Monday, 15 November 2010

Learning SEO and Things You Should Know

It's always interesting when I get emails or see comments about people that want to learn SEO and think it's something you can literally 'do' just like that. Well thank fully, it's not that easy! Frankly, if it was, I'll be out of a job myself, and so would a lot of people. That said, there's the simple bit you can do and there the more complicated bit. How far you're willing to go to learn SEO is up to you...

SEO isn't a one plan fits all
With SEO, what I can do for my site might not work for yours. Yes, there's a general rule and basic rules to follow when it coming to optimising a website, but there are certain things which are unique to each website. For one thing, each website tries to achieve various goals and conversions. Yes, they would have the general SEO goal of increasing traffic to a website, but what about the micro-goals? Goals more specific to the website, like signing up to a newsletter or buying a specific product being offered by a website.

SEO is a bit of trial and error
I'm pretty sure a lot of people won't agree with me on this but that's the truth. Trial and error comes into play when you're trying to find the right design which would increase conversion rates and reduce bounce rates on a website. And sometimes, a keyword which you think would bring in tons of traffic and conversions could end up being the wrong choice for your business. Sure, the right keyword research could and should prevent that from happening, but it can still happen...

SEO isn't done in a day
Learning SEO can't be done in a day. So when people come to me and they're like they want to learn SEO it's hard, really hard to say do this and that's all. You can't teach programming in one day, or web designing, SEO is the same thing. Just because there isn't a degree for it (yet) that doesn't make it any easier... Basically, there isn't a shortcut to learning SEO, sorry!

SEO requires patience
Unlike other things you do with computers, including programming, with SEO you don't get immediate gratification. Link building can take months to take effert, adding content can take days to get indexed, things take time. A perfect example would be when you create a brand new website, it takes days, sometimes ever weeks for it to get found on Google, and even longer on other search engines, sometimes running into months! So when it comes to SEO, patience is a virtue!

SEO requires a lot of reading
Yes, you don't have to go to school to learn SEO, but in exchange you need to do lots and lots of reading. It inlcudes following other SEO blogs, and twitter accounts to know what's going on. If you're not willing to read then there's no point trying to learn SEO, unless you just want to do the basics and be done with it. If you're interested in learning and doing SEO, get ready to read! Not just published SEO books (which I still haven't read suprisingly) but blogs related to the SEO industry.

This turned out to be longer than I planned and I still have some other ideas about SEO in my head, but so I don't end up scaring people, I've decided to leave it at this... But if you have your own opinion about learning SEO, I'll love to hear about it. Please drop me and an email or comment to share your ideas...

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