How to Become an SEO Expert?

How to Become an SEO Expert?

The online marketing industry continues to grow as more businesses take to the internet to sell to a sea of potential online customers. But for any business to thrive, they must make themselves easy to find in a quick Google search (or Bing, Yahoo, etc.). Currently, there are more than 1 billion websites, and each of these must jockey for attention in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

With 68 percent of online experiences beginning with a search engine, it’s crucial for your brand to be part of that experience. Whether you’ve just launched your new website or you’re a savvy business professional looking to experiment with search marketing, SEO is an essential skill. It’s no surprise there are countless agencies that offer SEO as a service.

What Is SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of optimizing your website with the intention of improving keyword rankings and increasing organic traffic from search engine results pages (SERPs). To rank on the first page of Google for a term you care about (let’s say it’s “cloud computing platform”), you need to master the basics of SEO and make changes to your website and desired landing pages to be optimized for relevant keywords.

SEO is a fundamental part of marketing that improves your website’s online visibility for searches relevant to you. If your website isn’t showing in the SERPs for keywords and phrases that you feel you should be, you’re either not doing something right or you’ve got more work to do.

Understanding How Search Engines Work

Part of ensuring your web pages are optimized is understanding how search engines work. Search engines cater to users by listing the web pages that are the most relevant to the terms people are searching for.

Search Engine Ranking Factors

There are multiple factors that search engines use to analyze and determine relevance for a given website. While Google doesn’t often reveal these, there are many that are widely known and used by marketers. An SEO expert should be aware of top-ranking factors. According to OptinMonster, these include:

Crawling: Google is fully automated and uses web crawlers to traverse your website and add its pages to their index. The engine stores those page addresses (i.e., URLs). Pages can be found by different methods, but the main one is following links from pages that have already been found elsewhere (such as other websites).

Indexing: Once Google finds your pages, it attempts to analyze what each page is about. It looks at the content, images, and videos, and all of this is stored in the engine’s index, which is a huge database.

Serving Search Results: When someone performs a search on Google, the engine determines the highest quality results. These results are influenced by factors including the user’s location, language, device, and previous queries. Results are often personalized to the searcher.

Benefits of SEO

SEO has become quite popular in today’s digital marketing world. Countless businesses rely on it to maintain a strong online presence, bring new visitors to their websites, and generate leads.

Great ROI

Leads that come from organic search typically have a higher conversion rate compared to leads generated by paid search, social, and print advertising. While you’re spending real dollars on ads, SEO is more about investing your time.

Improved Online Visibility

People perform organic searches in different ways and with various combinations of keywords. If your website appears in search results for multiple permutations of keywords (cloud computing, cloud platform, platform for cloud), there’s a good chance you have strong visibility.

Enhanced Credibility

Your rankings are often synonymous with your credibility. Would you trust a business that doesn’t have a great search presence?

Customer Insights

Analytics tools (such as Google Analytics) are an important aspect of SEO. Analytics can decipher customer search trends, page preferences, search mediums, and even their locations. Dive into the minds of your customers so you can optimize your website for them.

The Demand for SEO Experts

SEO professionals are in high demand as companies practice search engine optimization to keep up with competitors. SEO experts are hired to help marketing teams garner quality web traffic, create successful digital campaigns, and bring new business to the company.

These days, an SEO expert is responsible for about half the traffic to the average website. Considering that sites that manage to secure the top five positions on the SERPs receive an estimated 68 percent of clicks, earning a high rank can have a tremendous impact on your business growth and revenue.

Steps to Become an SEO Expert

1. Gain a Solid Understanding of SEO Basics

Start by learning the foundational elements of SEO. This includes understanding keywords, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO. There are numerous online resources, courses, and certifications available to help you get started.

2. Stay Updated on SEO Trends

SEO is a dynamic field. Search engines frequently update their algorithms, so it’s essential to stay informed about the latest trends and changes in SEO best practices. Follow reputable SEO blogs, attend webinars, and participate in SEO forums.

3. Learn How to Use SEO Tools

Familiarize yourself with essential SEO tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz. These tools help you analyze your website’s performance, track keyword rankings, and identify areas for improvement.

4. Practice, Practice, Practice

Apply your knowledge by working on your own website or offering free SEO services to friends or small businesses. Practical experience is invaluable in understanding how different SEO strategies work in real-world scenarios.

5. Network with Other SEO Professionals

Joining SEO communities and networking with other professionals can provide you with valuable insights and support. Attend industry conferences, join online forums, and participate in local meetups to connect with other SEO experts.

6. Consider Advanced Education

Consider enrolling in an advanced SEO or digital marketing course to deepen your knowledge and skills. Online degree programs, like those offered by Lesley University, provide comprehensive training and hands-on experience in SEO and other digital marketing disciplines.

SEO and You

At Lesley University, the online BS in Design for User Experience equips students with the training they need to influence and inspire in the field of SEO and digital marketing. Students will learn how to research, interpret, conceptualize, and design strategies that create more holistic and interconnected user experiences. This asynchronous, interdisciplinary program allows students to begin or refocus their careers to successfully work in a wide array of contexts and work environments.

Embark on your journey to becoming an SEO expert by developing these critical skills and continually striving for excellence. The world of SEO is dynamic and ever-evolving, offering endless opportunities for growth and innovation.