There are multiple ways to become an SEO consultant, with no single path that will get you there. Many who work in this role today had traditional marketing roles before focusing specifically on SEO, but that’s not the only option.
There’s generally no specific background experience for becoming an SEO consultant, with many transitioning into the career from a range of various fields, not only marketing but information technology and business. In fact, if you look at job postings for search optimization jobs on LinkedIn and other similar sites, you’ll see many don’t even have requirements for a college degree. Of course, a bachelor’s degree (or higher) in marketing, business, IT, or a related field can help, but the most important requirement is to have SEO skills that are up to date and to be able to demonstrate them as well.
The answer to “How to become an SEO consultant?” isn’t all that straightforward as you can see, but these steps are some of the best to help you achieve that goal regardless of your education and background.
Understand the Basics of SEO
Much of what you need to know about SEO can be found online, including the fundamentals such as how search engine results work. There are typically millions of relevant results, and search engines like Google use an algorithm that ranks them based on hundreds of different factors, many of which no one knows or how they’re weighted, but there are some that are well-known. You’ll want to do plenty of research to find out as much as you can by talking to other experts and learning more about why it’s so important, such as an article by HowStuffWorks.
The main areas to master include keyword research, link building, on-page SEO, and technical SEO. Of course, given the complexities of SEO, an SEO-focused course like a digital marketing bootcamp can be a great way to grasp the fundamentals and learn about the tools SEO consultants use in a more structured environment that will provide the most up-to-date instruction. Just some of the other things you’ll need to know include the process of how searching translates into results, site crawlers and page indexing, and meta descriptions, among others.
As mentioned, SEO consultants and SEO experts of all types use tools for conducting keyword research and development content, such as Google Analytics and Ahrefs. They’re key for exploring relevant keywords, ranking factors, and backlinks. They can be used to analyze competitors’ content and SEO too. There are tools for nearly every aspect, like Google PageSpeed Insights for checking page loading times and Moz for auditing audience targeting.
No matter how many books you read about how to play chess, you’re never going to master it without actually playing. The same is true for SEO – you need to get your hands dirty by building your own website and practicing SEO. Choose a topic you’re passionate about, buy a domain and hosting, build a basic site and create content, putting your knowledge so far to work by optimizing it. Build some links and make sure it’s technically sound. You might start an SEO blog and share your experiences with that. Over time, you’ll probably find that sharing your knowledge also helps you learn more about SEO while helping others too.
Learn From Others
While you practice, follow the experts for inspiration and to learn how SEO can be applied on a scale. Spend time analyzing their SEO practices – those who’ve been there and done that have the expertise and confidence to experiment and try new things that can help you discover the latest and greatest way to tackle it as well.