywords had informational intent, followed by commercial keywords (22%).

Here’s a screenshot with some of the top keywords for which these pages ranked at the top:

Semrush US databaseScreenshot from Semrush US database, desktop, September 2023Semrush US database

Now, take the page that held the Featured Snippet for competitive queries like “how to enter bios” (monthly search volume of 5,400 and keyword difficulty of 84, based on Semrush data).

It came in ahead of pages on Tom’s Hardware, Hewlett-Packard, or Reddit.

LinkedIn computer hardware installation collaborative articleLinkedIn computer hardware installation collaborative article

collaborative article exampleScreenshots from LinkedIn, November 2023collaborative article example

See anything weird? Even at the time of writing this post, this collaborative article had precisely zero (0) contributions.

This means a page with 100% AI-generated content (and unclear interference of human editors) was rewarded with the Featured Snippet against highly authoritative and relevant domains and pages.

A Sea Of Opportunity Or A Storm Ready To Break Out?

Let’s consider these articles in the context of Google’s guidelines for creating helpful, reliable, people-first content and its Search Quality Rater Guidelines.

Of particular importance here, I believe, is the most recently added “E” in “E-E-A-T,” which takes experience into account, alongside expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

For so many of these articles to have been ranking so well must mean that they were meeting the guidelines and proving helpful and reliable for content consumers.

After all, they rely on “a select group of experts to contribute their own ideas, examples and experiences within the articles,” so they must be worthy of strong organic performances, right?

Possibly. (I’ve yet to see such an example, but I want to believe somewhere in the thousands of pages these do exist).

But, based on what I’ve seen, there are too many examples of poor-quality content to justify such big rewards in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

The common issues I’ve spotted:

1. Misinformation

I can’t tell how much vetting or editing there is going on behind the scenes, but the amount of misinformation in some collaborative articles is alarming. This goes for AI-generated content and community contributions alike.

I don’t really envy the task of fact-checking what LinkedIn describes as “thousands of collaborative articles on 2,500+ skills.” Still, if it’s quality and helpfulness we’re concerned with here, I’d start brewing my coffee a little stronger if I were LinkedIn.

At the moment, it feels a little too much like a free-for-all.

Here are some examples of topics like SEO or content marketing.

misinformation example 1misinformation example 1

misinformation example 2misinformation example 2

misinformation example 3Screenshots from LinkedIn, November 2023misinformation example 3

2. Thin Content

To a degree, some contributions seem to do nothing more than mirror the points made in the original AI-generated piece.

For example, are these contributions enough to warrant a high level of “experience” in these articles?

thin content example 1thin content example 1

thin content example 2Screenshots from LinkedIn, November 2023thin content example 2

The irony to think that some of these contributions may have also been generated by AI…

3. Missing Information

While many examples don’t provide new or unique perspectives, some articles simply don’t provide…any perspectives at all.

This piece about analytical reasoning ranked in the top 10 for 128 keywords when I first looked into it last September (down to 80 in October).

Missing Information exampleScreenshot from LinkedIn, November 2023Missing Information example

It even held the Featured Snippet for competitive keywords like “inductive reasoning examples” for a while (5.4K monthly searches in the US), although it had no contributions on this subsection.

Most of its sections remain empty, so we’re talking about mainly AI-generated content.

Does this mean that Google really doesn’t care whether your content comes from humans or AI?

I’m not convinced.

How Have The Recent Google Updates Impacted This Content?

After August and October 2023 Google core updates (at the time of writing, the November 2023 Google core update is rolling out), the September 2023 helpful content update, and the October 2023 spam update, the performance of this section seems to be declining.

According to Semrush data:

Semrush data Screenshot from Semrush, November 2023Semrush data
  • Organic traffic to these pages was down to 453,000 (a 43% drop from September, bringing their performance close to August levels).
  • They ranked for 465,100 keywords (down by 43% MoM).
  • Keywords in the Top 10 dropped by 33% (51,900 vs 78,000 in September).
  • Keywords in the top 10 accounted for 161,800 visits (vs 287,200 in September, down by 44% MoM).

The LinkedIn domain doesn’t seem to have been impacted negatively overall.

Semrush dataScreenshot from Semrush, November 2023Semrush data

Is this a sign that Google has already picked up the weaknesses in this content and has started balancing actual usefulness versus the overall domain authority that might have propelled it originally?

Will we see it declining further in the coming months? Or are there better things to come for this feature?

Should You Already Be On The Bandwagon If You’re In SEO?

I was on the side of caution before the Google algorithm updates of the past couple of months.

Now, I’d be even more hesitant to invest a substantial part of my resources towards baking this content into my strategy.

As with any other new, third-party feature (or platform – does anyone remember Threads?), it’s always a case of balancing being an early adopter with avoiding over-investment. At least while being unclear on the benefits.

Collaborative articles are a relatively fresh, experimental, external feature you have minimal control over as part of your SEO strategy.

Now, we also have signs from Google that this content may not be as “cool” as we initially thought.

This Is What I’d Do

That’s not to say it’s not worth trying some small-scale experiments.

Or, maybe, use it as part of promoting your own personal brand (but I’ve yet to see any data around the impact of the “Top Voice” badges on perceived value).

Treat this content as you would any other owned content.

  • Follow Google’s guidelines.
  • Add genuine value for your audience.
  • Add your own unique perspective.
  • Highlight gaps and misinformation.

Experience shows us that when tactics get abused, and the user experience suffers, Google eventually steps in (from guest blogging to parasite SEO, most recently).

It might make algorithmic tweaks when launching updates, launch a new system, or hand out manual actions – the point is that you don’t know how things will progress. Only LinkedIn and Google have control over that.

As things stand, I can easily see any of the below potential outcomes:

  • This content becomes the AI equivalent of the content farms of the pre-Panda age, leading to Google clamping down on its search performance.
  • LinkedIn’s editors stepping in more for quality control (provided LinkedIn deems the investment worthwhile).
  • LinkedIn starts pushing its initiative much more to encourage participation and engagement. (This could be what makes the difference between a dead content farm and Reddit-like value.)

Anything could happen. I believe the next few months will give us a clearer picture.

What’s Next For AI And Its Role In SEO And Social Media?

When it comes to content creation, I think it’s safe to say that AI isn’t quite ready to E-E-A-T your experience for breakfast. Yet.

We can probably expect more of these kinds of movements from social media platforms and forums in the coming months, moving more toward mixing AI with human experience.

What do you think is next for LinkedIn’s collaborative articles? Let me know on LinkedIn!

More resources:


Featured Image: BestForBest/Shutterstock

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

SEO

What It Really Is & How to Build One

Published

on

What It Really Is & How to Build One

Building a personal brand is undeniably hard work, but it isn’t as tricky as you might think. 

I spoke with two influencers—Wes Kao and Matt Diggity—for their best tips on establishing a name for yourself online.

What is a personal brand, really?

A personal brand is how people perceive you and what you’re known for. It’s the skills, experience, and values that give you an edge over others.

Neuroscientist Andrew Huberman is one example. He helms and hosts the science/health podcast Huberman Lab, lectures at Stanford Medicine, and has earned media mentions from the likes of BBC, TIME, and more.

Andrew’s personal brand is built on his credibility and areas of expertise. Many of his posts attract thousands of likes and hundreds of comments on X and LinkedIn.

If we want to dig deeper, Maven and altMBA co-founder Wes Kao has a somewhat alternative take on the definition:

In my opinion, it’s better to reframe ‘personal branding’ into ‘personal credibility.’ Personal branding has a superficial undertone. It assumes you have your work, then you tack on an artificial layer of ‘branding’ to shape perceptions.

Wes KaoWes Kao

She suggests that personal credibility is about substance: Showing people what you do, how you think, and how you can contribute. Wes adds:

In this way, you build deeper connections with people who believe in your work—which means stronger relationships, more control, and more opportunities.

Wes KaoWes Kao

In this podcast interview snippet with Nick Bennett, SparkToro’s Amanda Natividad echoes Wes’ sentiment: 

People generally don’t like the term [personal brand] because it sounds disingenuous and icky. Acknowledging the existence of your personal brand is admitting that you care what others think about you, and that you find ways to manage those expectations at scale.

Amanda NatividadAmanda Natividad

Benefits of building a personal brand

Wild as it sounds, building a solid personal brand gives you more control over your life.

A strong following could:

  • Expand your realm of influence, particularly in your area of expertise (i.e., be viewed as a subject matter expert).
  • Boost your credibility, in turn allowing you to promote your company/product better.
  • Build a loyal following independent of the company you’re working for (or if you own that company, create more positive sentiment towards it).
  • Open doors to job, networking, and investment opportunities.

Chiangmai SEO conference founder Matt Diggity shares some excellent points in his Facebook post on the topic, too.

Excerpt from Matt Diggity's Facebook post on the benefits of personal branding. Excerpt from Matt Diggity's Facebook post on the benefits of personal branding.

How to build a personal brand

There’s no linear path to building your personal brand.

As a precursor to the below steps, let’s first talk about finding your “voice.”

Wes and Matt both emphasize the importance of staying true to yourself. That means not crafting an online persona of who you think you should be.

I try to write like how I sound in person. Talking and writing are different media, so you shouldn’t try to match the two in a literal sense, but you want to capture your overall spirit. For example, I have a hint of snark in my writing because that’s how I sound in person.

Wes KaoWes Kao

Matt echoes this sentiment: 

How I talk on the internet is how I talk IRL. If I’m not having a f**king blast on my YouTube videos, I won’t do them. It has to be fun.

Matt DiggityMatt Diggity

Keep this idea in mind as you go through the steps below.

Step 1: Position yourself 

Think of yourself as a product: What are your strengths, obsessions, and areas of expertise?

If you’re well-versed in technical SEO or a seasoned entrepreneur, these might be your unique selling points.

From there, double down on something you would be excited to think, write, and talk about for years—because “it will likely take years to get to where you want to go,” says Wes.

As an (optional) next step, consider solidifying your position with a spiky POV—a term coined by Wes, and which she cautions should be used with care.

A spiky POV is not about a contrarian hot take for the sake of it. In 2023, social platforms are flooded with hot takes and generic advice. I think about respecting the intelligence of my audience and teaching them something they don’t already know. A true spiky POV is rooted in deep expertise, including recognizing the limitations and counterpoints of your idea. This builds your reputation as someone who is rigorous and worth the time to engage with.

Wes KaoWes Kao

Here’s a LinkedIn post by Wes that combines all of the above: a unique perspective backed by her personal experiences, with a takeaway for the audience too. In other words—a spiky, worthy POV.

Step 2: Start sharing publicly

You already knew this, but social media platforms are one of the best ways to get growth and build your name. It’s your chance to build your reputation in a public arena.

Wes, Amanda, and Matt each utilized a combination of online channels to promote their voice and content. It’s one of the first things you should do—because your content is really only as good as its reach.

This doesn’t mean cross-posting your content across more platforms than you can manage, of course.

Study where your target audience spends most of their time, then hone in on those platforms (ideally, stick to no more than 2-3).

In Matt’s case, his followers are primarily on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube—and that’s where his SEO-led content thrives.

Matt Diggity's videos get lots of views on YouTube, again in part thanks to a strong personal brand.Matt Diggity's videos get lots of views on YouTube, again in part thanks to a strong personal brand.

If creating whole posts from scratch seems daunting, start by commenting thoughtfully in relevant online communities. Obviously, do it with heart:

Here are some simple ways to start.

LinkedIn: Contribute to a collaborative article

You might have seen these articles floating around LinkedIn—perhaps even been invited to add your insights to them.

These blog posts are similar to Wikipedia pages: LinkedIn users build on each AI-generated article with their perspectives, and readers can choose to react to these additions or engage with the content.

Example of a collaborative post on LinkedInExample of a collaborative post on LinkedIn

Here’s an example of what a contribution looks like:

Example of a collaborative post on LinkedInExample of a collaborative post on LinkedIn

Reddit: Weigh in on discussions

  1. Go to a relevant subreddit, e.g. r/bigSEO
  2. Sort by “Top” and “This Week”
  3. Browse the questions or discussions and offer your two cents where relevant.
Popular post from the /r/bigSEO subredditPopular post from the /r/bigSEO subreddit

Ride on trending topics

Found an interesting insight on X or someplace else? Turn it into a poll, question, or post. (Be sure to also tag and credit the author!)

Bring it all together

If some of your responses or posts get traction, repurpose those answers into new content: a blog post, video, or series of social posts.

(PSST: Learn more about my process behind curating and repurposing content for Ahrefs’ X account.)

This segues into our next and final step:

Step 3: Double down on what works

By now, you should have an idea of which topics you’re most comfortable discussing at length—and what resonates most with your target audience.

You can further maximize your reach by doubling down on the things that have brought you success. Or, more specifically, by repurposing popular content in other formats and creating more content about similar things.

For instance, we turned this popular video on how to use ChatGPT for SEO into a Twitter thread and LinkedIn post—and later, a blog post.

Our repurposed ChatGPT for SEO post on LinkedInOur repurposed ChatGPT for SEO post on LinkedIn
Performance of our repurposed ChatGPT for SEO post on LinkedInPerformance of our repurposed ChatGPT for SEO post on LinkedIn

Wes has also done this plenty with her “eaten the bear” analogy over the years. She first wrote about it in this 2019 blog post, rewrote it in 2023, and shares variations of the analogy on LinkedIn and X every few months.

Wes' "eaten the bear" analogy, from her original 2019 blog postWes' "eaten the bear" analogy, from her original 2019 blog post

Each time, these posts garner hundreds or thousands of likes

Don’t let your success die there, though. You can find more content ideas that will resonate with your audience by doing some keyword research around your topic. Here’s how:

  1. Plug your target topic into Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer
  2. Go to the Matching terms report

For example, if we enter “chatgpt seo,” we see that people are searching for ChatGPT prompts for SEO and ChatGPT SEO extensions:

Finding keywords (topic ideas) in Ahrefs' Keywords ExplorerFinding keywords (topic ideas) in Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Given how our audience is interested in ChatGPT and SEO, these would be great topics to create content about—whether that be social media posts, videos, blog posts, or something else. 

If you don’t have a paid account with us, you can plug your topic into our free keyword generator tool to view related phrases/questions.

Extra tips to build your personal brand

We mentioned some of these in some shape or form earlier, but they’re worth expanding on.

Maintain human connections

Who are you without the people who consume your content? Engage consistently with your followers and others’ content. Human connections are worth their weight in gold when you’re trying to get your personal brand off the ground.

Maintain consistency across your social media profiles

This means using the same profile picture across all platforms, and a standardized bio so others can quickly get a sense of who you are and what you often post about.

Jack Appleby is a great example. The creator/consultant is behind Future Social, an independent social strategy newsletter with 56,000+ subscribers.

Notice how he maintains consistency on X and LinkedIn:

Jack Appleby's Twitter brandingJack Appleby's Twitter branding
Jack Appleby's LinkedIn brandingJack Appleby's LinkedIn branding

Ahrefs’ Tim Soulo further explains the importance of your profile picture in personal branding here:

Be yourself

Remember how Wes and Matt shared the importance of staying true to yourself? We couldn’t emphasize that enough.

Final thoughts

These steps aren’t exhaustive, obviously. To truly stand out online, Wes suggests having a combination of these things: social proof, good design sense, strong writing, interesting insights, and a track record of contribution.

As she puts it: 

All these things will make people think, ‘This person knows their craft.’

Wes KaoWes Kao

Have a thought about this blog post? Ping me on X



Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

SEO

SEO Salary Survey 2023 [Industry Research]

Published

on

SEO Salary Survey 2023 [Industry Research]

How much do SEOs earn? I wanted to know, so I ran a survey at Brighton SEO and asked 111 attendees what they earned.

Editor’s note

We realize that this is a small sample set and not representative of all SEO salaries as it’s focused on UK and EU data. If you want to be part of the next Ahrefs salary survey, you can submit your details anonymously here.

Here are the top takeaways:

  • The median annual salary for SEOs we polled was $49,211
  • The highest annual salary we polled was $229,652
  • To earn the higher salaries in SEO you need be a technical SEO expert—Heads of SEO, SEO Directors and SEO Leads all said that their main specialization was technical SEO 
  • Only 5.4% of respondents learned SEO through a course—most learned on the job (52.3%) or by themselves (42.3%)
  • 36.9% described themselves as content specialists, 30.6% described themselves as technical specialists, 6.3% described themselves as specializing in link-building
  • 49.5% of respondents worked in SEO agencies, 42.3% in-house and 8.2% were self-employed
  • Most respondents (28.8%) worked in companies that had 11-50 people
  • The average SEO experience of our respondents was 6.9 years
  • Self-employed SEOs earned the most on average ($60,232k)—the median annual salary for in-house roles was slightly lower at $56,789, and agency SEOs had the lowest median annual salary at $44,169

There were also a few surprises:

  • Few SEOs in our survey said that they specialized in link building compared to technical and content. This is despite the fact that links are still one of the most important Google ranking factors.
  • The average level of experience between SEO Directors and Head of SEO is not that different—10.4 years for a SEO Director and 10.6 years for a Head of SEO—but the salary difference between the roles was ~$11,552—quite substantial.

Overview

Role Median annual salary ($USD) Average experience (years) Main specialization Main work location
Head of SEO $92,988 10.6 Technical SEO Agency and in-house
SEO Director $81,436 10.4 Technical SEO Agency and in-house
SEO Lead $38,289 7.4 Technical SEO Agency
SEO Specialist $49,229 5.8 Content In-house
SEO Account Manager $43,850 4.2 Content Agency
SEO Consultant $49,240 6 All-rounder Agency
SEO Executive $31,956 3 All-rounder Agency
SEO Analyst $56,393 5 All-rounder In-house

Here’s how annual salaries broke down across our respondents:

According to the SEOs we polled, most of them learned SEO on the job or were self-taught. 

Chart displaying how individuals learned SEO.Chart displaying how individuals learned SEO.

Average level of experience by role

Most of our respondents had a couple of years of experience under their belts. The amount of experience Head of SEOs had versus SEO Directors was not that different, at around 10 years.

Average level of experience by roleAverage level of experience by role
  • Across all respondents, the average experience was 6.9 years
  • For Head of SEO, the average experience was 10.6 years
  • For SEO Director, the average experience was 10.4 years
  • For SEO Lead, the average experience was 7.4 years
  • For SEO Account Manager, the average experience was 4.2 years
  • For SEO Consultant, the average experience was 6 years 
  • For SEO Executive, the average experience was 3 years 
  • For SEO Analyst, the average experience was 5 years

What areas of SEO do they specialize in? 

Technical and Content were the two top skills that SEOs we surveyed specialized in.

Areas of SEO specializationAreas of SEO specialization

The proportion of SEOs that said they specialized in links was much lower despite links being a major ranking factor.

Our survey showed an almost 50/50 split between the UK and Europe. 48.6% of respondents were from the UK—perhaps not surprising given that BrightonSEO is based in the UK.

Chart of countries SEOs are fromChart of countries SEOs are from

Most of the respondents we spoke to worked in agencies or in-house. It does mean, however, that our salary data was mainly focused on these two employment types.

Chart listing where SEOs workChart listing where SEOs work

How big are the companies they work in?

Across all respondents, the most common company size was 11-50. A large proportion of SEOs also worked for substantially larger companies that had over 1000 employees.

Number of people in the company
Number of people in the company

How much does each SEO role earn?

Here’s the full breakdown of each role.

Head of SEO salary

It’s probably not too much of a surprise that the Head of SEO role was our highest-paying SEO role surveyed. What’s more of a surprise was the variation in salary—our survey showed that a Head of SEO can earn anything from ~$25k to ~$229k. 

head-of-seo-salaryhead-of-seo-salary

Average experience

According to our survey, a Head of SEO has ~10.6 years of experience.

Type of company

46.7% of respondents worked for an agency, and 46.7% worked in-house. 6.7% were self-employed.

Education

66.7% of respondents said they were self-taught, 26.7% said they’d learned on the job, and 6.7% said that they had learned SEO from a course.

Specialization

40% said that they specialized in technical SEO, 33.3% in Content, and 13.3% said they were a generalist. The remaining 13.4% said they focused on people management. 

This is surprising, as it implies that 73.3% of people in Head of SEO roles are actively providing SEO services for their clients rather than focusing on managing a team.

Company size

There were two company sizes that were most popular for Head of SEOs to work in. 40% of respondents said they worked in companies with 11-50 people, and 20% said they worked in companies with over 1001 people. 

Location

40% of respondents were from the UK, 13.3% were from the Netherlands, and the remainder were from mainland Europe.

SEO Director salary

The salary variation wasn’t quite as extreme for SEO Directors, but salaries ranged from ~$42k to ~$121k—still quite a difference.

SEO Director salarySEO Director salary

Average experience

SEO Directors in our survey had 10.4 years of experience on average.

Type of company

There was a 50/50 split between SEO Directors’ backgrounds, with 50% from agency and 50% from in-house

Education

62.5% of SEO Directors described themselves as self-taught, and 37.5% said that they learned SEO on the job.

Specialization

75% of them specialized in technical SEO, whilst 25% described themselves as generalists or Other.

Company size

According to our survey, SEO Directors typically work in medium to large companies. 25% said that they worked in companies that had over 1000 people, and 25% said they worked in companies that had 51-100 employees.

Location

Most SEO Directors we surveyed were from the UK (62.5%). The rest were equal splits between India, the U.S., and Germany (12.5%).

SEO Lead salary

SEO Leads typically have a lot of experience, but our survey shows that they only earn slightly more on average than SEO Specialists.

SEO Lead salary
SEO Lead salary

Average experience

SEO Leads in our survey had 7.4 years of experience on average.

Type of company

50% of SEO Leads came from an agency background, 41.7% came from in-house, and 8.3% were self-employed.

Education

69.2% learned on the job, 23.1% were self-taught, and 7.7% learned SEO through a course.

Specialization

30.8% of SEO Leads specialized in technical SEO, 23% specialized in content, and 23.1% specialized in links. 15.4% described themselves as generalists. The remaining 7.7% described themselves as specializing in SEO strategy.

Company size

46.2% worked in companies that had 1001+ people, and the remaining 53.8% worked in smaller companies.

Location

23.1% of SEO Leads came from the UK, with the remainder coming from the Netherlands, Italy, and Sweden (15.4% each) and 30.7% from other European countries.

SEO Specialist salary

SEO Specialists we surveyed had around 5-6 years of experience, but they typically got paid better than SEO Leads. Based on my experience, this may be due to in-house roles paying better than agency roles in the UK.

SEO Specialist salarySEO Specialist salary

Average experience

SEO Specialists in our survey had an average of 5.8 years of experience.

Type of company

41.2% of SEO Specialists came from an agency background, while 58.8% said that they were from an in-house background.

Education

58.8% of SEO Specialists said that they had learned SEO on the job, 35.3% said that they were self-taught, and 5.9% said that they had learned SEO through a course.

Specialization

52.9% of SEO Specialists specialized in content, 29.4% focused on technical, 11.8% described themselves as all-rounders, and 5.9% described specialized in links.

Company size

41.2% of SEO Specialists said that they worked in companies that had 11-50 people. Only 17.6% of respondents said that they worked in companies that had 1001+ people. 23.6% said they worked in companies between 51-500 people. The remaining 17.6% worked in smaller companies with less than 10 people.

Location

23.5% of SEO Specialists said that they were from the UK, with the remainder from Europe.

SEO Account Manager salary

SEO Account Managers in our survey were one of the most consistent salary bands earning between ~$40k and ~$55k.

SEO Account Manager salarySEO Account Manager salary

Average experience

SEO Account managers in our survey had 4.2 years of experience on average.

Type of company

85.7% of respondents worked for an agency, and 14.3% worked in-house.

Education

71.4% of respondents said they learned SEO on the job, and 28.6% said they were self-taught.

Specialization

42.9% said that they specialized in content, 28.6% described themselves as an all-rounder, 14.3% said they were technical SEO, and the remaining 14.2% said they specialized in links.

Company size

42.9% of respondents said they worked in companies with 11-50 people, and 28.6% said they worked in companies with over 1001 people. The remaining 28.6% was split equally between people who worked in companies with between 2-11 people or 51-100 people.

Location

85.7% of respondents were from the UK, and 14.3% of the remainder were from Europe.

SEO Consultant salary

SEO Consultants we surveyed earned up to ~$87k, which was lower than I was expecting—because our SEO pricing post suggested that SEO consultants charge between $100-150 per hour. 

But as the data is UK-focused, the likely reason for this is the £85k VAT tax threshold

SEO Consultant salarySEO Consultant salary

Average experience

SEO Consultants in our survey had 6 years of experience on average.

Type of company

63.3% of respondents worked for an agency, and 36.7% worked in-house.

Education

45.5% of respondents said they were self-taught, 36.4% said they’d learned on the job, and 9.1% said that they had learned SEO from a course. The remaining 9% said they’d learned from other ways.

Specialization

27.3% said that they specialized in technical SEO, 27.3% in content, and 27.3% said they were a generalist. The remaining 18.1% said they focused on management and strategy.

Company size

SEO Consultants typically worked on their own or in smaller agencies according to our survey — 36.4% of respondents said they worked on their own, and 27.3% said they worked in companies with 51-100 people. The remaining 36.3% said they worked in companies with between 2-50 people.

Location

36.4% of respondents were from the UK, 27.3% were from the Netherlands, and the remaining 36.3% were from Europe.

SEO Executive salary

SEO Executive salarySEO Executive salary

Average experience

SEO Executives in our survey had 3 years of experience on average.

Type of company

80% of respondents worked for an agency, and 20% worked in-house.

Education

80% of respondents said they were self-taught, and 20% said they’d learned SEO from a course.

Specialization

40% said that they specialized in technical SEO, 20% in Content, and 40% said they were a generalist. 

Company size

80% of respondents said they worked in companies with 11-50 people, and 20% said they worked in companies with 1001 or more people.

Location

80% of respondents were from the UK, and 20% were from Belgium.

SEO Analyst salary

SEO Analysts typically had a few more years of experience than SEO Executives, but it looks like they earned roughly the same as them.

SEO Analyst salarySEO Analyst salary

Average experience

SEO Analysts in our survey had 5 years of experience on average.

Type of company

33.3% of respondents worked for an agency, and 66.7% worked In-house.

Education

33.3% of respondents said they were self-taught, and 66.7% said they’d learned on the job.

Specialization

33.3% said that they specialized in technical SEO, 33.3% in Content, and 33.3% said they specialized in News SEO.

Company size

33.3% of respondents said they worked in companies with 101-200 people, and 66.7% said they worked in companies with over 201 people.

Location

SEO Analysts came from a range of locations 33% of respondents were from Portugal, 33.3% were from Brazil, and the remainder were from Serbia.

Sidenote.

We didn’t get many respondents for the SEO Analyst role—so take these results with a pinch of salt.

Final thoughts

SEO salaries aren’t often discussed in detail within the industry, so getting a snapshot of their current state from one of the biggest SEO conferences in the UK was insightful.

For our next salary survey, we’ll be opening it up to all SEOs. If you’d like to take part—you can enter here.

Got questions? Ping me on X (formerly known as Twitter)



Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

Trending