How long does it take to learn SEO & be an expert in it in 2021?

Hi, I am Praneeth.

In this blog I will walk you through how long it takes to be an expert and learn SEO in the field, is SEO really worth your effort, and the pros and cons in detail.

Without further ado let’s get started.

Here is a 30000-foot view of the blog post.

Definition of an SEO expert.

definition

SEO means Search Engine Optimisation which clearly means optimizing your website according to search engines so that you can drive maximum traffic to your website.

An SEO expert in the name itself refers to a person who is an expert and has high-level knowledge and experience in Search Engine Optimisation.

Most SEO experts have the following skills in their bucket.

  1. Constant learning and practice.
  2. Understand the fundamentals of SEO.
  3. Ability to find good keywords using the right tools.
  4. Great SEO copywriting skills to maximize conversions.
  5. Ability to build quality backlinks.
  6. Being flexible and aware of the changes in the industry.
  7. A high level of patience.

With that said let’s have a look at how much time it will take to learn and become an SEO expert.

How long does it take to learn SEO?

how long does it take to learn seo

Over my experience and understanding in SEO for the past couple of months, 

I think, somewhere between 6 months can be a good period depending on your interest and your work,

There are a lot of things that you need to learn in SEO like,

  1. Keyword research.
  2. Basic concepts of SEO.
  3. Learning the basics of HTML.
  4. Copywriting and content creation skills.
  5. Website Promotion and link-building tactics.
  6. Learning case studies of SEO and being aware of the latest best SEO practices.
  7. Optimizing the technical aspects of the website.
  8. Understanding the metrics of important tools and how to use them for SEO like Google Analytics and search console.
  9. Competition research.
  10. Learning how to use WordPress the right way for maximum SEO results.

There are lots of other things you need to learn hence, it takes at least 6 months to learn, practice SEO to see if your knowledge is real and working or not.

You should keep in mind the important rule of SEO that,

SEO is not about writing techniques in a notebook, rather it is about creating a website and implementing the knowledge you have, that is how you learn SEO and be the expert.

It is more about implementation and action than learning and cramming SEO-related stuff.

You can easily learn SEO and drive traffic to your website by optimizing your website for search engines if we are just considering keyword ranking SEO.

How long does it take to be an SEO expert?

You might be wondering what is the difference between learning and becoming an expert of SEO,

Hold on,

Almost all the bloggers must have known SEO and implement it or understand the basics of SEO,

But not all of them are SEO experts isn’t it.

In order to be an SEO expert,

There are lots of varieties in SEO like,

  • Local SEO.
  • Recovering a penalized website.
  • eCommerce SEO.
  • Voice search SEO.
  • YouTube SEO.

Other than normal keywords ranking in Search Engines.

It takes at least a year to be an expert in overall SEO with constant learning and practicing ideas pretty regularly so that you can start hiring and work for clients and earn money.

Important Note: 

If you want to become an SEO expert so that you can drive maximum traffic to your website then let me tell you something.

For SEO to work to a particular website there is no fixed time like 6 months (it depends),

And even if you aren’t an expert in the industry, you can still drive tons of traffic to your way.

There are lots of variables in SEO like,

  • The niche of the website.
  • Competition in the niche.
  • The link profile of the website.
  • Content of the website.
  • Online reputation and authority of the website.

That is why SEO for a person can be like,

Content creation, link building, and promotions, regular audits, etc but SEO to some other person can be just about creating content and doing some basic SEO work but nothing more than that like link building, etc.

Overall SEO strategies depend on individual websites depending on the variables mentioned earlier.

But today SEO in most cases is a long-term game because Google has become way too smart and advanced technology and competitive.

Ever wondered why SEO is longer, let’s figure out it.

Why is SEO so long & Is that really worth the effort?

There are 5 major factors of any SEO success in 2021, they’re these:

  1. Domain age.
  2. Relevance.
  3. Content quality.
  4. User experience.
  5. Quality backlinks.

Let’s have a better understanding of these factors in detail here,

  1. Domain and content age.

wordpress vs blogger

This is the primary reason why SEO takes so much time,

Despite Google disagreeing with the fact that domain age is not a ranking factor,

Several case studies by the industry experts came to a conclusion that,

Domain age does have an impact on your search rankings.

It goes like this,

Higher the domain age-more content on the website has (most of the time with usually more natural backlinks)-higher the credibility it has from Google-higher the experience and good reputation it has in the industry-higher the rankings are in Google.

Another thing is content age,

If we keep aside 2 scenarios where content age may not impact much like,

  • If the keyword competition is low.
  • If the website publishing the blog is highly authoritative.

Otherwise,

You won’t see a blog ranking high on search engines after a week or two when you have published it.

It is because content age is also a huge ranking signal for Google algorithms most of the time.

This is the main reason why SEO takes so much time to see results.

  1. Relevance.

If you know how a search engine works,

You are familiar with this, let’s say,

In Google, it finds the most relevant result to the query searched and ranks it on top in search results.

It’s not just about keywords rather it’s also about the content which has to be relevant to what the query has been searched for by the user.

So content relevance is an important ranking signal.

  1. Content quality.

how long does it take to learn seo

Even though Google disagrees content length to be a ranking factor,

In many case studies, it is proven that,

Higher Content-length tends to rank high in search.

It is more often than not,

Higher content length correlates to better content quality as more detailed information is there in the post which is better for users so it ranks higher than the one which is short and of bad content quality.

Here is a perfect example,

2000 words content with lots of data divided into multiple subheadings, case studies used explanation, with lots of examples, infographics and media is much better content which is high quality than blog posts with 5000 words content with only fluff written on any topic.

Quality does not come only from the higher word count, it also comes from unique data, multimedia, and the way content was written and the point was explained with unique and different perspectives,

To produce such high-quality content, it takes a good amount of time and effort which results in the fact that SEO takes time to see results because,

SEO today and in the future, it is more about an individual post’s content length and,

Quality over the number of posts published which was the case a few years ago, this is what Google prefers, so do users.

  1. User experience.

User experience signals is also an important ranking factor,

If you think about it for a second,

All the Google updates that happened in the past have one way or the other tried to accomplish better UX.

Let’s take an example like,

  1. Panda update-penalizing low-quality websites.
  2. Penguin update-penalizing websites trying to spam search results with lots of spam links.
  3. Rank brain update-understanding the search intent of the keyword and observing the user interaction with search results.
  4. Core web vitals update-making websites load fast and secure for users.
  5. A medic update-penalizing website with low authority.

All these updates one way or the other move in the direction of improving the UX.

So UX is going to be the future of SEO for sure.

And UX is going to be a huge ranking factor in the near future more than backlinks.

It may not take much time to make changes to improve the UX of the website but it will impact a lot of your SEO efforts in the long run.

  1. Quality backlinks.

backlinks

It used to be, the number of backlinks was a lot important since Google’s algorithms were not advance,

The algorithm was still dependent on backlinks alone to rank pages high on search engines,

Over the years passed, Google has invested millions of dollars into hiring the best minds and engineers and improving the technology in algorithms of Google,

Today, the trend of backlinks shifted from a QUANTITY to a QUALITY-based approach.

You can no longer rank a website or webpage in Google, building a ton of backlinks over it from places like,

What matters today is QUALITY.

With a single high-quality backlink, you can outrank a blog that has tons of irrelevant low-quality backlinks.

In such a case where quality speaks loud and hard,

In such a highly competitive market,

Building such high-quality backlinks is even more difficult and expensive today.

It takes a lot more time in building backlinks than creating content for those backlinks.

This is why,

SEO takes so long to see results.

Now that you know why SEO takes so much of time to see results, 

Let’s have a look at if it is really worth the effort and time to do it.

Pros and cons of becoming an SEO expert.

Here are a couple of pros and cons of learning SEO and becoming an SEO expert.

Let’s start with the pros of becoming an SEO expert.

  1. You can start and run an SEO agency and earn money.
  2. You can regularly optimize your website with Google updates to avoid penalties.
  3. You can drive lots of free organic traffic to your website and increase brand awareness and earn money.
  4. You can get hired by big companies to do SEO of their website.
  5. Make better decisions by investing in the right tools and using the right strategies and save lots of time and money.

Let’s have a look at the cons of becoming an SEO expert.

  1. It is a long game, if you don’t have enough patience, you will not succeed.
  2. It requires a lot of initial investment of both money, time, and effort to see results but most of the time ROI will be good.
  3. It is always changing landscape so you need to be updated with the latest practices all the time.
  4. It is a highly competitive industry to be in.
  5. Because most of the SEO experts depend on either their blogs or offering services to their clients, the income also fluctuates every month.

But overall,

Because pros exceed cons, and if you want your business to thrive and succeed online, 

SEO is a must.

So, if you are interested and willing to put time and effort into learning SEO, 

You must become an SEO expert because it is worth it.

How to speed up growth in SEO?

how long does it take to learn seo

If you want to speed up the growth of your SEO performance and get results faster,

Follow these 3 things quickly.

  1. Users.
  2. Content.
  3. Experimentation.

Let’s have a better understanding of these things,

  1. User experience.

ux

Look as I explained to you earlier that all the Google updates are moving in one direction of improving the User experience,

So you need to do the very same thing,

Ignore all those SEO strategies and techniques that try to ignore user experience or hurt UX even if they cause higher rankings because it is going to affect your website in SEO in the long-term.

Some strategies to avoid are,

  • Keyword density.
  • Email Popups for converting traffic into leads.
  • Including lots of irrelevant content in the post for the sake of increasing word count.

Think about it and avoid all those SEO strategies that either neglect UX or cause bad UX.

Some good User experience factors are,

  • The faster loading speed of the website.
  • Easy website navigation.
  • Easy to pronounce and remember the domain name of the website.
  • Easy to read and understand the content.
  • Including images to make blogs visually appealing rather than just text can increase the Dwell time of the website and thereby boost rankings.

For more of the best SEO techniques read the below guide,

Now let’s learn the next thing.

  1. Content quality.

finding keywords and creating content

There is no replacement for creating high-quality content in SEO.

All SEO efforts will begin or emphasize a lot on content research and creation.

Many people have a misunderstanding of content length as a direct relation with content quality but it is not that way,

Correlation is not always causation.

It is not about how long the content is,

It is about how detailed, informative, user-friendly, unique the content is which determines whether the content is of high quality or not.

Word count is just a correlation for comparing how detailed and thorough the information is about a subject in that blog post.

But when it comes to content, focus on quality.

I have explained in detail in the above sections about quality content,

  1. Experimentation of ideas and strategies.

how long does it take to learn seo

Always experiment with new strategies and techniques,

You can read and learn about SEO all day long but the only way you can test your knowledge and be a real SEO expert is through taking action on your knowledge to see if it is working in practice.

You can do the following things,

  • Try taking an SEO course or any paid consultation for ideas and strategies.
  • Start from the right platforms like WordPress and the right SEO tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush.
  • Go work for clients for free or in agencies for free to gain exposure and experience.
  • Analyze your competitor’s websites to see what they are doing and how they are doing it for some clarity.
  • Work on your website, keep updated with the latest changes in SEO.
  • Measure your existing performance of your website in the Google search console and Google Analytics to figure out what worked for your website in your niche(you remember I have talked about SEO to vary depending on the individual websites).
  • Join social media groups and communities and forums to engage with people and share and receive ideas and perspectives.
  • Learn from the mistakes of others and avoid repeating them by yourself to save your time.
  • Read Google’s documentation about SEO.
  • Follow the top SEO blogs, leaders, podcasts and try the techniques they recommend which work for them.

There is no golden secret or rule in SEO, it is all about constant learning and experimentation, something like a trial and error process with lots of patience required.

This is the three-step process, which can help you become an SEO expert faster.

With that said let’s conclude the blog post.

Ending remarks.

There you go I have answered everything related to how long does it take to learn and become an SEO expert.

Do comment down what you think about the blog post in the comments section below.

Share the blog post with your family and friends if you have found the blog post helpful.

Sharing is caring!

Read my other blogs,

I will catch you next time till then keep learning and keep growing.