I have just turned 40 & am looking for a new career having previously been in sales management. I am interested in finding out how I would go about getting a position within a company as a S.E.O. and what qualifications are currently internationally recognized within the industry. Any advice would be appreciated.
Second question: is a blog type website such as a WordPress site better for optimization than the typical site a web designer would build?
1) There’s no reason why you can’t start a new career as a Search Engine Optimizer, heck I’ve written an article called 11 Reasons Why You Should Consider a Job in Search Engine Marketing. BUT, (and this is a big BUT), it takes more than theoretical knowledge and qualifications to be a good SEO.
There are plenty of online and offline training options for learning Search Engine Optimization, including the SEO courses we offer at Search Engine College. But they need to be paired with practical, in the trenches experience before you really understand how to optimize a web site successfully.
I attended a powerful presentation by Nat Torkington at Webstock last week about how to have successful failures and I would say that failures are a MUST for anyone in SEO. It’s only when you fail to get a page ranked highly in search engines and then tweak it to out-rank your competitors that you really grok SEO.
Regarding SEO qualifications, you should be aware that the search industry does not have an official accreditation body and therefore no standardized certification levels. At Search Engine College, we consistently check our lesson methodologies against the guidelines set down by the search engines themselves and I believe many of the other training institutions do the same. We also set quite strict performance benchmarks for tutor-graded assignments and assessment items before allowing our students to gain certification.
As a result, we believe SEO / SEM certification has become increasingly recognized by employers in the search industry and we’ve had students tell us that having our specific certification has given them an edge over other applicants when applying for jobs.
2) In answer to your second question, any web site can be designed and optimized well enough to be search engine friendly, but yes WordPress blogs do seem to be indexed by Google very quickly and ranked well so you can feel comfortable building and optimizing a site using WordPress. It’s so much more than a blogging platform! Just make sure you download WordPress to your own domain and don’t build your site as a hosted blog on WordPress.com