How to Become an SEO Expert

The online marketing industry continues to grow as more businesses take to the internet to sell to a sea of potential online customers. But for any business to thrive, they must make themselves easy to find in a quick Google search (or Bing, Yahoo, etc.). Currently, there are more than 1 billion websites, and each of these must jockey for attention in the search engine results pages (SERPs). This makes learning search engine optimization an attractive skill set and an excellent way to gain a competitive edge in the job market.

What follows is an overview of search engine optimization, the benefits of becoming an SEO expert, how to land an SEO job, and why training and hands-on learning will help you excel in this growing industry.

Master the multiple facets of SEO with the Advanced Search Engine Optimization Certification Training. Check out the course preview now!

What Is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing organic traffic from non-paid search engine results in Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others to your website. To rank well for keywords that matter to you and make your website more prominent in search results, applying SEO tactics is a must.

Understanding How Search Engines Work

Part of ensuring your web pages are optimized is understanding how search engines work. Search engines cater to users by listing the web pages that are the most relevant to the terms people are searching for. 

There are multiple factors that search engines use to analyze and determine relevance for a given website. Google doesn’t often reveal these, but there are plenty that is widely known and used by marketers. An SEO expert should be aware of top ranking factors, and according to OptinMonster, the top SEO ranking factors in 2019 are:

  • Domain age, URL, and authority
  • Links
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Optimized content
  • Page speed (including mobile page speed)
  • Real business information 
  • A secure and accessible website
  • Social signals
  • Technical SEO
  • User experience (Google RankBrain)

Websites are ranked primarily based on how well they meet the search engine’s ranking factors and best practices. The web pages that do this best will outrank others that don’t. Search engines generally follow three steps when ranking a website:

  1. Crawling 

    Search engines have spiders or bots that scan a website, copy the content, and store it in the search engine's index.
  2. Indexing

    This is the method of adding web pages into search results. If your website is not in a search engine's index, users won’t find you in results.
  3. Ranking 

    When you type something into Google, the most relevant websites (from the index) will appear in the search results. These results are based on multiple factors such as user location, language, experience, etc.

Benefits of Becoming an SEO Expert

SEO is perhaps the most challenging and rewarding marketing discipline, combining data, analytics, content marketing, and technical proficiency. Mastering and leveraging SEO will unlock the potential of your marketing efforts.

The Demand for SEO Experts

SEO professionals are in high demand as companies practice search engine optimization to keep up with competitors. SEO experts are hired to help marketing teams garner quality web traffic, help create successful digital campaigns, and bring new business to the company. 

These days, an SEO expert is expected to be responsible for about half the traffic to the average website. Considering that sites that manage to secure the top five positions on the SERPs receive an estimated 68 percent of clicks, earning a high rank can have a tremendous impact on your business growth and revenue.

Whether you're currently an SEO professional or you’re working your way into the field, an SEO job promises excitement and tremendous potential for growth. There are other avenues you can go with SEO experience as well, including content marketing, business consulting, and data analytics.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Training Course

To become an industry-ready SEO specialistEnroll now
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Training Course

Job Responsibilities of an SEO Expert

Many different components make up an SEO strategy. Your days in a typical SEO job will have plenty of variety, and your responsibilities will likely include the following: 


Optimization will be the most significant responsibility of an SEO expert. This includes both on-page and off-page search engine optimization; the primary types are: 

On-Page SEO

  • Content creation and optimization
  • Conversion optimization
  • Header tags, title tags, meta description tags
  • Images and ALT text
  • Keyword research and placement
  • URL structure
  • User experience

Off-Page SEO

  • Asset creation (infographics, videos, etc.)
  • Guest blogging
  • Increasing traffic from social media to your website
  • Link building
  • Press releases

Mobile Optimization

As an increasing portion of searches happens on mobile devices, Google wants its index to work well for mobile users. The user experience on a mobile device will, in turn, influence your mobile SEO. Google is now crawling websites with a mobile-centric approach, so it’s imperative to ensure your content is optimized for mobile devices. This includes the concise use of language. 

Keyword Research

As an SEO specialist, you’ll perform keyword research to determine relevance and competitiveness to target the best possible keywords for conversion.


How do you measure what has worked and what hasn’t? That’s where analytics comes in, and you’ll regularly track and analyze data to see how your webpages and focus keywords are performing. 

Link Building

When another website links to yours, this is called a backlink or inbound link, and it’s one of the most crucial ranking factors. Think of this type of link as a vote of confidence from another website. One of your responsibilities will be “build links” by seeking opportunities to get other websites to link to yours without payment. 

Keeping Up with the Industry

The first step to becoming an SEO expert is reading articles authored by established professionals and following the latest search marketing news to stay abreast of changes in the industry. Keeping up and evolving your strategies is an ongoing responsibility.

Working with Other Marketing Teams

While juggling all these responsibilities, the typical SEO expert in a corporate setting will spend time working with other marketing teams to align strategies, including the following:

  • Content marketing
  • Paid search marketing 
  • PR
  • Social media marketing
  • Web development 

Steps to Become an SEO Expert

In today’s modern world, you can learn countless skills on your own; and many of these can be done online in a structured and thorough manner with sites like Simplilearn. Here are seven steps to follow if you’re new to the industry intending to become an SEO expert:

  1. Learn the basics of how search engines work
  2. Understand SEO strategies and concepts
  3. Participate in SEO training
  4. Keep up with industry trends and news
  5. Get familiar with SEO tools
  6. Experiment with SEO tactics on your website or blog
  7. Show employers your efforts and results
How good are your SEO skills? Try answering these SEO Online Practice Test Questions and find out today!

Start Training Today to Become an SEO Expert

Simplilearn is excited to help you take your career to new heights! SEO jobs are in demand and can be established anywhere in the world. As you’ll soon learn, the SEO industry continues to evolve, so check back periodically for news updates and ongoing training.

Our Advanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Training Course will transform you into a full-stack SEO expert driving sustained growth in your website’s most critical marketing channel. You’ll master the many facets of SEO, including keyword research, technical SEO, link building, analytics, and how they correlate to form an effective marketing strategy. Learn the latest tools, techniques, and concepts with hands-on experience in projects and labs. Key features include:

  • Seeing 20+ real-life, industry-based projects
  • Learning Google’s popular tools like Keywords Trends and Search Console
  • Gaining detailed insights on advanced web analytics
  • Getting a 360-degree understanding of planning and marketing a website

About the Author


Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

View More
  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.