Do you want to be an SEO expert? Or looking for some effective advice that will help you launch your career in SEO? Then this is a perfect guide that will teach you how to convert yourself into an SEO expert. SEO knowledge is no longer just limited to SEO professionals. Anyone can gain enough knowledge and experience to become an SEO expert.
For that, just be patient and go through the article that lists some of the important steps that should be followed to become an SEO expert.
1. Who is an SEO Expert?
A true SEO expert is someone who can increase the organic traffic of a website consistently.
The quality of being designated as an ‘expert’ also brings the expectation that the person is able to tackle any unforeseen outcome that can arise as a result of implementing SEO techniques.
However, to become a true SEO expert it takes time because only through more experience and more projects you will be able to reach that level where you can handle anything thrown at your way to increase traffic.
As a business owner, if you have ever wondered about reaping the benefits of SEO for your business, then the good news is you can even implement SEO yourself.
In this way, you can not only save the big bucks which are required for hiring an SEO agency but can also invest the money in whatever matters the most.
Further, since running the business is more of a priority than just SEO you are forced to adopt only those SEO actions that produce the most returns.
Learning SEO anyway is beneficial because it can be implemented to grow any new business.
Let us have a look upon different roles an SEO Expert needs to play.
a) Getting Clients
Getting clients is the first step to start having cash flow and it is also the first step in understanding the practical aspects of the SEO work. However, getting clients and retaining them also comes with their own set of problems. The first issue that one can encounter with clients is their unrealistic expectations. Always try to find quality clients and pitch them in such a manner that they understand what SEO can do for their business and what it cannot. Getting clients is always a great way to realize that each project is different and therefore, each project requires a different action plan to produce desired results.
b) Create a Niche Site
Creating a niche site is a great way to refine your SEO skills. It requires the low monetary investment and when one can conduct proper keyword research one can easily find keywords that possess low competition. This option includes low risks but can cost you a lot of time, but the time invested will be fruitful as it will contribute to building your SEO expertise.
c) Focus on An Authority Site
There are several perks to an authority site. They are search engine algorithm friendly, contain fewer restrictions in terms of content, and offer more growth opportunities. Another benefit of focusing on an authority website is they allow for the use of more links. However, two major points that developing an authority website demands is more time and more capital investment.
d) Website Flipping
Website flipping is the act of buying and selling websites for a profitable sum. It can be achieved in two ways:
- Starting your own website and developing it, only to sell it later.
- Buying an existing website, revamping it, and then selling it for profit.
Both of these options come with their own set of perks and downfalls. After flipping a website done through any of the above two methods you can gain instant money. This instant capital can then be used in other moneymaking SEO projects.
e) Sell Leads
As an SEO expert, you can also earn money without involving clients. This can be done by selecting a local keyword related to business and developing a website to rank for that keyword. After receiving a good ranking, either the organic traffic or the website can be sold to a relevant business for a good amount.
For example, after conducting keyword research you might have got some good result for the keyword ‘Boston Florist’. Now you can create your own website and rank it for this keyword. After the site starts getting good organic traffic you can then sell the website or the traffic to a local Boston florist shop.
f) Get an SEO Job
Getting an SEO job is a good way to garner some experience, especially if you are a beginner. There is always a demand for in-house SEO experts in companies. This can teach you more about different SEO projects and practices. Moreover, becoming an employee translates to having a steady source of income. By getting hired you can gain experience as well as choose to continue your own SEO business on the side.
Your SEO skills can open up a lot of avenues for making money and it is a good idea to make use of all of them. In the beginning, you may not be in the position to diversify but do it as soon as possible to ensure a steady inflow of income. You may have a ton of clients right now, but there is no guarantee that they will stick with you forever. Therefore, it is advisable to be always be prepared for the worst. Diversification in such cases can come in very handy and can save you from the dry spell of client-base income.
2. Have the Right Mindset
While starting with SEO you need to have the right mindset. Having the right mindset here means knowing that SEO is a tool.
SEO is mainly employed by a company to increase its sales. Revenue generation is the primary goal of why a company chooses to go for SEO and the other reasons like branding and reputation management are important but are mostly secondary requirements.
On the other hand, for an SEO expert, the primary goal is to increase the organic traffic to the client’s website and make money.
Now again, for making good money and getting more clients, one needs to have a strong knowledge base of SEO.
3. First, Learn the Basics
For beginners, learning the basics is obviously the first goal. The people who have gained some SEO experience should also make it a point to practice the basics; since this will strengthen your SEO fundamentals and also correct anything that you are doing wrong.
Focus on the Following SEO Basics:
i) Keyword Research
Keyword research is a critical part of SEO. There are three steps involved in keyword research. First, you have to find keywords.
This can be done through the help of many keyword research tools, for example, Google keyword planner. Second, is qualifying those keywords to see, whether the keywords are actually worth using and the third step is analyzing the competitor website to see whether the keywords can be used to rank your website.
ii) KPIs and Analytics
Based on the campaign, you have to determine the most significant KPIs.
Then after their identification, you have to decide on how to use these KPIs to improve the campaign outcomes. The knowledge of Google Analytics and Google Search Console will come in very handy in this case.
Further, for backlink analysis use Majestic SEO, Ahrefs, and Open Site Explorer tools.
iii) On-Page SEO Optimization
On-Page SEO optimization is the easiest SEO technique to learn.
This involves optimizing the landing pages to bring in organic search traffic.
These are the pages that will be ranked on Google based on keywords.
iv) Technical Optimization
Besides On-page SEO, Technical part of a website is another aspect that determines the performance of a website on search engines.
Technical optimization means the ease with which spiders of search engines can crawl and index your website content. Further, try to concentrate on some of the technical aspects of a website that dictates the user experience like website loading time and responsiveness.
Since most of the search engine algorithms are recently being designed to focus more on user experience. It will do well to pay attention to some of these technical factors.
Content is a crucial part of any SEO campaign.
We have heard this multiple times that ‘content is king’. To have a good ranking website you need to use the right keywords and craft effective content around it.
Google itself has disclosed that content constitutes the 3 most important factors in the case of ranking. Further, according to a report of HubSpot, the websites that regularly publish posts get additional traffic of 350%.
vi) Site Architecture
The website structure is another fundamental SEO component. Perks of good site architecture are:
- Easy crawling for the search engine spiders
- Enhances user experience
- Ensures link equality, reducing the need to rank many backlinks
Backlinks constitute the second most important factor when it comes to ranking. No matter how effective your content is, without backlinks, the site will not rank.
Learning about quality backlinks and the ways to obtain them can decide the success rate of the SEO campaign.
viii) Relationship Building
To be successful in your SEO career and become an SEO expert you need to build relationships with the right people.
For this, you may need to exchange some sort of value which can be in the form of either money, content, physical products or others.
ix) Conversion Rate Optimization
The purpose of SEO is not just to increase organic traffic.
It also involves converting the increased traffic into more revenue.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the process of how you can generate more revenue by getting more email subscribers, more leads, and ultimately more sales.
SEO Audits should be performed at regular intervals, preferably after every four months.
This would enable you to identify if there is an issue that is hurting the performance of a website.
Doing regular audits will ensure that everything is running fine and the website is performing well.
4. Time to Take Action
The points discussed till now were about learning and practicing SEO fundamentals. After perfecting your SEO basics, it is now time to take some action.
Do not be of the idea that since you have gathered all the knowledge about SEO fundamentals you are done. Accumulating SEO knowledge was only one part of the whole picture and the other part involves you putting this accumulated knowledge into action to see some actual results.
For a beginner, the learning and taking action should take 80% and 20% of your time respectively. However, later as you build a strong knowledge base it should get converted into 20% of learning and 80% of taking action.
How to Start with the Action?
The easiest and the least risk involving option when you are a beginner in SEO is to start your own niche website.
Then the second step is to analyze the result. While analyzing you have to remember that there are around 200 factors on which the ranking depends and only a proper analysis of the data can tell you why the ranking of a website increased or decreased.
The third step is to carry out the 5 steps analysis.
The 5 Step Analysis:
i) Ask the Following Questions When the Stream of Traffic Fluctuates
- Was the site architecture changed?
- Was the on-page SEO modified?
- Has the traffic increased or decreased due to new backlinks?
- Were internal links added or removed?
- Are the search engine spiders able to crawl easily?
- Is the software used for rank tracking accurate?
- Has the algorithm been updated?
ii) Create a Hypothesis
After asking yourself the above questions, you can now develop a vague hypothesis that holds a particular reason responsible for the change in the ranking. This hypothesis needs to be simple and not rigid.
When you have made a hypothesis, it’s now time to wait a bit. You should not take action immediately based on the hypothesis.
You can wait a week or even a month to see if the issue corrects itself. Waiting is a good option in some cases because Google’s algorithm can be unpredictable sometimes.
If the traffic or ranking continues to fall, then you should take action.
iv) Test the Hypothesis
Only when you are at least 90% sure about your hypothesis takes action. Further, if you need to take more than one action to resolve the issue, then you should wait at least a week after taking the first action.
v) Record Actions in Google Analytics
It is imperative that you annotate or keep a record of your actions in Google Analytics against your hypothesis. In this way, you can not only go back and see the actions you took, but you can also compare the results- if it improved or diminished the ranking.
5. Develop Your Own System
As you progress on your journey of becoming an SEO expert, look into developing your own SEO system. Developing a somewhat vague system will be beneficial for you in the long run.
No system, not even of the most experienced and the most skilled SEO professional works all the time. Each project is different and therefore each SEO system implemented would be a little different from the other.
However, there should be a basic system in place that can be later developed or improved upon as one gains more experience and realizes what works best and when.
There is no perfect system. The secret is to build your own system, test it, and improve it with time.
6. Stay Updated With New SEO Changes
The world of SEO is dynamic. Something is always changing in it and it is good to always remain updated.
Fundamentals of SEO rarely change, but do keep an eye on the latest news and updates on search engine algorithms.
In addition to this, it is recommended that you always devote your time in reading some of the top SEO blogs. While choosing to learn from the top SEO blogs do not just stick to a single website to learn from. Have your learning from a variety of SEO gurus.
This will allow you to learn a variety of new things about SEO.
Do not limit yourself with blogs having the same SEO philosophy as you. Be it a white hat SEO blog, a black hat or grey one, dedicate your time in learning from all of them, because ultimately all of them aim to achieve the same thing i.e. higher ranking.
7. Have Patience
Like any other craft in the world, achieving the expert level at SEO also takes time. You are being unrealistic if you think that you can learn and master everything in SEO overnight.
That’s not going to happen! Focus on learning and putting your best efforts into SEO each day. Over time, you will definitely notice an improvement in your skills and techniques. Till then just be patient and continue working on your SEO skills.
8. Achieving the Next Level of SEO
For beginners, the first step is to learn about SEO and then become an SEO expert.
However, with time you would want to become a business owner in addition to being just an SEO expert. To achieve this, you have to do away with the habit of performing every task yourself.
In the initial days, it makes sense to do everything yourself, since you do not have the required capital to delegate the tasks.
However, once you start making some money, consider delegating the tasks that are time-consuming to others.
For doing this, you have to first recognize the tasks that you do every day that consumes a lot of time. After recognizing these tasks, you can hire someone to do them for you. By delegating tasks, you are freeing up your time to do more of the important stuff like performing only some of the specialized SEO tasks and running the business.
Some Quick Tips to Establish Your SEO Business
Develop a certain set of processes for everything in your SEO business.
Now, it’s time to put the processes or procedures to the test. The best way to do that is by hiring someone with little knowledge so that you can determine if the processes are easy to understand by anyone. If the procedures are too complicated prefer making it as easy as possible to minimize being bombarded with questions.
Hire people who can carry out the systemized processes. You can either go for hiring an intern in the initial days or can also go for hiring full-time employees.
Always have some backup in place. Never rely on a single person too much. You will be in huge trouble if that person disappears on you one day. It is advisable to hire at least 2-3 people or be connected with some trusted freelancers. In this way, there will be always some kind of backup available if your intern or employee suddenly decides to not turn up one day.
A huge part of successfully running any kind of business is delegating the work. Therefore, choose to delegate the repetitive tasks to your employees and concentrate on only those tasks that you are good at or has the biggest impact. Outsource the rest of the tasks.
Positioning a website on the top 5 search result pages decides the revenue generating power of a business. Further, more than half of the quality traffic brought in to a website is due to the specialized efforts contributed by an SEO expert.
Therefore, an SEO expert plays a critical marketing role for business. Becoming an SEO expert, who can write the success story of a brand, requires a great deal of SEO knowledge and experience.
The secret, however, is to not get overwhelmed or intimidated with the responsibility of the role. With patience, determination, and right guidance available through various sources (blogs, videos, mentors, and internships) a person can easily become a specialist in this field.
So, what SEO tips did you find the most useful for you? Having any doubts about the process of being an SEO Expert? Feel free to share your doubts in the comments below.