In the world of digital marketing, there are always new skills and strategies to learn. If you’re interested in helping your website, or the websites of your clients rank higher in search engines, you’ll need to gain an understanding of the fundamentals of search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO isn’t a single skill. Instead, it’s a collection of many different skills and strategies that you can use for a common purpose: supporting higher rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs). With so much to learn and so much to practice, how do you get started from scratch?
Why Learn SEO?
First, why should you bother learning SEO? There are several possible motivations, including:
Promote Your Own Website
Some people are interested in mastering the fundamentals of SEO so they can better support their own website. If you own a business, if you manage a blog, or if you’re connected to an organization that you want to support, SEO skills can help you improve the visibility of your web presence.
Start A Career
Learning SEO is also a viable way to start a new career in the marketing field. If you’re an experienced SEO professional, there’s no shortage of job opportunities available to you.
Augment Your Skills
If you’re already a digital marketing professional, learning SEO could be a way to augment your skills and make you more marketable. It could also help you earn a raise if you’re willing to take on more responsibilities related to SEO.
Learn From Authoritative Sources
So how do you get started? The best way to begin is to learn from accepted, authoritative sources on SEO. These are some of the best places to look:
Google is the world’s most popular search engine, and it tends to dictate the norms of the SEO industry. Accordingly, getting your information from Google is a way of going straight to the source. Across Google’s blog and archives of online documentation, you’ll be introduced to the best practices that help websites rank higher.
It’s also a good idea to tap into the knowledge of SEO agencies. For example, you might visit an Arlington SEO agency’s website and read their latest blog posts or download an eBook to help you understand best practices and strategies. Most modern SEO agencies produce new content on a regular basis, so you’ll never be short on new topics to learn and master.
Next, consider listening to podcasts. There are hundreds of podcasts related to SEO and digital marketing, and most of them are hosted by genuine experts. Tune in during your morning commute and you’ll become competent in a matter of months.
Of course, you can seek content on other blogs and online sources of content. Read from a diversity of sources to truly understand other perspectives and gain a deeper knowledge of this important marketing topic.
You can also look to existing individual experts to get their advice and guidance – and even enlist their help as dedicated mentors. Buy them a coffee and ask them your most burning questions.
Master The Fundamentals
The fundamentals of SEO aren’t hard to learn. In fact, you can begin your journey right here.
The goal of SEO is to increase the rankings of a specific website or webpage in search engine results. You can accomplish this by building up the relevance and authority of that website or page, optimizing for specific keywords and increasing its trustworthiness.
Technical Onsite SEO
Your website needs to work properly and load smoothly to ensure adequate user experience. Technical onsite SEO tweaks are therefore necessary.
Onsite Content Development
Onsite content is an opportunity to optimize for new keywords and develop your authority.
Link Building/Link Attraction
Link building is arguably necessary for any SEO campaign to succeed, as links allow you to establish your authority. Attracting links with excellent content and building them manually across a network of different publishers can both be valuable.
After you feel like you have a grasp on the fundamentals, and you’ve read content from a variety of different sources, you can start the next phase of your journey: experimentation. This is your time to practice all the skills and strategies you’ve learned along the way to see if you have what it takes to be an SEO master. The more time you spend experimenting and witnessing the fruits of your digital marketing efforts, the more of an expert you’ll become.
Learning SEO isn’t exactly hard, but it is time-consuming, since there’s so much to know and practice. As long as you’re willing to make a concentrated effort to continually improve your knowledge, you’ll eventually be in a position to support your own website with SEO or turn this into a full-fledged career.