Over the years, digital marketing has become a trendy niche that attracts more and more curious people. Mastering the art of online marketing is a difficult task, that’s true. But with enough SEO efforts and practice, you can make a name for yourself. To help you out, we’ve come up with a thorough article on how to become an SEO expert.
One great thing about SEO is that you can get accurate reports about your website while you boost your brand’s awareness. Great SEO skills can help you find out:
- If your marketing strategies attract relevant people;
- How successful your marketing campaigns are;
- How many people landed on your website in the last month;
- What your conversion rate is.
Of course, every industry, including the SEO industry, comes with its own ups and downs.
Many people that want to be website optimization experts meet a lot of obstacles on their journey. A few shortcomings you might experience are:
- Tools can be pretty expensive
- Learning SEO newbie techniques can be difficult if you don’t listen to the right people
- You need to search only reliable sources
However, here you can find a lot of useful information for both SEO beginners and experts.
What Does an SEO Expert Do?
Let’s start with the basics.
What is an SEO expert and why is their job so important?
Put simply, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Thus, those who know how to improve your business’s visibility on the Internet using special keywords (from extensive keyword research) relevant to your niche are search engine specialists.
This takes us to the next point – SEO is fundamental if you want to boost your brand awareness. The better you optimize your website and your social media for search engines, the higher chances to attract more potential customers.
As an SEO specialist, your job is to make businesses more visible on the Internet. To do that, you need to come up with different marketing strategies, relevant keywords with the correct user intent, and interesting website elements for their brand.
If you want to become the best SEO expert, there are some standards you must meet:
- High flexibility;
- Constant desire for improvement;
- A true passion for growing others’ business;
- Being tech-savvy.
How to Become an SEO Expert: 16 Must-Have Skills For Any SEO Specialist
How to become SEO expert? One thing is sure – to master the basics and run successful SEO campaigns you need dedication, time, and desire to get it right.
The more skills you gain in this industry, the easier for you to plan your marketing strategies effectively.
However, keep in mind that this process includes a lot of researching, practicing, analyzing, and testing. Often, you’ll need to take SEO courses online to stay up to date with the latest trends.
What other skills do you need if you want to become an expert Search Engine Optimization?
1. Learn the Basics of SEO
There is no such thing as cutting corners when it comes to learning SEO.
First of all, you’ll need to understand how to build a relevant audience that’s interested in your client’s business. Plus, for every customer that comes to you, you’ll need to figure out:
- Who is their target audience?
- What is their audience interested in?
- What does their audience expect in terms of SEO services, products, or content?
- What are their audience’s most common problems?
- What solutions does your customer’s business offer?
At the same time, you must learn how search engines work, how Google indexes your websites, what are some vital ranking factors, and how you boost your online rankings. Only after you study these topics can you build an SEO-optimized website.
Last but not least, keep in mind that content optimization is also important. Even if you manage to find the right audience, amplify your website, and boost organic traffic and sales, you’ll still need to work on your web’s content and copywriting. Otherwise, those who land on your page will leave when they see poor content, grammatical mistakes, and irrelevant information.
To make your job easier, here are some helpful tools for content and on-page optimization:
- Yoast. It helps you find relevant keywords and it shows you the readability scores.
- Ahrefs. With this one, you can find and fix every broken internal link – not to mention the exceptional keyword research tool.
- Hemingway App. It helps you check if your content can be easily read and understood.
- Grammarly. This tool checks any grammar and spelling writing mistakes.
2. Learn WordPress
Many specialists think that using WordPress alone will step up your SEO skills – and for good reason too! This platform helps you implement a lot of important and useful elements like:
- SEO-friendly permalinks
- Optimized images
- Easy access to content creation
- Content optimization tools
- Improved security
- Quick page speed
- Mobile-friendly versions
And many Google SEO experts consider WordPress their favorite content management system too. It has many SEO plugins, so you have to do your research and discover what works best for you and your client’s business.
Here’s a list of the most popular SEO plugins to know about:
- Yoast SEO
- All-in-One SEO
- WP Rocket
3. Build Your Websites
The theory is fine, but practice makes it perfect. Only when you’ll start creating your websites, you’ll understand better what it takes to become an SEO expert.
Firstly, you’ll learn all about on-page SEO, and that includes how to write and optimize meta titles and descriptions.
Secondly, you’ll see that Google Keyword Planner, Google Search Console, and Google Analytics are important for your job. These are 2 useful solutions that will show if your past SEO strategies and SEO tasks have been driving good search results.
If you have to improve certain SEO campaigns or see what keywords drive website organic traffic, these are the tools that will provide everything you need to know for your SEO strategies.
Website elements are another important factor you should implement in your daily search engine optimization training. UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) are another 2 elements that will make your websites stand out. For instance, you’ll have to look out for:
- Clear and engaging information
- Good loading speeds
- Eye-friendly colors
- Responsive website page
- Good protection of clients’ data
Of course, some of these are a web designer’s job. But you still have to learn the terminology related to it to work better with your coworkers. Most of the time, creating a functional and beautiful website is not just your job. You’ll work with other experts in web design, content writing, and digital marketing as well.
4. Understand How Search Engines Work
To make your websites rank, you’ll need to understand on-page SEO, technical SEO, and how search engines crawl your web pages.
Google analyzes your website’s images, YouTube videos, and content to see what they’re about. After that, the information is stored in Google Index which is a huge database.
Meanwhile, every time a user searches for something on the Internet, Google tries to provide only the best results for them. Practically, what you do as an SEO specialist is to make sure that Google shows your website to relevant users every time they search for something similar to your business on the Internet.
If you want to learn how to become a SEO specialist, you’ll need to invest your time reading about this topic. The more thorough your research is, the better you’ll understand Google crawlers and optimize your websites.
5. Read Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines
Disclaimer: It won’t be easy, but not impossible either! Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines is a very long document given to different people hired by Google to rate different websites. And, to some extent, these raters could have an impact on the many ranking factors of the sites they evaluate.
However, if it seems too much for you when you’re starting up with SEO learning, you can study the simplified version also known as E-A-T:
Keep in mind that if you want to master SEO and truly gain SEO expertise, you’ll need to read the whole thing!
6. Look at the SERPs
What are these? Let’s say you type something on Google. Whatever. It doesn’t matter what. The SERP is what Google shows you back: web pages with all the links relevant to what you’ve just typed.
Why do you have to look at the SERPs?
The higher your website will rank, the more people will click on your website. Plus, the meta title and description, the name’s of the company, and the link to your website all appear in the SERPs. That’s what people call Google snippets.
So, every time you’re optimizing web content using technical SEO, remember to work on these elements as well.
7. Read about Content Strategy and Content Optimization
Whenever you’re writing website content, you should try to create a better user experience. You can do that by offering:
- Interesting facts that help your audience solves their problem;
- Statistics that back up your claims;
- Links to other useful articles you have on your websites;
- Unique, non-plagiarized content;
- Engaging content that can be shared on social media platforms;
- Relevant keywords that guide your readers through the article.
If you’re curious about how to optimize your content better, here’s Google’s Product Review Update published in April 2021.
Having a content SEO strategy is crucial if you want to have a loyal audience. Surprisingly, a Content Marketing Institute’s report says that almost 39% of marketers don’t have one. So, if you want to be one step ahead of other SEO specialists, content strategy is your answer.
8. Learn about Link Building
Without a doubt, one of the most challenging parts (and ranking factors) of digital marketing is link building. But it has lots of benefits!
First of all, understand that link building tactics are a cool way to improve networking in your niche and gain more credibility. Writing guest posts also exposes your brand to a wider audience and boosts your chances to find new potential customers.
If you want to know more, Search Engine Journal has a comprehensive guide about it.
9. Prepare for Ever-Changing SEO Search Results
Once you get acquainted with white SEO techniques, that doesn’t mean you’re done with learning. Google comes with constant algorithm changes so people won’t abuse the old one.
And the thing is that you never know when the next one is going to be next, so your technical SEO techniques shouldn’t revolve around the vulnerabilities of one algorithm. Focus on other technical aspects too.
Not to mention that if you’re trying to over-optimize your website and exploit Google’s algorithm, you’ll get a Google penalty.
Another important thing you should keep in mind is to look for outdated content. When people see that your content is not accurate, they’ll leave the website as soon as they click it. Thus, your bounce rate will increase and you’ll rank lower on Google.
As a bit of general advice, strive as much as possible to update your content regularly.
10. Follow SEO Professionals on Social Media
What better advice on how to become an SEO specialist than to listen to those who made it in this business? More than anyone, they’re the ones that start the trends and come up with the most creative marketing ideas.
And the best part is that you can have plenty of people and marketing SEO agencies to follow:
- Neil Patel’s Youtube and Facebook accounts
- Search Engine Journal
- SEMRush top SEO blogs
Stay in the loop by reading only the best digital marketing blogs from which you can always learn something useful to improve your SEO techniques.
11. Improve Your Networking in the Niche
You can’t be successful alone and that’s a fact. Often, your brand is flourishing because other people believed in it too.
But first, you have to build credibility and trust with your audience. And networking is the best solution for that. You’ll strengthen your business relationships with influencers and high-authority voices in your niche. Besides, the more people you know, the more technical SEO knowledge you gain over your topics.
You may be interested in: How to Increase My Domain Authority
12. Take Advantage of Any Free SEO Course, Online Event, or Webinars
Investing money in every Search Engine Optimization course or tool you find on the Internet adds up in the long run.
But keep in mind that sometimes, SEO gurus like to organize free SEO conferences, online courses, and events to boost their visibility on the Internet even more. It’s a win-win for everyone.
On the one hand, they gain access to a wider audience than before. On the other hand, you can learn useful SEO tactics about how to become a SEO specialist Malaysia.
13. Always Strive to Improve Your Skills
Once you’ve mastered the SEO basics, it doesn’t mean it’s time to rest.
As we’ve already discussed, Google always updates its algorithms. Besides that, more and more competitors appear on the market, so you need to stay on top.
Plus, with newer and improved skills, you can connect with valuable businesses in your niche. Thus, you’ll gradually raise your profile and sooner than you know it, you can take your career to a whole other level.
14. Join SEO Communities on Social Media
We‘ve seen that network with relevant people in your SEO industry has its benefits. But there’s more to that.
Influencers, gurus, and high-authority voices are the best people you can take advice from. But at the same time, you’ll have to find and join SEO communities. Here, you’ll meet and talk with people that have the same interests and passions as you.
It’ll be easier for you to find the latest SEO online course, who’s giving the best SEO coaching advice, Google updates, and many other useful things. Even other SEO experts might be part of these communities and they can offer tips to help you improve your SEO specialist training.
15. Read about SEO Everyday
Nobody hires a so-called specialist with old-fashion practices. People want the best for their business, so they’re looking only for those who know the latest information and updates in their niche.
Cultivate the habit of reading about SEO daily. In time, you’ll amaze everyone with your knowledge!
16. Learn from Your Mistakes and Put Those Lessons Into Practice
The thing is that everyone needs SEO for their business, including you!
Once you’ve mastered the basics of SEO, you’ll need to put them into practice and boost your visibility on the Internet. This way, you get in touch with people that need an SEO specialist for their business and they find you.
When the techniques and algorithms keep changing, you need to change your strategies with them. This is why many people consider SEO a difficult niche, but anything is possible with the right resources and a lot of energy!
The thing is that nobody succeeds right from the start. It’s only human to make mistakes – you’re not a Google search engine after all. But the most important thing is to learn from your mistakes and improve your strategies every day.
As a general rule, don’t rely only on theory. Put your technical SEO knowledge into practice and demonstrate your SEO expertise to your company.
Further reading: How to Choose an SEO Company
Once you learn all the basics in SEO training and get accustomed to every technique, SEO has great advantages over your business:
- It boosts your visibility on the Internet
- You gain access to a wider audience
- You develop a larger base of loyal customers
- You’ll be ahead of your competitors
And these are just a few advantages that SEO professional services can bring to your brand.
However, let’s not forget that SEO might only seem easy. In many cases, it requires a lot of SEO efforts and dedication to learn – hence the need for proper SEO training and innovative learning!
If you want to save your time and money, you should find an SEO expert agency that already knows how to put your business on the map!