At the end of December of 2023, the SEO Leadership webinar hosted their final episode of year with a power-packed episode 🚀

Joined by Owner of and SEO consultant, Nick LeRoy, the SEO for Hire team aimed to revisit some discussion topics from our first webinar with Nick earlier on in the year, while also discussing further on the SEO job market moving into 2024, and how we can all best prepare for it.

A few of the highlights included:

One of the things that Nick and the SEO for Hire team have noticed is that a lot of companies are actually building ahead of time this year, getting a head start on work for 2024, in December of 2023.

‘A lot of people are actually thinking ahead of time, in terms of 2024 strategies, as they’re already looking to onboard and hire, etc. and not wait till the new year. December has been just as busy as any other month this year.’

“Searches for SEO jobs globally has rose to 311% since 2016, were you conscious of this when joining” – Daris

Nick relayed that he was aware of this, as he’d spent a lot of time on Linkedin during that time and noticed a lot of people looking for new jobs, being made redundant, etc.

When he had the opportunity to join Peter (who founded, and then eventually buy him out, Nick realised there were so many stories like this – if anything, it was happening more often [SEOs looking for new work].

Nick adds that he really appreciates the opportunity to support the SEO industry, which he loves so much; adding that although SEOJobs isn’t necessarily an Indeed or a Linkedin, he believes that the quality of his roles are higher due to his client network.

“To be able to help out, in times that are so stressful, makes my job all the worthwhile.”

Why do you think roles are being made redundant?

Nick emphasises that although he doesn’t have anything concrete in answer, he does have theories that there are a lot of companies that were ‘Covid rich’, where internet-based companies like SaaS products (ie. Shopify) planned to maintain and compound off their growth in 23-24, due to their success in lockdown.

Unfortunately, however, not a lot of companies were able to hit those goals.

Before lockdown, SEOs were getting premium salaries. Nick adds that it was so difficult to hire good SEOs as the market was so competitive.

Now, with this shift, it’s become more prevalent that companies needed to start trimming down, saving on salaries, etc. From a business perspective, it’s easy to understand why it’s happening.

‘The amount of roles that are hitting the salary marks that SEOs are looking for is getting increasingly smaller:

In the US, an agency job between $50-70k isn’t difficult to get, but finding rare in-house jobs with $150k salaries?

That’s where you need specialised recruiters (like SEO for Hire and SEOJobs) to help get you in the door, or use your own network.’

‘It’s not a ‘click-a-button, submit a CV, and get hired 3 weeks later’ type of situation anymore.’

“How is AI affecting the market and how do A-players fall into that factor?” – Shreya

Nick adds from his experience, that a lot of people are really scared for their jobs right now, with the gap between quality SEOs at its largest, and AI helping to shorten that gap.

Nick believes that those roles–that are plug-and-play within a system type of roles–are at risk; because people are currently using Chat GPT to build out processes that are automated.

He adds that he’s not concerned for those that are more experienced, because AI isn’t a critical thinker–yet. Adding that it [AI] doesn’t have the business acumen to determine strategic decisions, the financial impacts, etc.

‘As long as you are able to have that business acumen and effective communication, and this is prefaced with ‘yet’, that AI cannot do, you will be fine. To recap, if you are just doing checkbox SEO, AI can pose a threat to those industries. Similarly, you can see this with short-form content. If you can think and communicate effectively, there’s not much of a risk currently, for your job to be overridden by AI.’

How do you convince clients into investing in higher quality SEOs?

Nick adds that it comes down to the company’s needs, as sometimes you do need a contractor or an agency–because that’s what the business is looking for.

However, now is the time to be able to attract some really talented SEOs at good rates. You may not be interested in investing in an SEO team yet, but if you are able to find a junior SEO for around $40-50k, what you don’t see is that you’re going to need to spend even more money to coach those people, look over their work, etc.

However, alternatively, there’s also these ‘unicorn SEOs’ (as Nick coins them), who have 2-3 years experience: they have enough experience and knowledge to know about SEO, but are also able to be moulded to your business’ strategies and goals.

‘A few years ago, these SEOs would have higher salaries, but as there are more of these SEOs entering the markets, now’s a right time to invest in them. Lastly, there are the SEOs with $60-70k salaries do have more experience who will help your company move the needle… So it depends on the company’s needs when deciding the level of quality and train-ability.’

What are some solid SEO skillsets that SEOs should focus on developing when going into 2024?

Nick adds that there’s a big gap between entering the SEO space, experienced SEOs, and where AI is going to have an impact.

There are two things that SEOs can master to stand-out:

– Being data driven is great but we need more SEOs thinking in terms of dollars and cents.
‘If I’m not making my client his money back, why would he be working with me? Clients pay their employees with revenue, we must understand that there are dollar equivalents. Place dollar values to work, and focus on the tangible dollars to the work.’

– Younger SEOs need to learn to communicate to C-Suites in terms of revenue and ROI, that’s the only way moving forward. Effective communication is very important. Being able to communicate strategies, and, as Nick puts it, ‘undorkify’ SEO is becoming increasingly important. You can’t walk into a C-Suite and use Tech and SEO lingo, as C-Suites don’t care about this. They care about revenue, and are business-minded–therefore, you will need to learn to effectively communicate your strategies to them.

Find the full webinar on our socials:

If you enjoyed the highlights, you can find the full webinar discussion on Youtube and Spotify.

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