When I first began working with websites and SEO, I had no idea at all what I was doing.
I was a complete beginner and felt overwhelmed with this vast amount of information I was supposed to know and put into practice straight away!
I will admit, even now I still struggle, and I’m considered a “professional” in my field.
However, I know the industry inside and out (for the most part - but that's what google is for right?).
So, that's why I am going to tell you 3 powerful things I have learnt in my 21 months in SEO.
Here's what I will be discussing.
1. I Learned Just How Important Keyword Research is to SEO.
One of the first things you will learn, especially when creating SEO content is keyword research.
Keywords are essential when it comes to ranking your website and content.
I know many people who couldn’t care less about keyword research and write or try and rank for everything and anything they can.
Trust me when I say that those type of people are frustrating AF to work with.
Now, are these people a success online?
Are their websites doing well?
Some do, but it’s rare.
The reason keywords are so relevant to SEO is that they help you get a general idea into what you need to rank for in order to get your business in front of the right people online.
If you target the right keywords, it helps to drive high-quality, organic traffic to your website.
Compare that to Facebook ads where you don't know whom you need to target until you've done a bit of testing (which costs money).
SEO is the foundation of your marketing efforts and effective keyword research is the pillar that holds your foundation in place.
There are many keyword tools currently that helps you do your keyword research. However, most of them can end up confusing you.
My favourite is Longtail Pro.
It's easy to use and gives you the exact information you need, and they recently moved their tool from a downloadable tool (which a lot of people didn't like) to a cloud tool.
If you do find yourself struggling with keywords, Neil Patel makes fantastic articles on keyword research, and I highly recommend you check them out.
They’ve helped me out a lot over the years.
Knowing how to find and validate target keywords is vital to your SEO campaign
2. Why Searcher's Intent Will Help You Win.
You’ll quickly come to realise that during SEO campaigns, you need to understand searchers intent.
It’s one of the things that should stick in your mind the most.
Searchers intent is asking yourself a lot of “why’s” why are they searching?
What are they searching?
What answers are they seeking?
Why are they searching for this topic in this way?
If you can put your mindset into that of a potential customer then targeting your website around this should help.
As a whole its to figure out why people are searching for specific things.
Google is very efficient at determining the search intent of people; They are more able to effectively rank pages and websites that fit search terms or “solve” users problems the best way.
If your website or pages fit the search query and solve a users problem, then you’re doing it right.
As an example; I used to run a gaming website with my partner, and we were doing keyword research.
However, our big mistake was not taking searcher’s intent into account.
We were writing content that didn't serve any purpose, or solve any problems.
Though we did gain first page rankings and drove some traffic to the website, we weren’t helping anyone.
I was writing about gaming facts that nobody cared about and being honest, weren’t relevant.
Hershey's Example (I love chocolate).
Another example I can think of (actually at the time of writing this) I want to know where I can buy Hershey's Chocolate in the UK.
The results I am shown are stores/locations I can buy the chocolate whereas if I searched “what are the Hershey's ingredients,” they would direct me towards blogs.
That is what searcher intent is and why it's important to optimise for it.
When it comes to searchers intent, you will typically see three different types of results.
Those results are educational intent (Answer to a question), purchase intent (Online stores/purchases) & branded intent (searching for brands such as Nike).
The potential you have to provide your users with information, to help them or drive them to buy something should always be kept in mind.
Fully understanding how to match the searcher's intent will help you win.
3. I Sucked at Creating Content (But I Did it Anyway).
Content is one of the parts of SEO that people don’t seem to understand.
Your content is going to be one of the more important foundations of your SEO campaign.
Content comes in many forms; there are five forms that it comes in:
You can combine all of these to improve your content by tenfold.
However, 80% of your SEO content will be article based.
The reason you will use article based content more than anything is that its the type of content that performs the best within the leading search engines (clearly video-based content will work best on YouTube).
You can use an article to sell a product or go in depth to solve a problem.
You Don't Need to Be Afraid About Creating Content
Content is also where you will begin to grow your site authority.
to suck at writing content.
My content creation process was a mess, and my finished pieces were a just a disaster!
I won’t lie I do sometimes still struggle with content, but it does get easier as you continue to create content.
I want you to go through this slideshow on Gary Vee’s blog on how he just creates content.
Badass content creators don’t just appear.
It takes years of improvement to become a badass.
I was also one of the people who didn’t understand why the written content was so crucial to a website; I thought it was pointless and a waste of time.
Spending most of my time writing for people not to bother reading it.
It genuinely used to anger me!
However; I quickly came to realise that if I can write high-quality content that brings a ton value then not only is it good for rankings, users will stick around a lot more.
People will even want to share my content which begins a snowball effect of link sharing.
It can even get me noticed by high authority websites/blogs and having good, well-written content is also easier for search engines to understand, therefore improving rankings.
My content is also a place where I can actively target keywords (again for rankings and to help with searcher's intent).
It’s also a place where I can let my creativity flow and space to help me out-do my competitors.
My content is where I can show that my information is more valuable than the websites I’m trying to outrank.
Even if you suck at creating content, publish it anyway. You can only improve by putting stuff out there.
In addition to that, you will always know something that somebody else doesn't making your content helpful.
So, Where Am I Currently?
At this moment in time, I’m still learning new things on a daily basis and improving my skills.
I genuinely don’t think I’m an expert in my field, I’m just a woman from Scotland who has a passion and the drive for digital content.
The world of SEO is ever growing and changing around me, and I’ll always be playing “catch-up” to the latest trends.
Everything can change in a matter of minutes, so I’ll always be on a learning experience.
Would I Change My Industry?
At one point, I would have said yes.
I would quit working on websites especially with SEO; However, this was in the beginning when I didn’t understand anything.
I was so confused, and it was a lot to take on board, and with how much I did struggle in the beginning, I genuinely was ready to quit.
Now, I wouldn’t change a thing!
I thoroughly enjoy working with clients and getting them results or carrying out the job exactly how they wanted and seeing how pleased they are.
Never have I been happier in a job than I am now working with SEO.
How You Can Start Utilising SEO.
Genuinely, it wasn’t hard to enter into this industry.
I started from home learning and working for myself (alongside my partner) with no qualifications to my name.
You can read our guide on SEO here.
I then began interning at a company - which for legal reasons I will not name - Which is where I learned a lot of my writing skills and SEO techniques.
From there, I started freelance work on various platforms and through agencies to get my name out there and build up a client database.
I then branched out and began to work for my partner and was primarily his content creator, editor and proofreader.
I was also onboard to help with SEO campaigns.
Basically; I learned on the job.
Now I find myself working at OutRankn as a content creator.
I won’t say it is going to be easy to enter this industry and I won’t say it's going to be hard.
Various factors could make it go either way, but for me, it wasn’t too difficult as I got lucky with the internship and successful freelancing gigs.
Tips I Have for Beginners
I would probably say to stay with it and be determined.
I started as just an ordinary girl, no qualifications, nothing special and now I’m engaging in something that is crucial to the online world.
My best tips would be to learn from someone more knowledgeable than you.
No matter how much you know, there's always going to be someone who knows more.
Please make sure you research everything no matter how irrelevant it may seem.
You may uncover some useful information that could be very helpful to your SEO career.
Where am I Headed?
Eventually, I do want to open my own agency/business.
However, for the foreseeable future, I don’t see me leaving OutRankn any time soon!
I play an essential role in the OutRankn team, and I LOVE my work colleagues (aka just Anthony haha).
My experience with SEO and my knowledge continues to grow working alongside the OutRankn team.
Plus we have a friendly office dog, so yep that's a bonus.
Wrapping Things Up.
As a whole, my experience with SEO has been stressful, yet enjoyable.
I’m a person who has a thirst for knowledge, and I take great pleasure in the fact that I learn something new every day.
Working in an industry so heavily reliant on SEO when SEO in itself is constantly changing is a new challenge every day.
There's so much to learn, and there will always be new things that come along which I will need to go through the learning process all over again.
What about you?
What are your experiences with SEO?
Do you work in the SEO industry?
Are you just trying to learn more about it?
Please let me know! I’m always interested to hear about other peoples experiences.
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