Many businesses and website owners wonder – is SEO truly difficult to learn as a beginner?
Search engine optimization certainly seems complex at first glance. But SEO doesn’t have to be complicated if you break it down into more manageable steps.
This comprehensive guide will explain what SEO is, why it’s worthwhile for your business, and how you can approach learning SEO in a simple, strategic way as a beginner.
What Exactly is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It refers to the process of improving your website to rank higher in search engines like Google for relevant queries.
The main goal is to drive more organic traffic and visibility to your site from search. More people see your business when you rank high in Google results.
For example, say you run an online shoe store. If you optimize your site for keywords like “leather boots”, you can potentially rank on page 1 of Google when someone searches for that term.
Being featured high in search results leads to:
- More website visitors
- Increased brand awareness
- More leads and sales
- Less need to spend on ads
So in short – SEO gets your website found by people who are actively looking for your products, services or information online.
Why is SEO Worth Learning for Beginners?
Some beginners aren’t sure if SEO is worth the time and effort to learn. But consider these statistics:
- SEO drives over 35% of all web traffic
- 75% of searchers never scroll past page 1 results
- 91% of online experiences begin with a search engine
- Higher SEO rankings can increase revenue by 2-10 times
Clearly, SEO delivers results. If people can’t find your site and content through search, you’ll miss out on massive amounts of potential business.
Learning SEO as a beginner sets you up for long-term sustainable growth rather than short bursts from paid advertising. SEO success compounds over time.
Many expert SEO practitioners today started out as total beginners. They simply took the time to educate themselves on SEO best practices and saw great results.
The basics of SEO truly aren’t that complicated once you break them down step-by-step. And the payoff for learning SEO is extremely rewarding.
Is Technical Expertise Required to Learn SEO?
A common misconception about SEO is that you need deep technical expertise. However, the basic foundational SEO skills can be learned by anyone, even with zero technical background.
For example, as a beginner you can learn skills like:
- Keyword research to identify topics and phrases people search for
- Creating website content optimized for those keywords
- Basic on-page optimization like meta titles and headers
- Building backlinks from other relevant websites
- Creating content that gets engagement and links naturally
These foundational SEO skills are more about content, research, writing, and outreach. Technical skills are not mandatory by any means, especially just starting out.
Later on, it helps to have some technical knowledge around aspects like site speed, mobile optimization, structured data, etc. However, most beginners can get started with core SEO without any coding or IT background. You can even outsource technical optimization to experts.
Great SEO results come from mastering the key fundamentals, not fancy technical wizardry.
Should I Learn SEO Myself or Hire an Agency?
When first getting into SEO, many beginners wonder if they should do it themselves or hire an SEO agency. Here are some pros and cons to consider:
Learning SEO Yourself
- Build in-house SEO expertise and ownership over efforts
- Cost savings from not needing to hire outside help
- Firsthand experience allows you to better oversee vendors if you do outsource later
- Significant time investment to self-teach SEO skills
- No guidance from seasoned experts
- Easy to make novice mistakes that hurt search performance
Hiring an SEO Agency
- Gain insights from experts with proven success optimizing websites
- Avoid common beginner pitfalls
- Enjoy hands-off approach and peace of mind
- Expensive monthly costs, usually $1,500+ per month
- Potential lack of transparency into what they’re doing
- Limited knowledge transfer to learn SEO yourself
As a beginner, it’s smart to start learning SEO basics yourself using online courses, guides, and communities. This allows you to get hands-on experience.
Later on, you may choose to outsource parts of SEO you don’t want to handle yourself. You’ll have the knowledge to oversee any agencies or freelancers better.
Learning the fundamentals also helps you vet potential SEO partners more intelligently.
6 Simple Steps to Start Learning SEO as a Beginner
Here is a step-by-step framework any beginner can follow to approach SEO in a simple, manageable way:
Step 1: Learn SEO Basics
- Read beginner’s guides to understand what SEO is and how search engines like Google work.
- Watch videos, listen to podcasts, or take online courses about core SEO concepts.
- Join SEO online communities to connect with experts willing to answer questions.
- Get a handle on basic techniques like keyword research, on-page factors, content, and link building.
You don’t need to be an expert right away. Consume enough entry-level information so you have a solid SEO foundation.
Step 2: Explore Your Website Traffic Sources
- Sign up for Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
- Check what websites, keywords, and pages drive traffic.
- See what visitors do on your site and where they come from.
- This helps you identify gaps and opportunities for SEO focus.
Get familiar with your current organic search visibility and performance.
Step 3: Set SEO Priorities
- Research keywords and topics most relevant to your business using tools like Google Keyword Planner.
- Identify 3-5 primary keywords you want your site/pages to rank for.
- Consider long-tail versions too like “best [main keyword] for [niche]”.
- Set targets for rankings and organic traffic from search.
Define your SEO objectives, targets, and metrics for measurement.
Step 4: Optimize Existing Website Content
- Improve on-page SEO of important pages targeting your primary keywords.
- Update page titles, headers, content, meta descriptions, etc.
- Fix technical issues like site speed and mobile optimization.
- Strengthen internal linking between related pages.
Start with optimizing what’s already on your site before creating new content.
Step 5: Create & Promote New Content
- Publish blog posts and long-form guides targeting your core keywords.
- Promote that content through social media, email lists, outreach, etc.
- Get links from other sites back to your new content.
- Focus on quality over quantity. Measure engagement and conversions.
Create truly useful content for searchers that also attracts natural links.
Step 6: Track Progress & Iterate
- Monitor keyword rankings and organic traffic in Search Console.
- See which pages perform best from SEO efforts.
- Expand your keyword and link building focus.
- Refine on-page optimization and content promotion.
Analyze results and double down on what works. Learn from initial testing.
Final Tips for SEO Beginners
Learning SEO takes diligence, but it mostly requires avoiding information overload. Stick to this process for digestible and effective learning:
- Master SEO fundamentals
- Assess your current search visibility
- Set specific SEO goals
- Test changes on existing site content first
- Create and promote focused new content
- Track data and iterate
Take it step-by-step. Measure results. Gain experience through real-world application.
Don’t get distracted by advanced tactics as a beginner. Start with core SEO skills, achieve initial wins, then build on that.
Step up your seo learning
Is SEO hard to learn for beginners? With the right strategic approach, absolutely not.
Break SEO down into smaller, simpler steps. Establish the fundamentals then put those into practice. Set aside time consistently to learn through training and firsthand experience.
While SEO mastery takes years, you can become conversant in SEO principles quite quickly. This will set you up for search success as a beginner.
Stick with it, track your efforts, and be patient. The compounding benefits of SEO are well worth the initial time investment.
So don’t be intimidated about learning SEO from scratch. With the guidance above, you’ll be on your way to search engine optimization success.