There is a well-known proverb “Known is a drop and Unknown is an ocean” and this very much applies to SEO skills, to all SEO professionals and to the SEO industry. SEO is simple and easy to implement when they have a good understanding of concepts and are capable of executing it and the same becomes the toughest when they lag basics and are not capable of understanding the domain and this one gap is not allowing them to become an expert.
Good SEO professionals Vs Bad SEO professionals
I have come across professionals who do very well in SEO, they are exceptionally good and can handle any kind of problem and they in fact, do a lot and reach their goals/objectives or ranking to specific set of keywords on top of Google as well as they make the website rank to as many keywords as possible.
Meanwhile, there are so many SEO professionals who struggle a lot and they understand it only from the perspective of keyword incorporation, titles and description, and backlinks that too without knowing the actual logic behind building the backlinks or how something works.
There is no wonder when the majority of the SEO professionals are mediocre (Not that great), as,
- Google never reveals how exactly the algorithm functions, hence it’s all that they have to learn by doing and most fail at it.
- In case if they have undergone a training the trainers would have not explained it properly or probably they themselves lag it.
- In the initial phase of the SEO professionals career managers or team leads never let them work on the actual SEO, they just make use of them as a resource.
- Many SEO professionals may not have access to tools like analytics, Google webmaster tools, and other marketing tools and this is the biggest lag in their growth.
Answering your question, how to become an SEO expert?
Becoming an SEO expert is not a big deal when you work on a couple of things that I am going to explain and when you have the right process or approach in learning the things.
In my observation the one who is always on the discovery mode have made a significant change, have improved by himself and have mastered the SEO concepts, meanwhile, I have observed all of the following as well in those kinds of people and I am writing it down here.
1. Get stronghold on basics to become an SEO expert:
Many SEO professionals lag the basics, they don’t understand how search engines work except for the terminology like crawl and index and that’s not search engine functionality. When you can answer technically how search engines bring Flipkart in the top, above the other strong competitors like Amazon, Snapdeal and more without using the terms like more backlinks, Keyword density, too many visitors you will become a right SEO professional or you will be called an expert.
Read out here how it been technically explained as what makes a specific website to rank high on Google and the search engine functionality in detail.
2. Technically Be Strong on Internet and Internet Technologies:
You cannot understand the search engines or SEO properly without the technical understanding, you have to understand what is a website, how it is built, the HTML, CSS, JS, servers, internet, how servers work, how website is hosted, what is speed of the website, how speed of the website differs and on what factors it is dependent and more. Likewise, there could be few hundreds of things and understanding about all those will make you’re a different person, you will become a right SEO professional, a professional with solid confidence and hence focus on learning these web and web technologies basics to become a great SEO professional.
Read this one guide, basics for business development professionals that was developed as per the request of my students, who wanted to start their career in business development for marketing companies.
3. Understand the priority in SEO:
I see SEO professionals work on random things or low priority things on SEO when they are given a responsibility to work on search engine optimization of the website, moreover when the business owner is expecting the SEO professional to show the progress quickly by a ranking couple of keywords or the specified business keywords on Google search engine.
But how far this is helping?
Will you be considered to be an SEO professional if you couldn’t meet their expectation?
Do they understand how SEO works and what’s that one actual thing or set of things you should do in the first place to see the quick results?
Case 1: when the website already has lots of content and lots of backlinks built and the one first thing you need to do is first work on the SEO technical implementations, which ideally avoid wastage of crawl resource, helps search engines understand your website better, help search engines to crawl your website as often, help search engines index as many as possible valid pages and many more things need to be done.
Case 2: Technically when your website is in place/proper, as in the above case and there is not much content on the website. In this case, your primary focus goes on developing the content at the earliest possible and upload it to the website, so that it starts ranking for more and more keywords.
If you are unable to identify and decide what exactly needs to be prioritized blindly follow this one guide I have developed for SEO freshers or anybody working on static or small websites with few hundreds of web pages.
If you still have any doubts feel free to contact me for any help on your project. I mentor/help a few tens of SEO professionals every week. I have implemented SEO for massive websites, websites with few thousands and lakhs of webpages and been most recognized for the SEO strategies and expertise.
4. Don’t compromise- Question every single thing:
When you cannot find a valid and logical or technical explanation for your questions you will lose your dream of being an expert at things, you will remain the same person and you will never grow and hence you figuring out the actual way it is, the actual reason for it is very important and helps you grow. When you compromise you are failed to achieve your expertise and you will remain as that mediocre SEO professional forever.
E.G: You must have asked your mentor how exactly backlinks help improve keyword rankings?
Your mentor would answer like this,
Backlinks help improve DA & PA and in return, the keyword rankings improve, or Backlinks give a trust signal, link juice etc. Logically speaking technically what exactly is that one thing happening?
Here is an article you should go through to figure out how backlinks work/help in SEO and you need the same kind of understanding over every single thing you come across while learning SEO.
5. Don’t forget to monitor your website performance on a daily basis:
This one simple thing yet most important one has redefined the expertise level of SEO professionals, if you are not monitoring your website performance regularly you are not an SEO professional rather than just a resource in the SEO teams or helping them on the SEO implementations.
Have access to Google analytics and mainly to Google webmaster tools and start understanding and monitoring every single detail available on Google webmaster tool, you can the do the same on analytics as well, but don’t forget to take look at GWT.
You should monitor the crawl stats, keyword impressions, the average position of keywords, CTR, crawl errors, backlinks, internal links and every single detail on webmaster tool and try to relate any single change you observe with your SEO implementation and that’s how your SEO learning gets better. Even if you are not understanding just keep monitoring it or just start at the data available every day for some duration, and in course of time you still start figuring out the things and this one thing helps you to become the real SEO professional.
Here is a guide on Google webmaster crawl errors, which helps you in understanding why you should refer to the Google webmaster tool regularly.
6. Stop reading all the nonsense written and published on untrusted sources:
In digital marketing and especially in SEO many people lose their knowledge when they start reading content from wrong sources on the internet, there are tons of mediocre SEO professionals who write some random thing without correlating it to multiple scenarios or just from one perspective and many times that will be utterly wrong and you implementing or inheriting the same makes you a bad SEO professional. The tool options and the predefined implementation can be easily consumed and trusted on the internet, but when it comes to the opinion you may have to make the wise choice instead of trusting things blindly and implementing them.
7. Subscribe to best and informative blogs on the internet:
I suggest all the SEO professionals subscribe to valid and trustable information sources. There are many portals only meant for SEO professionals and you can rely on information coming from those sources, as those are written by many years experienced professional on the deep research, analysis and interpretation of data from several perspectives or may have put all their experience or test cases and also gets evaluated by the moderators when they get published on the internet.
When you start consuming information you will acquire more and more knowledge and many times even though it’s not directly usable still you will be using to correlated and understand things better, you will be able to make the right decisions. There are many unseen advantages of consuming information regularly from the trustable sources.
8. Spend time on data analysis- Be a data scientist:
Data analysis on a regular basis from all the sources will make you the best SEO professional, self-learning is the best way of learning things. When you start working on the data available you will be able to understand better and in depth rather than reading and understanding someone else’s analysis, which typically is information of some other industry and for some other implementations done.
Start processing data and relate it with against the implementations that you have done on your project and for sure you will have many takeaways from it and that makes you a better SEO professional.
9. Stop using all the tools on the internet:
Ideally speaking as an SEO professional you don’t need to use and rely on too many tools when you have access to webmaster data, when you can understand things better technically and logically.
Tools most of the times do a compiling job rather than putting the intelligence, they don’t put the intelligence the way you put on your project,
Moreover, they bring in all the wrong and unreliable data.
SEO tools industry is a big scam and many well-known players/companies across the globe are into this. They project as if they are getting some unavailable data to you! why I have to call this as a scam is many tools steal your data, some trick and steal and then project it as their source, some other project some random information and finally they all charge you a bomb.
10. Regularly Audit Your Account:
The learning is more and significantly high when you start auditing your website, you have to know how to audit your website, what needs to be evaluated or checked on the website and when you check/review website against your checklist you will be learning a lot, this further instills a significantly high amount of confidence in SEO professionals.
11. Become a Marketer before you become an SEO professional:
You have to be a marketer and think like a marketer rather than just understanding the search engines, their functionality, and technical SEO, the marketing skills help you to implement a user engaging content and web page designs which is the core of SEO progress/success and hence you need to be a marketer before you become SEO professional or SEM professional.
In my survey, unfortunately, 90% of them know only about tools and not about marketing and this is one of the biggest barriers that doesn’t let them grow in their digital marketing career.
12. Don’t think back if you are already into the SEO role:
SEO industry needs many smart people, many engineers and it has a great opportunity for smart people, it gives a new and a bright life to people who are smart and can contribute to the SEO industry and hence you can consider taking this career/role for granted, if by any chance if you are negative about the role even after few years of experience you are thinking wrongly and this one thing is making people lose interest, learn less, and demotivating to achieve and do more and this literally have become the barrier of you becoming an SEO expert.
13. Start sharing the knowledge:
By sharing the knowledge with your peers and subordinate you will have an insane amount of learning and don’t miss on this learning opportunity to excel as an SEO expert. You will not lose anything by helping and so why to keep quiet when you can mentor and can progress/emerge as a better person.
If you are not comfortable speaking to people start writing and publish it on your social profiles or on your blog or any platform that can build visibility as well.
14. Strong MS office Knowledge:
You need to be good at presentation skills, excel skills and word doc, all these help you to be a better person and support you a lot to climb the ladder easily in your career path. If you lag in these, your SEO learning too becomes slow and you may not reach that expert level as expected.
15. Improve your communication skills:
SEO professional handle a lot of content at various level and varieties of content on the website and they have a hold in their language is always recommended, one cannot grow quickly in their SEO role until they have a strong command over their language and communication. Their communication skills are needed everywhere starting from defining the user journey, guiding them on the webpage for the action as expected and many more instances.
16. Hands on experience:
Don’t just listen or read, you may need to have a rigorous practice on every single concept that you come across and that’s what helps you to learn more and be better in SEO and that eventually takes you to the expert level. Stop being lazy and start making your hands dirty on this, until then you cannot achieve your dream of being an expert SEO professional.
17. Be up to date with the industry:
SEO is vast as well as very dynamic, as it is all based on the Google norms or algorithm function and these algorithms or norms can be changed whenever Google wishes too, and hence being aware of those changes and implementing the things accordingly keeps you a bit ahead of everyone and this one skill of being up to date with the industry makes you an expert.
18. Ask more questions or Brainstorm with the right people:
In order to understand things better, you may have to bother the people around you, whom do you think can help you out or guide you properly in implementing the SEO, you cannot learn SEO without brainstorming with the people around and hence have discussions with right people on a regular basis
Becoming an SEO expert doesn’t happen in a week or month of time, it’s a rigorous practice for several months together and unfortunately many SEO professional even when they are ready to hard work for months together there is no one to guide them to make them a better SEO professional and this being the reason I have come up with 20 different points that help SEO professional to become an SEO expert.