You probably already know that you need SEO or search engine optimization to get organic traffic to your website. Maybe you're unsure where to start or what to do for SEO, and you find yourself Googling and ending up on blog posts such as this one asking, is SEO easy to learn? Well, in all honesty, the answer is both yes and no. It depends if you try to go it alone or learn from someone who knows SEO. Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the single most powerful free marketing channel available to you, but you must understand how Google works to benefit from it.
No. It's not. I'm not trying to be dramatic or even depressing here. It's simply the truth. SEO or search engine optimization is not easy to learn because there are rules you have to follow, and there's a lot of outdated or misinformation available on the web. What worked for SEO years ago doesn't work today, and unless you know when and why things changed, you may waste your time trying to do SEO using outdated strategies and tactics or, worse yet, cause penalties today.
Many people who try to learn SEO on their own end up making one of two or three super common mistakes that end up causing them not to get results.
The #1 mistake I see repeatedly is that they choose the wrong keyword for their optimization. Not every website can rank for the same keywords. A ranking algorithm determines which sites will rank higher and which will rank lower. Google doesn't tell us exactly what's in the algorithm; however, your website's content and your website's authority are the main factors. There are over 200 factors that go into the final ranking, but the most important factors are content and authority.
What does a website's authority have to do with its ability to rank for a keyword? A ton. A website that Google views as being highly authoritative is more likely to rank for keywords than one that Google sees as less authoritative.
What makes a website authoritative in Google's eyes? Great question! Many factors go into your website's authority. Still, the main ones include how long your website has been around (how well established it is) and how many links you've earned over the years, and most importantly, the quality of the links to your website.
Years ago, people could buy links from anywhere and rank a website quickly, which allowed for cheating, and websites that weren't great ranked super high and got all the traffic. Google knew they wouldn't maintain their market share if they had crummy websites at the top of their search results, so they started to penalize websites that did things like buying links. Today, you have to earn your website's links, which need to be from other websites relevant to your business and your ideal customer.
If you're curious about how authoritative Google thinks your website is right now, you can find your website's Domain Authority using a few tools. MozBar is a free Google Chrome plug-in that will give you the DA of your site and any other site you visit. Website Domain Authority is on a scale of 1-100, with 100 being high. Every website has a DA score. The higher your score, the more likely you will rank for a keyword. Want even more info on Domain Authority? Then this post is for you.
When choosing a keyword, you want to choose one that your website is more likely to rank for. That means you want to select keywords where the websites currently ranking on Page 1 in Google's Search Results have a Domain Authority that's close to yours. Not sure what an SEO keyword is? Check out this post right here for info.
The #2 issue I see when people try to learn SEO on their own is that they target the same keyword on every page of their website or blog and, in the end, hurt their chances to rank for as many keywords as possible. Want to learn how to get as many keywords ranking as possible? Visit this post right here.
The key to getting lots of organic traffic is having lots of content that ranks high in Google's Search Results tied to your business and attracts your Ideal Customer. Having content that ranks high but isn't tied to your business won't make you money. Content that doesn't attract your Ideal Customer won't make you money either.
Creating great content targeting your Ideal Customer and can rank is the key, but you have to make sure you're not using the same keyword everywhere because Google will only show your website or blog 2x for the same keyword.
The best results come from expansive SEO keyword strategies when you're doing SEO on a website or blog. You want to think about ALL of the keywords your Ideal Customer might use to search for information on your product or service at every sales funnel step. Each blog post you write should be an opportunity for your website to rank for a new keyword. And every keyword you rank for is an opportunity for you to be found by a new customer when they're searching on Google.
While SEO is hard to learn on your own, learning SEO from an expert is the key to SEO made easy as long as you're learning from the RIGHT SEO expert. Many people in this field call themselves experts but don't have much experience. There's no qualification or exam to say, "you're a real SEO expert." It's a new field. It's a field that didn't exist when I was in college and studying broadcast journalism—those of us who've been at it for years now learned as we went. Many of the now outdated tactics are things we did years ago because they worked.
How do you determine if you're learning from the right person if anyone can claim they're an SEO expert? This is super important. You don't want to waste your time or money learning from the wrong person because you won't get the results.
You want to check out their professional background. Ask if they've ever worked as an SEO Strategist at a company or agency. See if they write for any industry publications. Check out their LinkedIn. Ask to speak with current customers or students. Ask for references and VERIFY them. This post here will help you avoid fake SEO and marketing experts. Don't waste your money hiring or learning from the wrong person. You won't get results.
From my experience in the industry and running an SEO team for an agency, even in the professional community, I can tell you that there's a big difference in level and skill-set. I had some fantastic SEOs work for me over the years, and I had a few who we had to ultimately part ways with because they either didn't want to adapt to the new Google rules or didn't want to do the work to get the results for their clients. Not sure how to spot a fake SEO or marketing expert? Check out this post that will help you make sure you're learning from the right person.
Hiring a professional SEO or signing up for a class from one is the way to make SEO easy and help you learn what to do so you get results for your work. You don't want to spend time working on your SEO and get nothing in return. That would be so frustrating!
Great! I've got lots of resources for you. Start by requesting a copy of my free SEO Content Quick Start Guide that will walk you through how to get started with SEO today.
Then take my free class on how to use SEO to supercharge your content to get more traffic and better quality leads without buying ads.