By Arba Hana
Arba Hana is an SEO expert, and writes on topics related to Internet Marketing. She’s working for smartpress.com that offers online printing services.
Almost all professions evolve in a similar manner. First we see the build-up in demand, but with fewer or no qualified professionals to take up the job. Therefore the jobs are occupied by the unqualified yet somewhat experienced guys possessing more than average skills in that particular field (usually coming from a related profession). After some time, and with an upward trend in the demand, the industry starts to take shape. We see more and more skilled professionals coming in, new standards are formed, and benchmarks made, and relevant degrees being introduced in the institutes. In case the demand keeps jacking up, the influx of new professionals continues, and we see more professionals competing for lesser jobs, particularly when we are talking about a job like SEO (where the absence of professional degrees or certifications means anybody can claim to be an expert).
One way to stick out from the crowd of so many professionals is to dedicate yourself to some specific fraction of that job and then market yourself as a specialist. Apart from the competition, the growth of Search Engine Optimization as a subject has also made it difficult for a single person to gain knowledge of so many aspects. So, as far as I am concerned, it’s not a question of “if SEO should be going for specialization or not”, instead it is an inevitable development because SEO is now too broad a subject and it has too many aspects to be covered by a single person.
Some might argue that SEO specialization is nothing but a hyperbole because the basics stay the same. But then, that’s the case with almost all professions out there … the basics stay the same (that is why they are called basics). It’s only after someone has learned the fundamentals, he can focus on a specific branch and dedicate his time for learning the ins and outs of that specific branch. After some time, and experience, they get more adept in that particular domain than the “jack of all trades”. Besides the basics might be the same but you still need to take different approaches towards content creation, on page optimization, or link building for different types of websites, and with different kinds of budgets, and all those differences justify the need of specialist, no?
Let’s discuss some workable SEO specializations according to the types of websites.
Blogs SEO Specialist:
The model of blogs has contributed a lot to World Wide Web. Thanks to a number of freely available platforms for blogging, or scripts like WordPress, we see more blogs on cyber horizon than any other type of websites. Add to this, a variety of options to monetize a blog and we have an irresistible combination of fame, money, and recognition.
Needless to say, this irresistible combination gives rise to intense competition, especially in some highly lucrative niches for blogging e.g. online money making, tech, or travel. It’s not easy for a newly launched blog to topple the old, established ones while relying solely on the content, and here comes the need of a Blog SEO Specialist. The Blog SEO specialist needs to be unassailable when it comes to keyword research, because half the battle is won (or lost) when you decide the topic or niche to blog. Content creation should not be a problem when you are working for a blogger except for a little direction every now and then, same goes for on-page optimization. However, you should be able to do the marketing or link building on a tight budget. Last but not the least, the job doesn’t end at achieving good ranks or traffic, you need to be good at monetizing to keep your clients happy.
Small Business Websites Specialist:
Ecommerce industry has grown manifolds but there’s a lot of scope for further growth because, in spite of a stupendous growth in Internet users, people are still a little wary of buying and selling online. However, the idea of reaching out to an unlimited number of clients is a little too tempting, and small businesses will succumb to the temptation sooner than later. The small business website specialist will be needed to make the business website appear in the localized searches and Google Places. He/she needs to be good at website maintenance and basic website development, because business owners may consider it too much of a hassle to deal with various professionals to design, manage, and market a website. Also, unlike the blogs, content creation is going to be an uphill task since mere images or the names of the products are not going to be enough.
Affiliate Marketing Specialist:
Affiliate websites have been in vogue for quite some time. It used to be a pretty straight forward job but it’s not, anymore, especially with Google coming up with all sorts of algorithm updates like Panda, Farmer, or Scrapper Updates. Now, you can’t just churn out hundreds of pages, copy and paste product descriptions and add an affiliate link, spend a small amount on link building, and watch the money flowing in.
The tide has changed, and affiliate websites or links are frowned upon by search engines and web community by and large. Not because affiliate marketing is something immoral, the reason is the lack of effort on affiliate marketer’s part. Being an affiliate marketing specialist, one should be able to completely overhaul the image of a website meant for affiliate marketing. There’s nothing wrong in signing up with an affiliate program and advertising other’s products, but the website should be having some unique content and value of its own.
Ecommerce Store Specialist:
Online shops, or web stores, or online stores are websites were customers can make an order and have the product delivered at their address. I don’t need to tell how convenient and cost-effective it can be for both, customers and businesses. But again, credibility and customers inability to have a feel of the real product proves to be a hindrance in the way of potential growth. However, humans have this knack of overcoming such riddles, and we can expect a significant growth in the number of Ecommerce websites.
Online store marketing specialist will have a tough time ranking for product oriented keywords because of the competition and also because, Google prefers big brands. Secondly, the store specialist should be equally good at conversion and retaining the customers because, if an online store is relying solely on unique visitors, it means you are not on solid grounds. Keeping these challenges in mind, someone in charge of marketing an online shop should be equally good or even better at Social Media Optimization.
These are just some quick examples to give you an idea. The real point is to go one step ahead from the routine directory submissions, and article marketing type of techniques, and try to dig deeper while focusing on a particular type of website. And these are not the only types, there are many more on web, and you can choose any of them e.g. corporate sites, social community websites, dating websites, gambling sites, and even … err, leave it.