You’ve always been interested in learning about SEO, ranking factors, and digital marketing as a whole.

Now, you’re considering becoming a professional SEO consultant.

Get Those Rankings! the Ultimate Guide to Becoming an SEO Specialist

Maybe you’re attracted to the high SEO consultant salary, or perhaps you’re more interested in the analytical side of SEO.

No matter your reasons for wanting to break into the industry, you need to quickly face the reality that you’re entering into an oversaturated, highly competitive space.

If you want to succeed as an SEO specialist, you need to ensure you have the knowledge, network, and creative and technical skills to stand out from the rest.

Read on to learn how to make it happen.

1. Learn the Lingo

The first step in becoming an SEO specialist?

It’s all about learning the industry terms and lingo.

For example, what’s the difference between link juice and backlinking? What does hyperlocalization mean? What’s an internal link as compared to as opposed to an external one? (Read more here to learn more about inbound versus outbound marketing.)

The truth is that unless you take the time to master basic terminology, you won’t be able to go far in this industry.

To help keep everything straight, we suggest you create your own SEO dictionary or cheat sheet. Refer back to it as you read through blogs, study materials, and even books by search engine optimization professionals.

We promise you’ll get the hand of these complicated acronyms and terms in no time flat.

2. Read Industry Blogs Every Day

As you continue on your journey towards becoming an SEO expert, you’ll notice one major thing almost immediately:

The only constant in the world of SEO is change.

It takes a lot to keep pace with the evolution of SEO trends, the changes to search engine algorithms, how social media platforms should be managed, and even how things like voice search and augmented reality influence digital marketing as a whole.

Enter the importance of reading blogs and articles written by some of the biggest names in the SEO industry.

Just getting started?

We suggest that you bookmark all of these blogs, and dedicate at least one hour every day to reading them.

3. Take a Few Classes

You can’t become an SEO expert without taking a few classes first.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, you need to consider the particular niches of SEO that you’re the most interested in mastering. Having an area of specialization is a wonderful way to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

Plus, being able to show off course certification to your clients will also give you a serious leg up.

Maybe you’re drawn to all things Instagram. Perhaps you want to help clients create the perfect email campaign. Maybe you want to offer clients website design in addition to SEO services, so they can get all their needs met in one place.

Growing your skill set now, before you really even get started in the business, is a great way to get ahead.

4. Find a Mentor

As with pretty much every other industry, in the world of SEO especially, it’s all about who you know.

You’ll quickly realize that networking is a big thing in SEO — in fact, it’s how trends are determined and changes to search algorithms are anticipated.

Things like attending popular industry events, heading to meetups, and always taking the time to speak or head to SEO conferences will certainly take you a long way.

But you should also consider working with a mentor.

This will help you to learn about the day-to-day experience of working as a professional SEO specialist. You’ll learn how to manage client expectations, how to track your leads, and even how to create dynamic content for your own pages.

Plus, working under someone else who is already established in the industry is an awesome way to get some experience and build up your portfolio before you decide to strike out on your own.

5. Develop Your Own Web Presence

As an expert on all things SEO, your reputation lives and dies by the strength of your online presence.

After all, clients will look at your website, social media profiles, online reviews, and guest posts on popular industry blogs to evaluate your skill set. You want to be certain they always have something to look at.

You should start your own SEO blog where you share basic advice and digital marketing tips with your readers. This is also a great way to let your personality and style shine through.

This way, it’s much easier for your potential clients to determine if you’d be the right fit for their business.

You’ll also have the chance to show off your technical chops. After all, if you can’t grow your own website and make it to the top of the search engine rankings, how can you do it for someone else?

Become an SEO Specialist with These Tips

Although becoming an SEO specialist is certainly possible, if you want to set yourself apart from the rest, we suggest you follow the advice in this post.

Develop your own web presence, find a mentor, and always read up on the ever-evolving world of SEO.

Looking to learn more about how to set up your at-home business?

Want to understand what clients expect from SEO professionals, and how you can always stay a step ahead of the competition?

We’re here to help tell you all of that and more.

Make sure you keep checking back with us for all the latest SEO and digital marketing trends and advice.