FINAL How to become a powerful SEO Pro
[00:00:00] Hi, it's Olga Zarr from SEOSLY. Welcome to the SEO Podcast by #SEOSLY. Today I wanted to talk about a very important topic, which is how to become a real SEO pro,
[00:00:17] someone who is way better than others, someone who taste the lead. There are a lot of ways SEOs can do to become better. I've been in SEO for more than 10 years. I have really seen a lot. I have really done a lot, experimented with lots of things. I have been a mentor to many, many people who are starting out, people who have some experience, and today I just wanted to share with you like 31 things that I.
[00:00:46] Think are kind of transformational. If you apply them to your s e O career, to your s e O job, you will really become a very powerful, even dangerous SEO. So let's get started. First thing about 99%, don't quote me on that, but that's more or less about 99% of SEOs do not do all of the things I'm going to share.
[00:01:14] If you do all of them, then you will be in the top 1% of SEOs who are really moving the needle, who are really like taking the lead who are thought leaders in SEO industry. So let me share those 31 dips. Things, steps you can take to become better, more powerful SEO. The order of those things is totally random.
[00:01:37] It doesn't really matter in most cases, in what order you complete the steps. It's important that you are aware of all of those steps. You kind of somehow incorporate them into your SEO career. So step number one, if you're just starting out, this is especially important if you're just starting out. You need to really have like very, very deep and solid understanding of how SEO works, how search engines work, what is crawling, how crawling works, what's like indexing, how indexing works.
[00:02:14] What's ranking, how ranking works. There is fortunately a very nice document called SEO Starter Guide created by Google. It's available in Google Search Central. It's part of Google documentation, and I believe everyone starting out or even not starting out should always like. Refer back to Search central documentation because this is really a goldmine of, of like best practices and steps and technical knowledge for SEO.
[00:02:45] So this should be like your essential reading. Even if you are, as I said, even if you're already in the field for some time, you will definitely find something interesting, something useful there. Tip number two, you won't be able to become a powerful SEO if you don't create your own website. I know a lot of people who are like doing everything to avoid creating a website.
[00:03:11] They just want to consume the content. Read. But they don't want to apply, and this is probably the biggest mistake you can do. You have to absolutely create your own website, and I don't just mean one website. You have to create a bunch of website, break them, test them, do all crazy things with them, see them fall, see them rise.
[00:03:33] Without doing that, you won't be able to become a competitive seo. So my SEO career started with basically just creating websites. Building them, destroying them, breaking them. Everything I've been doing for the first three years of my SEO kind of career at that time. Was creating websites, putting AdSense on them, growing them, killing them, and you also, I believe, have to be doing that.
[00:04:02] Next is keyword research. So without knowing the keywords, the topics you want to create content around, you won't be able to rank sites. So keyword research is kind of the fundamental thing in SEO. Of course, there are tons of different tools for keyword research, and I recommend you play with. A lot of them so that you find your favorite tool, you create your own methodology for, for doing keyword research because keyword research is like the basis of course, like everything is now changing.
[00:04:36] We have ai, we have entities, we have like entity SEO. So we have to, of course, not only think about keyword research like. About just looking for keywords. We have to think about that in a more, like from a bigger perspective, that this is just, that, this is like looking for topics, semantics entities, stuff like that.
[00:05:01] Next is on page, so you have the, your keywords, you have your terms. The next thing for you is to actually know where to put them on the site, on the page to so that Google knows what this page is about and is able to rank it. So OnPage SEO is crucial. There are tons of great guide and OnPage SEO. This is one of them.
[00:05:24] I strongly recommend you dive deep into OnPage SEO because like OnPage SEO and backlinks are basically the two things that work in SEOo, and I would say, On page s e o is like 70% backlinks is around. 30%. I would say, this is what I'm seeing from my observations, my, my tests. You can really nail down a lot of phrases with just doing on page s e o number five, technical, s e o.
[00:05:56] You should be fluent in technical SEO. You should know like the most important technical SEO concepts. You should know how to crawl the site, how to analyze the results, because sometimes I. Technical SEO optimizations in most cases won't translate into better rankings, but if there are some serious technical issues on the site, the site simply won't be able to rank.
[00:06:22] So you have to be able to see that this site has no index tag and that's why it's not ranking. So technical SEO become like familiar with it. The next thing is auditing skills. So this is something that. The more experience you have, the easier it'll be for you to look at the site and see immediately that what problems this site has.
[00:06:48] There are a lot of videos on my channel where I do live SEO audits of websites, so I strongly recommend you watch them, but you have to know how to audit the site. You have to know what to look for. And don't use automated SEO audits. Like every tool is able to create an automated SEO report, the SEO audit, that will show you the all the mistakes or the issues.
[00:07:14] But in most cases, you have to like add your human element, human, human brain to interpret those things because. Very often, in most cases, this is not exactly what's happening with the site because those tools, at least now don't think, they just analyze based on the factors that they have, and you have to analyze it.
[00:07:35] This data and SEO auditing skill is one of the most important skills for you as an S E O. Because this will enable you to work with clients to sell audits as a service and to really like understand what's going on with the site and why it's not ranking and what you can do to improve its rankings. You have to know HTML and CSS number seven, so at least the basics.
[00:08:03] Of course, you don't have to be a web designer, web developer, but you need to know like HTML basics. CSS Basics. There are tons of free courses that will walk you through that even in a practical way. So Code Academy is one of them. So make sure you, you know, HTML and CSS basics number eight. You need to know how to measure your s u success.
[00:08:29] There are a lot of vanity metrics you have to be wary of because. Like bounce rates, the old metrics that's now going away, this is a huge like vanity metric, and you have to really know what to measure. In most cases. What's, what will show you whether the SEO is working? Is, is the site bringing more money, more business?
[00:08:53] Are your s e O activities bringing more money to your client, more leads, and if they're bringing leads, are these quality leads? Usually there is a connection to more business, more leads, more money in a huge natural. Of course, there are a lot of other metrics like. Organic traffic, but then again, we have to think about the quality of organic traffic.
[00:09:19] The one huge vanity metric are keyword positions. Of course, they're important because high positions, usually minimal traffic, but not always. That's why just blindly following keyword rankings, tracking them without like looking at other aspects, is usually a waste of time. Number nine. I suggest you get certifications.
[00:09:44] There are tons of ways to get certifications. The one I started with when I was starting out in s e o was search engine optimization specialization at uc Davis. It is available on Coursera. It takes around, I think, six months, and you will have all the basics, even more advanced knowledge. You will also learn about, I think, link building a bit social.
[00:10:10] You'll get like the, the knowledge that an SEO, theoretical knowledge that an SEO should have. And, uh, I strongly recommend you, you take that course and of course there are other courses as well. Whenever you do that course, complete that course, put it on your LinkedIn and try to implement something practical from it.
[00:10:34] Number 10. There are so many tools. Most of the tools offer some kind of a free trial, and if you cannot afford to buy those tools, at least play with their free trials. Of course, GA four, Google Search Console, they are like essential for you. I strongly recommend you play with website crawlers like Screaming Frog or Jet Octopus.
[00:11:01] You have to know SEO tools. You have to like them, and there is a link. I will put a link to my favorite SEO tools I use on a daily basis. You don't have to be using like 100 SEO tools to be a good seo. You just have to find the set of tools that work best for you and just make sure you are using them to their full advantage.
[00:11:26] Number 11, algorithm changes. Algorithm updates. You have to know what they are, how they can affect a site, how a core update can affect a site. The best person to refer to regarding a algorithm updates is probably Mary Haynes, Lily Ray and Glen Gabe. One thing you have to know is that. If a site suffers as a result of an algorithm algorithm update, in most cases it is not able to recover until another core update happens or yet another core update happens.
[00:12:05] Assuming that all the like optimizations improvements have been done, and you also had have to know that. Core algorithm update is usually a relevance kind of update that Google is changing what it now values. It is not a penalty, like Google Core update is not a penalty and you shouldn't be thinking about it like that.
[00:12:31] 12 networking is invaluable. You should be networking with other SEOs because this is how you will get the most experience. This is how you will get connections. Of course, SEO forums, conferences, even online conferences, and of course places like LinkedIn and Twitter where. Aton of very useful discussions are happening local s e o.
[00:12:54] Whether you do local s e o or you don't, you should have a clue about what it entails, how it works. There are a lot of nice SEO courses. This is the one I can, I recommend you, you check. I haven't been deep into local s e o, but now I am kind of learning a lot. And soon I will be offering even local s e o as part of my services.
[00:13:18] So stay tuned. Practice SEO O on a daily basis. So this kind of ties back to having a website, but do something. Practical every day you can have a spreadsheet of all the URLs on your site and or on your all websites and just do something practical every day. So let's say you observed something in, in sbs, you think that you did analysis and you think that, for example, you should add more.
[00:13:49] Entities to like the first paragraph of your site or your pages you want to rank for a specific topic. Then you do that on this day. Next day you optimize title tech, anything. Just, just, just do practical stuff because this is what will make you a better s e o 15 Follow SEO thought leaders. Like ladies hol, like myself, Barry Schwartz, Glen Gabe, Lilly, Ray, Mary Haynes.
[00:14:20] I can just keep, keep on going. They are great and they are very happy to share their knowledge with you for free, which is really like the best opportunity for you to learn. Everything I share for free. So you can also like go back to my blog, see my old blog posts, watch my other YouTube videos. Aida Solis is also, she has her learning.io learning seo.io website where she kind of curates all the best content around SEO from all the SEOs.
[00:14:56] Make sure to check that. Join SEO communities. The one I strongly recommend is SEO is Google Search Central Health Forum. Which is where I kind of started. This is a great place to both learn practical, s e o and also get clients. So you simply go there and you answer people's questions around seo. In many cases, you'll have to look something up.
[00:15:23] You'll have to. Read something, you'll have to check something. Maybe you'll have to like crawl the site of the owner who asked this question and you will really learn a ton. So when I still had time, because now I don't have time, I was doing that for a couple of hours every day and I was learning so much.
[00:15:43] So I strongly recommend, and if you like, Start answering people and fixing their problems, they will simply directly reach out to you for more help. 17. Develop skills in data and analysis. Like with the ai, now everything is even more, I would say focus on having those skills to analyze data, to draw conclusions from data.
[00:16:11] This is also the skill you should have. You should also know in the future how to use AI tool tools to do those types of analysis for you. There is like one great course you can take from Google. It's free course about Google data analytics, so I strongly recommend you also get interested in that. This is the biggest one.
[00:16:35] Never stop learning. S e o, like you should be learning s e o all the time at all times. Some ways I learn SEO like constantly is through SEO podcasts. So I listen to SEO podcasts whenever I can, when I am walking the dog, when I'm driving, when I even when I run on a treadmill. Hack here is to listen at a faster pace.
[00:17:01] Recently I even switched to listening at 1.75. So you can really consume a ton of content in a way relatively short period of time. And of course, YouTube. On YouTube, you'll also have a ton of interesting, like videos, tutorials, guides, lectures. So both, both YouTube and podcasts are a great way to learn. S e o.
[00:17:25] In addition to, of course, reading like popular SEO blogs or reading books about SEO o and I invite you to subscribe to my SEO podcast and to subscribe my SEO channel. If you haven't done this, done this already. Create an impressive portfolio. Assuming that you have done some of the things I have already talked about.
[00:17:47] You have your own website, you managed to bring some results to your website. You had some client whom you helped, maybe you, you finished some, some courses. This is something you want to put in your portfolio. This will be your credentials for your potential future clients or people interested in cooperating with you.
[00:18:10] You should have like one central. Place where you put all those things together. So for me, this is my SEO consultant page on my website where I put all the videos I appear in, where I put all the publications I'm cited in, or all the articles I write on other websites, like On Search Engine Journal. And I strongly recommend you do that.
[00:18:35] And of course you should also have that information on LinkedIn. Whenever you have some new project, new certificate, put it on LinkedIn too, and maybe even share it with your audience that you're celebrating, like getting like another CER certification 20. Uh, it is not essential for you to be a coder to be a good s e o, but having some basic knowledge of programming language will be will be really helpful.
[00:19:03] You don't have to be a coder. You don't have to be like someone who is creating programs, but just like know how it works. Again, there are tons of like basic courses which you can complete in like 10 hours or something and you will at least know more or less how it works. The one I can recommend is this one at Udacity Intro to Python, but there are of course, way more other courses, so check this out.
[00:19:33] Become proficient in gsc. Out of all the SEO tools that are out there, Google Search Console is probably the most important one. So you should be spending a lot of your time every day in Google Search Console because not only is it the technical SEO tool that is showing you from a technical SEO standpoint what Google is seeing, what issues it's reporting, it's also showing you.
[00:19:59] Users who are visiting your site through Google Organic, through Google Discover. This is like the all around, I would say, all in one SEO report for your site by Google, and you should truly spend a lot of time in it. Another one. This is the one I'm struggling with the most and probably a lot of technical s e o people or people who are spending a lot of time at their homes who work remotely.
[00:20:27] You should develop strong communication and consulting skills. This is something you can learn. This will help you like get more clients to have better communication with your clients. There is one. There's an interesting article about that on the Bruce Clay's website, which is about like five powerful soft skills that every SEO should have.
[00:20:51] I recommend you, you read this one. Another one. Content marketing. SEOs, especially technical ones, are not really into writing, but very often in our job we have to like do some content optimizations. We have to create an outline. Even. Even if we're technical seo, those things happen and if you are, if you become proficient in content marketing strategies, this will make you a better SEO overall.
[00:21:21] Again, here is a nice guide that will walk you through like content marketing, how it works, what it involves, what are some of the minor small things you can do to, so that the page is better in terms of like, Content marketing. Not necessarily only seo because OnPage SEO is one thing, but having the page nailed from a marketing perspective is, is something a bit different.
[00:21:47] 24 schema markup. This is, this is not a ranking factor, but schema is very important because if you use like the schema that results in rich results, then you will have. Better presentation in sars. There is also like different schema that is not like seen in search results, in in results, but which can really provide a lot of information for Google.
[00:22:10] So I strongly recommend you take a deeper look at schema. I would say. Go more advanced in schema. I suggest like doing something that that in links can help you with where you mark in schema, for example, the entities you talk about, the entities you mentioned with links to Wikipedia. This is like, I would say higher level because everyone is now using those rank math Yoast plugins and they add this basic schema like person, organization, everyone is having that.
[00:22:44] So I don't think. Those types of schema have any impact anymore because this is like the baseline. But if you like go a bit deeper, especially in rich results type of schema, Google has like Google Rich Results Gallery where they show you all the types of schema that can result in in rich results. And you should definitely take a look at that and analyze if those types of schema are okay, for example.
[00:23:11] For your website or for your client website. Another one, ai. You shouldn't be neglecting AI and what's happening because it is certain that our job as SEOs will evolve is evolving, but it doesn't mean that SEO is dead. You just have to embrace AI that. There is AI and that you have to know how to operate it to become more productive, more efficient, to automate some things.
[00:23:40] And the the way search results look is also like going to change is changing right now. So you have to know like what you are now aiming for. Probably looking at the latest Google generative search experience, you may. You may think that you probably aim for top three results because this is what Google is now showing alongside the AI generated answer.
[00:24:04] So keep an eye on that. Here is a very nice live event we I had with Doda when we talked about the future of seo ai and how you should really approach AI and chat G P T and those. Technologies. Another one, project management. So this is also something that you have to have a clue about because. If you work with more than one client, if you work on more than one site, you will have to have a place where this, all those tasks around those sites will be organized like deadlines, priorities.
[00:24:41] So definitely take a look at that guide. Some of the project management tools you can use are, for example, Asana, though I am, I have everything organized in Apple Notes and in Apple reminders. I have like special folders there. And so for me, this is like Apple ecosystem and Google Sheets, but there are a lot of other options as well.
[00:25:04] But make sure you use some. Understanding SEO reporting is also crucial. You have to know what an SEO report should include. What a good s e O reporting includes. You don't want to be reporting on vanity SEO metrics because you will be fired so, Make sure you understand as you're reporting. I also recommend learning about Google Looker Studio.
[00:25:31] This is the best, probably the best tool for you to create impactful, meaningful, awesome looking as you reports. It is usually a good idea to specialize in one area of s e o. Then you will have very targeted people coming to you. Like, for example, you can specialize in dentists, s e o, in lawyer, s e o, in technical, s e o.
[00:25:56] This is not like necessary. You can be an all around there, but usually it's way more difficult. So, for example, I specialize in s u audits. SEO analysis, visibility analysis, strategy, creation, and lawyer, s e o. And I suggest you also have like your niche within SEO O because SEO is a very broad niche. Now, how to pitch SEO services?
[00:26:22] You may have to pitch SEO services, so you should have some skills. Here's a guide from me, and in this guide I basically share with you how I was able to grow my client base. And I have never pitched a single client. I was able to do that because I was creating a lot of free content. I was putting a lot of guides.
[00:26:47] I was simply growing my visibility online, and clients came to me through the content I was creating. That's also a very good option, but it requires a lot of time. If you need a client right now and you don't have a following to ask for help, then you probably. Need to use ads or some direct pitching conversion rate optimization.
[00:27:12] So SEO is meaningless without conversions. So that's why you have to know what a conversion is for your site, for your client side, and you have to know how to optimize for those conversions. The final step is you can set up your s e o consultancy. For me, being an s e o consultant has always been my dream, and this is something that I really enjoy.
[00:27:38] It gives me the freedom, the flexibility. I can choose what clients I work with. I can also choose like how much I charge. When I work, how much I work, and I really enjoy that. But of course, this is not the only path. You may simply prefer having a job and working at specific hours, having free weekends, because for me, free weekends don't exist.
[00:28:03] So it's totally up to you. But I think you may consider becoming an s e O consultant because. This is really cool. So here is my full article about how to become an s e o, where I go even into more details around what you can do, what courses you can follow, like some things you should do, you shouldn't do.
[00:28:25] So I, I invite you to check this one. Of course, I invite you to subscribe to my SEO newsletter. I usually send a weekly SEO newsletter with all the best s e news like tips, the best materials from other SEOs. So I strongly recommend you subscribe. There are like more than 5,000 subscribers, and we're happy that it is growing.
[00:28:50] So I hope you will become my next subscriber as well. Of course. Subscribe to me on YouTube if you haven't already. I am growing my YouTube channel and if you like this video, please share it, like it comments and yeah. And I will see you in the next video. I hope you like this video and it helped you. And if you have any questions, if I'm missing something, please let me know in the comments below.
[00:29:16] Thank you and see you in the next video. Bye-bye.