How long does it take to learn SEO?

The time to learn SEO varies widely. Some can grasp the basics in 1-3 months, while others might take longer. Online courses can teach SEO fundamentals in a few hours. Applying these skills to a website may take weeks to months. For a comprehensive understanding of SEO, expect to invest six to 12 months. It’s a process that depends on your study time and effort.

That being said, it depends on several factors, including your prior experience with web development, tech / IT, or marketing, your willingness to learn, and the amount of time you can dedicate to studying how to learn SEO.

In this article, we’ll explore these factors in more detail and provide strategies to help you learn SEO as quickly and efficiently as possible.

What Factors Determine How Long It Will Take You to Learn SEO?

1. The Complexity of the Concepts

Determining how long it will take to learn SEO is the complexity of the concepts. It may take some time to wrap your head around the different concepts if you are starting out such as techincal SEO auditing, core web vitals, javascript SEO. However, if you are already familiar with web development and other aspects of digital marketing, you may be able to pick up SEO more quickly, content creation is easier to understand for instance.

2. The Amount of Time You Have Available

Another factor affecting how long it takes you to learn SEO is your availability.

If you only have a few hours per week to dedicate to learning, it will take longer than if you have 20 hours per week to devote to learning.

The good news is that several available resources, such as online courses and tutorials, can help you learn at your own pace however don’t expect to be able be an SEO expert with only putting in an hour a week.

For myself I’ve been doing SEO for 8 years total, and there’s still a ton to learn!

3. Your Prior Knowledge

Your prior knowledge will also influence how long it takes you to learn SEO. If you have no experience with digital marketing or web development, it will take longer to learn SEO than if you have some knowledge in these areas. That’s just a fact!

Copywriters / content creators often pick up SEO quite quickly as one of the main pillars of SEO is about delivering the right content to search results based on a keyword, and using language to appeal to the user.

However, even if you have no prior experience, some resources can still help you learn SEO quickly and effectively like in-depth courses.

4. The Resources You Use

The resources you use to learn SEO will also affect how long it takes to master the skill. Several excellent books, online courses, and tutorials can help you learn SEO quickly and effectively. However, if you only use free resources, such as blog posts and YouTube videos, it may take longer as these resources are often not as comprehensive as paid courses or books.

Here’s a list of resources:

Backlinko by Brian Dean

Learning SEO IO by Aleyda Solis

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide – By Google

SEO Fundamentals Course with Greg Gifford – By Semrush

5. Your Motivation Level

Finally, your motivation level will also influence how long it takes you to learn SEO. If you are highly motivated and driven to master the skill, you will progress more quickly than if you lack motivation.

However, even if you are not naturally motivated, you can still do several things to stay on track, such as setting goals and deadlines for yourself.

So What Is the Best Way to Learn SEO?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as different people learn differently. However, a few general tips can help you get started on the right foot. 

  1. First, make sure to find reliable sources of information on SEO; many outdated or simply incorrect guides are out there, so it’s essential to be selective.
  2. Second, don’t be afraid to experiment; some of the best ways to learn are by trial and error.
  3. Finally, stay up-to-date on the latest changes in the SEO landscape; Google makes hundreds of algorithm changes every year, so it’s essential to keep up with the latest news and trends.

So I’ve learned SEO what’s next?

Well know you have to implement an effective SEO strategy, if you’ve learned to the level of being able to practice SEO, the follow steps you should understand if you’ve committed that initial 1 to 3 months of learning:

  • Do your research. Keyword research is essential for on-page optimization. Find out what potential customers are searching for and ensure your site includes those keywords.
  • Optimize your website’s title and Meta tags. These are crucial elements of your website that help search engines understand what your site is about.
  • Create quality content. Search engines love websites that offer informative, well-written content. Ensure your site has excellent content to attract traffic from organic search results.
  • Promote your website. For your site to rank well, you’ll need to promote it actively. Submit your site to directories, create social media profiles, and outreach for backlinks that will help get the word out about your business.
  • Monitor your results. Keep an eye on your website’s search engine rankings and traffic levels so you can gauge the effectiveness of your SEO efforts. Make changes as needed to improve your results.

What Are Careers in SEO?

There are many different types of careers in SEO. Some people work as consultants, helping businesses improve their search engine rankings. Others work in-house for companies, managing all aspects of their SEO strategy.

There are also opportunities to work freelance, providing SEO services to clients. Whichever route you choose, a career in SEO can be very rewarding as it’s a growing industry.

What Are Some Common SEO Mistakes?

One of the most common SEO mistakes is keyword stuffing, which is the practice of cramming as many keywords into your content as possible to rank for those keywords. However, not only does this make your content difficult to read for humans, it can also trigger Google’s spam filters and result in your site being penalized.

Another common mistake is failing to optimize your website for mobile devices; with over half of all web traffic now coming from mobile devices; it’s essential to ensure that your site is responsive and easy to use on smaller screens. 

Finally, another frequent mistake is neglecting local SEO; if you want your business to appear in search results for people in your area, you need to include relevant local keywords and list your business in directories like Google Business Profiles or platforms such as Yelp or Tripadvisor.

How Can I Improve My SEO Skills?

There are several ways you can improve your SEO skills over time. One way is to keep reading articles and blog posts on the topic; even if you don’t understand everything initially, you’ll gradually start picking up new concepts and ideas. 

Twitter is a great resource and has a lot of SEO experts front line updates on what’s going on in search.

Another way is to experiment with different techniques on your website or blog; as you try other things, you’ll better understand what works and doesn’t. Finally, consider attending an SEO conference or taking an online course; these can be expensive, but they’re also an excellent way to learn from experienced professionals and get ahead of the curve.

 What Are Some Common Misconceptions About SEO?

One common misconception about SEO is that it’s about gaming Google’s algorithm. While it’s true that understanding how Google ranks websites can give you a significant advantage, it’s important to remember that ultimately your goal should be creating content that appeals to human readers rather than search engine bots. 

Another common misconception is that all you need to do is stuff your content with keywords, this approach will do more harm than good as it will make your content difficult to read and could result in penalties from Google.

Finally, some people believe that once they achieve good rankings for their target keywords, they can stop worrying about SEO altogether; however, this isn’t true either, as rankings can fluctuate over time and need continuous attention.

Start Your SEO Learning Journey Today!

If you’re ready to start learning SEO and implementing it on your website, consider us. At StudioHawk we cover off a the fundamentals to the advanced SEO concepts like keyword research to digital PR for backlinks, and expert content creation. At Hawk Academy check it out!