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Whether you’re making your marketing content or not, the number of clicks on your page matters. When organic traffic increases, so does potential revenue. Investing time to become an expert in SEO is an essential part of any successful business marketing plan.
You may be switching careers or just starting out; perhaps, you’re a digital or traditional marketer looking to learn more. In any case, the first thing that any SEO professional knows is that SEO stands for “search engine optimization." SEO is the practice of creating content designed to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your site via organic results on search engines.
Search engines have algorithms, “crawlers,” that scan the pages of your site and organize yours and others on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Practicing SEO involves understanding the rules of the search engine’s crawler to make sure your posts skyrocket to the top of the first SERP.
An SEO professional stays current in this quickly moving digital marketing field. Though making your content according to SEO seems like a daunting task, it’s easy to grasp when you take the time to figure out how search engines work and how you can tailor your content to get it into the highest-ranking search results.
Here’s how to become an SEO professional and get as many clicks as you can.
Read, Read, Read
SEO writing is a constantly-changing field because search engines are always changing. It pays to stay on top of any updates to Google and know what current software patents they have.
A useful tool to unravel the mysteries behind the engine is checking out sites like Search Engine Roundtable. Here, authors fluent in SEO and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) create forums and threads about SEM topics. If you’re looking for discussions and information about Google’s recent bugs and tests, this is the site to check out.
Search Engine Land is another great platform to learn more about what industry experts are saying about current search engine trends. They even have SEO search engine specific content where you can learn about the difference between optimization on Google and Bing.
A great way to get software-specific information is to check out companies that offer SEO solutions.
Software like Yoast, Moz Pro, Conductor Searchlight, and Serpstat are good SEO tools that digital marketers use to improve their rankings on SERP. You can run your content through these products to get keyword analysis, backlink tracking, and trend analysis – these all provide useful insight into how to make your content more SEO friendly.
Check out an SEO software company’s blog to acquaint yourself with the kind of services they offer and what you’re looking for. Yoast has a great blog that’s specific to the SEO services they offer. Here, you can keep abreast of the kinds of updates coming to products that Yoast runs on. For example, their post about WordPress’ message to consumers to update their PHP for the upcoming WordPress 5.2.
All of that SEO reading can get repetitive and confusing after a while. Take a break and get hands-on by reading through some training guides or getting enrolled in an SEO course.
You’re never going to get better at SEO without practice. Training guides and courses are a great way to get real-life experience without buying the software.
Search Engine Land has a helpful video with Common Craft for beginners explaining how a search engine’s algorithm organizes content’s position on SERP according to its words, titles, subtitles, and links.
They also offer a complete SEO Guide on common pitfalls and ways to improve your search rankings. If you don't have time to read the 9-chapter guide, they have a Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors that summarizes the guide’s information for quick reference.
Yoast offers a variety of SEO courses designed to improve your SERP ranking. They also offer practical all-around training, specific copywriting training for a writer looking to make their content more SEO friendly, tips for web designers and marketers looking to improve their website’s SEO, more technical SEO training, and coding specific training.
Moz also offers an SEO guide for improving your rankings. Their guide is useful for beginners to people fluent in search engine algorithms. Moz takes a triangular approach to teaching SEO; their guide starts with a general focus on improving rank and then narrows its focus to making your content and website more competitive.
If you want a guide not created by an SEO software company, SEO by the Sea offers consultation, training, and coaching for people interested in being more web visible.
Be Both Analytical and Creative
SEO is a unique field that blends creative content with the demands of a search engine algorithm. An SEO professional writes content with a two-pronged marketing approach. They must try to appeal to both people and search engines.
There are two types of SEO expert – the developer and the marketer. Website development improves the "crawlability" of the webpages, while the digital marketing aspect makes the links, titles, and diction more SEO friendly.
No matter how much people enjoy what you write, there’s no way it’s going to create traction and generate organic traffic if it doesn’t hit the top of the SERP. On the other hand, nobody wants to read content or buy a product that’s surrounded by a mass of keywords designed to exploit Google’s algorithm.
From January 2018 to 2019, Google searches took up 74% of all internet searches. If you’re not marketing your content in a way that’s Google-friendly, you’re missing out on most potential clicks.
Since algorithms scan and organize your page according to its code, link structure, titles, and diction, it helps to have a fundamental understanding of the technical aspects of SEM before you start writing and designing.
Anyone Can Become an SEO Pro
It’s not hard to become an SEO pro with a little practice. Anyone can learn how to use search engine algorithms effectively regardless of whether they have a degree in digital marketing or computer science. Whether you’re transitioning careers, just at the beginning of your professional life, or looking to improve your digital marketing tactics, SEO fluency is vital, and it’s easy to learn.
Bill Slawski, the editor of SEO by the Sea and Director of SEO Research at Go Fish Digital, attended law school and worked as a legal and technical administrator at the Superior Court of Delaware for 14 years before he joined an SEO agency. Bill Slawski uses his expertise in law to focus on search engine patents and white pages. In Slawski’s words:
"Just because a search engine has a patent on an invention doesn’t mean that they are currently using it. The search engine may have technical or business reasons why they may not be or have decided to follow a different approach. But a patent is a clear signal that a search engine has researched a topic and has had search engineers and lawyers work together to protect their intellectual property and to exclude others from using the processes described in those patents."
Bill Slawski is just one of many people who have used their SEO knowledge to supplement their skills and experience. Understanding how to optimize search engines for your website is a transferrable skill that you can use across fields, businesses, and organizations.
In the wide world of digital marketing, your SEO practice is vital, and following this guide will land your pages at the top of any SERP search. Unraveling Google's mysteries isn't so hard, and by reading this, you've gained a little insight and are well on your way to becoming an SEO professional.