The goal of every business is to gain visibility and that often means popping up at the top of Google’s search result. Much of this has to do with search engine optimisation (SEO). With more companies aiming to be on the top of search results, the demand for SEO professionals is on the rise. But, what is all the buzz about SEO? Is it worth the effort? This guide will tell you all you need to know about SEO and how to become an expert SEO agency in Australia.
Who is an SEO expert?
An SEO expert is a relative term. No matter how much you know, you will still be a novice when you approach someone with broader knowledge. Therefore, a better way to define an SEO expert is someone that knows how to get consistent traffic. By utilising several techniques, an SEO expert optimises a website to rank higher on search results.
How to become an SEO expert
Inasmuch as there may be schools that teach SEO, finding one is not always easy – especially in Australia. The best alternative you will have is to take a few (or several) SEO courses online. To build your SEO portfolio to the point where you’ll be comfortably called an expert, below are some of the things you should know.
1. Learn the SEO basics
To become an expert in SEO, you have to understand the basics first. You need to understand how the search engine interacts with the audience. The three things that you need to figure out from the onset include:
- The niche of the user
- The criteria (algorithm) search engines use in their ranking
- The relevant techniques and tools you need to reach your goal
There are side skills that can help you to understand the basics of SEO better. Having one or more of these digital skills will help you to stand out from the other SEO experts. Also, you will be in a position to assist your clients better. Some of the skills are:
- Basic knowledge of HTML
- Copywriting (intermediate or advanced level)
- Proficiency in graphic design (intermediate or advanced)
2. Know the key ranking factors
Inasmuch as there are hundreds of factors that influence search engine ranking, not all of them are important. The vital factors that you should pay attention to include:
- Authority: The number of web pages and backlinks that a website attracts increases its search engine rating.
- Relevance: This has to do with the usefulness of the information. For example, a health post by a principal health website will be rated higher than a health post from say a tech website.
Websites that rank higher than your client’s website are the competitors. One way to outperform your competitors in the ranking is to review their website and copy what they are doing while improving on their potential flaws.
There is no better way to understand Google ranking than reading about Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines. The key features of this guideline include Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. There is more to this guideline but these key features should suffice for beginners.
3. Understand keyword and know how to choose the right one
Every good on-page SEO campaign should start with identifying the right keywords. The right keyword will help your site climb to the top of Google’s search result while the wrong keyword will leave you sliding to the bottom of the search result. There are lots of tools that you can use for keyword research.
Keyword research tools will give you a list of words or phrases that people are searching the most. It also tells you how difficult it is to rank on a particular keyword (keyword difficulty). When you discover keywords that people are looking for, the next step will be to construct an article around the keyword.
In the past, people stuff their articles with keywords and it helps them to rank better. However, Google’s algorithm has changed over the years. Repeating the same technique today will land you at the bottom of the search result. In addition to optimising your content, do the following:
- Include the keyword in your title
- Use the keyword or its modifiers in meta titles and description
- Image alternate tags should be descriptive and include your keyword
4. Link building
Google algorithm rate backlinks highly and you can use this to your advantage. Link building is a crucial part of any SEO campaign. To become an SEO expert, you need to master the art of link building. Link building helps to send organic traffic and referrals to your website.
When building your links, you need quality links and not just quantity. To get there you may need to build a relationship with your competitors. Request for guest posts in which you have links pointing back to your website. A good relationship always goes both ways. Thus, you may need to create a few posts that link to their website.
5. Technical SEO
All your SEO efforts can still be flawed if you don’t know about technical SEO. Unlike other SEO techniques, technical SEO focuses on ensuring a positive user experience. You want your visitors to always return to your website and not just one-off visit. Some of the things you can do in this regards include:
- Getting rid of broken internal and external links
- Improving page load speed
6. Be patient and never stop learning
As you may know already, SEO is an evolving field and there is always something more to learn. In 2018 alone, Google made over 3,000 algorithm updates. That automatically meant a change in SEO strategy. Some of the things you can do to stay afloat in the murky waters of SEO include:
- Join SEO communities on social media
- Read blogs, listen to podcasts, and watch videos on SEO
- Attend SEO conferences
According to K Anders Ericsson, it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to master any skill. Inasmuch as it is important to learn about SEO, spend more time practicing.
Your business should not suffer while you learn about SEO. One of the smart things you can do during your learning curve is to hire a perfect SEO services firm. Let them do the work until you are ready. This also reduces the amount of work you will have to do. Remember, the best time to start your SEO campaign is now.