Current Job Title:
SEO Junior Analyst
Describe your current job:
I work in search engine optimization (SEO), which is a complex topic that is not very well-known to other departments but relates to all aspects of digital marketing--from web design and content to metrics and coding. In my position, I recommend improvements for and optimize one of the Ford websites so that it is more likely to appear in search results on search engines like Google. I write metadata (which is mostly the title and description that appear in the search results when someone searches for something), recommend website improvements, perform keyword research (to see what search terms are the most popular) using tools like Adobe Analytics and Google Search Console, and request edits and improvements that align with SEO best practices.
What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is just being a part of the SEO world. It has so many parts and nuances, so I am never bored. There is always something to consider or something new to learn. Search engines are constantly evolving and refining how they choose sites to show for searches. The more I know, the more I want to know, because I want to become a better SEO professional for myself, my team, and my client. And I have a lot of fun in the process! The most challenging part of my job is how many people aren't aware of the importance of implementing SEO best practices on the website. Using the internet and search engines for research is so common today that, without proper optimization throughout a site, competitors will easily dominate the search results. Having a website that no one can find is pointless--SEO makes sure that a website appears at the top of the search results for related searches (without paying for the top positions).
Which of your skills had the biggest impact on your success?
Being open to new ideas and things is a skill that I have developed over my lifetime, and it is what has impacted my life and career the most, by far. I learned that SEO existed in September of 2018 and applied for a January 2019 SEO internship that October. I was willing to open my mind to a new path that had not even been on my radar throughout my college career. I tried something new and unfamiliar, and in doing so, I discovered the career that I know was meant for me.
What advice do you have for students looking for their career after college?
This is hard. I thought I knew what I wanted to do as a freshman in college, then I decided on something else as a junior, and finally found the field that was meant for me during my last semester, in a class that had been recommended to me by my peers. Nowadays, there are so many options and paths to take. The only way to find the one for you is to explore. Analyze the classes you've taken and find the ones you thought were most enjoyable. Search for jobs that relate to those topics and the skills you used in those classes. Narrow them down to those you find most interesting and try them out. If you need to gain more knowledge before you are able to apply, read books, watch YouTube videos, and take free, online classes to develop those skills. And, in the meantime, find an experience that will help advance your skills--for example, while I was in my final semester, I offered to help improve the website of a small business to work on my SEO and web design abilities. Your experience can be volunteering, a part- or full-time job, creating a portfolio for yourself, or anything else you can think of to stand out. And maybe in doing so, you'll be able to narrow down your career interests even more! Lastly, don't give up. It's really hard and you're probably not going to get where you want to be right away. But if you focus on your goal and work hard to get to it, you will.