How difficult is it to learn SEO for a beginner
How hard is it to to learn SEO for beginners? Do I need some prior knowledge? Can anyone learn it? Will I be able to learn it easily for my website? How difficult can it be if I want to learn search engine optimization to start a career? These are few questions which learners usually ask themselves before they go ahead to find how to learn SEO step-by-step.
It may look hard and may seem that year by year it is getting even more difficult. Yet the simple & short answer is that it can be as easy and as hard as you look at it. As you learn, how you learn and what you understand makes it easy or difficult.
The way I see Google is trying to make it easier, and not that complicated, although they do not communicate that clearly.
In my case, it is quite easy. I have ranked many keywords on Google first page.
I write on and about search engine optimization.
And I also teach how to rank steps and strategies that I use, in very simple, practical and easy to learn way in my SEO course.
How Hard is SEO in 2023?
Is SEO Hard? Is it getting tougher or easier in 2023?
This is what a beginner would ask whether they are beginning to learn. For someone who wants to do it for their own website or any business looking to hire services of an SEO consultant.
The first thing to know is can you learn it easily.
Second thing is to understand how difficult will it be in practice.
What this means is how difficult or easy it is to put in practice what you learn.
What is also means is asking about the time SEO takes, to learn and to do.
How we give you your answers here?
We help you understand how difficult it is to learn SEO by actually explaining the difficulty level of learning it along with the factors that actually make it look difficult.
Then you get the overview of what SEO is.
This way you get a better understanding of this digital marketing channel and you can get your answer more clearly.
And after are the resources to help you learn more about SEO including knowing the time to learn and do it.
Let us now get back to explaining it properly.
How hard it is to learn SEO from scratch, and do it
SEO learning level: Easy to Medium
SEO is not hard to learn from scratch & beginning. Like the keyword ranking difficulty (KD) scale (easy, medium, difficult) learning SEO is easy to medium. It may look hard due to the terms & technical aspects. The basics are easy while the techniques can be learned & mastered with practice. All you need is interest & time.
It is not difficult to learn SEO, in fact it is quite easy to learn it. It surely involves many aspects and different set of techniques which may seem difficult to learn, but they can be mastered with a step by step learning approach. Everything in SEO is practical and so you learn more as you do more.
Even the technical things in search engine optimization are not so technical and can be learned by anyone easily. You even do not need any technical or any particular education background.
Many early learners often get little stuck and confused when they learn that there are so many algorithms which Google has, and then there are updates and the machine learning it uses and all that stuff.
Can Anyone Learn SEO?
Yes. Anyone can learn search engine optimization. It is not hard to learn for any beginner.
All you need is to ask yourself this. How do you want to learn SEO and when do you want to start.
People from all backgrounds can learn how to optimize for search engines.
You do not need any particular technical knowledge to begin learning it.
Graduates and even under graduates from any background can start learning it.
Why SEO looks like a hard skill to learn, while it is not?
What makes beginners think SEO is hard to learn?
It is mainly the technical things, jargons, the misinformation about all that and the perception of having to master all that. This is what actually creates the fear that learning SEO may be too hard. But it is not.
There is another thing which makes it look hard to learn. When a beginner starts to know about it then it surely looks difficult. Why? Because for a total beginner learning SEO means learning so many things from keywords, types of optimization to content, off page & link building.
Learners may also confuse themselves as to what SEO actually is. Is it marketing, is it technical? And also about what type of skills or aptitude it may need. Both technical & marketing actually require specific skill sets or abilities. And as it is a part of digital marketing then it has to be dynamic & difficult.
But, like the whole digital marketing, search engine optimization is not a hard skill to learn and master.
Let us help you understand how and why SEO is not that hard or difficult to learn as you think it to be. Let me go back to algorithms.
The algorithms (the term itself) looks so technical but you do not need to worry about it, really. You just need to learn how to do SEO which is more like complying with Google, that’s it.
Besides, when you really understand the purposes of these algorithms then you realize these are actually guidelines to help you stay on the right track (white hat) in SEO. These guidelines are not so difficult to follow & practice.
These algorithms are to make search and SEO related aspects more clear. But that is for Google. All that machine learning & algorithms result in few simple guidelines which everyone can follow.
If you can write an 8th standard level good content in English language, if you can do some search and research to find keywords to write content for and use on your website and its pages, if you can find websites which you can get links from and most of these website are from where your competitor website are getting links, you can learn and do SEO pretty well.
The only thing that may seem difficult is spending time to do it. Doing is learning in SEO. And yes, you need to learn it from scratch, and properly. And we also suggest a step by step process to learn SEO easily.
Breaking down of how tough it is to learn SEO professionally
We assess the difficulty levels of learning SEO by looking back at the three learning phases we talked about in the above section on how long it takes to learn it.
The phase 1 of SEO learning is super easy as you have to learn all the basics. The reason why it is easy to learn SEO basics as they are very practical.
Going to the second phase of learning it is still easy if you have understood the basics well. At this stage it is all about doing the fundamental SEO and looking closely at what results it brings. This way you learn how to do SEO in a practical way.
The third phase of learning SEO is just a little bit tough. On the difficulty scale this phase is still medium. Still, we say tough because it takes more time here and needs you to be more observant. At this stage you will witness many new things happening. All you need to do is stuck to the basics and right way of doing SEO and look for answers to questions that are thrown at you by the results or the lack of results from all what you have done in SEO so far.
Now that we understood how hard it is to learn search engine optimization as a set of skills, why it looks hard and that it is not that tough to learn, let us go to the next question which is about the time it takes to learn.
What is SEO
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is also called as organic search engine optimization or organic SEO.
SEO or search engine optimization means and involves specialized and unique methods and techniques which we do to help improve the visibility of a website on search engines.
We all have searched for something on major search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and others. We go to a search engine, we find a search bar and type in a query. What we see after that is a list of results on the page. These results are websites or web pages and the ones that we see first or are placed higher on that page are actually ranked at that place by those search engines.
Search engines are the platforms which people use to search for and find information and also products, services and companies and lots more. These are platforms display search results with relevant websites. What SEO does is make websites appear higher in those search results for all relevant queries and keywords.
SEO is actually a continuous and multi step process involving various techniques and methods and strategies. What we do in SEO is basically target certain keywords which are important for a website, optimize the pages and content of the website for the same keywords and then make those pages rank higher on search engine pages, again for the same keywords. The objective is to increase visibility of our website for those keywords and related queries to get organic clicks and visitors from search engines to our website and its pages.
SEO does this with a detailed and inter-connected three step process of technical improvements, on page optimization and off page SEO marketing.
It first finds keywords relevant for a website and therefore for the business behind the website; it then optimizes the website and its content to make it more relevant for the targeted keywords, and then it builds authority of the website to make it rank higher those targeted keywords in order to drive higher and increasing number of search traffic.
What are Search Engines
Search engines are where all the action take place. They are center of this search engine optimization field, and drive the industry and its professionals.
If there were no search engines there would have been no search engine optimization or SEO.
Search engines started way back somewhere in the 1990s. Back then they were called search engines which were created to work offline as a retrieval system.
Several such search engines were launched during that time and many more launched even later. The Archie search engine was the start, which was the first search engine. Archie was a program which downloaded directory listing of files and created a searchable database of names of such files which were located on various FTP (File Transfer Protocol) site.
What we know and call search engines of today are web search engines. These were started with the creations of Aliweb, Jumpstation, Infoseek.
Major search engines of today
This is a small list of some of the most popular search engines in the world:
- Google.com - https://www.google.com/
- Bing.com - https://www.bing.com/
- Baidu.com - http://www.baidu.com/
- Yahoo.com - https://www.yahoo.com
- Yandex.com - https://yandex.com/
- Ask.com - https://www.ask.com/
- DuckDuckGo.com - https://duckduckgo.com/
- Wolframalpha.com - https://www.wolframalpha.com
- Lycos.com - http://www.lycos.com
- Excite.com - http://www.excite.com
The Ranking of websites: How do search engines work
The basic function of a search engine is to find you most relevant information from web. They have created programs and systems find and display the most relevant search results for each of the queries that anyone searches.
Crawling – read website content
Indexing – categorize discovered pages
Every search engine needs to find and discover pages. For this each of these search engines use spiders or bots to crawl various websites which are accessible. This creates their database of websites and webpages.
The second step is to categorize these discovered websites and webpages. This categorization is by keywords, key phrases which are taken from the content of webpages. This adds those webpages into Google search index and that of other search engines.
All the websites and webpages are indexed according to their content and keywords they are using for their relevant keywords or topics. This creates their relevancy for keywords and queries.
This also builds the base for ranking of those websites and webpages.
All the higher ranking websites appearing on the search engines are search friendly or SEO friendly websites, which are optimized and have the desired authority to tell Google or other search engines to show them for their respective targeted keywords. Now it is upto the search engines to decide how best is their optimization and authority and at which position or rank these websites will appear.
After this there comes the various factors which search engines use to evaluate the content, optimization, backlinks in order to present the best website, webpage or essentially the content within all the indexed pages and content for every query.
Search engines have developed methods to show best of the results. These methods are actually algorithms which evaluate all the websites and then display the best ones. Keywords play the central role here. Although content of a page is the most important aspect but it is the keywords which provide direction and indication towards the subject of a page and its content.
The algorithms are a set of rules and guidelines which search engines follow to find best websites. Each website is assigned a score and this score decides the position at which a site will appear on search engine page. This position of these websites on search pages is called as ranking of the websites.
What are Google Algorithms
When you enter the world or SEO and for those like me already here, two things which we will always be hearing and reading about is “best practices in SEO” and “algorithms or updates”.
Google first created the algorithms. One of the best ways to understand these algorithms is to see these as set of functions and rules working collectively to evaluate so many different factors related to a website so as to decide its relevancy, position and rank in terms of various topics and sub topics which it talks about in its content.
Google’s algorithms are a complex set of systems that work behind search engines and basically set up and guide the way results are displayed. There are several such algorithms which look after different aspects of the functions of search engine.
Some of the major Google algorithm updates are:
- EMD or exact match domain
- Universal search update (2007)
- Personalized search
The Basic Techniques of SEO
- Keyword Research
- On-Page SEO
- Technical SEO Optimization
- Writing or Optimizing Content
- Off-Page SEO (which mainly includes link building)
To even furher simplify this we can divide and categorize all the techniques and steps into two broad categories.
- On Page SEO
- Off Page SEO
On Page would start with finding keywords and then going on to using on-page SEO techniques, following the required technical SEO optimization techniques and steps and writing or optimizing content or doing both.
Off Page SEO mainly covers link building and all the type of promotion or connecting including content writing that is done outside of your own website.
This is SEO simplified for beginners in 2023.