May 25, 2024

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Can Anyone Ever Master SEO?

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Can Anyone Master SEO?  

By: Ryan Becker, Head of SEO for Way.com 

A teammate asked me if I thought there were any real masters of SEO (besides me, of course). The short answer is “kind of.” The long answer is because Google’s algorithm is constantly getting updated and because search behavior is ever-evolving (think news trends), in order to completely “master” SEO a person needs to stay up-to-date with Google’s SERP changes and build a strong foundational understanding in technical SEO factors, content strategy, and multi-channel content distribution to know which levers to pull to adjust to increased competition and the evolving organic SERPS landscape.  

How much has it changed in the last 5 years?  

From a SERP features standpoint, it has changed quite a bit. Google continues to add new knowledge graphs and rich results to the SERPS in order to provide direct information into search results. For example, certain “local” search terms now give top positions to map packs tied to Google My Business listings. Other research-based keywords offer SEOs an opportunity to jump the competition if they can get into the “people also ask” sections or “recipe snippets” sections. Core web vitals and mobile-first indexing continue to put a major emphasis on user experience improvements across web pages as well.  

What advice do you have for anyone looking to get into SEO or content marketing? 

I have gotten this question a lot. There are typically two paths you can take to become an SEO lead. Both paths require a cross-study between content and coding. The first path is studying content strategy and content writing, which sets you up well for entry-level content marketing jobs. In a content marketing job, typically you dive into user experience, personas, conversion optimization, and content creation, and while you’re gaining experience in that you can learn technical SEO, which ultimately will improve the overall performance of your content campaigns for your company.  

 Path two is to find an entry-level SEO gig at an agency where you’ll spend a lot of time in excel, building reports, strategizing backlinks and PR efforts that support higher-level SEO strategies, and work your way into honing your creative skills on the side.  

Many technical SEOs might say you don’t really need the content creation skillset since you can just hire someone to build the content that the SEO strategizes but personally, I think it makes me more versatile knowing both and continuing to hone my understanding of both, because it lets me see a much larger connection between content and Google visibility opportunities  – allowing me to scale content through technical DEV solutions and improve the content at a more granular level that analyzes the creative, the links, and the schema.

One thing I will guarantee is that you never stop learning when you work in SEO, and the payoffs, when everything goes right, can have a huge impact on the business.  

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