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The benefits of continuously developing your team’s SEO skills

This informal CPD article on The benefits of continuously developing your team’s SEO skills was provided by Blue Array, the UK’s largest specialist SEO agency.

Like many fast-moving industries, Continuing Professional Development is crucial for those working in SEO – a form of organic digital marketing that requires implementing a range of technical and content improvements to help websites appear more prominently in search engines, such as Google and Bing. And whilst those working in this field don’t generally need to hold any formal qualifications in order to practice, many employers will want to know that those operating within it are able to demonstrate cutting-edge knowledge, and understand best practices.

As an area of expertise, SEO can largely be taught online, with a wealth of resources freely available. However, the challenge often comes from knowing which resources to trust, given that the industry isn’t formally regulated (beyond the guidelines set out by the likes of Google etc.) This means misleading opinions or false information can sometimes be broadcast to a wide audience.

For those businesses that employ people in SEO roles, either within a marketing team or as part of an agency offering these services, it can, therefore, be hugely beneficial to make quality SEO training courses available to your staff to aid their ongoing professional development. Here are some of the benefits of establishing a formal SEO training programme for your business and employees:

Aiding the induction process

The key to retention starts early on, and it’s important to leave a long-lasting first impression on any new employees you have. By providing a solid onboarding process with well-structured training courses in place, you instantly demonstrate to your new team members that they’re seen as valuable assets in the organisation.

Statistics show that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with their company from 3+ years if they experience great onboarding. Additionally, the cost to businesses of replacing an employee can equate to approximately nine months of their salary, so financially, it makes sense to do everything you can to hold on to your most valuable staff.

With the right training, you can also ensure that your new starters are up-to-speed and generating value for your business more quickly, making the outgoings on training a sensible investment.

Increased retention rates

It’s not just new starters, of course, that will benefit from training courses to aid their SEO skills development. To be considered “Continuing Professional Development”, learning needs to be conducted on a frequent basis.

This is the case in many industries, and SEO is certainly no exception. With Google’s algorithms changing on an almost daily basis, it’s critical that those working in this field are able to keep their knowledge and methods up-to-date.

And with LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report showing that 94% of employees state they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career, the benefits to both employee engagement and retention will ultimately outweigh any costs involved.

Motivation

Increasingly, salary and other external ‘reward-based’ motivators are seen by employees as less important than those of intrinsic value; not least, the satisfaction of actually performing the job they have been employed to do.

A study conducted in 2018 showed that ‘Enjoying what you do’ was cited by 83.6% of respondents as a measure of career success, whilst only 42.4% marked ‘Earning a high salary’ as one of these measures.

Author Daniel Pink mentions the three key intrinsic motivators in his book ‘Drive’ – one of which is ‘Mastery’ i.e. becoming an expert in your line of work. Therefore, by providing expert training to your SEO team or employees, you are helping to set them on a route to achieving that mastery they crave, which ultimately leads to high levels of motivation in their role, and therefore more loyalty to your business.

Sense of professionalism

The benefits for those looking to get into SEO include limited barriers to entry through no formal qualifications being required, in-demand skillsets ranging from those more technically-minded through to those more creative in nature, as well as extremely quick career progression for talented people. However, there’s also no formal governance to force individuals to be mindful of current best-practices, or for their knowledge to be kept up-to-date.

Through taking regular SEO training courses, attending conferences and webinars, and reading industry news, those working in the field start to adopt a sense of professionalism in their role. Take that another level and ask employees to keep a CPD of their learnings, and they’ll feel more implied to continuously learn and be seen as a true “professional”, in an industry where it’s otherwise easy to claim “expertise”. To a business, ensuring all of your SEO staff hold certain qualifications means you can use this to your advantage when pitching for new business.

Why you should invest in SEO training courses

All of the above examples should highlight why it can be hugely beneficial for your business to offer structured SEO training to your staff. Even if you’re on a strict budget, training in this industry doesn’t need to come at significant cost. There are even a many high-quality free SEO training courses available online – either temporarily through limited-time offers, or permanently.

Of course, the key is making sure you find the resources which are trustworthy and offer high value to your business and your employees in the long-term. This is why anything you can find that offers an accreditation, such as one from the CPD, are worth prioritising when pulling together your training programme.

We hope this article was helpful. For more information from Blue Array, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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