No doubts that the Internet is full of information related to SEO. There are dozens of different guides, courses, and lessons on the web. Sometimes it makes you dizzy. It is especially hard for newbies to find the right angle to approach SEO.
Since most of us continuously lack time, we simply can’t afford to spend days absorbing the content that does not entirely cover our needs.
Thus, the only question that comes to the mind is – Where to start an SEO journey?
I am going to tell you how to learn SEO in 2019 hustle-free.
Let’s get into it!
SIDENOTE: If you curious about how to promote your website on a shoestring budget, you definitely should watch this video:
1. Free or Paid SEO Courses
When it comes to SEO educational evolution, the first thing I think about is “practice”. If you review SEO chronology, you will see that there were no institutions specialized in SEO. All the aspects of search engine optimization were examined systematically. Piece by piece.
Thanks to these observations, we can find complete courses and lessons that cover various SEO aspects.
However, lots of SEO gurus offer paid SEO courses. And the price can reach thousands of dollars. It is costly, isn’t it?
You might think: “if a course costs lots of money, it can give me some sacred knowledge of SEO.” Moreover, you won’t find any better information at all.
Well, this is not absolutely true.
The main difference between free and paid courses is that paid courses can save your time. In other words, you will get all the necessary information regarding SEO in a single course. And if you have a budget to buy an SEO course, you should choose the courses created by real SEO practitioners. It is important to absorb the information from the professionals who do SEO and not just know the theory.
Even though paid courses are beneficial, I want to show you how to learn SEO free of charge and get a result.
2. A Couple of Contradictions for the Start
It should be stated that search engine optimization is an unstable industry. It is too dynamic and full of contradictions regarding the strategies that appear one by one.
Why does it happen?
First of all, it is completely impossible to predict new updates that Google might take for its algorithms. Due to this reason, SEO professionals have to implement new strategies that would go in line with the rules of algorithms. It means that the appropriate strategies “yesterday” won’t work “tomorrow.”
Thus, the question is “how to stay tuned learning SEO?”
You must explore different SEO communities and forums, pay attention to what SEO gurus say, and test various strategies in practice.
3. What Hat Should You “Wear”?
Newbies might not know that SEO can be divided into a few types that are different from “hat colors.” There are three of them:
“White hat SEO” that adheres to all the rules created by Google.
“Black hat SEO” that aims to deceive and fudge the rules of Google.
“Grey hat SEO” that walks the line.
You can follow any of these SEO ways, but I encourage you to choose a “white” hat one. Wearing a “white” hat, you will be protected from Google’s penalties and keep your website safe. Other than that, you must realize that your competitors might be avid admirers of “black” hat SEO strategies. These shady tactics aim to outrank your website to dominate your niche.
4. Start with the Basics
I would recommend you to start your educational process with reading these guides:
- 1. An absolutely must view video from Matt Cutts where he explains how search works
- 2. A starter guide on SEO by Google that is a must read for sure
- 3. And the beginner’s guide to SEO from Moz
5. Competitor Research
If you want to dominate your niche you must know everything about your main competitors. The truth is that you can discover what strategies your competitors use and use this knowledge to your advantage. Furthermore, you can see what mistakes your competitors make and avoid them eventually.
I would recommend you to get familiar with these two guides on Competitor research:
- 1. You must know the key factors you should pay attention to during Competitor research and the guide from Nathan Gotch will help you with this (SEO Competitor Analysis).
- 2. If you are curious about running competitor analysis using only two tools, read this guide
6. Keyword Research
It goes without saying that any SEO strategy involves keyword research. Sometimes newbies think that keyword research is all about finding the juiciest keywords for optimizing their content. However, if you don’t take into account a search query intent, you won’t succeed in your keyword research.
Just to remind you – there are three main types of search query intent: informational, navigational, and transactional. If you understand your target audience’s query intent, you will choose the right keywords.
And a few guides that you can’t pass by:
- 1. The definite guide on keyword research from Brian Dean
- 2. How to do keyword research for SEO from Ahrefs
7. Content Audit
Every website contains some sort of content on it. The primary goal of any content is to be useful for users and to represent some specific information. However, if your website doesn’t have indexable content, the crawlers won’t have a chance to read it. As the result, the pages on your website won’t be shown up in searches.
That’s why it is important to run a content audit properly, and the following guides will help you with this:
- 1. Everett Sizemore updated his guide on content audit in 2017 but it still rings the bell
- 2. A step-by-step guide from Eric Siu is a must read for sure
8. On-Page and Off-Page SEO
Search engine optimization of the website can be divided into two parts – On-page and Off-page optimization. The importance of these types of SEO is difficult to overestimate. However, each of the types includes some specific elements that you must know.
To put it simply, on-page SEO is responsible for what your site (and all the pages on it) is about, while off-page SEO works on your website’s authority and popularity.
These guides will help you understand both on and off page SEO:
- 1. On-Page SEO: Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimized Page (2018 Update)
- 2. On-Page Ranking Factors
- 3. On-Page SEO: An Actionable Guide For 2018
- 4. The Only Off-Page SEO Walkthrough You’ll Ever Need
9. Technical SEO and Website Audit
The phrase “Technical SEO” sounds a bit scary for newbies most of the time. Yes, it seems hard to delve into technical things like indexability of the website, site speed, mobile optimization etc. Here is a couple of hints for you:
- 1. Go to Google and ask it
- 2. Search for the information across SEO communities, forums
- 3. Hire an SEO professional who would help you out
I advise you to review these three guides:
- 1. Ultimate Guide: How to Make a Website in 2018
- 2. Technical SEO Audit Checklist for Human Beings (2018 Update)
- 3. Step-by-Step Guide to a Technical SEO Audit
10. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
If traffic can’t be converted into sales, it makes no sense. All the efforts that you put into your SEO might be in vain if traffic doesn’t work for you as it should. That’s why conversion rate optimization matters.
To give you a clear idea of what CRO is, I would like to provide you with a definition from Omniconvert:
“CRO is a crucial online marketing activity for all search marketers who want to maximize revenue from SEO, PPC, & other forms of online promotion that attract traffic on-site. It can also highlight or missed opportunities. It allows search marketers to track and keep up with ever-changing customer preferences and motivations.”
The guide on CRO I would recommend you is:
11. SEO Tools You Can’t Miss
I believe that it would be super difficult to optimize a website without specific tools. Thus, here is the list of the tools that will be useful for you:
- 1. Google Analytics (track and report data collected from the website)
- 2. Screaming Frog (analyze key onsite elements)
- 3. Pingdom Site Speed tool (increase your site speed)
- 4. Ahrefs Tool Suite (use a wide spectrum of SEO tools in one place)
12. Keep an Eye on Your SEO Progress
Obviously, tracking the progress of anything you do is essential. This rule is applicable to SEO as well. Google Analytics and Google Search Console are the tools that will help you.
A few guides that you should review:
13. To Conclude
As you already noticed SEO is a complicated craft. It consists of different components that aim to improve your website ranking positions. Without using SEO strategies your online business won’t gain traction.
I have just listed the articles and the tools that every newbie must be familiar with. If you start to learn SEO, you will have to be patient. Both the process of studying search engine optimization and the results you’ll get from it take your time.
The main principle in an SEO science is your insistence!
If you found this post useful, feel free to share it on social media channels. And don’t forget to leave your comments 🙂
How To Hire SEO Services To Help You Grow Your Business?
How To Hire SEO Services To Help You Grow Your Business? Who is an SEO freelancer, and SEO Agency, look out for when hiring for SEO services
Many businesses (local or international) want to have better rankings on search engine result pages, meaning more traffic and more sales. But the process involves doing this isn’t common knowledge, especially amid competitors; hence an expert is required.
The expert here has to optimize a business website to rank well on Google or any other search engine. Finding the right service, especially if it’s your first time, can be a daunting task.
The difficulty involved is understandable, especially when one looks at the uncertainties of a service like this.
Well, we’re here to simplify the process for you and build confidence while doing so.
This article is going to take you close to knowing what’s required or expected from a freelancer or agency offering freelance Search Engine Optimization services.
Before we get further let’s clear the air about the differences between an SEO freelancer and an agency.
1. Who is an SEO freelancer?
An SEO freelancer is mostly an individual who offers SEO services, usually a small part of the process. When hiring an SEO freelancer, it’s not always for a whole task as this wouldn’t just sit right.
For instance, you can hire an SEO freelancer to build backlinks of a particular type of drive social signal to your domain name. The whole SEO process of a business or company will be too much for a single person to handle.
To hire an SEO freelancer, it means you know precisely what you want to be given. To be as straightforward as possible, only an SEO expert is advised to hire a freelancer; otherwise, you should consider hiring an SEO agency.
2. What is an SEO Agency?
This is an organized team offering SEO services holistically. They comprise of a group of experts handling all SEO parts and sometimes give the custom report. Of course, they come at a higher cost from its sound, but if you ask me which is better, I will pick the SEO agency any day. Example of an Agency is Webfx.
Let’s get down to a more critical part of this article.
3. What to look out for when hiring for SEO services?
Some things can determine if you’re about to hire the right SEO service provider or not. Consider the following tips:
a. Previous jobs:
This has got to be the most important tip on our list. Finding out previous jobs handled by an agency or whoever you’re hiring makes you ascertain if your site will be in safe hands. Previous positions are done and how it pans out can give you confidence showing that your site is in safe hands.
You can take the niches and the projects’ sizes into consideration as this will give a heads up on what the service provider can handle.
b. What problems are easily spotted:
This is where a site audit comes in – it doesn’t have to be in-depth at this stage, but a brief point where a problem is visible can go a long way to show proficiency.
Many tools out there can generate a quick audit it’s left for your potential employee to add words to it, it can be compared to your competitors. Not all site audits can be done by an online tool, so it’s left for the agency to prove its expertise.
c. Possible fixes:
Remember, at this interview stage, things must not be necessarily in-depth, but answers should be able to pinpoint possible holes.
This can be derived from the site audit gotten from a previous stage.
Most agencies are always glad to lay down what needs to be done as this is a stage where new clients are convinced or lost.
d. When do I start seeing results?
This is probably the first thing in every employer’s mind. SEO takes time to kick in; no one no matter the level of expertise can say for sure the day or week results will be seen. However, a time frame is predictable.
The experts should be able to put curiosity to rest and estimate when results should turn for the better.
e. The price:
Of course, there’s a price, and this will determine whether the deal goes through or not. Unlike, freelance SEO services SEO agencies have a list of packages where you can choose from.
These packages make sure everything is well spelt out, so you don’t have to pay extra charges when the project is underway.
f. What happens when the contract is over?
Being concerned about the post-contract period is also necessary. Questions like “Will my site be in the upward trend after the project?”, “Will things go wrong after the project?” “What should I expect after this contract expires?”
This is where you can learn on small things to keep doing or to avoid si you reap from your investment in the long run.
4. Where can you find SEO service providers?
You can hire freelancers from platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, where you find people worldwide who offer different SEO services listed there. One way to find out the right man for the job is by looking at reviews from past clients. Also, looking out specifically for people on your niche should be a factor too.
Finding an agency isn’t difficult as a simple search on Google will lead to a list where you can start your digging to find the one that suits you in all sense.
Some of the well-known agencies are:
- Ignite Visibility
- Straight North
- Super Star SEO and many more.
For a list of top SEOs agencies, you can go here. You might also want to use a local SEO service in your country, which may come with its advantages – Google has also got you covered.
In this time, you shouldn’t be in haste, as hiring a low SEO service provider can result in very harsh consequences. So, make sure to take your time.
You can also do more than talk to an agency you want to hire; you can perform an underground check to ensure their expertise. No right service provider goes unnoticed – something somewhere must have been saying about their services.
Lastly, getting yourself a braced with SEO basics is necessary as everything can make sense even if you can’t do them yourself.
Should I Hire An Agency Or Build An In-House Digital Marketing Team?
Hire An Agency Or Build An In-House Digital Marketing Team? Why Hire A Digital Marketing Agency, Why Build House Digital Marketing Team
You are confused about whether you should hire a digital marketing agency or build your digital marketing team? Read to know the pros and cons, along with the differences between both of them to make the right decision for your successful business growth.
Don’t Wear Different Hats! Hire A Digital Marketing Specialist!
If you aim high to expand your visibility and drive more organic traffic your way, you will need to take your marketing quo an inch higher.
It can be difficult and not-so-beneficial to look after digital marketing with already handling too many operational responsibilities. After all, it is a whole new world of different elements and strategies.
So, hiring digital marketing experts can help you scale up the game. But the immense confusion is to decide whether you should hire a digital marketing agency or build an in-house digital marketing team.
If you wonder what is more cost-effective and can drive better results, find the full breakdown of both to decide what approach your brand needs.
1. Why Hire A Digital Marketing Agency?
Hiring a digital marketing agency is somewhat more beneficial because it offers a more extensive range of services and has a bigger team of experts from different spheres.
The hiring rate for agencies has substantially gone higher after the pandemic because these experts can work from home without joining your team physically.
However, assessing the agency’s expertise and work ethics can be more challenging. Furthermore, there are countless meetings, long hours of discussion, and lengthy contracts involved.
- Digital marketing agencies have specialists with years of experience onboard.
- They work with multiple clients at the same time and have a higher level of competence.
- In most cases, a highly-renowned digital agency will have prior experience in your domain. So, they already know effective tactics to expand your business outreach.
- Their diverse team includes one digital marketing specialist for almost every strategy so that different marketing perspectives are carried on at the same time. So, you get a pool of talent when you hire an agency.
- Apparently, hiring an agency drives better results even when you are not paying for different individuals.
- Moreover, agencies are more scalable and provide strategic insights into your effective business plan to grow your brand.
- You have to fully trust a digital marketing agency and its strategies to see where the ideas lead you without interfering in or gaining a dominant control over the agency’s plans.
- Digital agencies are quite expensive compared to hiring a few employees who do their respective jobs in your workspace.
2. Why Build an In-House Digital Marketing Team?
In most cases, the challenge of finding the right people and the high budget lead people to prefer the other marketing approach, i.e. building their own in-house digital marketing team.
Well, making your marketing team isn’t at all a bad option if you hire potential candidates carefully. Moreover, you can easily hire freshers at a much lower cost.
- Having digital experts in your workspace increases their engagement and passion for learning and growing.
- By physically joining your office, the employees get more familiarity with your brand and have more in-depth knowledge about your needs.
- If you hire the right employees, you can form a dynamic team that goes hand-in-hand with your company.
- Your employees are only focused on your business goals which are opposite to the case of an agency where one digital marketing expert handles multiple clients simultaneously.
- You have full control over your team, meetings, and the entire marketing plan.
- Building an in-house team also gives you the flexibility to change the strategy, restructure your team, or even fire the employee if there is a severe lack of work ethics, skills, or motivation. On the contrary, you need to sign a fixed contract with agencies where you don’t get enough flexibility.
- Finding the right talent and employees with years of experience is difficult.
- A team of few candidates can sometimes be less efficient and take more time to finish specific projects.
- Building your team not just requires hiring new people but also requires purchasing premium software, enough resources, furniture, and a large workspace.
3. The Bottom Line
Crafting and implementing a well-deliberated marketing plan needs expertise and is time-consuming. With the right digital marketing expert around, you can gradually reach your target audience, generate more leads, and get a high return on investment within a year.
If you have a valuable network of marketing experts, are low on budget, or have a highly innovative product that needs more people to work on consistently, you should go for an in-house digital marketing team.
Contrarily, if you are on a higher budget, aiming for bigger goals, and looking for renowned experts, an agency is the right choice for you. So, the decision primarily depends on your requirements and long term business plans.
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