How to Learn SEO Fast and Effectively
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How to Learn SEO Fast and Effectively


In 2009, I started my first website and it
was a rude awakening. The consumer need was strong, the product
was great, and I thought I was one heck of a guy. Now, after telling my friends and adding some
spammy posts on classified sites, I was making like four hundred bucks a week which
was awesome and super-exciting back then. But I wanted more! So I started researching about digital marketing
strategies and came across search engine optimization. And after hours of learning, the only thing
I came out with is that SEO is the key to natural and scalable growth. But I was a busy guy making four hundred
bucks a week. So I did what all entrepreneurs are supposed to do. I hired an agency. Two weeks later, the agency disappeared and
I was angry. So I mustered up my energy and decided to
learn SEO myself. Fast-forward almost eleven years and I’ve
been able to rank sites, sell them for profits, and here I am, creating SEO tutorials for
one of the biggest SEO tools out there. Now, eleven years is a long time to learn SEO. So today, I’m going to share with you how
I would do things differently so you can get a shortcut to higher rankings and more traffic. Stay tuned. [music] What’s up aspiring SEOs? Sam Oh here with Ahrefs, the SEO tool that
helps you grow your search traffic, research your competitors and dominate your niche. Welcome to the world of SEO: the place where
nothing is certain and so called SEO experts are preaching completely different things. It’s a crowded and noisy space where it’s
easy to get information overload from so many conflicting tactics and strategies. And if you’re spending the majority of your time
reading and consuming guides on how to do SEO, then you won’t have time to actually try it
and become dangerous. And for that reason, this tutorial is going
to highlight some of the principles that I think are absolutely critical to learn SEO fast and effectively. Let’s get to it. Now, the first thing you need to do is nail
the fundamentals. Let’s say you wanted to learn how to drive a car. Before you can get to things like drifting,
you need to learn the rules of the road. You need to learn how to start the car, accelerate, and gradually hit the brakes to come to a smooth stop. Without these fundamentals, you wouldn’t even
be able to get from point A to point B. And SEO is the same. You need to nail the fundamentals before you
can generate meaningful traffic to your site through search engines like Google. So the two SEO fundamentals you should learn
are keyword research and on-page SEO. After that can come the basics of technical
SEO, and a couple of link building strategies. Now, rather than going any further into these techniques, I recommend watching some of our step-by-step
tutorials that are all in the description for you. Alright, so after you’ve nailed the fundamentals,
something I highly recommend doing is getting an internship at a respected agency. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Now, whether you want to build your own authority
sites or become VP of SEO at a large company, the best place to start your career in SEO
is by getting involved with people who are right there in the trenches. And the great thing about agency work is that
you get the opportunity to work in various industries and on multiple types of websites. Rather than Googling or looking to a jobs
board for something like “SEO internship,” write a list of people or companies you respect
in the industry. These might be people you follow on social media, or you might be subscribed to their email newsletters. After you have your list, take some time to
get on their radar. You can do something as simple as leaving thoughtful comments on their content because it’ll pay to be a recognizable name and face in their inbox. Then reach out with your value proposition
in how you would be a great fit for their company. Now, I do want to note that if you have
zero experience in digital marketing, offer to work for free for a few months. Yes, it might be a stretch, but you’ll be getting
valuable experience, some hand-held help from someone you respect, and an understanding
of what SEO looks like as processes. Perform the best that you can, learn as much
as possible, and that internship could very well turn into a paid or permanent position. Another thing I highly recommend is to apply
the 80/20 rule to SEO. The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto principle,
suggests that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. And since “effects,” aren’t going to come
from reading or watching videos, I suggest you spend 80% of your time practicing SEO
and 20% of the time learning. If you’re spending more than 20% of your time
consuming content, you’ll end up wasting time and information overload can paralyze you
from doing anything at all. And as your knowledge grows, you’ll find that
you won’t get distracted by shiny tactics and become hyper-focused on things that will
actually make a difference for your bottom line. The next thing you should focus on is refining processes rather than searching for shortcuts to methodology. Seth Godin said: “Things that look like shortcuts
are usually detours disguised as less work.” SEO in itself is a process and tasks often
require multiple steps. And these so called “shortcuts” can often take
you two steps back instead of one step forward. So rather than looking for things that may
violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, focus on breaking down micro tasks within
your macro tasks and then improving efficiency. For example, if you’re noticing that finding emails
takes up a lot of your time in your link building process, consider outsourcing that or using the spreadsheet
from our 15-minute link building campaign starter. Or if you feel like publishing new content
takes up way too much time, then take 10-minutes to research
productivity processes for blogging. Then try the processes out rather than hiring
writers for $10 a pop. The next thing in my opinion, is one of the
greatest skillsets that all great SEOs have. And that’s perseverance. SEO requires practice. And practice requires perseverance. And like all good things in life, the greatest
things come through failures. The best way to illustrate what I mean is by
using the topic of link building as our example. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve heard
people say things like “link building isn’t important.” It drived me crazy. Even Google explains that their algorithm
looks at things like the “quality of content.” And the example they use to define quality is that
if other prominent websites link to the page, which is a proven sign that the information
is well trusted. On top of that, there are numerous industry
studies that show clear positive correlations between the number of unique websites linking to
a page and the amount of search traffic the page gets. And the same goes for the number of keyword rankings. So why so much hate towards link building? Because it’s hard and if you don’t have grit,
you won’t survive. Now, I don’t blame people for hating on link building. Afterall, the process usually requires outreach to complete strangers trying to get them to link to your site. But it’s all about perspective. If you think about it like that, yea… it’s annoying. But if you can think about it as a way to bring something
interesting and valuable to people’s attention, those emails are usually welcomed. So as you try some different SEO-related tasks,
keep your head up. Accept rejection instead of feeling down and
take it as a learning experience instead. For example, if I were completely new to link building, I’d send around 50 emails with one approach. Then I’d measure and see how people responded
based on the number of link conversions. Then I’d take my learnings and improve on
the next 50 emails. By analyzing your successes and failures,
you’ll always be improving and outreach will become a natural and somewhat fun way to connect
with other people in your space. After you’ve had some practice, the next thing
you need to do is prioritize based on the things that are working for you. The last site I sold was in the health niche. And throughout 2018, on average, I worked
on the site for maybe 2 and a half hours per week. Now, what worked really well for that site
was targeting low-competition topics since health is such a huge niche. So with the limited time I had, I spent most
of that doing keyword research. I’d send a rough outline to a freelance writer,
have my editor polish the article, and then finish it off with some on-page SEO work. And that alone resulted in more than doubling
my organic traffic. In fact, if you look at my link profile, it was
actually declining during that same time period. And it wasn’t until January 2019 that I started
focusing on building links and ranking for more competitive keywords. And shortly after I started, the site was bought out. My point is that you don’t need to do everything
at once if you’re a one-person team or you’re not fully committed to a project. Instead, focus on the things that are working
within the time you have available. And then start branching out to other things
that can help give your organic traffic a boost. Last but not least, SEO is a game of patience. We conducted a study on how long it takes
to rank in Google and we found that on average, only 5.7% of pages ranked in the top 10 within
the first year of being discovered. And what was even more surprising is that
nearly 75% of pages never ranked in the top 100 in the first year. Generally speaking, if you’re targeting keywords
that your site can compete for, you’ve nailed the keyword research and on-page SEO, and you have enough links to be competitive, then I’d say to give it 6-12 months to rank. Now, while SEO is time-consuming, the rewards
are obviously incredible. Free, passive, and consistent traffic that
doesn’t fade over time. So my recommendation right now is that if
you’re completely new to SEO, nail those fundamentals by watching our tutorial on doing keyword
research for new websites. Then actually go and do some keyword research. And after you’ve done that, watch our tutorial
on doing on-page SEO. Then actually go and do some on-page SEO. Again, I’ve linked up all videos in the description
that I think you could massively benefit from, so check those out and if you have any questions,
leave one in the comments below. And of course, if you enjoyed this video,
make sure to like, share and subscribe for more actionable SEO tutorials. So keep grinding away, do more than you read,
and I’ll see you in the next tutorial.

61 Comments

  • Let's Learn

    Can you make a video on actionable e-commerce conversion rate optimisation?
    One more as you already have one similar one.

  • Harshit

    Hi Sam sir, I really hope you reply!
    How to differentiate between so many websites of same niche? Is it even possible? I want to build a lasting website business.
    But there's just so much competition. Sometimes, I feel like everyone is fighting to blood to get ranking on google. Does it have to be like this? How can one build a real business in affiliate websites? Is there any way to stand out? For example, Pat flyn's blog,Niche pursuits,Niche hacks-these ppl have built a real business. I just don't get how can I do it in a niche which is not a business or marketing like them. I hope you reply! (Thanks for these awesome content!)

  • Sameer Khan

    Sam content is always great…. I love watching his videos….

    That's true SEO requires huge patience… Some get results fast but it's a quite low percentage in total..

    Stay tune…. 🙂

  • SEKAR KOSALARAMAN

    Hi Sam. Good Day. This is Sekar From Chennai/India. 2 Months before I started studying through your SEO Tutorials. It was very much useful for me. Since two months before I do not know the meaning of SEO {, I am Zero}. But now I am started at 0.5% in my SEO Knowledge. I love this Subject SEO. Once again Hearty Thanks to you.

  • Joydeep Mandal

    Noticed you stopped the thing you do after introduction.

    I wanted to know how can i increase the DA PA of my website?

  • sachin verma

    Hi Sam thanks for another great tutorials. I have a one month old websites. I have created some links buy my domain authority is not improving. What should I do. If you have any video regarding this please provide link or suggest. Thank in advance.

  • Marc Carlson Martin

    Another awesome content again Sam. Planning to build my own website soon. Can you please give me/us some tips where/what to do first? Thanks!

  • praveenkumar mcet

    greetings..,
    hi, sam iIhave one suggestion for our side .ahrefs SEO tool only purchase credit cards and PayPal account users… I have only RUPAY cards available.so it doesn't accept .could you please add to the RUPAY payment option on your tool purchase. Its really helpful for Indian purchasers.

  • Néstor Vázquez

    Do more than you read. Thanks Sam. I Think patience is the key. Watch, analyse, and understand all the ahrefs videos. Tons of knowledge for free.

  • Shivam roy

    This video is awesome🙂👍….
    Fantastic video💯👍..
    I have question in my mind :

    Suppose we have a website from which we get revenue via Google adsense and affiliates.

    So the question is :
    Can we also earn money from donations i mean to say that even if i am not joining any company or organization then can i still get donation if i write some great content.

    If i have a decent amount of traffic on my website then can i get donations for my blogs to earn something ?

    Do i have to share e-books or products to get donations?
    Please share your answers on this.

  • Random Creations

    Beginner in SEO All i aim is just become entrepreneur bored of My degree which i doing but Very interested in seo field and do something bigger… Like ur videos very informative for me in future..❤️

  • ubaid ur Rahman

    Thank you sam its amazing content like always 😍😍. Learning a lot as a newbie. Keep it up may you get more success

  • TECH TALKS with ABHINESH

    Also sir,
    How can I create an article/post fastly with correct spellings for an affiliate website??
    Please reply
    Sam sir!!
    Thanku 😊 for mentoring us.

  • MONTU GOYAL

    Hi Sam thanks for another great tutorials . I am using Ahrefs, it is very good, I want to learn more about it, so you keep making videos.

  • Chris Tweten

    "How to Learn SEO Fast and Effectively"
    • why refining processes beats shortcuts.

    ummmm okay sounds like a shortcut to me

  • Anurag Anand

    The video content you put out there is the number one reason you get Ahref's brand loyalty. My agency bought your plan and we are very happy with your data reports, and the main thing is it's not cluttered and everything is in place. Thank you

  • Alexis Berton

    Hello Sam, strong video as always. After watching what you said around 9:00 , I remembered i never saw you talking on how to index faster without any bad guideline. I looked in the ahrefs blog and didnt find either. Any place i can spread my way to go?

    Greetings from Belgium!

  • Dheeraj Kochhar

    Thanks for the your support.. Will you please share some tips on how to improve rankings, how to work on seo off page and on page activity

  • hagar mohamed

    hello sam,
    i see all your video's it's really great guide for me and following it
    but sometime feel confuse for sorting opportunity for starting and contain,
    need plan or sheet waking on it as guide for me through working on my website

  • Praveen Kumar

    Hey Sam, you are a master of SEO, I wish, that i can be take an internship under you but i know it is not possible, I have learn many things from you and rank my website some keywords under 10 or 100s of keyword in under 100 in google. I am very thankful to you and team of ahrefs that you are helping new people like me, those are learn digital marketing diploma courses but if i say this that those institute don't show us the reality of practical world. Thank you Sam for educating us for free.

  • irfan Ullah

    Sam i try to watch each and every video of yours becuase it provides to the point and accurate information. You mentioned to reach out to people for internship even if its without any salary. I hereby present myself for any such internship offered by you or ahrefs. Looking forward. If there ain't any, its ok you are already doing your best by providing us with great stuff. Thanks sam and ahrefs team.

  • Rumenigo Fernandes

    Thanks for a great video.
    80:20 Rule is perfect.
    Would have any video or blog where seo task could be based off this rule?
    Or seo implementation matrix or something where we can understand which tasks can be done under limited budget, time and can have the biggest impact?
    Thanks in advance 🙂

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