How to get into the SEO & Digital Marketing industry after graduation

Everyone knows about Brighton as thriving-South-Coast-digital-hub. Question is, when everyone and their pet goldfish has a web presence how do you ensure you stand out? You enlist an SEO professional, of course – which is where someone like Tom Clark, director of Convert Digital, an SEO business based in Brighton, comes in. Tom’s taken time out to talk about SEO and digital marketing and why this growing sector could offer the career for you…

Tom ClarkTom, what is SEO and digital marketing and why do you think SEO and digital marketing is a good career path for graduates?

“SEO and digital marketing is an increasingly popular industry, where the ultimate goal is to help a company have a greater visibility on the major search engines, such as Google. It stands for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ and is the pursuit of helping a business appear in the Google search results for keywords and phrases that are relevant to what the business has to offer. As more companies have realised they can’t ignore the power of Google, the need for SEO has grown, creating a higher demand for people to learn this skill. When you are coming out of university you likely want to be creative and avoid the mundane at all costs. SEO and digital marketing relies upon creative thinking and technical know-how.

This industry has a lot to offer graduates as there are loads of SEO firms across Brighton and Sussex always looking out for people to join their team. When you are working in a digital marketing agency the skills you learn are transferable to other industries and make career progression a reality.


How long have you been in the SEO and digital marketing industry and why did you choose this path once graduating?

“My SEO career began without me realising, back in 2009 whilst still studying music at university. I was setting up a guitar teaching business and wanted to get more students. After weeks of flyering without any phone calls, I started to look into other ways to market my business. I read up on countless SEO blogs and started to learn the skills. After persisting, I got my guitar teaching site to perform pretty well in Google and the phone began to ring! I didn’t really realise I was technically an SEO at this point. As graduation loomed, I continued to work part-time in retail and eventually I felt the pressure to get a call centre job because my income was not enough to cover my cost of living. I saw an internship come up at a local web agency in 2012 and chose to take a risk and live on my savings. It was one of the greatest risks I have taken.

How important do you think it is for students to make career plans whilst still in education?

“Without thinking ahead and making those important calls to hunt out internships or junior roles in companies, it can be tempting to go full time in a job you may see no future in. To at least consider different industries and get a feel for what they entail whilst still in education is a smart move.

How did you get involved in the industry before you set up your own business offering this service?

“As touched upon earlier, getting involved was all about being excited to learn in the internship format. When you can be in an environment where you are learning every day and helping, you will naturally be progressing towards a career. After the internship, the local firm must have seen some potential in me and offered me a job. After 2 years in total I then wanted to set up as a consultant on my own.

Do you think students need to be studying business or marketing to get into the industry?

“You certainly don’t need to be studying business or marketing to get involved. I studied music, but had a genuine interest in marketing and so for any holes in my business knowledge, I made up for it with the hunger to research and prove myself.

Tom is an openly inviting you to follow the link to Convert Digital and ask any questions you may have about making your first step towards a career in SEO and digital marketing.


careersconver digitaldigitalemployabilitySEOweb

Paul Rothwell • 17/06/2016

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