When trying to optimize your business’s online assets for the Google search engine, you must be knowledgeable about anything and everything that surrounds SEO best practices. Even SEO professionals find themselves continuing to learn how to best format and write for a quality user experience. After all, Google’s algorithms very much reward those who add value for their users by pushing them up in the search results rankings.
So, how do you learn SEO—and quickly? Here are seven simple steps to becoming an SEO guru:
- Stay on Top of Google Updates
Your best friend for SEO is the Webmaster Central Blog. Here, Google takes the time to share helpful tips on optimizing your content for SEO as well as arriving features that will alter your SEO game.
- Listen to the Experts
As a beginner in SEO, it is difficult to know if you are following Google’s strategies and tricks correctly when indexing your site, including keywords, or changing your landing pages to reflect your target audience. There are several resources out there from SEO experts that are helpful to tap into when you want to learn more, including the Search Engine Journal or Moz’s The Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
You are not alone in this journey; there are other SEO professionals out there meeting and discussing best practices regularly. Join one of their groups or create your own. Use this as a forum to discuss your successes and needs for improvement.
- Ask a Trusted SEO Professional
You will likely need a mentor. A mentor can help you learn quickly without some of the growing pains that come with failing (although you still will have some!). In order to locate a mentor, you must emphasize step three and network.
- Research Your Audience
Although you may read the SEO experts’ advice on crawl accessibility, content creation, and keyword optimization, not all of it may apply to your target audience. Create your customer personas before starting SEO and build your strategy around your user’s needs, behaviors, demographics, and more. By not catering completely to your audience, you will not likely succeed in SEO, especially as it requires a high-quality user experience.
- Tackle the Big Picture First Then the Details
Implementing SEO for the first time can be daunting. You may feel the urge to use all of your newfound SEO knowledge at once. Don’t. Instead, master the basics before plunging headfirst into the smaller details. This will help you see what reaches your target audience appropriately before proceeding and adding more variable to the mix.
- Practice Makes Perfect
Above all, you must practice your SEO techniques to see what works and what doesn’t. It is one thing to read about how to implement best practices, but it will never compare to actually performing SEO for your audience. If you feel that the stakes are too high to mess up, simply start your own blog and work from there before transferring your skills to your professional website.
Remember, as a budding SEO expert, you should seek to learn the newest trends in best practices and keep a pulse on your industry. SEO is constantly changing, and it is your job to be aware of those changes and adapt accordingly.