An SEO specialist moving from the UK to the USA

Introduction

Hi, my name is Ian Nunnally and I am an SEO specialist with a unique background. I was born in California but moved to the UK at the age of 5, where I resided until recently. My journey to becoming an SEO specialist was not traditional. To sum it up, I began with a paid internship at a digital agency and spent 4.5 years working in every aspect of digital marketing while simultaneously earning digital marketing-specific certifications and diplomas. 

Through this experience, I found a passion for SEO and PPC, which led me to pursue a new venture as an in-house SEO specialist for a brand’s acquisitions team. Working within a company provided me with ample time to focus on the details and develop comprehensive strategies for long-term success. Despite having a comfortable position with fantastic colleagues, I felt that it was time for a change that would take me back to my birthplace.

The differences between SEO in the UK and the USA

In this section, we will discuss the differences and similarities between SEO practices in these two regions.

One of the notable differences I have observed is the state of websites for smaller businesses in the US. Many of these businesses often have outdated websites, lacking in fundamental elements such as meta titles and descriptions, H1 tags, and adequate content word count. In contrast, websites of small businesses in the UK tend to be more updated and optimized, providing a better user experience and improved SEO results.

Despite the differences in website quality, the foundational elements of SEO are generally similar in both regions. However, I have noticed that Google My Business (GMB) is more focused on in the US, and optimizing GMB profiles for local SEO is crucial for businesses to rank higher in local search results.

Furthermore, there are more journalist requests applicable to the US, which can help with backlink building and improving a website’s domain authority. This approach is less common in the UK, where businesses tend to focus on more traditional SEO practices.

In conclusion, while there are differences in SEO practices between the UK and the USA, many of the foundational elements of SEO are the same. However, there are nuances to each region that businesses should consider to optimize their online presence for success. In the following posts, we will dive deeper into each of these topics to help you understand how to improve your website’s SEO performance in the UK and the USA.

Challenges I faced during my move: Legal, cultural, and professional challenges

As an American citizen from birth, the actual move was relatively simple – just a matter of booking a flight. However, leaving the UK was much more challenging. Saying goodbye to friends, leaving a job I was happy with, and selling about 90% of my possessions was emotionally difficult.

Once I moved, I felt relatively calm but adjusting to life in a new place was not without its challenges. Moving back in with my parents, something that many people my age (25) are doing, was an adjustment. Adapting to a different cultural environment can also be challenging, even for someone who was born in the country.

One of the biggest challenges I faced was in the job search process. When I started interviewing, I thought my CV was comprehensive and streamlined. However, I soon realized that the automated systems that many companies use to filter job applications can be unpredictable. Despite applying to many jobs that I felt I was qualified for, I received interviews from only two companies. Both interviews progressed to the next rounds, and I finally accepted a job offer from a company that believed in me.

In conclusion, moving back to the USA was not without its challenges, both personal and professional. However, with patience and perseverance, I was able to navigate the hurdles and find success. In the following posts, we will explore these challenges in more detail and provide tips on how to overcome them for anyone considering a move to a new country.

Certifications and qualifications: The relevance of UK qualifications in the USA

As an SEO specialist who has recently moved from the UK to the USA, I faced some challenges in transferring my qualifications and certifications to the American market. During my paid internship in the UK, I had completed several certifications and qualifications that were unique to the UK digital marketing industry.

When I began job hunting in the USA, I had to research how these certifications could be understood and valued by American employers. Unfortunately, I found that there was no direct translation for most of my certifications, apart from my ‘Professional Certification in Digital Marketing’ which corresponded to an associate’s degree in the US. This meant that I had to rely on my experience and other certifications that I had earned during my academic years to showcase my skills and knowledge to potential employers in the US.

This experience taught me the importance of staying up-to-date with the relevant certifications and qualifications in the market I am working in. I realized that I may have to obtain new certifications that are more recognized and respected in the US digital marketing industry to advance my career.

In conclusion, while my UK qualifications and certifications were still valuable and relevant to my experience as an SEO specialist, they were not as easily understood in the US market. It is important for anyone planning to work in a different country to research and understand the qualifications and certifications that are valued in that market to advance their career successfully.

Tips for international job seekers in the digital marketing industry

What I learned during my job search in the USA

Looking for a job in a new country can be a daunting task, especially in a highly competitive industry such as digital marketing. As someone who recently went through this experience, I have learned a lot about what it takes to succeed as an international job seeker in the USA. In this blog section, I will share some tips that I found to be helpful during my job search. Whether you’re a recent graduate or an experienced professional, these tips can help you navigate the job market and increase your chances of landing your dream job in the digital marketing industry.

  • Research the industry and market trends in the USA before applying for jobs.
  • Tailor your resume and cover letter to the US job market and highlight relevant experience and skills.
  • Use job boards and professional networking websites to find job opportunities in the USA.
  • Be prepared to apply for jobs that require sponsorship, as not all employers may offer it.
  • Prepare for interviews by researching the company and practicing common interview questions.
  • Understand the cultural differences in the US workplace and adapt accordingly.
  • Be open to starting at a lower level or taking on contract work to gain experience in the US market.
  • Network with other professionals in the digital marketing industry and attend industry events.
  • Consider obtaining additional certifications or training to demonstrate your skills and expertise in the US market.
  • Don’t give up, keep applying and learning from each interview experience.

Navigating the job market as an experienced SEO specialist: How I positioned myself for success

Navigating the job market as an experienced SEO specialist can be a challenging and sometimes frustrating experience. However, persistence and the right approach can help you succeed in landing your dream job. In this blog section, I will share some insights and tips based on my personal experience of how I positioned myself for success in the competitive digital marketing industry. 

Tips on navigating the US job market

  1. Network: Networking is essential in any industry, and the digital marketing industry is no exception. Attend industry events and conferences, connect with industry professionals on LinkedIn, and join relevant groups and communities. Networking can help you build relationships with key players in the industry, stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments, and uncover new job opportunities.
  1. Leverage your existing skills and experience: If you’re an experienced SEO specialist, you likely have a wealth of knowledge and skills that can be applied to a variety of roles. Consider positions that are related to SEO, such as content marketing or digital marketing management. By leveraging your existing skills and experience, you can position yourself as a valuable asset to potential employers.
  1. Be open to learning new skills: The digital marketing industry is constantly evolving, so it’s important to be adaptable and willing to learn new skills. Consider taking courses or certifications in related areas, such as social media marketing or paid advertising. This can make you a more well-rounded candidate and increase your value to potential employers.
  1. Customize your applications: Avoid sending generic resumes and cover letters to potential employers. Instead, take the time to tailor your applications to each specific job you’re applying for. Research the company and the role, and highlight how your skills and experience align with the requirements of the position.
  1. Stay positive and persistent: Job hunting can be a long and frustrating process, but it’s important to stay positive and persistent. Don’t let rejection get you down, and keep pushing forward. Remember, each rejection is an opportunity to learn and improve your approach. Stay focused on your goals, and you’ll eventually find the right job opportunity.

Conclusion

In conclusion, becoming an SEO specialist requires perseverance, passion, and the right certifications and qualifications. Moving to a new country can present challenges both personally and professionally, but with patience and determination, one can overcome these obstacles. In this blog, we have explored the differences and similarities between SEO practices in the UK and the USA, the challenges one can face during the job search process, the relevance of certifications and qualifications in a new market, and tips for international job seekers in the digital marketing industry. By following these tips, one can increase their chances of success in their job search and career advancement.

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