An aesthetically pleasing website is not enough these days. There are an ever-growing number of factors that will impact how well your site performs.
A year ago, Google introduced new metrics to help determine how well a website was performing. This was intended to make developers consider the user experience more closely.
These metrics determined such areas as how long the landing page took to load. This affects bounce rates, and in turn, affects areas such as SERPs.
Many metrics determine how far up the results pages a website will be displayed. Search engine optimization is vital if a website is to appear in organic search results.
However, to many SEO can seem complex. So much so that there is a whole industry of experts who are employed to improve a company’s websites for them.
According to PR Newswire, the SEO agency sector is now a $40.92 billion market. It is expected to be double this by 2025.
As a Beginner, What Exactly Is Seo?
This term simply means the methods used to improve a website’s performance and where it appears on search engine results pages (SERPS).
You could consider it as being akin to a tune-up for a car. Performing SEO means taking a good look under the bonnet of your website, and seeing what needs adjusting, and what is already working well.
There are different types of SEO, and also good and bad practices.
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Local SEO
- Technical SEO
The first two types are fairly self-explanatory. These refer to what happens on the site, and what happens away from it.
The areas that this type of SEO refers to, include the content on your site, and the keywords used within.
It can also refer to other areas such as internal linking and metadata.
This is all the stuff that happens away from your website but still affects its performance.
Backlinks are important for SERPs, and these form part of off-page SEO. For instance, if a respected authority links to your page this will help your SEO. This is why guest posts can be important for building up your site’s visibility.
This refers to optimizing your site so that it is found by people in your immediate vicinity. Adding your site to Google My Business for instance is one step to improving local SEO.
And lastly, this area of SEO refers to things such as loading times, and how the site is actually structured.
There is also good and bad SEO.
Why Is Some SEO Bad?
If you are trying to learn SEO to improve your own website, then it is vital that you learn good practices.
You may have heard of white-hat, and its opposite, black-hat SEO. If you have ever seen a western movie, you will probably be able to work out which one is the good one, and which is the one to avoid.
White-hat SEO techniques follow the guidelines laid out by Google. The black-hat methods go against all that is recommended. So, why use these methods?
The reason that some people use black-hat SEO techniques, is that they bring about quick results. However, they can lead to disaster for a business ultimately as the site will likely slip down the SERPs.
For SEO to work properly, a long-term strategy should be put in place.
Is Learning SEO Difficult?
Learning the basics of SEO is not difficult at all, but optimizing a complex website can be quite daunting.
It is the complexity of many websites that makes businesses turn to experts in the field instead. Many modern businesses will employ an SEO Agency to assess their website and devise a strategy for improved performance.
If you are keen to learn some SEO methods then you will obviously want to know how long this could take.
Just a few weeks or a couple of months should suffice in the basic areas of SEO.
To fully understand all areas of SEO will take a lot longer.
How Long Should It Take to Understand SEO?
To become an expert in SEO could take 12 months or even longer. Some would say that no one ever masters SEO.
The cause for this is that Google adds and adjusts metrics every year. Last May saw the Google Core Web Vitals arrive to help improve UX.
Next year may see some different metrics added. No one can be quite sure what areas will be most important for good SERPs.
There are some constants though. Content is always crucial, as are good links, being mobile compatible, and using the best keywords and phrases.
Why Do You Need to Understand SEO?
According to Meticulous Research, the ecommerce sector is expected to be worth $16.2 trillion per year by 2027.
Of course, there are an almost endless number of businesses looking for their share of this enormous revenue.
To be successful means having a website that can function to the best of its potential. This requires good SEO, and a long-term strategy to keep it performing this way.
When a person searches on Google, the results that appear are intended to be the most relevant. For this to happen, the web pages themselves have to contain content that relates to the search.
The best SEO practices will make sure that a website will appear in these results. People today have short attention spans, if a website doesn’t contain relevant information, they will leave swiftly.
How Can You Start to Learn SEO?
There are countless websites, YouTube videos, and blogs, available to help people get into SEO.
Websites such as Backlinko and Neil Patel contain invaluable SEO advice, as does this one.
It may be fitting to say that the basics could be learned very quickly. You should easily pick up a few quick SEO tips for your business.
There are SEO groups online, and you may even find a mentor to help your progress. Just like any new skill though, it takes practice.
Could Social Media Have an Influence on SEO?
This is something worth asking as some people believe social media doesn’t have a direct effect on SEO, and others believe it does.
One thing is clear though, using social media can increase visibility and the links you post will increase the number of visitors you receive.
There are some great social media strategies you can use to improve your SEO, including guest posting for influencers.
Adding posts to social media means that you have content over a greater area, and it will also last longer. Social media can also be very effective at helping local SEO.
Learning the basics of SEO is not difficult, but may take a little practice to perfect. You will start to understand how some elements of SEO work, and which practices are the most effective.
To really become proficient in SEO though, may take some serious work. It could be 18 months before you feel capable of taking on a complex project.
SEO experts are often called in by businesses to perfect their website’s performance due to the amount of work needed.
However, if you have a keen interest in SEO, there is no reason why you cannot seek out some resources and learn some methods yourself.