It’s not easy to become an expert at SEO. Sure, there is plenty of information out there, and plenty of handy tips, tricks and guides. The problem though, is that the rules of engagement don’t stay the same for long.

The search engine algorithms are in a state of constant change, and because they’re kept highly confidential, it’s never possible to be 100% sure of exactly how they’re working. And yet these algorithms are what search engine optimisers depend on. If you stop working on it for long, what you thought you knew could become outdated very quickly.

The Competition

It’s not just the search engines you’re working against either. There’s also the competition. And SEO competition can be cutthroat. Everybody else out there is trying to get their sites or clients on the front page too.

And they don’t always play fair either. Sometimes, they’ll even deliberately sabotage you. In a field where a small mistake can undo months of hard work, deliberate sabotage can be devastating. And even if they don’t, there are plenty of SEO’s who use…let’s call them unethical…techniques.

Of course, in the end, those techniques may get their sites banned or blacklisted, but they don’t care about the long term results. So if you’re looking for an SEO, it pays to be very careful about who you choose.

So bearing all that in mind, here’s some of our handy tips.

Get Better At SEO

Register and build a number of websites, and work on them for at least a year. Make sure that you keep them all completely separate and unrelated (and unlinked) to each other.

Experiment. But be smart about it. Test, test, and test again. Keep records, and track your results. See how search engines behave until you have some theories about how it works, and then test them out. Pay attention to any changes, and the search terms or keywords that are bringing you visitors, and then test again. And again.

Figure out what the most effective keywords are. Not just according to what Google says is being searched for and competed for either. Think about the keyword combinations people might use to find you, and think about how they’ll differ based on the purpose of the visit. Then test your ideas, and see if they improve your stats.

It’s important to measure everything. Try different tools until you find one that tells you what you need to know. (Here’s a list of Web Tracking Applications.)

It’s also important that to pay attention to achieving your goal, (in this case getting good at search engine optimisation), before you start worrying about sales. These sites, and these experiments, are not to drive your bottom line. Not now, at any rate. Once you’ve got a lot of pages ranking high for keywords that are fairly competitive, then you can start paying attention to turning visitors into clients.

And finally, remember to keep your methods to yourself. There’s a reason that search engines don’t make their algorithms public. And once you’re getting good at SEO, remember to keep in practice. Study, research and experiment all the time, or you’ll run the risk of losing the relevance of your hard won skills.