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How Long Does it Take to Learn SEO? Tips for Getting Started in 2024

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Learning SEO can seem daunting, but it isn’t as difficult as it may seem.

It may seem like a lot of information, but learning from the right resources and knowing how to get started is crucial to understanding SEO.

In this article, I’ll talk about the best ways you can learn SEO and how to level up your skills without spending years doing so.

How Long Should It Take Someone to Learn SEO?

Learning SEO should take about 3-6 months. While this person won’t be developed as an expert, they’ll be able to get started with the foundations like technical SEO, Google Search Console, on-page and off-page. 

After someone learns the foundational items in SEO, it should take someone around 1 to 2 years to finally become comfortable with SEO and get used to the processes.

Such as how SEO works, but this depends on the time you put into learning.

It will depend on the type of campaigns you’re working on, but generally, it should take 3-6 months to learn the foundational elements of SEO and then 1-2 years to become more comfortable with it. 

Factors That Influence How Long it Takes to Learn SEO

The time it takes to learn SEO can vary significantly from person to person. Several factors can influence this.


Your level of comfort with technology can impact how quickly you learn SEO.

If you’re already familiar with websites, have some coding knowledge, or are generally tech-savvy, you may find it easier to absorb more technical SEO concepts.

Current SEO experience 

If you already have some knowledge or experience in SEO, you’re a step ahead. You’ll likely be able to grasp more advanced concepts quicker than someone starting entirely from scratch.

How Eager You Are to Learn SEO 

Your eagerness and motivation to learn can greatly affect how quickly you learn SEO. If you’re enthusiastic and dedicated, you’ll likely put in more time and effort, which can help speed up the learning process. SEO knowledge will come mainly through time, but having that initial dedication will certainly help.

How Much Time You Have to Learn SEO 

The amount of time you can dedicate to learning SEO will impact how quickly you can understand it. 

If you can spend 2-4 hours a day learning, practicing, and experimenting with SEO, you’ll learn much faster than if you can only spare a few hours a week.

However, with SEO, patience will always be your friend. Don’t feel like you need to rush the process to catch up. 

How Much You Test and Experiment with SEO 

SEO is a practical field. The more you test and experiment, the better your understanding of different strategies. 

If you’re actively applying what you learn, you’ll grasp SEO quicker than if you’re only studying theory. Remember, you didn’t learn how to ride a bike by reading manuals. 

Trial and error is always the way to go, especially with learning SEO.

SEO Resources You Have Access To 

The quality and quantity of resources you can access can also influence how quickly you learn SEO. 

If you have access to large client websites, you’ll have a much larger playing field for learning than just having access to a small new website. 

With that being said, being able to start and rank a website from scratch is the actual test of your SEO knowledge.

I had a pretty solid understanding of SEO until I started my website, and then I was quickly humbled. 

SEO Tool Availability 

Having access to SEO tools can speed up your learning process. 

Tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and various keyword research tools can make learning more hands-on.

Tips for Learning SEO

So you’re looking to get started in SEO but don’t know how. Here are a few tips for how to jump right in and learn how to grow the right way

There can be a lot of noise in the SEO industry, but learning from the right resources is important to ensure proper growth.

It can be easy for an SEO to be misguided or learn from outdated techniques, so it’s important to follow these tips to learn SEO the right way.

Devote Time to Study

Devote time to study. This is the most important tip if you want to learn SEO consistently. You have to put in the time to learn, so whether you’re learning outside your job or at work, make sure you’re putting the time in to study. Do this before jumping into the fire.

Create Your Own Website

This is exactly what I’m doing with my own site. Create your website, set up your domain, and become familiar with it. Play around with what works and doesn’t to learn from your own experience.

Access to your website subsets the fear of breaking something or something going wrong. You don’t have to worry about mistakes with your website, as you control what you put out.

This is the best way to test what works and doesn’t and become familiar with websites.

It’s a very cheap and easy way to grow your SEO skills. 

Practice Practice Practice

Another thing is practice. Practice makes perfect, so just keep practicing. Whatever it is, keep doing it and recognizing which areas you can improve. 

Always Test Your Findings

To me, this tip is the most significant piece of advice I can offer to someone starting in SEO. You should be testing everything you put out. 

I mean that if you make a content update, say an update like a title tag or heading optimization, test if it works. Did it increase traffic or rankings? If so, great; if not, keep reconfiguring until it does. 

It’s one thing to know how SEO works but another to see and understand how it works.

I recommend that you test everything to understand better what works best. 

SEO Leadership and Mentors 

A mentor or leader in the field can speed up your learning process. 

They can provide guidance, answer questions, and offer valuable insights based on their experience.

Plus, if you’re working directly under someone, you’ll be able to see how SEO strategies and tactics are executed. 

Remote learning is great, but it can feel limiting sometimes. One of the best ways to immerse yourself is by getting started in an office where you can see how the puzzle pieces come together.

This is coming from a current remote employee too.

Money to Invest in SEO 

Investing money in learning SEO will help speed up the learning process. Remember, patience is a virtue when it comes to learning SEO and pretty much everything in SEO. So money is optional to get started.

That said, it will help if you’re trying to learn SEO fast. You could take paid courses, attend workshops or conferences, or hire a mentor. 

Follow SEO Industry Leaders

Follow SEO industry leaders. There are many people to learn from, whether on LinkedIn, Twitter, or YouTube.

Study their tactics, and study how they do SEO. That will be a quick way for you to become more familiar with SEO with trusted guidance.

This has been my primary way of learning for the past few years.

Similar to the tip above, another way to stay up to date with SEO or at least better your knowledge of SEO is by following SEO-related publications. Follow publications like Search Engine Journal, Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Search Engine Land. There are tons of free resources out there, and they consistently post up-to-date and helpful information.

I highly recommend checking those publications out. 

Even better, most of those publications have a beginner’s guide to SEO. There’s no better place to start than the websites I listed above.

Take an SEO Course 

Another thing you can do to get yourself up to speed is to take an SEO course. You can take a paid one, which will likely have more advanced content, or take a free course.

There are plenty of free courses out there that should get the job done.

Trust the Process

The last step is just to trust the process. It’s going to be long, and it’s going to be tiring, and you’re going to feel like you have impostor syndrome and that you don’t know what you’re doing, but just trust in yourself.

Understand this is a complicated field; know you’ll get there eventually. Keep working towards improving by following the tips above, and eventually, you’ll get to a point where you feel comfortable with SEO, so just keep working at it. That’s my biggest tip of advice to someone starting in SEO.

Here are some tools that can get you started with SEO

Google Analytics

This tool is essential for understanding how users interact with your website and tracking SEO KPIs like traffic, bounce rate, and conversion rate.

Google Search Console

This tool provides insights into how Google views your website. It can help you identify technical issues, see which keywords your site ranks for, and understand how often your site appears in Google’s search results.


Moz offers a suite of tools for keyword research, link building, site audits, and more. They’re also an excellent resource for learning SEO, specifically their whiteboard Friday segments.


This is another comprehensive SEO tool that offers features for keyword research, competitive analysis, rank tracking, and more.


Ahrefs is known for its powerful backlink analysis tool, but it also offers features for keyword research, content analysis, and rank tracking.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider

This tool is great for conducting technical SEO audits. It can crawl your website, identify broken links, duplicate content, and more.

Answer The Public

This tool is great for understanding people’s questions in your niche, which can inform your content creation and keyword targeting.

SEO Quake

This browser extension provides quick and easy access to various SEO metrics for any webpage.

Questions to Familiarize Yourself With When Learning SEO

How Hard Is It To Learn SEO? 

Learning SEO isn’t necessarily complicated, but it requires dedication and a constant willingness to learn. 

The field of SEO is constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends and algorithm updates. 

However, with the right resources and dedication, you can certainly master the basics pretty quickly.

One thing to always remember; learning SEO is easy, and executing SEO is complex. 

Is it Possible to Learn SEO on my Own? 

Absolutely! Many successful SEO professionals are self-taught. Numerous online resources include guides, tutorials, forums, and online courses. 

The key is to be consistent in your learning, practice regularly, and stay updated with the latest SEO trends and updates.

Is SEO a Stressful Job? 

Like any job, SEO can be stressful at times. 

It requires staying up-to-date with algorithm changes, dealing with ranking fluctuations, and explaining complex concepts to clients. 

However, seeing your strategies result in improved rankings, traffic, and conversions can also be gratifying. Especially when you know your SEO efforts directly influence a client’s business.

Do I Need Coding Skills to Learn SEO?

While not a strict requirement, having basic coding skills can be an advantage in SEO. 

Knowing CSS and JavaScript can be helpful for technical SEO. However, many successful SEOs don’t code, so don’t let a lack of coding skills worry you.

Is SEO Still an In-Demand Job? 

Yes, SEO is still very much in demand. 

As long as search engines exist and people use them to find information, businesses need SEO to improve their online visibility. In fact, with the increasing competition online, SEO is more important than ever.

How Can I Learn SEO With No Experience? 

Starting with no experience, the best approach is, to begin with the basics. Read SEO guides, follow industry leaders, and take online courses. Creating your website to practice SEO can also be a great learning experience. Remember, consistency is key in learning SEO.

Is it Worth Learning SEO? Is SEO a Good Career? 

SEO can be a very rewarding career. It’s a field in high demand and offers plenty of growth opportunities. Plus, it’s a constantly evolving career, which means there’s always something new to learn, and it is unlikely to become monotonous.

Are Certifications Worth it For Learning SEO? 

While not necessary, SEO certifications can be a good way to demonstrate your knowledge and commitment to the field. 

They can be beneficial if you’re starting and don’t have much experience to show. However, practical experience and results often speak louder than certifications.

What’s the Most Difficult Part About Learning SEO? 

One of the most challenging aspects of learning SEO is keeping up with the constant changes. Search engines regularly update their algorithms, which means what works today might not work tomorrow. However, this is also what makes SEO an exciting and dynamic field.

What Qualifications Do You Need to be a Successful SEO? 

There are no specific qualifications required to become an SEO. However, a good understanding of how search engines work, knowledge of SEO best practices, and familiarity with SEO tools are essential. Skills like content creation, analytics, and marketing can also be beneficial.

Do SEO Courses Help You Learn SEO? 

SEO courses can be a great way to structure your learning and ensure you cover all the necessary areas. 

Whether they’re worth it depends on the course quality and how you prefer to learn. Some people learn better with a structured course, while others prefer to learn by doing.

How Do I Get My First SEO Job? 

Getting your first SEO job often involves demonstrating your knowledge and passion for the field. 

This could be through an SEO certification, showing results you’ve achieved on your website, or even writing about SEO. Networking can also be a powerful way to find opportunities.

Where Can I Learn SEO From Scratch? 

There are many places to learn SEO from scratch. Online resources like Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO, Google’s SEO Starter Guide, and various SEO blogs and forums are great places to start. Online courses from platforms like Coursera or Udemy can also be helpful.

How Can I Learn SEO for Free? 

The best way to practice SEO for free is by applying it to your website. This gives you a safe space to experiment and see the results of your efforts. 

You can also use free SEO tools to help you analyze your site and track your progress.

Can I Learn SEO without a Degree? 

Absolutely! While a degree in a related field like marketing or computer science can be beneficial, learning SEO is not required. Many successful SEO professionals are self-taught and have built their careers on practical experience and results.

How Much Does it Cost to Learn SEO? 

The cost of learning SEO can vary widely, depending on how you learn. 

Many free resources are available online, but paid courses or certifications can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. However, your time is the most important investment you can make in learning SEO.

Closing Thoughts on Learning SEO During These Crazy Times

Just some closing thoughts, while learning SEO may seem daunting, it’s more achievable than you think. You just need to put the effort in and trust the process. 

Eventually, you will learn; the more you practice, test, and experiment, the more comfortable you’ll get. So keep trying and follow the tips above; in no time, you’ll feel comfortable and ready to lead your campaign.

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