Are exchanged or reciprocal links okay with Google?
Etmagnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Donec lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, et consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget consyect etur dolor.

Contact Info


121 King St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Folow us on social

The 15 areas of SEO knowledge you need to master to be successful

The 15 areas of SEO knowledge you need to master to be successful

SEO has become an important channel in the digital marketing mix for brands and organizations and it is constantly evolving.

Trying to stay ahead of the curve can be overwhelming, especially for those who are just learning SEO or adding another channel or discipline to their role.

Don’t worry, though. Once you get started, the cycle of continuous learning is one of the things many people love most about SEO.

Here you will learn about 15 areas of SEO knowledge that will benefit you greatly throughout your career.

1. Understand how search engines work

For anyone starting a career in SEO or getting deeper into it as part of a broader marketing role, this is your starting point.

Spend time getting to know the search engines, what their goals are, who has what part of the search engines’ market share, what different products they offer, and how they display organic search results.

Knowing the history of how search engine results pages (SERPs) have changed provides a good context as to why they contain the content they do now.


Continue reading below

For example, when Google is not aware of the intent, it displays a number of features in the results. When it thinks there is a very specific intent, it shows a narrower set of content types.

We are far from ten blue links and ad content. But at the same time, we are the same place we have always been to ensure that our content is relevant to the searcher.

2. Target group research

What used to be just “keyword research” has evolved.

While we are still conducting keyword research, it is short term to do so in the absence of personas, consideration of customer journey or current focus.

Being able to understand your audience – their demographics and psychography – and know what content will resonate with them all the way to their ultimate goals (e.g., engagement, sales, lead) is key.

Whether you work for a single brand or a wide range of customers, you need to master your understanding of your business goals and work backwards to understand your target audience and how to move them from search query to end goal.


Continue reading below

3. Competitor research

Understanding the competitive landscape is important in most phases of SEO.

Just adhering to “best practices” and looking inward at your site will lead to mixed and probably overwhelming results.

Profiling high-ranking and top sites and brands that are currently capturing a share of the audience you are seeking is an important skill and ability to master.

Competitor surveys range from external auditing manually – and via tools – to determining the ranking factors that drive the competitor’s website’s success.

This includes on-page and external factors for competitor sites as a whole as well as page-by-page for more detailed topics and queries.

4. Web analytics

SEO professionals are naturally expected to be able to analyze the performance of their efforts.

It’s necessary to:

Understand the impact of your strategy and efforts. Report your efforts to the stakeholders for whom you are responsible.

Knowledge of Google Analytics is a must.

There are so many additional customizations and aspects that are not standard or out of the box that SEO professionals should take advantage of and master.

A few examples:

Attribution models to see more of the customer journey. Assisted conversion reporting.

Use all the analysis data you can to get a complete picture linked to the intent of the applicant and various personas. This will help you to fully know the impact of SEO on the business.

5. Tracking

Being able to act as a point person for your own website with web developers or IT teams is important to ensure the correct implementation of tracking scripts and pixels.

Therefore, knowledge of analytics, heatmaps, Google Tag Manager and other tracking mechanisms is a must.

Although many tracking implementations and updates are straightforward, the occasional need for troubleshooting and working with others is an underestimated skill. Developers and IT professionals are not always well versed in implementation and ensure proper tracking in tools more commonly used by marketers.


Continue reading below

6. Technical SEO

This can be daunting for more creative and content conscious people. There are many hats that SEO professionals wear, and some incredibly successful SEO professionals who are not proficient at the technical side of it.

Even if you are not going to get into the code, dig into server settings or configure plug-ins on a website, you need to have a basic knowledge of the technical factors that affect SEO.

Things like page experience, page load times, automation, dynamic tagging and indexing and crawling (more on that in a moment), fit into one of the important categories of SEO.

Yes, you can have the best content in the world and the most authoritative links pointing to your site in your industry. It can remedy some minor technical shortcomings. However, they are likely to remain obstacles at some level or catch up with you down the road.

Invest time in learning about the technical factors and have a plan for implementation now and in the future.


Continue reading below

7. Indexing and review

It is still important to understand indexing and how it works.

In the old days, it took Google much longer to crawl content and then go live with it in search results. With the crawl rate to the search results, it is taken for granted as it is not in itself a ranking factor.

It is still important that you fully understand how indexing works. The basic knowledge leads to strategic actions or troubleshooting on our own sites.

Large sites, e-commerce sites and those with a lot of duplicate content need specific strategies around crawl budget, canonical use, use of robot commands and more.

Plus, international sites and variations have an extra level of complexity.


It is much easier to do SEO without extensive background knowledge of HTML now with open source content management systems and tools that show us or scrape tags for us.

However, mastering HTML at the base level is still relevant. You will need it when you need to troubleshoot issues caused by a CMS or code that is not semantically solid for SEO.


Continue reading below

The ability to diagnose problems in the code with duplicate tags, track script implementations, and collaborate on AJAX, JavaScript, and other aspects of the conversation about site speed is important.

9. Local search

Roles and responsibilities may vary depending on the organizational structure of where the responsibility lies for local directories and local search engine optimization.

Local search is complex enough that Marketing-Ideas has a whole guide to Local SEO that describes various aspects to master.

SEO professionals should understand:

The full local search ecosystem. Ranking factors. Significance of name, address and telephone (NAP) data. How the complaint and management process works.

10. On-side factors

Fortunately, most SEO professionals no longer focus disproportionately on individual elements of the page.

While the focus has shifted to content and context, there is still a place for factors on the page, ensuring that tags are unique and present on each page. Make sure the content at least addresses the full breadth of the topic, even if it is not hyperfocused on the frequency and density of particular words.


Continue reading below

Having a solid grasp on on-side factors, how they work together to help build context, and what are facts versus fiction about their true impact on rankings is key.

11. Link Building

Although we all want to develop content that naturally attracts links and never worries about link building, you still need to understand how linking affects rankings.

A commonly misunderstood aspect is quantity versus quality, and how too much or too little focus on links and authority can hold back optimization efforts.

A full understanding of link quality, strategies for attracting and obtaining relevant high quality links and how to implement them in the overall optimization strategy are a few things that need to be mastered.

Get Link Building for SEO: A Complete Guide to Learning More.

12. SPIS

Expertise, authority and credibility make up the acronym for Google’s EAT. These factors do not rank signals, but are important to learn and understand.

This is a concept that Google has talked about many times in their documentation, dating back to 2014.


Continue reading below

I often talk about the need to develop relevance through content and authority status through links and external factors.

However, EAT goes a step deeper as it gets more into context and meaning. With the continuous cycles of Google algorithm updates, you have a strong knowledge of EAT and the ability to use it as a filter if performance ever drops after a kernel update is important.

13. Process development

It is difficult to deal with all aspects of SEO at once.

Being able to create a coherent strategy, prioritize activities and work through implementation in phases is crucial for success.

Without a process to perform one-time and recurring tasks, even the best and brightest among us will end up hunting rather than proactively leading the effort.

It is also important to create a standard, repeatable process in order to be able to formulate with stakeholders where we are and where we need to go over the long-term nature of SEO campaigns and efforts.

14. Adaptability

This may seem like a given, but being able to have a process as mentioned above comes with the balance in adaptability.


Continue reading below

Like agile methods, we need to be able to turn based on:

Changing stakeholder priorities. Changes in the competitive landscape. Change in our target groups. Updates made by the search engines themselves.

Although adaptability is more of an ability than a skill, it is still important to find a way to master methods of how to turn and change. You need to be able to recognize when something needs to be updated in your strategy, approach, tactics or goals.

Even when things are going smoothly, locations and traffic can drop. The ability to jump in and troubleshoot and audit at a moment’s notice is really important.

Diagnosing site changes, search engine algorithm updates, or market shifts to isolate variables and update quickly often has a bottom-line effect on the business.

15. International SEO

International SEO considerations are something that many SEO professionals ignore if they have no websites or focus outside their home country.


Continue reading below

If there is a chance that you will ever have an international focus for your site or your clients, you should at least master the basics of:

Important takeaways

The wide range of factors that influence successful SEO campaigns align well with the 15 areas outlined for mastering SEO.

And once you get started, you can be very successful – but you are not done learning. Do not get comfortable and become obsolete!

When learning and mastering aspects of SEO, remember to start by understanding how search engines work. It will provide a good framework and perspective.

Enter the key to learning what can be measured, how it relates to your role and your work in SEO, and then jump deep into the specific aspects like technical, on-page and off-page optimization knowledge.


Continue reading below

Find your trusted sources and learning methods, whether it’s personal training, online courses, podcasts, articles or other media to help fill in the gaps and review the areas you need to master.

More SEO resources:

    Leave Your Comment

    Your email address will not be published.*