Search engine optimization is one of the era’s most important digital marketing tools. It’s the best driver we have for organic traffic, which is why 63% of businesses now invest in SEO for the first time ever
Well, those numbers are only rising. Whether you want to secure a job in the SEO field or improve your strategy, it will never be easier to get started than now.
So, what is SEO, how does it work, and is it difficult to learn? Here’s what you need to know before you learn SEO!
How Does SEO Work?
To understand what is SEO and how it works, you will have to learn how Google Search works. Essentially, Google has a job to do; they match users with the most relevant content based on their search, previous search history, location, and a couple of other factors. They do this by using software known as “crawlers” to crawl, index, and rank various websites for different keywords.
For that reason, websites and brands are constantly competing to optimize their content for Google’s algorithm. This will allow their content to rank closer to the top, where most of the traffic goes.
Moreover, they do this by creating a user-friendly website, a quality content marketing strategy, and building domain authority. Google uses over 200 ranking factors directly related to your website, so the site acts as the foundation of your SEO strategy.
From there, content marketing (like blogging) is the house you build on top of that foundation. Using the right keywords, keeping users engaged, and offering value to users will go a long way. Building domain authority is not an immediate issue for newer sites, but it’s something to worry about in the long run.
Unfortunately, Google’s algorithm is private, and they make an estimated 600 changes to it every year. However, these tend to be quite minor. Your understanding of SEO will not become invalid in a matter of weeks, but you will need to continue learning over time.
How to Implement an SEO Strategy
Learning how to do SEO in practice is a lot different from understanding it in theory. There are practical skills you will need to learn for long-term DIY success. This is especially true if you want to become an SEO specialist or work in the field.
This is so different because you will have to become familiar with various SEO elements, tools, and standards. If you have some basic web design experience, development experience, or writing experience, use that to your advantage.
Most importantly, understanding the SEO process when uploading new content will go a long way. If you choose, you can hire a web designer to lay a foundation and build upon it from there. From there, you will need to understand the basic SEO checklist, including:
- Link optimization
- Image optimization
- Page structure (headers, layout, etc.)
- Optimizing metadata
- Using appropriate internal/external links
- Keyword distribution
The list goes on, but understanding these core features of SEO content marketing will go a long way.
What Skills Will You Need to Learn?
Learning SEO doesn’t stop at content marketing. If you want to improve your SEO marketing campaign over time, you will need to constantly improve your strategy. To do this, you will need to use the right tools.
Google Analytics and Google Search Console are the most popular tools for monitoring an SEO campaign. However, they aren’t the most intuitive programs if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
Google offers courses on these, but they’ll take time to complete. If you’re looking to start a new career, these tools are essential.
You’ll also need to understand keyword research. This will include familiarizing yourself with online keyword research tools, understanding how to research competitors, and using Google Trends.
Improving your content creation skills is also important. We don’t create content for search engines, we create it for users. Google’s algorithm is designed to find the most relevant, user-friendly, and engaging content, so there’s no substitute for creating high-quality content.
Graphic design, video editing, animation, writing, or whatever you want to learn will come in handy for content creation. If you already have some of these skills, feel free to brush up on some of your weaknesses!
How Long Does It Take to Learn SEO?
It depends on how much you want to learn and how determined you are to learn it. If you want to learn the basics of SEO and get an entry-level job in the field or improve your SEO strategy on an existing website, then it will be fast. Without learning coding languages or web design tools, you could learn what you need to know within a few weeks.
On the other hand, if you want to learn everything there is to know and become an SEO expert, it will take some time. It could take as long as a 30-week web development “Bootcamp” or even longer. Either way, practice new skills you learn, eliminate procrastination, and ensure you are reading up-to-date material.
Just remember, SEO is always evolving. Don’t just take a course and assume you’re done. Keep reading articles from the experts, searching for answers to your questions, and honing your skills over time.
Is It Hard to Learn SEO?
Honestly, it isn’t particularly challenging to learn SEO. For a deep dive to become an SEO expert, you would need to learn coding and basic web design skills. However, to implement an SEO strategy using a CMS like WordPress for your business, you could learn everything you need with only some practice.
Unfortunately, not all business owners have that time to commit, especially when it comes to implementing their strategies afterward. For the best results, stay up to date with our latest SEO news, and don’t hesitate to contact us for help with your strategy!