“93% of all internet experiences begin with a search engine.”
So one can imagine why everyone is racing in the search engine game.
Entering the world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be daunting though.
While it’s something that all professional websites deal with, there’s a lot of mystery behind the technology.
Indeed, Google is constantly coming out with new updates that change or overhaul our understanding of the technology.
Couple that with the fact that many professionals have years of experience in the field, the prospect of catching up can seem overwhelming.
Fortunately, there are a number of skills and components that anyone can learn. After you have a good grasp on the basics, you can get caught up on the new updates.
It’s important to note that, while there are many individual skill sets involved with SEO, each one of them isn’t intrinsically complicated.
Like most things, having a strong grasp on the fundamentals will make you a better work.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important skills that any SEO expert needs:
1. Birds-Eye View
Having a grasp on what SEO best practices are designed to accomplish will allow you to set learning goals and fill in gaps in your knowledge.
The purpose of SEO is to make your site rank higher on search engines. By optimizing your site so that it is shown to be relevant and authoritative, you can ensure more eyes and more traffic to your site.
“Relevance” measures how closely your content relates to a search query. These can be molded and modified using tools like keyword selection and content creation.
“Authority” is measured by how much Google trusts your site. This can be bolstered with inbound links, quality content, brand mentions, and usability metrics.
2. Basic Coding Skills
You don’t need to be up to date with the latest Python or Ruby on Rails updates, but having a grasp on basic HTML is a big boon for anyone in the SEO game.
After all, the majority of today’s CMS systems have basic SEO functionality built in, but making changes to the backend of your site in this manner can be time consuming.
If you’re able to look at your source code and identify problems or key features, you’re already ahead of the game.
Fortunately, there are a number of free resources for teaching yourself HTML. It may seem silly to have to go all the way back to the basics, but this will ensure you have a strong foundation for the SEO work your about to embark on.
3. Domain Authority & Page Authority
Domain Authority and Page Authority were both developed by Moz and each is a measure that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages.
(Refer Moz Glossary).
This score can be used when comparing websites or tracking the “ranking strength” of a website over time, according to Moz’s website.
This makes authority a crucial focus for SEO experts. Content and Link Building are largely based around increasing authority.
It’s important to note that authority alone won’t guarantee higher positioning, but it will help you measure your SEO effectiveness.
“Domain Authority” is calculated based on the quantity and quality of inbound links to your website. The higher your score is, the higher the pages on your domain will likely rank in organic search results.
“Page Authority” is similar, but is specific to the individual page. This can be used to create a “link architecture” that strategically favors certain pages over others.
4. Content Marketing
All the Backlinks, Domain Authority, and Page Authority aren’t worth much if you don’t have quality content on your site.
While content marketing is often seen as a separate marketing strategy, combining it with good SEO practices will help you increase inbound traffic.
It can be used to bolster your authority, optimize your target keywords, and drum up repeat business.
Learning the basics of content marketing is an important early stem in SEO and will help you build strong marketing strategies in the future.
5. Research & Analysis
Keyword and Competitor Analysis is an integral part of the effective SEO campaign. You’ll also need to keep up to date on the latest search engine technology.
After that, you’ll have to run experiments to see if your tactics have worked to impact your search engine rankings.
Additionally, analyzing the information your find will be key to your success. If you see that your site has dropped in the rankings, you’ll have to look at the data and determine the cause of the drop.
If you see an increase in organic traffic, you’ll have to figure out which of your tactics caused the boost.
You’ll also have to look at keyword data and determine what content resonates most with your audience.
As you begin your foray into SEO and start trying to build effective campaigns, you will bump up against a number of setbacks.
Your rankings may drop, you’ll accidentally paste a NoIndex Tag into your main landing page, or you’ll find duplicate content throughout your site.
Setbacks happen to all of us. The important part is being able to troubleshoot these difficulties and making the necessary changes.
Of course, these are just some of the skills that are necessary for learning good SEO practices. The point is to demonstrate that they are learnable.
Implementing high quality SEO onto a company or brand’s website will always be beneficial. But you need to start with the basics.
Learning the fundamentals will ensure you have a strong base moving forward. So when Google releases a new update that will impact your SEO you can react quickly and confidently.
SEO has been shown to be effective across just about every industry. If you want to draw traffic and eyes to your content or your products, you’ll need to optimize your site for search engines. Refer to this case analysis for example. It’s the world we live in.
Fortunately, there are a number of free resources out there to help you learn these skills and keep up to date with fundamental changes to SEO best practices.
The important thing is getting started.
Read, learn, analyze, interpret, and start putting your theories into action.