Very often I get the call – “Can you teach me SEO?” and I’m asked how many hours, how much, what tools are needed etc. It’s a tough call because it takes a long time to learn SEO, simply because the number of skills involved aren’t available in a book. You can learn technique fairly quickly but putting it all together into a traffic-building plan will then take a while after that.
So what’s involved?
Well, I have been a mentor to a few people in the past and what I did was explain that in order to keep on top of SEO you needed to keep your ear to the ground. It’s like any kind of PR job – you can learn in a book that you should send a press release to company A for these types of releases and you need to contact person B for that type of press release but actually refining that into a process that can be handled quickly, every day and accurately is where experience and skill comes in.
It’s like anything, you learn to almost ‘smell’ when something is right.
For example, writing a press release is a great way of getting publicity and it also gets you some good link juice from some powerful websites, but how do you write one? This is a skill unto itself and being a good writer is almost as important as knowing good SEO.
SEO should be ‘natural’. The hope is that you’ll publish information, videos, images etc. and people will like them (not so much in the Facebook sense, but you get the idea) and will therefore promote your resource. Getting into a mindset is all about learning what people want to read, how you can help them and in what format it would be better to be consumed.
Therefore, if you want to become better at SEO and therefore self-promotion, I would suggest getting yourself a mentor to ‘nudge’ you in the right direction every now and then. Find someone who’s done pretty well at it, maybe in the same industry as you (difficult, they’re unlikely to give up secrets of their number one position) and then take their advice to heart. Test it, of course, and then apply what works.
But also, keep that ear to the gound – things change quickly around here, you need to be ready to change with trends.