- Make a firm decision to get started.
- Learn from the SEO community by visiting respected forums and discussions groups.
- Subscribe to good newsletters and learn about what the experts say.
- Gain personal confidence through experience and practice.
- In the beginning, set some easy objectives to reach.
- Another easy way to shape your early skills is to learn from the experts by doing a course in person or online.
A beautiful website with no traffic or visibility can't survive in the business world. But a high ranking website that gets tons of traffic where no-one is compelled to make a purchase or take action, won't work for you either. Think "visibility PLUS a solid call to action."
In this article, I am going to outline a few options to help you build genuine SEO skills, but first it is important to think about what search engine marketing means. It is a fascinating topic, but it takes in much more than just the process of "optimization" alone. Search engine marketing is actually the process of optimization plus effective marketing. You need both of these elements for your website to be successful and to effectively make sales and convert that new traffic.
Here's the thing to understand. Highly relevant pages that are easily found in top search results also need to be absolutely engaging and have a legitimate value to the visitor. They need to compel a response from the visitor - and this is where you can truly begin making money and increasing your sales. Visibility for "quality content" combined with the skill to compel your visitor to "take action" is what will make a nice pay check and make you happy.
Get that idea into your head and you will already be along the road to increasing your online sales.
Okay, just before we talk about options for building your SEO skills, here are a few other important considerations:
- Accuracy of Information and Resources: It is extremely important to choose carefully where you get your training and the source that you put your trust in. If you are going to build your SEO skills, you need to understand where the information you are studying originates. After all, how can anyone possibly know exactly what the search engines are doing? Make it your goal to build the skills from those who can demonstrate long term accuracy. If someone cannot market their own services on the Web, how can they teach you anything?
- The Secret of Accuracy: I'll let you in our secret for accuracy. I believe that the only way that you can understand what a search engine is doing, is to actually research it. We research everything that we teach our students in our courses and Workshops, because it is the only way to know for sure what is happening. Researching does not mean listening to someone else's theories, it means actually testing and measuring the truth about how a search engine is behaving.
- There is no value in searching for 'tricks' or 'short cuts' or 'cheats' to try and fool the search engines. (The people who are selling you on these ideas do not make money in the SEO industry.) Don't waste your time going on a hunt for a little trick or two that will not deliver any genuine value. Ultimately, the best approach is to grow your understanding and grow your SEO skills.
Let's examine some real easy options for building genuine SEO skills.
There are a variety of ways to study and gain these advantages for your online business, but you may want to consider what your own objectives are with respect to the speed of learning and how important the turn around time is to you.
- One of the first tips I'll emphasize is simply to make a firm decision to get started. There are so many people that will buy a program or purchase a product, but for some reason have difficulty getting to know how to use it: as a result, they never do. So make up your mind right now that you are going to be one of them and that you're determined to do what it takes to learn and succeed. Don't be afraid that you'll make a mistake or do something wrong. Think about it. It is far better to get started on your SEO journey of learning and make a couple mistakes than it is to let months go by, never make a mistake and never get started.
- Learn from the SEO community by visiting respected forums and discussions groups. You may not get leading edge stuff (that costs money!) but you will get a tremendous amount of good information. And you'll also hear both sides of a story - pros and cons - from the debates that rage within the community.
- Subscribe to good newsletters and learn about what the experts say. Many of them are free to sign up to and they can be a great place to start learning.
- Gain personal confidence through experience and practice. Far too many people hesitate to test out their ideas. The sooner you build your confidence, the sooner you will realize the potential for what you can perform. In the beginning, start with a few of your own sites where you have full creative liberty without the demands or pressures that come from a client.
- In the beginning, set some easy objectives to reach. As you get comfortable competing at a certain level, then you can progress to take on bigger challenges. It's surprising how fast you can grow your skills with a little practice on a regular basis.
- Another easy way to shape your early skills is to learn from the experts by doing a course in person or online. Good courses are worth their weight in gold. Even better, good courses give you unrivalled opportunities to network with your peers and with other experts in person. Relationships forged at these gatherings can last for years and bring you wonderful benefits.
- Another tip for accelerated learning is to see if you can find an expert who will provide you with personal mentoring. Mentoring from an expert usually involves instruction combined with coaching and review work. The benefit is that there is nothing like having a coach or a mentor who is willing to teach you exact processes and strategies in person. It's ultimately one of the quickest ways to learn.
Whether you choose to build your skills over a period of time or whether you want to gain those SEO skills more quickly right away, the single most important thing to remember is to make that all important first decision to 'Get Started'. Then you can take your own websites, and eventually your client's websites, to a whole new level of success.
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About John Alexander
John Alexander is Co-director of Training at Search Engine Workshops offering live, SEO Workshops with his partner SEO educator Robin Nobles. John is partner in online search engine marketing courses and Director of the Search Engine Academy with local training workshops located throughout North America.