I have personally been in the SEO game for just over a couple of years now, I’ve worked agency-side working on over 20 local SEO projects in a given month, now I’m working as an in-house for an international eCommerce company, I’ve pretty much been challenged with every SEO scenario. This includes https sitewide deployments, link analysis, disavowing of malicious links, link networks, PBN’s, link building, web 2.0’s, international SEO, hreflang, canonicals .. the list goes on, but how do I stay up to date with everything as the industry moves to quick? Good question. Well .. I follow people, I regularly talk to SEO’s and I attend conferences like Brighton SEO. I sure don’t miss working agency side and having a ton of clients to work with.
Okay Gotcha, How Can I Stay Up To Date?
SEO is primarily principle and theory (I’ve said that so many times, dammit), one minute you think you know the answer to something and then you hear another story about how someone managed to increase their ranking via a meta description tag and then it questions if you really do know the answer .. then you start to conduct experiments, analysis, and searches to see if anyone else has experienced something similar. It’s an endless game. I find that being able to have direct answers from Google, a simple ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to things really does help put things into perspective and to focus on the things that matter the most.
Follow SEO Industry Experts
I follow Google employees on Twitter, this includes Gary, John, Matt and some of the web spam team – I watch their accounts closely to see if they give any obvious answers away when talking strategies to other Twitter users, at the end of the day they are Google spokespeople – it is their job to do that.
Read Informational Blogs, Just Like This One
Reading blog(s), like SEMtuts (yay), is also another good way of staying up to date, but you need to ensure that what you’re reading is true, don’t ever take anything for granted on the web – people are sometimes wrong (even Google spokespeople for that matter) and things change all the time. I suggest checking out Matt Cutt’s Blog and also Search Engine Land – they post some great content too, it all contributes towards better your knowledge moving forward. It’s worthwhile reading Google’s blog too, if they’re going to release anything major, they will write about it here.
Join An SEO Network
This one is a massive winner for me, I’ve been part of an SEO group for a while now that’s called Online Geniuses. They have a channel on Slack (real-time messaging app) that a ton of SEO’s are a part of, this gives you the chance to chat to other SEO’s through a real-time messaging app, discuss strategies and implementations before proceeding with deployments. Once a new algorithm has been released, or Google has publicly announced something – your first to know as everyone will be talking about it on the chat. It’s honestly worthwhile trying to find some ‘SEO group’ or community that you can regularly be part of so you don’t feel alone, it’s always nice to get third party opinions on stuff – whoever you are.
Get Your Backside To An SEO Conference
Have you ever been to an SEO conference? Yes, you. I’m guessing that answer is no, if it’s yes, then you’ll know exactly where I’m coming from, unless you’re one of the noobies sat at the back of the conference contributing 0 effort to try and network with others. Attending a conference is the best thing you’ll do, it’ll make you realize how many other people there are out there that’s exactly like you, doing your role and having to implement the day-to-day strategies just like you do. It helps put things into perspective and it’ll give you the chance to build connections, contacts and networking group. This will give you the chance to discuss implementations, strategies and to talk to some good SEO’s that know exactly what they are doing – assuming they are at a conference that costs just over £350+ a ticket, I’m sure they’ll have some tips n tricks up their sleeves.
It was only recently I attended the Brighton SEO conference, it was honestly fantastic, I couldn’t fault the conference at all. I luckily had the chance to head up a day before to spend the day with some international SEO experts from Oban Digital, while doing so, I met an SEO expert that was working for a very, very big company. Not that he was supposed to reveal information about the company he was working for, but he was telling me about their strategies, what’s in the pipeline and the state of their current Google Analytics setup. It’s honestly astonishing to know what other companies are getting up to in terms of the technologies they are using and SEO, he integrates all of his data into one sweet dashboard called Neatly and tracks his KPI’s using Malatru. it’s an eye opener, a kick in the butt to tell you to get your ass in gear and start pushing the pages that really matter towards the success of your company.
1) Get your backside to some conferences, if you’re serious about a career in the SEM industry and you genuinely want to stay up to date, attending conferences on a regular basis will be the best thing you’ll ever do. It’s a brilliant chance to meet some other SEO’s, network and to have some life-long contacts.
2) Follow some Google employees on Twitter and watch their accounts closely, I’d start off with both Gary Illyes and John Mueller to get you going – great bunch of guys, plus they help us SEO’s stay up to date with moving algorithm changes.
3) Continue to read blogs but don’t take the advice for granted.
4) Join a live chat of some sort that has other SEO’s in it, just like the one I’m part of called Online Geniuses. This will give you the chance to have a chat with other people that have a similar job role to you, discuss strategy, implementations and to get some general advice.
That’s it, folks, some quick tips to stay up to date with the moving trends, how do you stay up to date? Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear from you.