The Most Effective Way to Become an SEO Master

By Daniel Scocco

A couple of months ago a friend of mine asked my help with one of his websites. It is an online store that sells sports equipment, and he hired a local web agency to revamp the design and the site structure.

Long story short the agency completely destroyed the optimization he had on his site, changing all permalinks, putting the same title tag on all pages of the site and so on. As a result the good rankings he had disappeared over night, and he was pretty pissed.

He set up a meeting with the agency to discuss the issue, and he asked me to go along with him to back him up and to give my take on the issue.

After talking for 5 minutes with the guys who owned this web agency I realized they didn’t have a clue of what they were talking about. I pressed them a bit with some technical questions and one of them said:

“Hey man, I know this stuff, I am even doing the Google course!”.

To which I replied:

“What Google course? Google doesn’t offer any SEO course officially.”

The guy started mumbling and couldn’t explain what course he was talking about. Then I asked them:

“Okay forget about courses and books, just give me the URL of a couple of sites you managed to increase the search rankings and the traffic. And please show me the Google Analytics so I can see the organic traffic numbers.”

Silence…

In the end the guys admitted that they didn’t know much about SEO, and I gave them a to-do list of things they should do to fix my friend’s website.

But my point is: there’s only one way to effectively learn and become good at SEO, and that is by getting your hands dirty and doing it.

Sure, books and courses can help, and there are some good ones out there, but all the books and courses together represent only 10% of your learning curse. The rest will come from hands-on experience. From building 10 websites from scratch and failing with 9 of them, while making one to the top of the search rankings and seeing your organic traffic explode.

Only when you try to do the stuff yourself you’ll understand and learn what works and what doesn’t, which methods are effective and which are not.

I was inspired to write this post after reading a similar post on Shoemoney’s blog: If You Are Such a Hotshot SEO, Why Are You Trolling For Clients?.

If you are starting to learn about SEO stay tuned for tomorrow’s post as well, when I’ll review a set of SEO tools that can get you going a lot faster.




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13 Responses to “The Most Effective Way to Become an SEO Master”

  • Brad

    I couldn’t agree more about having to get your hands dirty. You can read all you want but if you’re not in there, testing and playing around you’ll never know.

    Sorry to hear about your friends site getting messed up. Great post and good luck getting the site back on track.

  • bibin wilson

    well said ..everything comes from experience.

  • LearnOnly Heart

    you have rightly ponited that you should get involved in your site so only you can mange better
    although it is difficult for non technical but it is possible
    thanks

  • makemoneywithAmanda

    I run into people daily who want to get into blogging and internet marketing. They have a website built and believe that as long as they have a good looking website,people will come. Some people don’t realize that there are millions of sites. It’s so easy to get caught up in the technical aspect of your business that you forget about driving traffic and seeing actual results. Great article.

  • jorge jacobo

    They could have benefited with your Onlineprofits course. Maybe we should tell them about it.

  • Lee Ka Hoong

    What I think is that we always have to go through the “trial and error” process by ourselves to figure out which work and which doesn’t work for us, just as what you said. Theory or technical information that people give, it may be working for them, but may not be working for us. It’s all depending on personal experience. The more you try, the more you will figure out.

  • Kris Harris

    Exactly why I learnt to do SEO myself. I’ve spent a fortune in the past with web agencies “offering SEO” The best way to learn is to roll the sleeves up and get stuck in. If you’ve got good content the rewards will soon come.

  • Bob from SEO Service UK

    I totally agree that it is better and easier to understand things when you have a hands on approach, like you say, doing courses and what not is great but it’s not untill you actually give it a go yourself that things start making sence and coming together.

  • Andi the Minion

    Th problem is people get scared of SEO, it sounds so much hard specialised secret work that newbie website owners willingly pay for the so called experts to do it for them, as you say, they can be as clueless as the newbie. It really does help to learn it yourself, it de mystifies it all and gives you at least an understanding if some other SEO company is trying to rip you off.

  • Brandon

    That’s why I dropped out of college! Learning and taking courses can be fun and interactive…but only to a point. Real-world experience is in a league of it’s own. Excellent points and examples. Anything good takes time.

  • Ray

    I highly agree. If you want anything to be done right, you always have to do it yourself. I was once in a similar position your friend was in. I’ve paid an SEOer to take care of my seo, and just over night, my website became a completely mess. So what i did was went to the local library and got a couple of books regarding SEO. This way i no longer have to rely on anybody doing my seo.

  • Blogging Tips

    My mother always told me, “Practice makes perfect.” I see it still plays a role in todays world as well.

  • Shyam @Scorpiongod Lair

    Wooed nice interesting story. I agree to your point because I highly believe your words. I’d like to get a SEO to-do list from you. Thanks

    -Shyam

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