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Is SEO Hard To Learn
Is SEO hard to learn? No, not at all. It's very easy to learn. What is difficult, however, is knowing where to start. There are many paths to search engine optimization and many different aspects to it. So while it's easy to learn, it can seem intimidating knowing where to start and how to tie everything together into a manageable systematic process. In this article, we'll walk you through everything you need to know to start your digital marketing journey.
How Long Does It Take To Learn SEO?
How long it takes to learn digital marketing depends on how much time you're willing to put into it. If you spend an hour a day, you could easily learn enough to start ranking within six months. If you invest more time and spend 2-3 hours a day, you can learn enough within 2-3 months. However, that's only if you know what to learn. It's easy to learn SEO, but knowing where to start and where to find relevant, up-to-date information is a bit more challenging.
You'll have to find the answers to many questions before embarking on your search engine optimization journey. Do you start by learning about on-page or off-page SEO? What are backlinks? Where do you start when you create a campaign? How can you guarantee a site or webpage will rank? You'll have to learn the answers to these questions and a lot more. It might seem like a lot right now, but if you give it at least an hour a day for six months, you'll be well on your way.
The hardest part about learning isn't the learning. The hardest part about learning is taking what you know and learning how to apply it. At Spirra Digital, we offer award-winning search engine optimization services. So, if you have any questions along the way feel free to reach out! You can also check out our article showing you how to do your own search engine optimization audit.
Why SEO Is So Hard
Honestly, search engine optimization isn't complicated. It's just time-consuming. All you're doing with SEO is research, content creation, and analysis. When you're first starting out, the most challenging thing about digital marketing is waiting. Once you have done the research to know what type of content you need to create, and then you create and publish it, next you just wait and analyze its performance. By far, this is the hardest part.
Your biggest strength in SEO will be your experience, and when you're getting started - you have none. What I mean by "your biggest strength is your experience" is that you'll know what to do and avoid based on your past experiences with certain aspects of a campaign. You'll learn how to tackle and resolve any issue you're faced with based on your research, but some things you'll run into will be so specific that only experience will help you determine the best action to take. One of the most important parts you need to be aware of is how a search engine works, because once you understand this, you'll understand more about what type of content you should be making. Regardless of what profession you're in, SEO can drive more sales to your business. To illustrate this, we even have an article on the top SEO tips for law firms in 2023.
Can I Learn SEO On My Own?
You absolutely can learn search engine optimization on your own. All you need to learn on your own is a collection of resources, the idea of what you need to learn, and the motivation to get started. The hardest part about learning SEO is applying what you're learning. However, the second hardest thing would be knowing where to start.
Although you can learn on your own, if you have the funds to invest in a course, it would be more than worth doing so. There are many valuable, proven courses you could invest in. However, you can learn without investing in any paid courses. Still, courses will shorten your learning curve as you'll have a curated curriculum and a systematized process you can use.
What Resources Should I Use To Learn SEO?
Finding quality resources is the hardest part. With so many differing opinions, it's hard to know who to trust. However, below we will provide some resources that are going to be able to help you learn everything you need to know to be an expert.
I'm not referring to "googling" questions and finding answers. I'm referring to the resources Google - as a company - puts out regarding search engine optimization. While this resource is perhaps the most boring one you'll use, I suggest anyone start their journey here because the information you'll learn is an absolute must to build a solid foundation of knowledge. You'll learn how to appease their search algorithm. You'll learn what will be rewarded, what will be penalized, etc.
Their resources are an absolute "must" read. Do your due diligence and read the information they put out. You cannot afford to be lazy here. With a little time each day, you could have your fundamentals read in a week.
Youtube can be an excellent resource. There are many different YouTube channels you can start your journey out on. Anything from Ahrefs, Semrush, A Nerd's World, Spirra Digital, or Neil Patel would be a great place to start. You can learn a lot very quickly on YouTube, but don't forget to diversify your sources of information.
There are many different blogs that you can use to learn SEO in and out, covering different angles of the same topic. Ahrefs, Semrush, Spirra Digital, Neil Patel, etc. There are many different blogs you can learn from. All you need to do is ask Google a question and start digging.
You can take many free and paid courses, but take your time and vet which courses you spend your time and resources on. Not all courses will be worth your time, so pay close attention to the reviews and customer feedback. We've spent a lot of money on different resources, but some of the best we've seen have come from A Nerd's World.
We've invested in quite a few books over the past few years, and we highly recommend not overlooking the powerful insights you can gain from this information. The only downside to this medium is that it will inevitably become out of date relatively quickly. So, always ensure that you are looking for the most reliable and updated books. Although much of it is outdated, we would highly recommend the Art of SEO by Eric Enge. The tactics are somewhat outdated, but the basic theory and concept behind the book are still very much relevant, and you can learn a lot from the authors of that book.
Honestly, sometimes books are the best resources you can use, so although it's 2023, never rule out the effectiveness of a good book, even one on search engine optimization.
Does SEO Require Coding?
SEO requires code, but you can avoid writing code if your client's website is built with certain web builders like Webflow. However, it would be best to understand how to read and write code, as you will have difficulties understanding certain aspects of search engine optimization.
While it's possible to execute search engine optimization without understanding HTML, CSS or JS, it would be infinitely easier if you had some knowledge or background in web design/development. If you don't have that knowledge or background, I suggest learning HTML while learning SEO. If you don't learn HTML, you'll run into a situation where you "don't know what you don't know." Meaning because you need help understanding the basic structure of a webpage, it will be much harder for you to learn how to optimize it and even harder to see situations where you can and should optimize it.
That being said, you can absolutely execute an SEO strategy without knowing a single lick of code. However, you will limit yourself to only being able to do SEO on websites that are built with web builders like Webflow. If your website isn't built with a builder, or your clients aren't built with a builder, you will be unable to optimize their website effectively.
How To Learn On-Page SEO
On-Page SEO is one of the most basic aspects of SEO. Without proper on-page optimization, you will not be able to get in front of your target demographic because search engines won't allow you to rank. The best way to learn on-page SEO would be to start at the source. Again, start with the SEO fundamentals that Google puts out. Those resources will be enough to start building a foundation for your on-page knowledge.
However, once you're finished reading that material, head to our blog post on the worst on-page mistakes you can make in SEO, and we'll show you how to optimize your on-page SEO. We also have a video that we'll link below this section to walk you through what you need to do.
What SEO Topics Should I Learn?
Regarding what topics you should focus on, start with on-page SEO once you learn what is involved with on-page SEO, the do's and don'ts, best practices, etc. Then I would move on to off-page SEO. There is a lot more to learn when it comes to off-page SEO, as off-page SEO is a form of marketing, whereas on-page SEO is more about strategic placement and the use of information.
Not only is off-page SEO a form of marketing, but it's also where most of your competition will take place. Off-page SEO will take constant analysis, constant attention, and adjustments. You'll have to learn what to look for in your competition, actions you'll need to defend yourself, gain the higher ground, etc. You'll also have to learn how to market yourself, and your content, as without proper outreach and marketing, building a quality backlink profile will be next to impossible.
Once you learn both on-page and off-page optimization, you'll need to learn to put these together to learn how to design a custom strategy to build your website's authority, organic traffic, and revenue-generating potential. It isn't just about learning on-page and off-page SEO. It's about learning to create a systematic process with your knowledge that results in a strategy guaranteed to deliver results. However, you'll also need to learn how to write quality sales copy as well, because without compelling copy, your pages will have horrible on-page metrics. You've got to learn to not only put both on-page and off-page together in the form of powerful SEO strategies, but also how to combine excellent copywriting skills with this as well.
It's one thing to know what SEO is, but an entirely different thing to know what to do and when to do it. This is where experience comes in because you'll have to be able to assess your situation to determine your best move forward. Your rankings will fluctuate, and most of the time, this is entirely normal. However, sometimes you will notice drops in rankings, and it's important to be able to diagnose a problem quickly before things become more serious. For example, your competitors can target you with harmful backlinks. Unless you know how to determine potential threats, your website can be seriously hurt if you don't act quickly enough. This is just one example of why you need to know - not only - what SEO is but, more importantly, how to put this knowledge into practice.
How To Learn SEO For Free?
All you need to learn search engine optimization for free is time, motivation, and a solid internet connection. If you want to learn for free, the best place to start, as we've said a few other times in this article, would be the SEO fundamentals that Google puts out. The best week you can spend would be the week spent reading through the resources Google provides to eager future-SEOs like yourself.
Once you learn the SEO fundamentals, I suggest investing in and taking the time to learn SEO tools such as Semrush. Then, hit YouTube hard. One of the best ways I've found to teach myself something is to imagine that you're teaching it to a child. Try to imagine explaining SEO to a child, and if - at any point - you have trouble explaining something, you know you have a gap in your knowledge, and you know what you need to learn next. That will help keep you honest with yourself about what you do and don't know. Then, Google your heart out until you learn enough to easily explain the topic to a child.
Once you feel you've got a decent understanding of SEO, it's time to put it into practice. Ideally, you have a website up and running already, and if not, I would do what you can to get a test website up, at least. This will give you real-world experience with keyword research and competitive analysis, but also designing and executing an SEO strategy in general. Your goal should be to get on the first page for something by using the knowledge you've been building.
While this will give you the practice you need to learn on-page SEO, you will need more help with your off-page SEO experience. You'll need a website/business to understand how that's done. You can build your off-page SEO skills with a test website, but at that point, it will be more than just a test website. A large part of off-page SEO involves reaching out to real websites/businesses, providing value to them, and in exchange, they link to your website. If you have a test website, convincing real website/business owners to do this will be nearly impossible.
However, once you have a legitimate resource up and running, you can start building up your backlink profile and honing those off-page skills. Regardless of how you decide to learn SEO on your own, if you stick to what I've shown you in this article, you will be able to do it quickly and effectively.
I hope this article answers your questions! If you have any questions about anything I've covered, feel free to reach out, and I'll help however I can! Your journey in SEO will not be easy, but if it's going to make you profitable as a business or as an SEO, stick with it and you'll reap the rewards!