Data from LinkedIn tells us that there are over 200,000 professionals working in SEO across the world.

Naturally, they’d be operating in different markets with different audiences. They’d be having different approaches, different challenges and different priorities. But what are the universal factors that will help SEOs progress in their careers and bring long-lasting results for their clients?

In this post, I’ll be sharing some universal truths and strategies for you SEOs. It doesn’t matter where you come from; you’ll have great success if you follow these principles correctly. Let’s see what they are.

It’s Never Too Late to Learn the Basics

I’ve spoken to so many different SEOs in different countries. It never ceases to intrigue me that there are some SEO specialists who know advanced strategies but still lack basic skills that you might consider as SEO 101. 

But this is normal – we all learn from our mistakes. It is not always possible to find solutions to your problems. Even though we SEOs are power users of Google, we don’t find articles or videos when we need them the most.

However, there is no doubt that if you keep digging, you will eventually find the solution or answer you’re looking for. You need to have the curiosity and the thirst for more knowledge.

Personally, I follow a lot of strategies to keep myself updated. My first go-to resource is YouTube. Whenever I want to learn something, I simply search for a YouTube video and it never disappoints me.

Then there are some very good blogs that I read regularly:

Then of course there is the Serpzilla blog, where my smart colleagues and I share our thoughts along with some renowned SEO experts from across the world.

If you are an advanced SEO, many times you might find that the information you are reading or watching might be very basic – like say rookie link building mistakes. However, once in a while you find some nuggets of knowledge that make you go Aha!

Finally, Twitter is the favorite platform of many smart digital marketers and SEOs. You can follow and engage with the best of the best here:

Put Your Knowledge into Practice

You can be the best learner in the world and you might have access to the best SEO courses, but if there is no way to put your knowledge to work, you’ll be at a huge disadvantage against SEOs who try new stuff all the time.

One easy option is to create a small website of your own and use Serpzilla to build some quick links to this site.

This is not necessarily a money-making method but it is the best way to get hands-on knowledge. Many SEO experts advocate that you should always be implementing SEO ideas on your own site.

There are many advantages to this:

  • You’ll be able to apply any and all changes quickly. No need to go to your boss or your legal department before you change a small piece of text on your landing page. Simply go ahead and test, test, test!
  • If something goes wrong or even if you mess up really bad, there are no repercussions because the stakes are not that high. The changes you make can be reversed. There’s no monetary loss, only learnings. Better to break your own website than lose your client’s money.
  • By working on more things, you become a T-shaped marketer. While you probably know your niche (SEO) in-depth – including on-page, off-page, keyword research, local SEO, etc. – you should also know about other digital marketing channels such as social media, email and PPC. If you want to be a well-rounded professional at marketing, this is an absolute necessity.

Working on your own website is the first step to climbing up the SEO ladder. At first, you build your portfolio. Then, your portfolio will build your brand.

You will get the confidence to create an SEO strategy and implement it for a small or local business. They might not pay you much, but it is an opportunity to prove your mettle before you go on to the next level.

Of course you shouldn’t try some crazy experiment on a client’s site, but you can surely implement well-known stuff that you’re positive about but not sure of (or can’t estimate) the outcome. For example, you know that all sites need backlinks, but you don’t know how many will move the needle for your client. What do you do? Start building and find out for yourself!

Do Advanced SEO Experiments

OK, now you know the basics, you keep yourself updated, and you also implement your SEO learnings regularly. It’s time to get some advanced knowledge by questioning long-standing assumptions for yourself.

Most SEO pros who have been in the industry for a long time will know certain secrets and hacks but they won’t always reveal them. But how do they come to know such hacks in the first place?

By running SEO experiments and doing SEO testing.

The first step to starting your SEO testing and experimenting journey is to form a hypothesis. Don’t just form any random or outlandish hypothesis – think of a scenario that you strongly believe has a good chance of working. For example, if you want to try and buy 5 backlinks a month for 15 days straight, you can try it. But don’t go for some black-hat method like buying an expired domain and redirecting it to your site. Getting it wrong will sink your site to the bottom of the SERPs.

There are a few points to keep in mind while carrying out SEO experiments.

  • You’ll need to be patient to see the outcomes. It could be 3 or 4 months at a minimum while 6 to 12 months is more realistic.
  • Collect a significant amount of data. One spike a couple of days after you begin testing doesn’t mean your test is successful. It doesn’t prove anything. You need to run the test over a longer period and monitor the KPIs closely.
  • Be aware that in SEO, there are a lot of external variables that influence rankings. You need to be sure of the impact of one of them. For this, you need to minimize interference from all the rest. For example, your client might make some technical SEO changes or run a PPC campaign while you’re editing the content of a landing page. This would make it impossible to attribute any increase in traffic to one of these activities.

Know How to Scale Up

Since SEO is such a fast-evolving field, it gets more and more difficult to stay ahead of the competition. Even if you have many years of experience, you can’t always call yourself an “expert” – you need to keep growing your knowledge.

But who has the time for upgrading oneself? Many day-to-day tasks in the life of an SEO are time consuming and need to be done frequently and manually. More often than not, delegation is the solution.

But hiring more staff works only in cases where not much thinking is required. In knowledge-intensive areas like SEO and digital marketing, you need to make smart use of tools. At every step of the way, you need to redefine processes by asking questions like:

  • How many articles do we need every month?
  • Which tools will we use for keyword research?
  • Should we use ChatGPT to create content?
  • From which niches can we get relevant links?

It is up to you to create a checklist of what you should and shouldn’t be doing. Share this plan with your employees – and give them the tools to help them stick to it. Consistency is the secret of scaling up.

Over to You

What methods, resources and processes do you use to increase your knowledge and skills in SEO? How important is SEO in your organization? What tests and experiments are you running? Please share with us in the comments!

  • Nick Kasey

    Product Manager at Serpzilla.сom. Nick is Serpzilla ambassador, traveling all across the world, speaking about the tool and establishing connections with the largest Indian companies. He helps SEO specialists to optimize their business-processes and to save up to 90% time on manual tasks.