So you want to teach yourself SEO? Look no further, take a seat, relax, and get ready to learn (it will be fun – I promise). Your presence here tells me a few things, but mainly, that you realized that in today’s connected world, learning SEO is crucial for the growth of your organization and your website. Fear not, it’s not as intimidating as you think. Before we start you’ll need to know 2 things: What it SEO, and why is it important?
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is the practice of improving, and promoting a website in order to increase the number of visitors the site receives from search engines. Basically, it’s about ranking higher in the search engine results for keywords related to your site. After all, how many people click on a link on the 4th page of a Google search?
The many aspects that determine SEO range from the words on your page, and the way other sites link to you on the web, to simply structuring your website in a way that search engines understand.
Why is SEO important?
Many people use the major search engines – Google, Bing, and Yahoo – to discover. Organic traffic visits are usually from users who haven’t heard of your organization before. These search engines allow your website to reach new audiences. If your site is the destination, then search engines are the roads that will get people there. In other words, they provide new, targeted traffic. For example – if on your site you sell shoes, google will send you people specifically looking to buy shoes. So if you can get your site to the first page of Google, you gain incredible opportunities. Want your site to be authoritative and relevant? Yes? Then that’s why SEO is so important.
Sounds simple right? OK, so let’s start. Here are the steps of teaching yourself SEO in 6 steps:
STEP 1 – Find a resource for beginners
Each journey starts with a first step. So hands down, the best place for that is “The Beginner’s Guide To SEO”.
The Pros at MOZ really lay it out in the simplest, most enjoyable way out there. (I swear they don’t pay me for this. Maybe they should, hmm). Get ready to thank them now since it’s also completely free. Other notable resources are:
STEP 2 – Practice!
I love planes. I love watching them, learning about them, and have the theory of flying one pretty much in my pinky finger. But put me in the cockpit, and we are going down fast. Theory is one thing, but putting what you learned into practice is key. The best way to do that is to practice on your own website, by setting up a blog. Don’t have one yet? It’s never too late to start. WordPress is a good resource. Setting up your own domain will help you see – in real time – what is the impact of each SEO technique you implement.
Setting up your own domain helps you see the impact of your SEO techniques! Click To Tweet
STEP 3- Find a Mentor
Towards the end of a deep conversation my friend once said, after a long thought – “Things take time.” Ah, such Shakespearean golden words. Finding a mentor might take a bit of time, but it will be one of the most crucial steps. Remember, there will always be somebody smarter than you somewhere in the world. So, why not learn from that person? How do you find that person? Networking – ask around, talk to your friends, search on LinkedIn, go to SEO networking events, etc. Be creative about it, but make sure to find a mentor. A good dose of inspiration never hurts so: “A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.”
STEP 4 – Join an SEO Group
This is one of the best pieces of advice to live by – “If you want to be a gardener, hang around people who are gardeners. If you want to be a race car driver, hang around race car drivers. If you want to be somebody in the future, be around the people you want to become.” Joining an SEO group in your area will help you become an SEO professional. Why don’t you give this a try: SEO Meetups
If you can’t find something in your area, then follow the advice from Step 3 and backtrack to networking. Again, ask your friends, search the web, or be proactive and start your own meetup.
STEP 5 – Know what’s going on in the SEO world
The world of SEO is forever changing, so keep up with what’s current. One of the keys here is: Follow SEO specialists on Twitter. Moz’s founder Rand Fishkin is one of many. Get in the Twitter game to get the best out of your SEO experience, get the most recent updates, and to learn as fast as those new changes come along. However, don’t stop there. If you enjoy a good read, follow some of these outstanding blogs below. If you need a place to start, here’s a great article, if we do say so ourselves.The world of SEO is always changing, so make sure to keep up with what’s current! Click To Tweet
STEP 6 – Rinse & Repeat
Following each step thoroughly, and determination will get you to the finish line in no time. Learn, Do, Repeat. Don’t get discouraged, and remember that each journey towards greatness begins with a single step. When you feel like you’ve mastered the basics, start focusing on the nuances: meta descriptions, alt tags, and Google Search Console.
Have any other recommendations, or links you would like to share? Tweet them at @wholewhale and let us know what you thought of this article.
Content Marketing + SEO to Drive Impact
We want to help you grow organic traffic by 20% year over year and drive greater digital impact.