Most SEO executives I come across ask this one very important question, “How do I improve my SEO skills?”
Now, as we know, the internet is filled with articles and guides on improving website rankings, but nobody really tells us how we can improve as wholesome SEO experts.
It’s simple, really.
For self-improving SEO professionals evolving in the areas of search engine optimization requires constantly progressing your skillset by understanding what you can get done to rank your websites or blogs.
Upon really thinking about it, I decided to cover everything in this blog post; starting from how basic fifth-grade techniques can help polish SEO skills to the technical ways in which you can delve deeper into the subject.
Simply gaining enough website traffic isn’t enough. There’s more to SEO, such as ensuring an interesting lead capture form, a user-friendly sales page, and well-described product pages.
And so, here’s a list of 15 ways, which, if done right, will surely improve your SEO skills and help improve traffic in 2020.
Don’t want to read it all? That’s okay! Click the section that appeals to you and it’ll take you to the said paragraph.
- Create Your Own SEO Guides
- Learn to Analyze Source Codes
- Understand What Your Users Want Via Google Analytics
- Use Quora to Analyze User Behavior
- Analyze Failure – What happened, why it happened, how to fix it?
- Keep Looking for Learning Opportunities Around
- Learn From Reddit
- Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
- Learn From the Mistakes of Others
- Look Into SEO Tool Updates
- Do Your Homework
- Read Quality Books That Your Users Are Reading
- Try Podcasts
- Study Human Behavior
- Job Interviews – A Source of Learning More
1. Create Your Own SEO Guides
To really understand how much you know and if you know it well enough to guide others in laymen’s terms, you need to start writing descriptive SEO guides for other budding professionals.
Not only will this give you more clarity as you research, but it will also help you spot the loophole areas that you need to work on.
You can publish your guide online and ask for feedback to understand your weaknesses and strengths.
For reference, you can check out my definitive guide to mobile SEO in 2019.
Not only did it help me learn more about mobile SEO, but it also drew in a lot of reader engagement and resulted in a good 10.12K reads.
Why does it work so well and why is writing SEO guides at the top of my list?
Well, when you write a guide, you are required to dig deep into the subject, really understand the key areas, and explain it step-by-step. This adds to gaining more clarity.
Moreover, when you research on the web about similar topics, you could find loads of things that you didn’t already know.
These new techniques can be applied to your SEO guide and see if it ranks better and leads to more conversions.
2. Learn to Analyze Source Codes
One thing that most SEO aspirants get wrong is that they don’t need any programming skills to get better at what they’re doing.
It isn’t what it sounds like. You don’t really have to be a professional coding expert.
However, understanding the basics of a coding language can be of great help when creating search engine optimized copies.
For instance, you must know where to find meta tags in the content on the website by looking at the source code.
On the web page, right-click and choose view page source (or press ctrl+u) to open the source code page.
The meta tags in the source code can be spotted as depicted in the image below.
Learning to analyze website source codes will help you identify the website’s shortcomings. Then you can learn how to overcome them and make your website more optimized.
You can learn this online via YouTube or do a diploma or certificate course. Looking through the internet is easier, better, and a cost-saving method.
3. Understand What Your Users Want via Google Analytics
Every second, 67k searches are performed on Google.
This brings me to the question: why is Google the most-preferred search engine?
Because Google is a big data company.
Whatever they’ve designed so far – each platform, tool, device – it’s all meant to collect user data and build a rather more precise search engine.
You can follow this approach to come up with content that will grab their attention.
Look for your target customers and read their feedback.
But how do you get feedback if you don’t even have any customers in the first place, as you’re just starting out?
Here’s how to use it to your advantage.
Step 1. Go to Google Analytics and log in with your account details.
Click the menu on the left and select Behavior -> Site Content -> All Pages
Step 2. Now take a good look at your popular pages.
While the number of page views matter, you cannot neglect the average time spent on the page, the bounce rate, and the exit percentage.
Here’s what RankingBySEO’s top pages look like.
If the average time on your pages is less, you can be sure that people have just skimmed through your content and not really read it entirely.
This way, you can identify the write-ups that didn’t appeal to your readers as much.
If you look at the bounce rate, you would understand the percentage of readers who went to your page but didn’t care to visit any other pages.
While this doesn’t measure success, it surely is important that your readers go to at least 2-3 pages through your blog.
The exit rate shows the percentage of people that left your website. The more the exit rate, the more it shows that your users aren’t finding what they need.
4. Use Quora to Analyze User Behavior
Using social media to see what users like is an excellent and the quickest way to successful SEO.
If you want to know what topics your target audience needs answers to, Quora is the best platform.
For example, if you were to write an SEO guide, you could look for questions related to your chosen topic on Quora.
This way, you’ll spot many subject-related questions that people are looking for answers to. Include all of that in your content and you will be good on the SEO front.
Here’s how to use this technique.
Step 1. Log in to Quora.
Now, upon successful signing up or logging in, type your keyword in the search bar and press enter.
Step 2. Look at the questions.
If you find something that you can answer, write your own blog.
The top questions on Quora are the ones that most people are seeking answers to.
Step 3. Read existing answers.
So many experts on Quora. Why not learn from them?
Quora has taught me a lot. Whenever I’m in doubt, I read a few descriptive answers on my query and gain a lot of new info.
If you do this correctly, it can really help to gain more traffic and write more informative content.
5. Analyze Your Points of Failure
As an SEO professional, you should be critical in your thinking.
That is, you should able to look at a situation from various perspectives and solve problems.
Probably, the ideal approach to enhance your SEO skills is by asking yourself the three questions when you see a problem that leads to the failure of your efforts.
- What happened?
- Why did it happen?
- How do I fix it?
For instance, when you see the ranking of your website dropping substantially, you should utilize your analytical abilities to land at the main drivers of that issue.
On the other hand, if you do gain good traffic, you ought to figure out which of your techniques worked.
6. Learn From Reddit
While Reddit is most famous for deviating you from your focus of work by showing you cute cat videos, it is also an excellent platform to learn more about SEO.
Asking your questions here will certainly fetch you a lot of new info.
In fact, John Mueller, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, frequents these subreddits every now and then to answer queries.
While this is an excellent platform to learn with instant access to professionals, you must know that there can be people commenting on a post with incorrect advice.
Keep a close eye on the number of downvotes and corrections by other Redditors to ensure that you’re being given the right advice.
Now, seeing answers and learning is one thing but taking the daring step of voicing your opinion will help more than anything.
Take that risk and right something if you feel that you can answer the query correctly.
Someone might jump in and give you suggestions on why or why not your technique or suggestion would work.
While it might be slightly painful, it’s important that you get past it.
Constructive criticism can never be forgotten. And so, this is the most effective way to enhance your SEO skills.
7. Keep Looking for Learning Opportunities Around
As an SEO expert, when looking for jobs, always look for something that can help you enhance your SEO skills.
Most jobs might have someone who will manage your work. Look for an expert in your company and try to gain from them as much as you can.
Asking a lot of questions is never a bad technique.
Don’t be afraid to come across as dumb. While you might know a lot about the subject, you might also learn a few more things about it when you hear from the expert.
8. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
When you’re in your comfort zone, your mind tells you that whatever you know is more than what others do.
This thinking can take a toll on your SEO enhancing efforts.
It’s when you try new things that you learn new techniques.
Source: Salome Thomas (Twitter)
For instance, I was once migrating a site on a different server.
No toughie, right?
But I didn’t know how to do this with a Joomla-based website.
While I could transfer the file successfully, I saw that the sear-friendly URLs weren’t working as they did on the other server.
I spent over 8 hours looking for ways to fix this. I used forums, Quora, and whatnot, only to learn that I just had to amend the .htaccess file a little to make it work.
It was a challenge that made me stand up from my seat several times, thinking of giving up, but I must admit, once I did figure it out, I felt pretty good about myself.
Experts say that your comfort zone holds you back in life. Step out of it!
9. Learn From the Mistakes of Other Website Owners
SEO seems easy. But have you ever wondered why so many fail to generate traffic with SEO?
This happens because they follow ideas and techniques that seem appealing but fail to work.
Google keeps updating its algorithm and so, most old techniques don’t work no more.
You need to stay updated with the changes and optimize your content accordingly.
If you’re updated with the right details, focused on the key details, it won’t be long before you find your website gaining the attention that it deserves.
If you perform SEO activities following the rules and doing it just right, you can expect results like these.
10. Look into SEO Tool Updates
Diving into the unused highlights of your SEO tools may seem like an odd technique for learning SEO, however, it tends to be productive in growing your knowledge base.
On the off chance that you see there are reports that you never use, it would benefit you if you investigate what information they give and start looking into its utilization.
Generally, tool developers have broad documentation about the many features their tool offers. This will probably lead you to the correct way of what they have been intended to accomplish.
Tools are regularly updated with new features. This generally happens when there is a new Google announcement or when there is a need to meet market demands.
One such amazing tool that I use for my website is SEMrush. I like it because it is easy-to-use, clear, gives quite accurate data, and the interface is also pretty standard.
This is what the overview page looks like:
If you look at the left panel, there are some features with the term NEW & Beta written next to them.
These are the new features that you need to bring your attention to.
You can even read about the functionalities of these new features in various press releases by the tool development company!
Seeing how the product designer expected them to be utilized and what they believed they are significant for could open up new SEO skills for you to master.
11. Do Your Homework
Working in SEO consistently accompanies homework.
The difficult piece of SEO has consistently been adjusting to changes and the capacity to imagine where Google is planning to go next.
Staying one step ahead of Google can be a great way to ensure that your website never loses its traffic.
Surely, on the off chance that we are concentrating on improving the experience from the web crawler to the satisfaction of the client’s goal, we are now working in front of the Google Algorithms.
Ignite Visibility came up with this really comprehensible infographic, explaining the history of SEO and Google’s older updates.
Take a look!
Understanding where Google is going next to gauge the client experience can assist you with prioritizing upgrades in those territories before Google comes up with a new algorithm.
12. Read Quality Books That Your Users Are Reading
Going through well-known business books can assist you with getting the hang of something about SEO that you can apply to your own organization.
It will help you comprehend what rouses your customers and how you can gain their attention.
This can help you in performing SEO activities in a way that gets their interest. This is an especially significant ability as you progress in your endeavors.
I prefer using Amazon or Flipkart for book searches because it clearly shows the best sellers and top authors.
Your neighborhood library may likewise have a segment on the business books that most people prefer reading.
In fact, it’s best to speak to a librarian as they may reveal the names of the more famous books on marketing and other business matters, or if nothing else, help you to discover a duplicate of the ones you saw on Amazon.
Similarly, if you’re in an industry that isn’t too focused on commerce (education or NGO), read famous books in that sector.
Turns out, your users will also be reading those books and referencing them in your content might help grab their attention as well as help them relate.
In fact, it might fascinate you to learn that as compared to non-book readers, book readers have a 20% “reduction in risk of mortality” over 12 years, according to a 2016 study.
This is a great way to get into your target audience’s head.
13. Try Podcasts!
Remember, learning hands-on during your job works very well when you have the correct teacher or trainer.
On the off chance that you don’t have a manager, there are numerous assets online to assist you with building up your ranges of abilities.
Here’s what iTunes’ podcast page looks like. You can choose what you like.
In case I’m concentrating on a tech ability improvement, I regularly utilize the assets at O’Reilly, as the month to month cost is pretty reasonable and the innovation areas are explained in more detail.
Lynda.com is likewise effective, however, it is more inclined towards helping you learn how to jump into the territories of marketing and data analytics.
14. Study Human Behavior
An extraordinary method to learn effective SEO strategies is to examine different subjects and see what you can gain from them.
For example, finding out about data recovery and databases can help you see how an internet search engine may read, store, and present your content to readers.
Also, studying psychology, human science, and political science could assist you in recognizing the main thrusts that effect user search conduct.
One such book that I came across was The Sales Factor by Grant Gitomer.
It very beautifully explains how you can unleash the power of understanding human psychology to sell them whatever you want.
With SEO being such an immense subject, it is justifiable that you would need to commit the restricted time you are left with to study explicit SEO skills and industry advancements.
Think about how all the more convincing your meta descriptions will be if you are aware of what inspires human decision making.
With such a commonness of free and minimal effort study material accessible online, it is amazingly simple to get to apprentice level skilled in these subjects. Udemy and Alison are two online suppliers who offer free and easy-to-understand courses.
15. Job Interviews – A Source of Learning More
When you interview for an SEO job, you will be asked questions to demonstrate that you have the necessary degree of information and experience in the field you’re applying for.
The pressure and nervousness that comes with the performance anxiety will often help you see which SEO topics you are confident about and the ones that need polishing.
On the off chance that you are in a circumstance where an interviewer poses a question that tests your insight into SEO, and you believe you have not addressed it well, use it as a triggering point to learn the subject more.
It doesn’t matter where you choose to learn SEO from as long as you make self-development a need. Stay tuned with our blog page to remain updated on what’s going on in SEO today.
SEO revolves around change, and change consistently has a learning segment. Grasp the adventure, set self-improvement objectives, and if you work in an organization where a trainer/manager doesn’t exist, become the teacher to improve your SEO skills for year 2020 and beyond.