Search engine optimization is one of the hottest new jobs in the market. Demand for digital marketing experts won’t cease or diminish any time soon. So, if you’re drawn to this industry, and want to learn something new, here’s a guide on how to start.
Cover the basics first
Like any other thing you’re learning, start at the beginning. Build your knowledge first by building a basic understanding of what is a search engine, how search engines work, what are search terms, what are keywords, and entire SEO terminology.
Look for SEO job descriptions
Before thinking about courses, educational material or paid internships, look for SEO job descriptions. Go on Linkedin or other job posting websites and look for SEO job advertisements. These usually have several sections, including the requirements and experience and tools. Here you can learn a lot about the skills in demand, tools you need to know, what an ideal candidate looks like and which SEO specialties are in demand. Write a list of skills you need to learn and master and learn each one if you want to be as competitive as possible.
Look for available resources online
There are so many educational resources online, you just need to know where to look. Youtube is filled with educational material that is entirely free. People who record and publish these tutorials are often in the industry, and this is their way to build a brand and sign new customers. Look for a YouTuber whose style resonates with you and dedicate your time to viewing these videos with intention. Take notes along the way so you’ll know which areas you need to research further. Some even have a paid course, and you can enroll and get a certificate.
Take a course
Finding the right course can be challenging in the era of online courses and online learning. Before you pay for something costly, try taking free courses to learn the fundamentals of SEO. Some popular options include the SEO training courses offered by Moz and HubSpot Academy. You’ll get a certificate at the end, and you can showcase it on your LinkedIn profile.
Once you’re 100% sure you understand the fundamentals, you can look for an online or in-person course. SEO specialists are in demand, so many digital marketing agencies offer paid courses and the opportunity to work for them after the course.
Do agency research
The best way to learn is to put theory into practice. Especially if you wish to start your website and begin working as an SEO specialist, you need to do agency research and see how they’ve marketed their services. If you are from Australia, look for SEO Services Sydney or any other city to create a list of agencies that might offer case studies on their website, e-books or even internships. Think of this as an opportunity to learn from established professionals. Look for examples of good practices, how they’ve defined their services and whether they have job openings. You should also follow them online to know when an agency has a job opening so that you can apply.
Master core skills
Keyword research is at the core of every SEO strategy. One must be skilled in keyword research, so consider this one of many core skills you must possess. Understand the theory behind keyword research, how it’s done and which tools you can use. Get a tool like Ahrefs or SemRush, where you can practice.
Next, learn about the elements of on-page optimization. This is also at the core of an SEO strategy, as on-page elements are ranking elements.
Mastering basic coding or HTML is another skill you should consider. There are many sources online, and you can quickly master the basics.
Link building is an in-demand skill; you should also learn about outreach, link prospecting and how to obtain a website backlink. Some people start their job i the SEO industry by working as a link builder, so ensure you master this skill.
Content writing is directly linked to SEO, but it can be a more demanding skill as part of Digital Marketing. But, if you have a knack for writing, you can also bring an additional skill as a promising SEO specialist.
Build a website for practice
For a hands-on experience, start by building a website. It can be a single landing page or just a few-page website. You can practice keyword research, on-page optimization, content writing and monitoring organic performance, page indexing, and other SEO skills here.
Analyse website performance
Google Analytics is a useful tool because it shows you everything on your website—the number of visits, best-performing content, acquisition sources, referrals, demographics and much more. Learn how to analyze website performance because this is integral for website optimization. If you want to optimize a website to achieve better rankings, you need to know how to analyze the data, so you’ll understand areas that need improvement.
Apply to jobs
Getting a job is the only way to practice what you have worked on for months. The only way to build yourself as an SEO specialist is to get experience. Look for internships at digital marketing agencies. Sign up on freelancers’ communities and start looking for internships and junior positions. You should also look for LinkedIn jobs and apply for remote jobs. Try everything until you land that first job. The goal is to get at least six to one year of proven experience, opening other work opportunities for you.
Join SEO Communities
There are online communities where people share knowledge, resources, and jobs. You’ll never know who you can learn from and what you can benefit from being a part of a network of SEO professionals.
Sometimes people will ask for help with their website, and you can use this chance to practice, get experience and build your opportunities.
Lastly, stay up to date with industry changes and updates. Especially as a beginner, immerse yourself entirely in this topic. This is a fast-paced industry, so ensure you’re continually up to date with industry trends.