FIVE things I wish I was told prior to beginning my SEO career (Nearly 15 years ago!)

  • August 29, 2023
  • Nick LeRoy

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I consider myself extremely lucky that I love the career that I am in.  It’s not too often people get the opportunity to mix their job with their hobby. I’ve been doing this (SEO) for nearly 15 years now and looking back I wish there were a few things that I was given a heads up on.  Do you agree/disagree? Jump into the LinkedIn conversation and let me know!

1.  Imposter Syndrome Never Goes Away

I remember thinking that when I hit “one-year” I would feel more comfortable proclaiming my experience to clients.  Then it was 3 years… and 5 years and even 10 years.  I now embrace the imposter syndrome. It forces all of us to continue to push ourselves to a new level!

2.  Test Your Own Theories

There are very vocal individuals on the internet. They will speak in absolutes about what WILL and WILL NOT work when it comes to SEO.  Ignore them. Identify your own hypothesis and test them. I can almost guarantee that you’ll find success with something someone else told you absolutely will fail.

3.  People Skills > SEO skills

I very quickly picked up on SEO and was fortunate to find early success. With this success I took pride in being able to work in the background and did everything I could to avoid client interaction. The reality is that anyone can learn SEO but developing “soft skills” is what will truly set you apart from all the other great SEOs in this industry.

4. Get ALL Of The Experiences

I spent 10 years on the agency side of the SEO industry. I wish someone had encouraged me to give in-house SEO a shot. While I’ve been fortunate to work directly with large brands, the experience as a consultant is different than being a full-time employee. Sprinking in freelancing will give any SEO the best of all worlds.

5.  Loyalty Goes Two Ways

This isn’t a “quit your job” note. However, I spent many years in roles simply because I was too comfortable. I quickly realized that I was underpaid and wasn’t familiar with the going rates for my skillset. Very few companies are going to promote and or give you a raise out of the kindness in their hearts. Understand your worth and have the tough conversations with leadership. I can nearly guarantee it will fast-track your career in both pay and responsibilities – whether it be at your existing or a new company.


TL;DR (Takeaway)

Don’t blindly follow others.  Own your own career. Always be learning and always advocate for yourself.  Measure everything that you do and keep track of the praise and successes you have. Do all of this and you’ll quickly grow both in role/title as well as your earnings.