Learning something on your own is never easy.
And when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), it’s fair to say that it’s far from simple. If you are interested in working in digital marketing, you will have to teach yourself SEO by starting with some basic understanding.
The same applies, if you have your own business website you want to optimize. By understanding how things work, you will be able to decide which strategies to implement to improve its chances of success on the web.
Teach yourself SEO step by step
Maybe it’s not so obvious, but many present-day experts learned SEO on their own like digital entrepreneur Fernando Raymond. Everything started with reading numerous articles about the subject and starting a blog. Even though it may seem quite overwhelming at first, you will be able to do it with enough persistence. That’s what they have been doing in their early days. And probably are still doing. There are dozens of confusing terms, rules, and assumptions to follow. And also, quite a few changes and updates happening regularly.
Fortunately, there are many resources, guides, and tutorials that can help you easily learn SEO on your own, from choosing your domain name to link building strategies to writing SEO-friendly content and the SeekaHost University offers expert SEO training courses you can take in your own time to improve the SEO skills you need.
SEO has many parts, don’t try to learn them all at once.
Here are a couple of guidelines about how to teach yourself SEO to help guide you through the first steps on your SEO learning journey.
What is SEO?
In essence, SEO is a conjunction of numerous processes, techniques, and methods. They help promote and optimize your content for search engines, whether it’s a simple article, local business listing, or the entire website. It targets keywords relevant to your website and optimizes other elements inside accordingly. As a result, this helps rank your website higher on search engine result pages (SERPs). All to increase the visibility and attract potential readers or customers.
Why is SEO important?
The simple answer to this question would be that everyone uses the internet today. And the best way to get all that attention is to be where it matters. All the “old ways” of advertising are almost completely replaced with their online versions, except for newspapers, magazines, and similar publications. But, they too have, in most cases, their online counterparts.
Learn more about the emerging importance of SEO and digital marketing here:
Almost everyone’s first step when searching for something is to first check on search engines: Google, Yahoo, Bing, and many others. And if you want people to find and visit your website, you have to rank high on their SERPs. For some, it means more readers, while for most others, it can be a pure profit increase for their business. SEO offers some affordable ways to achieve this goal if you focus on business. It also provides some efficient ways to attract more readers, if that’s the purpose of your website.
Now that you know the primary purpose, it’s time to see how to teach yourself SEO.
Step 1: Find resources for beginners
This is probably the easy part of the journey. You can find numerous resources on the subject online, from different explanations about current trends to various best practices. However, it’s crucial to learn from credible sources. Google makes it easy for you here. You can quickly find relevant resources by searching for “SEO for beginners,” for example. Remember that SERPs should provide you with the most relevant results and rank them appropriately. Considering that experts know how to optimize and promote their content, the most credible resources should be among the top results. And that’s all you need to start.
Step 2: Get some insight about SEO Tools
Some aspects of SEO can be exceptionally tricky and virtually impossible to complete without proper help. That’s why you should get familiar with some essential tools every SEO enthusiast is using. There are many high-quality SEO tools professionals use. However, some of them can be extremely pricey. Luckily, some of the essential tools are free. When learning from tutorials, don’t hesitate to try out the tools they recommend. Test them, play with them, see how they work and what results they give. Here are a few worth checking out:
- Google Ads keyword planner
- SEO Moz toolbar
- Answer the public
- Screaming Frog
Also, Google Analytics is one of the most popular free analytic packs. And, the inevitable part of every SEO effort is using the Google Search Console.
Step 3: Start with some SEO basics
When trying to teach yourself SEO, rushing will only be counterproductive. That’s why you need to start with some basic concepts. For example, learning how search engines work is one of the requirements to proceed further and then learning about SEO for different types of websites like blogs or e-commerce websites.
After you get familiar with their functionality, it’s time to dive deeper into fundamentals, for example on and off page SEO. To name a few, here are some of the most important:
- Keyword Research – the process of finding targeted relevant keywords for your website.
- Technical SEO – optimization of different technical elements of a website.
- Writing content – creating the content in the context of bringing value to the users. But also optimization of the same content for search engines.
- On-page SEO – optimizing various elements on your pages, like titles, tags, sitemaps, etc.
- Off-page SEO – this part mainly involves the acquisition and optimization of links.
- Research and Audit – Analysing the competition and auditing the effectiveness of implemented methods.
Meanwhile, it would be best if you also learned about local SEO. In cases like owning a brick-and-mortar business, this optimization is essential for better results in specific geographic locations. And the best place to start learning and honing your local SEO skills is Google My Business (GMB) and the SeekaHost University.
Step 4: Connect with SEO professionals
You can’t learn to swim without stepping into the water. This is particularly true for SEO. The best way to sharpen your current skill and learn something new is to connect with SEO experts.
The reason is that the majority will gladly answer any questions you ask, especially if you ask them in the comment section on their websites or in social media SEO groups. You may ask yourself how do they have time to do this. Believe it or not, it’s part of their job. Basically, you get relevant, first-hand answers while they increase the relevance of their content. So take advantage of that, and you might even find yourself a mentor this way.
Another way to do this is to join and participate in online SEO communities. You can do it via various channels, forums, boards, business platforms, and social media like LinkedIn. Through these networks, you will find countless information and quality up-to-date content.
Finally, everything becomes better with practice. And in the SEO world, you never know if something is efficient unless you try it. You can create your own website or blog and experiment with everything you are learning along the way. See what attracts most traffic to your blog. If you own a business, even better.
Remember, you will eventually teach yourself SEO, but it’s nothing without practical application. Once you feel comfortable with basic SEO, you can expand your knowledge by focusing on more advanced techniques.
Eric Stanton is a professional SEO consultant, writer, and trainer that never stops learning new things. Coming with an entrepreneurial background, he’s continuously evaluating new ways to start and promote various businesses. Meanwhile, when not occupied with work, he enjoys spending time hiking through nature.