How to Become an SEO Expert: The Ultimate Guide

Whether you are a sole proprietor trying to build your brand or a savvy business professional looking to help others build their brand, Search Engine Optimization is a necessary skill you need to succeed in the online marketing industry be.

Although you can now learn SEO in a traditional 4-year college course, it’s still a relatively new niche and many people would prefer to get online certifications or learn through experience with their websites. In this article, you’ll learn who an SEO expert is, what they do, and the steps to help you become one.

Who is an SEO Expert?

Search engine optimization involves optimizing a website to improve online visibility and increase organic traffic from search engine results pages. Therefore, an SEO expert is a person who masters SEO principles and applies them to achieve higher search engine rankings.

Over a billion websites jostle for attention on search engine results pages with every search. However, SEO experts strive to get their websites ranked on the first page of Google or other search engines so that they can reach a pool of potential customers online. There is no one-size-fits-all way to become an SEO expert, but the following steps are good starting points.

1. Take SEO courses

Although certification isn’t a requirement in most SEO jobs, it’s important to take courses to gain a basic understanding of SEO principles. You will learn SEO basics including how search engines work, HTML and key Google ranking factors that will help you use Google algorithms.

The basic knowledge above will introduce you to the more technical aspects of SEO where you will master keywords, content marketing, link building, technical optimization and content optimization. These advanced skills will set you apart from other social media workers and guarantee explosive results.

The great thing about SEO courses is that you don’t have to invest as much money as you would for a traditional degree. They are available on social media platforms and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for little or no fees. We have put together a few courses below to help you get started.

2. Practice your SEO skills

Practice makes perfect, indeed. The best way to learn a language is to speak it. Likewise, you can master SEO principles by constantly applying your skills. You should use your skills conscientiously, even if no recruiter needs your services. You can do this by running your website.

You can test almost anything with your website. The experiments can revolve around content formats, keyword optimization, content lengths and ultimately link building strategies. This independence gives you the flexibility to learn and implement changes without consequences or scrutiny by an employer.

On the other hand, running a website is not an easy task. The first disadvantage is that there is no profit in the initial phase. Instead, you spend more money to fund the cost of owning your website.

Committing time and juggling numerous roles can also be challenging, although you can employ time management tips to manage your workload. However, if you are consistent, you will get great results from your website and it can become a side business or your main business in the long run.

3. Develop a portfolio of projects to showcase your work

Compiling your SEO practiced skills into a work portfolio is a great way to keep track of your progress. The projects that make up your portfolio may also include assignments, assignments and other relevant hands-on experience that you have completed while attending your courses.

As you develop your portfolio, make sure you reflect your strengths through your completed projects. Package your accomplishments to demonstrate the different SEO strategies you’ve experimented with and their results. Also, highlight data and statistics so hiring managers can identify powerful metrics that indicate your success as an SEO professional.

Even if you’ve never worked as a paid SEO expert before, you can still customize your portfolio to reflect the SEO challenges you faced, the solutions you used to overcome them, and the results you recorded contains. Tailoring your portfolio to a specific SEO niche can also indicate your professionalism and expertise to the client or hiring manager.

4. Start freelancing or get a job as an in-house SEO expert

Besides working on your website, you can become a freelancer and take on clients. Don’t worry even if you don’t feel like an expert and maybe a little hesitant to test other people’s websites.

You must understand that by studying the SEO courses and applying the other steps above, you will be in a much better position than the average online business owner. The more consistently you determine what works and what doesn’t, the better your expertise.

Alternatively, you can work in an agency or as an in-house SEO. The advantage of this method is that you can learn and grow faster. This speed is because you are surrounded by people who already know SEO. You will be introduced to their testing, monitoring, correction and guidance.

The skills and advanced SEO knowledge you develop while working as a freelancer or in-house SEO expert will take you up the corporate ladder. In no time you’ll be able to mentor entry-level SEO specialists or even teach them from the wealth of knowledge you’ve accumulated.

5. Network effectively to get more exposure

Whether you’re running your website or starting out as an in-house SEO professional or freelancer, you need to have developed an attractive portfolio to demonstrate your SEO skills. Don’t be afraid to reach out to potential clients or employers. Involving your professional community by writing articles for other websites will also drive traffic to your site, aid in link building efforts, and raise your professional profile to improve your site’s ranking on Google.

In addition, you should keep up to date with current industry trends. You can achieve this by networking with other online and offline professionals in the advertising, digital marketing and user experience niche.

Start a career as an SEO expert

SEO is a fast growing field where digital marketing and SEO skills are in high demand. As such, professionals with SEO expertise are an incredibly valuable asset for businesses and brands today. Follow the steps outlined in this article to become an SEO expert.

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