Working in the SEO team at Keypath Education
We sit down with the Keypath Education Australia SEO team, JD Santiago – SEO Manager, Andrew Cabal – SEO Specialist, and Kazim Musa – SEO Specialist, to discuss what working in the SEO space at Keypath is like for skill growth and professional development.
What is it like working in the SEO team at Keypath?
Working in the SEO team at Keypath firstly is very collaborative. Not only do we have our team here in Melbourne, but we also have global offices in the US, Canada, and the UK. We meet at least once a month with the global SEO team to go over problems that may or may not be specific to Australia; it gives us a much larger pool of resources in terms of tackling issues.
Our SEO team here in Australia is also very collaborative. Even though we work on our own individual partner sites, we share any problems and solutions between the three of us to make work much more comfortable than it could be working alone.
Being an SEO specialist at Keypath is a combination of an SEO agency and an in-house SEO role. You will be working with fewer clients than you'd have in an agency role, but you're working with more than an in-house SEO would. Instead of working on one site, for example, we work across multiple universities, and we at least have two to three universities each to manage. It is not the same thing every day.
At Keypath, we also have a strong focus on testing and new initiatives – similar to an agency. Often in an in-house role, as long as the website is doing fine, the organisation might prefer you don't try anything new. In contrast, here we are always looking at new ways to gain an edge, so it does allow growth in both your SEO skills and other skills in terms of content, analytics, data, CRO, UX and general business work. There is a nice balance.
Do you get to deal with any interesting partnerships in your role?
Working with universities is an exciting partnership because often they are on the leading edge of what is going on in the markets and the education sector. We get to develop content by talking to university academics who are at the cutting edge, and they can offer us many resources which are valuable to our work and our learning.
But there are also some very interesting partnerships you can make within Keypath. We have the content team, the paid media team, a team of marketing managers, a learning design team and then our student support teams. Drawing from all these areas can lead to a lot of new insights in terms of the work we are doing and how to approach it.
For instance, the paid team is going to have many insights in terms of bidding for keywords and what's popular. The content team is going to be much more creative and give us new ideas to develop our content strategy and roll that out, as well as sharing through social media.
The marketing managers are great to work with because they have an overall understanding of the market, and what is going to move the needle and what our role in that is. Our student support team give us insight into what our potential customers want, which takes a lot of guesswork out of the work that we do.
Interesting partnerships are very dependent on what you would want as the new SEO specialist. We hire contractors very often, so if you have a unique idea that requires a specific type of person, the ball is certainly in your court to get that partnership together. There are no limitations in that sense.
What avenues are there for experimentation and growth within the SEO team?
Testing is a big initiative here at Keypath, which allows for greater experimentation rather than boxed-in thinking of what is already successful and continuing to do that.
For example, we have our Conversion Rate Optimisation initiative, where the paid team, the SEO team and the designer team come up with conversion rate initiatives to test on partners, held fortnightly. Or we have our SEO testing initiative, where we test out best practices on dummy sites and live sites before rolling them out across all partners. We get to ask questions like: does page speed affect rankings?
As far as personal growth goes, there are a lot of initiatives at Keypath that allow growth into areas where you may not be experienced. Each employee at Keypath has their own personal development budget and time. If there is something you want to dive into that you can bring back to Keypath and make your team better, this can certainly be added to daily tasks and not be something that you have to do outside of work.
Our manager will tell us to go for ideas, even if we are not entirely sure whether they will work for us. The worst-case scenario we are told with this is that we will learn from our failures.
What are your favourite perks of working with Keypath?
We have a massive amount of creative control and individual ownership of the projects that we work on. There is no 'shoulder watching' by upper management, which is excellent. You can do what you want, as long as you're achieving the results at the end of the day.
This is a challenging role. There are other SEO jobs that if everything is going right – you sit back and continue to do the same thing. However, because of the initiatives that Keypath has on an overall marketing team basis, there are always new challenges and ways to grow.
Keypath has also been a great place to work during COVID-19. They were quick to implement a working from home process to alleviate the stress of COVID-19 and extend that time to keep their staff safe. Regular support was given to all staff, including monthly internet allowances. It also shows the trust, which is instilled within its employees, working from home without for any red flags raised by management.
Career development is undoubtedly in our hands, but it's not spoon-fed to us. It is determined by avenues within your career you are interested in developing, and Keypath supports you to succeed in those avenues. It is certainly available if you have the initiative to find what you want.
To learn more about our current SEO Specialist role we have available, visit here.