What is an SEO expert? There have been arguments online about what one is exactly – as well as what it takes to be called one. Why do we consider the ‘big dogs of SEO’ experts in the first place, and why do we look at them for direction and information? Do you need a degree – something that gives you the ability to stand up and say ‘hey I know what I am talking about!’, or is it as simple as diving into the online world to experiment with what is happening while learning as you go?
Let’s take a look at the pros of each as well as what they can offer:
There are courses out there for everything you want to learn, from cooking to photo editing. SEO is no different with courses all over the internet as well as in different locations around the world. What’s more, with SEO becoming increasingly important in not just online work, but in marketing as a whole, lots of people are looking to become experts. You will find that there are many different types of courses from basic introductory and full SEO courses to expert and individual topic courses, such as content and link building.
No matter who you are, you can’t become an instant expert and you need to start somewhere. That’s where taking a course come in handy, as many people don’t have the time to sit on the web to try and figure it out alone. Time saving is where the advantage of being taught comes in. From ‘what is Google’ to ‘the art of Link building’ – you can learn it. These kinds of courses will help you get the same foundation as any professional and with proper training, Meta Tags and one way linking will soon become words that no longer sound like a foreign language.
That being said, the flaw of taking a course, and the bonus of learning by doing, is that there is nothing quite like getting in the trenches and getting your hands messy. Learning from your mistakes will make sure you know what works and what doesn’t. Many self proclaimed experts are so opinionated in the first place because they have experienced mistakes and solutions firsthand. The beautiful thing about the SEO industry is that it is constantly changing and what works one time, may not work the next. People in the industry must constantly strive to evolve and find new ways to see successful results.
Shoemoney is one of the most thriving people in the online world and a lot of people think he is pretty great. He prides himself on being a self proclaimed SEO expert and firmly believes anyone can become and expert by doing, without sticking to any particular formula. One of the problems with taking a course is that by the time you finish studying the rules of the game (or the Google Algorithm) you’re likely to find that they’ve changed several times. Getting stuck in a formula you’ve learnt could be detrimental, as it has the potential to hamper you when you try to think outside the box. Thinking on your feet and being able to learn while doing is what makes SEO exciting and challenging at the same time.
What is best – a structured course or solo exploration of SEO – aside, it seems that the people we regard as experts are only experts because people like us listen to them and take what they say seriously. Whether taking a course or learning by doing, perhaps the best advice is to ensure that whoever you get your information from is a current and popular expert who knows what they’re talking about.
In my opinion, I believe it’s an advantage to have the basics taught to you – it won’t hurt to have an SEO course under the belt but it is important not to get stuck and assume that what you have learnt is set in stone. There is absolutely no substitute for experience and I think this applies to every aspect of life. What you learn from a course or a mentor may set a solid foundation, but what you learn by doing will turn you into the expert you want to be.
Cale Pissara was born with a pen in his hand and since then has been writing articles for companies. His latest interest has been writing articles for SEO companies about various different subjects such as link building, page ranking and internet marketing.