Bridging Businesses, Customers, and Knowledge Gaps: How Viki Creates Impact as an SEO Specialist
Have a background in software engineering and an interest in the realm of marketing? Look no further, because a role as an SEO Specialist might suit you. We talked to Viki Suhendro, a Senior SEO Specialist for our HRIS product about the challenges and rewards you get within the role itself, and what it’s like to work in Indonesia’s leading Software-as-a-Service company.
If you’re not familiar with the role, according to Glassdoor, SEO specialists are marketing professionals who use research and analysis to improve a website’s ranking on search engines like Google. They find the most popular and relevant keywords used in search engine queries and insert them into websites, helping search engines, helping search engines find those sites, and display them to web users. Familiar with the job, but still don’t know how to explain it to your parents? Viki summarized it for us on what he does day-to-day:
“It’s helping businesses and products easier to be found by potential clients via the Internet”
Viki’s career journey
Viki Suhendro, like most people, didn’t find his calling right away. His first job was as a Web Developer for an agency while he was still in college. After a while, he realized that he doesn’t want to make programming the focus of his career. And so, he started embarking on his SEO career journey. His first somewhat SEO-focused job was an RnD Engineer at a digital agency. While not a full-fledged SEO specialist yet, he learned how to make websites more search engine friendly and worked on several SEO campaigns.
Learning from challenges
He told us that to start a career as an SEO specialist, you can’t just have one, you have to ease into it by acquiring knowledge and skills (via online courses/SEO-related projects on your job.)
Viki’s next couple of jobs tested his skills and knack for SEO immensely: After a month of just starting as an SEO & SEM consultant in a health tech company, he had to handle most projects by himself due to his lead at the time resigning. Having been through that, however, gave him a deeper understanding and experience.
You reap what you sow
This was paid off in his next job as he got promoted to an SEO & SEM Lead in a Singaporean cloud technology consulting firm. During that time, Viki learned a whole lot about SEO as he had to handle most projects by himself. Luckily, his workplace is affiliated with Google so he had access to plenty of workshops and classes.
After working for the Singaporean consulting firm, he moved on to work for one of the major e-commerce companies in Indonesia. There, he had his first experience teaching as one of his roles was to educate sellers on the platform on how to optimize the label and description of their products to be more easily discovered. As a Senior SEO Specialist, he also helped the platform to become the most discoverable e-commerce website on Google, beating a major competitor. In Mekari’s Talenta team, he wants to do the same: to make Talenta the most discoverable HR app on major app stores.
Sharing knowledge and experience
As we take a short break from our interview, we asked Viki some fun facts about himself: he mentioned that he spent over 10 thousand hours in a popular MOBA (you know exactly which one it is), he likes coffee (he has 3 acres of coffee plantation in Bengkulu), and that he likes to share his knowledge. He’s taught several classes now in well-known startup camps, and still getting approached by others to talk and educate professionals about SEO.
Having worked in both B2C and B2B startups, we asked Viki the biggest differences between the two, what it’s like working with them, and how they encounter different challenges. He told us that in general, B2B companies have a very specific way of communicating with their audience compared to B2C.
In B2C, you have to make it easier for the audience to understand the quality and the price of your product, which the customer can then directly purchase.
In B2B, the buyer’s journey is pretty long: before you even start, you have to be updated on the who’s who of the industry (depending on the field your B2B company is in,) once you’ve gotten to know your audiences, you have to convince multiple people for your product to even be considered. Having your product/service be easily discovered tremendously helps this process.
Life at Mekari
About his experience in Mekari, Viki told us he’s happy working with his crowd: fast-paced individuals with dynamic work preferences. Aside from healthy competition within his team, he also gets along well with people from other functions as his work requires him to mingle and collaborate with other teams. He mentioned that this environment lets him learn a bit more about other functions and understand the bigger picture to help him make better decisions.
Nearing the end of the Interview, we asked Viki what he’d like to share with aspiring SEO professionals, especially those who want to work with us:
“The job is that dynamic. It’s based on hundreds of factors you might not all know about. So instead of relying on a trend, you have to keep on learning new things. SEO is mostly art, with a little bit of science and programming, so don’t be a one-trick pony.”