"There is no SEO that is an expert in everything, and that’s why it’s more than okay to ask for opinions or thoughts on a subject no matter how long you have been in the game."
"Try everything and then find and stick to your niche. Seo is too broad a field to be good at every aspect of it. It's okay to openly talk to your manager about this and ask to be "allowed" to specialise."
"Focus on the principles rather than just the tactics. What do Google want to serve their customers? Results that are.. Valuable, Relevant, Indexable, A positive User Experience. When in doubt, that should steer you well."
"I would tell myself to try things for yourself, build a site that doesn't have to be anything but a testing ground for you. Also, talk to others in the industry and outside it. Ask questions - stay curious and question your own assumptions to get outside your bubbles."
"SEO is a medium and not the ultimate goal. We as SEO's tend to get involved in getting things done that are sometimes not aligned with the business/marketing goals which leads to disparity! That's why we should focus on the ultimate goal using SEO as a medium."
"Half the battle is building relationships, earning buy-in and making sure you're in the loop. You need to sell yourself and the value of your recommendations if you want to succeed in SEO. Make friends with your writers, developers (in house or not), and even non marketing folks!"
"Almost everything you do should begin in the mind & experience of the searcher. It’s ok to push back on a client, it’s ok to hold a client accountable, it’s ok to say no to a client, it’s ok to fire a client."
"Surround yourself with smart people, but be confident in yourself. Talk to people at conferences, that's where I've learnt the best things! There's a ratio between mouths and ears for a reason tho, listen twice as much as you speak."
"Don’t ever think that you know everything. Things change far too quickly for you to ever possibly know EVERYTHING, even in your niche! Plus talk to people, network, surround yourself with people who are just as passionate about SEO as you are. That’s how you’ll grow."
"The one thing I wish I'd known earlier is to always be mindful of commercial goals. It doesn't matter how technical you are, if you can't track your tactics and strategy to the money and convey that connection to your stakeholders, your projects and ultimately, career will stall."
"I wish I found out earlier in my career that it's fine to say "I don't know" and to ask for help rather than trying to pretend I'm always on it, especially in my relationship with development."
".. Don't get caught up about other people "cheating". There's not a lot you can do, and don't expect G to take action. Instead - look for anything "good" they are doing/getting, and replicate/emulate that, and then move on. The goal is Not Rankings - that's only a metric.."
"Keep it simple. The industry can seem overwhelmingly overcomplicated when you start but as you gain more experience you realise it’s the simple things, the foundations of SEO if you will, that have the most impact."
"Doing X won't lead to the same amount of improvement for site B, as when you did it for site A. That's not because you failed, it's because you cannot control all the variables, no two sites are exactly the same this way. So be prepared to be flexible, and adjust your approach. Also a good reason not to look what successful sites are doing, emulate that and expect the same success. Those sites may well be ranking in spite of whatever tactic you are planning on replicating."
"Choose your tools wisely. Deeply learning and understanding a core set of pro-level SEO tools is far more valuable than chasing each new shiny thing. Bonus points if your tools play well together, but if not just brush up on manipulating spreadsheets to get the answers you need!"
"I would go back and tell myself that if you're just pushing pixels around the page (making small adjustments), you can't expect profound changes in performance. Also, not everyone cares about SEO as much as I do/did. Embrace TL;DR in communications."
"Use and try all the tools you can. Listen and learn from the global SEO community and let everyone around you know about it. Never assume you know everything about how to use a search engine. Learn to be comfortable when the honest answer to your bosses is *It Depends*"
"SEO is no black and white, and learning never stops. Learn what sources to trust: magazines, professionals, seo blogs, newsletters. Build your opinion the way researchers would to- collect different angles, case studies, test yourself and then be ready to implement."
"SEO tools are great and they are getting better. But it's easy to get blinded by them. Sometimes you just need to look through a website - not wait for an error to be flagged by a tool. Step back and look at a website, not base your success on getting top marks by a tool."
"Like many things in marketing, it should start with a goal and strategy in mind. We cannot be pushing changes by being reactive to algo updates. Beyond on page and off page techniques - best serve quality content, build your brand and make your site user friendly!"
"At start I always tried to just check a lot of boxes with known ranking factors in mind. Now we put everything that is seen, consumed & interacted with by the users first & work on the tech and co. after that. So the first question is always are we providing a good exp. for users"
"Build for users, but with Google in mind. (Cheers @SEOMalc). Simple phrase that steered me right. That and Business Reasons > SEO reasons. There may be a good reason it’s a sub domain rather than a subfolder. Ask or risk getting ripped apart by a client in a boardroom..."
"A good checklist of actions prioritized for cost/effectiveness is more valuable than a cerebral audit of 100 pages."
"Don't treat SEO and SEO efforts as an isolated channel. SEO should be part of a more 360 strategy from the begining both technical/website foundations and overall company's online marketing strategy related"
"Best practices are good but don’t just spout them without first looking at the constraints of the CMS, budget, staff, time, and internal/political/brand pressure. The ultimate best practices are the ones that improve the bottom line."
"Stop watching graphs going up or down; watch the tickets getting done. If your strategy is focusing on serving user intent the best way possible, instead of shady short-term practices, focus on that instead of hastily analysing every single suspected Google update."
"Understand the business goals, and remember that it not all about traffic, traffic costs money...the right traffic makes you money..."
"When I was in-house I wished I had known how to express that all the SEO and blogging we were doing was pointless without a strategy."
"You can specialise in one area and you can hire expertise in the other areas, you don't need to know everything on your own."
"Future-proof your SEO: don't waste your time chasing hype - keep your efforts focused on what search engines want long-term, even if there's a small loophole being exploited by some at the moment."
"SEO really requires pushing back against perfectionism. You can’t fix everything - there’s no “perfect” site. Over time I’ve learned to focus on the bigger picture. Get crystal clear on your client’s goals & tackle the 3-5 highest priority items that can get them there."
"3 Things: Think about your target audience and their needs, try to serve them what they are looking for. This is exactly what Google is doing for its audience. Don't fear Google updates, SEO principles will remain same."
"Don't chase the wrong thing. When you're tracking your progress using metrics - sometimes you forget what that metric leads back to. And you end up focusing on wins and fails that have no real value, and lose opportunities that would have contributed to success."
"Best practices aren’t always the best answer... you can spend a lot of time chasing them and never find success. While it’s always a good idea to implement best practices, learning how to identify and set the best priorities should be your main focus."
"How to prioritise better. I started in an ecom business and was being pulled all over the place - would've loved to say "this isn't a priority" when I was being pushed to do a load of work that wouldn't move the SEO needle"
"- You are not alone: there is an awesome SEO community out there, so contribute to it. And if you don't see one, build it. - Try not to stress out so much. Keep a healthy perspective on what you are doing. Learn how to negotiate. Be part of the solution & listen to other depts"
"How SEO fits into the larger landscape of the particular business you're in. Interaction with other channels, how to place it in an overall strategy and how much weight to give it, and what area of SEO that will move the needle based on that."
"I wish I had known how valuable it was learning from building my own project websites. You can experiment to your heart's desire with your own site and you dont need anyone else's buy in!"
"Build. A. Test. Site. So many SEOs have never done the simple process of buying a domain, setting up hosting, and dogfooding their own tactics. You'll learn more getting a site from zero to $50/mo than nearly anything else."
"SEO in theory, is very different to SEO in practice. There's very rarely 'an' answer, just lots of different shades of grey. What works in one scenario, might not work in another. Plus, it's all meaningless without business perspective."