Seo advertising

5 Ways Marketers Can Support Entry-Level SEO Talent

Despite nearly two years of massive company and market transformation, the SEO industry has remained largely untouched. In fact, it has spread far beyond its previous scope.

“Come back in March 2020, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic – people couldn’t go to the stores, so they went online to buy their products,” said Abby Reimer, SEO manager at the marketing agency Uproer, during its session at SMX Next. “With that, you’ve seen a lot of businesses prioritize their website and online search presence, which naturally led to an increase in the need for SEO. “

“The demand for referrals has increased; however, the supply has not been, ”she added.

Image: Backlinko

Like many industries, entry-level SEOs are often undervalued, making it difficult to secure relevant employment early in their careers. But, with such demand for their expertise, marketers and brands would be wise to capitalize on their talent.

Reimer says focusing on entry-level talent and training them to be top-tier SEOs can:

  • Bring in a much larger pool of candidates;
  • Make your budget easier; and
  • Increase diversity in your organization as well as within the SEO industry.
chart showing the importance of diversity in hiring SEO newbies
Image: North Star entering

Neglecting these promising professionals could prevent your organization from thriving in an ever-changing market. Here are five ways Reimer recommends marketers attract and support entry-level SEOs.

Reach colleges and universities

“One tactic that our company has been very successful with is reaching out, whether it’s your alma mater or a local university, and asking to be a guest teacher in some marketing classes,” Reimer said. “Teachers love this because it gives them the opportunity to take a break and let their students hear from someone who is doing this day in and day out. “

Local colleges and universities offer plenty of opportunities to connect with emerging marketing talent. As an industry professional, you can offer to give a guest talk, mentor students, or connect with the organization’s career center – in essence, anything you can do to show that you value. entry-level prospects.

“This gives you a great opportunity to mentor a few students who you think could be potential recruits by giving them resources and a roadmap to learn SEO,” she said. “By the time they graduate, they have the experience and the knowledge to get started. “

Connect with programs for students and recent graduates

Many higher education institutions have programs that help students and recent graduates find employment. Marketers can connect with instructors or program organizers to find the most applicable programs, then connect with students interested in a career in SEO.

“The good thing about these programs is that the students and graduates who join them are already motivated,” Reimer said. “They’re generally very passionate about marketing, so it’s a great way to meet motivated candidates.

Still, it can be difficult to find these organizations, says Reimer: “I will say that these programs are a little difficult to find just by searching on Google. When you go to universities, talk to professors and students and ask them if there is any of these programs that you can get involved in, either as a mentor or as a sponsor.

Work with recognized digital marketing organizations

Digital marketing organizations are designed to attract industry talent from around the world, so marketers should be sure to check them out. There are plenty of organizations to choose from, but Reimer pointed out a few well-known groups that do a good job:

“The good thing about these organizations is that not only can you meet people fresh out of school, but you can also get in touch with people who have many years of experience under their belt,” he said. she declared. “So that gives you a wider range of candidates to talk to.

Request referrals from team members

One of the most effective ways to connect with talent outside your organization is to sponsor teams. It’s likely that your team members have relationships that you’re not aware of, so it’s important to ask them to stay on the lookout for potential recruits – offering incentives if necessary.

“We got a number of our hires through referrals,” Reimer said.

“Most importantly, get them to offer a referral bonus, gift card or free lunch,” she added.

Speak at beginner-friendly SEO events

While there was already a plethora of SEO-themed conferences before the pandemic, an increasing number of beginner-friendly SEO events and media are emerging, no doubt due to the increased demand for SEO. These include virtual conferences, webinars, podcasts, and even local marketing events. These are often important hiring avenues for agencies.

“This is how I got started in SEO,” Reimer said. “I attended a digital marketing beginners conference and met my current boss there. He was talking about SEO and said his agency was recruiting.

“These conferences are a great way not only to meet people who are just starting out, but even people who have more than a year of experience in the working world and who are just looking to get started in something new”, a- she added.

Watch the full SMX Next overview here (free registration required).

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About the Author

Corey Patterson is an editor for MarTech and Search Engine Land. With a background in SEO, content marketing, and journalism, he covers SEO and PPC industry news to help marketers improve their campaigns.