Back in November 2014, the St. Louis Business Journal published an article on St. Louis being the fastest growing city for tech startup funding. Tech being the keyword in that sentence obviously. With that kind of solid statement you’d think that everything else tech related should coincide with the same uprise. Well, not necessarily.
In the St. Louis marketplace, many companies still to this day perceive SEO as a tech related field. I’m quite serious about this. Clients that I’ve worked with in the past have shifted SEO endeavors onto their IT department or even in-house developers. Some will even argue that SEO in itself as a field classified under the tech category. Technology, that is to be more politically correct about this message I’m attempting to convey across.
So, naturally you’d think that in a city where technology is booming and drawing a national attention so would the SEO industry, right? It’s quite unfortunate to see how SEO continues to be a heavily misconstrued area even in a city where technology seems to be booming. Many companies even to this day in 2015 perceive SEO as a silo-ed area of expertise. One that pertains to outdated techniques and practices consisting of Page 1 rankings, keyword stuffing, and whatnot else we were accustomed to in the old days.
Rise of SEO Professional On the National Stage
Conductor is a leading market research company who recently performed a study on the existing pulse of SEO professionals and demand for their skill set on the national stage. Kind of mind blowing if you ask me.
St. Louis does not appear anywhere on the list above. Why? How come SEO does not take precedence in a city booming with technology according to the St. Louis Business Journal? Is the SEO industry limping in the St. Louis market?
SEO Job Titles in Current Demand
Average Salary Range of SEO Professionals
18% Growth in SEO Jobs Over Last 3 Years
Double-Digit Salary Growth of All SEO Jobs Evaluated
Challenges of SEO Professional in St. Louis Marketplace
As much as we’d like to deny it in a city that’s currently booming with technology and startups, SEO is not gaining real momentum. It’s quite mind boggling considering the evolution of startups and uprising of new companies. There are many challenges the St. Louis SEO professional faces on regular basis and some of those include:
- Misunderstanding or misinterpretation of SEO as a service and added value to companies
- High demands with unrealistic expectations
- Lack of time, money, and patience while in pursuit of instant gratification
- DIY SEO or on-boarding as an agency service without actual strategic guidance
- Misrepresentation of service offering
- Sacrificing quality over quantity
It is extremely frustrating to walk into a business opportunity only to find out that client already has either unrealistic or low expectations of SEO. Therefore being selective with the type of clients SEO professionals in St. Louis work with should be a determining factor for success. If a brand does not value or acknowledge the need of a strategy and action plan then chances are SEO will not play out well as a companion to their brand.
Excelling the SEO Field in St. Louis Marketplace
In order to be successful with SEO endeavors, it’s imperative to not only learn but possess mastery over the following areas respectively. A knowledgeable and experience SEO professional in St. Louis should be fully seasoned but not limited to the following areas:
- Conduct thorough SEO audits or also known as marketing assessments
- Develop a strategic SEO action plan in conjunction with client goals and objectives for business success
- Ability to assess, strategize, and implement on On-Page and Off-Page Optimization tactics
- Identify needs and fundamentals of a successful content marketing strategy
- Understand importance of mobile UX/UI in the way it coincides with SEO
- Establish holistic marketing campaigns with emphasis on search and content
- Comprehend the necessity of social media for dynamic content generation, awareness, interest, reputation management, and branding
- Expert in leading SEO tools and ability to acquire necessary data for performance measurement
- Distill data into Layman’s Terms for simpler client understanding of KPIs
- Possess strategic management skills and problem solving abilities
Last but not least, a St. Louis SEO professional should be versatile, adaptive, & faster learner especially when it comes to the continued education and evolution of this fast-paced marketing field.
What’s your thoughts on the modern SEO professional?