Last Updated: November 4, 2020

Conducting an online search analysis in Google for “buy cars” yields over 800,000 global searches per month, whereas “buy automobiles” yields only around 27,000 per month. Considering how many more people search for “buy cars” than anything else, which list would you rather be at the top of?

Search engine optimization specialists, or SEO specialists, help companies analyze and streamline their websites to increase page rankings. Effective SEO helps companies expand their customer base, rise to the top of various search engines, and generally improve upon the quality of their pages.

What do they do?

Location and Opportunity

According to, the top locations for SEO specialists include:

  • New York, NY
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Chicago, IL
  • San Francisco, CA

When companies hire an SEO specialist, they know that they’re getting a “jack of all trades” for the digital age. Using sophisticated, analytical software and an understanding of search algorithms, SEO specialists analyze a website and then determine which areas could use improvement, leading to higher page rankings.

Traditionally, SEO concerns itself mostly with helping a site improve keywords, quality of writing, advertising, and increasing the amount of backlinks that point to the website. Working with teams of copywriters and editors, they help to refine text content such as blogs or social media postings. Higher-quality content means more visitors to a page – visitors who stick around on the website as they discover more engaging content.

SEO specialists work with a variety of web development and content creation professionals to improve a website. Some of these professionals include:


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SEO specialists are extremely engaged in search engine culture, staying up-to-date on new changes to search functions, or adjustments to algorithms. Keeping highly organized is a given – SEO specialists must create detailed plans on how they will improve website operation and turn those improvements into higher search rankings.

Typically, SEO specialists obtain at least bachelor’s degrees in communications, computer science, or marketing before entering the field. As SEO becomes a more popular technique to improve web rankings, some schools may offer specific classes.

Becoming a SEO Specialist

Salaries for SEO specialists vary widely, mostly due to the ever-changing nature of the job. Some companies hire SEO specialists to take on larger projects, while others may come in for one-shot website redesigns. A typical SEO specialist can expect to make between $40,000 and $60,000 depending on the job.

An SEO specialist sometimes has the opportunity to work remotely, but there are still several locations highly in need of these professionals.

If you’re interested in a career optimizing web pages for multiple clients, contact schools offering degrees in marketing.