Welcome to the SEO Careers interview series. This week, we’re excited to sit down with Kyle Faber, Senior SEO Manager at Solv Health. He’s a 14-year veteran of the SEO industry, with a wealth of knowledge ranging from Agency co-founder, to roles in boutique businesses.
You can connect with Kyle on LinkedIn & Twitter, as well as his personal website kylemfaber.com.
If you are interested in being featured in the SEO careers interview series, please submit your name and contact details on our contact page.
Enough housekeeping, let’s jump into this interview!
Hi! We’re so glad to feature you on SEOjobs.com. Please introduce yourself to our site’s readers.
My name is Kyle Faber. I live in Milwaukee, WI and have been working in the web design / SEO industry since 2007, after I co-founded a web design agency with a friend of mine. I ran the agency for 11 years and in 2018, we closed the doors and I moved in-house.
Since then, I’ve worked in and have led SEO for a variety of organizations, including an old family-owned distribution company (eComm), major publishing (tasteofhome.com, rd.com, familyhandyman.com), mattresses (eComm), freelance consulting and currently back in-house at a health-tech company.
Please share with us your current SEO role and for what company you work for.
I’m currently in a Senior SEO Manager role at a health-tech company called Solv Health. I joined Solv and have been with them since the start of September, 2022 (so, approximately 2 months at the time of this interview).
While the core SEO competency of the overall engineering, product and consumer marketing teams is high relative to other companies I’ve worked in, I am the only dedicated SEO resource, so my primary role and responsibility is to improve our organic search performance relative to the OKRs we set each year.
Can you share with us how you entered the SEO industry?
As I’d assume is the case of most people in the industry, my path into SEO was not linear by any means. I went to college for music education and later nursing, but always had a passion for art and computers. While pursuing nursing and working double shifts on telemetry in the cardiac unit in a local hospital, I decided to start up a web design agency with a good friend of mine. That was August 2007—I got my first look into SEO starting in 2008.
Spoiler: I never graduated college.
Not counting my agency as “landing my first job” in SEO, my first role working full time for someone else came in 2018, when I shut down my agency and moved in-house. The company was a distribution company working in the green industry (think lawn equipment, fertilizer, outside lighting, etc – very B2B with a sliver of B2C). My role was to help optimize their website, which was primarily an eComm platform housing approximately 11.5k SKUs.
When I had my agency, I never made more than $45k annually (always reinvested in the business, people, etc.). My first role after the agency was $65k, and it’s increased since then.
How did you start to learn SEO? What are you currently doing to keep up with the ever changing SEO industry?
Getting into SEO was a somewhat nebulous thing. My original title at my agency was “Operations Director”, which meant I was primarily running business development, business operations (e.g. AR/AP, finance, etc), project planning, project management, and client support—none of which had anything to do with SEO.
I learned a lot about SEO by pitching web redesign projects (which meant planning out the pages and functionality of the site as part of our pitch), being involved in the web builds and reading industry blogs (Moz, SEO Book, SEO by the Sea (RIP Bill), etc).
Back when I started, people like Rand Fishkin and Aaron Wall were the big names you would find first, so that’s where I spent my time.
Today, while there’s some interesting stuff being published, a lot of what I learn is through working on challenging problems, and surrounding myself with incredibly smart and talented individuals in the SEO space. Through these connections, I’ve been able to build some really great friendships, gain multifaceted perspectives and improve what and how I do my work.
Can you share what factors are most important to you in an SEO career and why? When do you know its time for a new job? Do these same factors play a role?
One of the biggest factors that is important to me in my career is not so much an attribute as it is a feeling. It’s hard to say exactly what that feeling is, but the best way to describe it is that I feel inspired, energized and have a sense of value relative to the role and goals within the company I’m working with. If I don’t have that feeling, then most of the “on paper” attributes won’t matter much.
However, if I do have that feeling, then I have a base expectation for what I’m looking for in a comp package. The most important comp package attributes are salary (base), benefits (good healthcare and flexible scheduling / PTO), and the ability to work remotely.
Bonuses and stock options are not usually guaranteed income, so while nice and definitely part of the consideration, I don’t count on them in the short term.
What recommendations would you give to someone who is looking to join the SEO industry and get their first full-time SEO position?
There is SO much information about SEO on the internet—it’s truly a blessing and a curse.
A few great resources to get started include:
If you are able to gain a strong grasp on the basics of crawling, indexing, rendering and how content services the intent of a searcher, you’ll be on the right path.
Beyond that, I think the most important attributes of SEOs that do great work are:
- being relentlessly curious
- being able to ask great questions
- being able to handle conflict well
Work on those soft-skills and learn the hard-skills as you go.