I should first note: All of the guides on this site deal with sites built in WordPress, the most popular platform in the world for building websites.
If you have a site that is built on some other platform – most things will still be relevant, only the method of execution will sometimes be different.
By the way, do yourselves a favor and work with WordPress, it is much easier and more efficient to work with than any other system, in my opinion.
If you came here expecting that you will read some great secret that will enable you to promote any website at the push of a button – then don't.
We are talking about a real process of acquiring a profession – SEO, a process that takes time and requires a lot of investment.
We will begin with the theory and continue on to the practice.
If you thought that you can just skip the theory part – this profession is not for you.
What do you say, is it worth putting in all the work to study this?
First of all, the main reason why it's a good idea to study SEO is the fact that it is a profession that comes under the definition of marketing, and as is well known – what usually separates a successful business from a failed one is marketing.
What this means is that if you learn SEO, you will actually learn how to promote any kind of business, so that regardless of whether you choose to make a full time career out of it or not – it will always be beneficial because you will be able to market any business that you are interested in.
For example, if your dream is to open a jewelry store, to the extent that you know how to promote your website on Google – your business will succeed.
Thus, learning SEO will be beneficial for you whether you want to work as a website promoter, or you want to know how to market any kind of other business.
Does SEO still exist despite all the paid ads on Google?
Naturally, the answer is yes, but, and there is a big but!
As time goes on, Google is constantly working to make the paid results (ads) take up more and more space, which comes at the expense of the organic search results.
Does this mean that SEO is not relevant anymore? Not at all! Especially since the target audience that clicks on paid ads is often different from the target audience that skips the paid ads and looks for a relevant organic result.
At the end of the day, it just means that the number of results that benefits from the organic traffic is constantly shrinking.
If in the past, being the 8th ranked organic result would bring traffic to the site, today the 8th ranked site basically doesn't exist.
Today, in most areas, only the top 5 results bring any notable traffic to the promoted site (in some areas it's as little as 3).
The difference in traffic between the site that is result 1 and the site that is result 8 for the same search term is enormous! Night and day.
Therefore, all that has changed from the past is that these days a website promoter will have to be very good at his job in order to succeed, as only the highest search results bring the significant traffic that he is looking for to the site.
The good website promoters that do succeed in bringing their clients' sites (or the personal website they are promoting) to the top spots – enjoy a high quantity and quality of traffic in most areas.
How much money can you make from this? Or, in other words, can you become rich?
We have reached the question of questions, how much money can one make from this whole business? Well, naturally, like in every profession – the variance in amounts is very wide.
I can only talk about independent website promoters; employees are a different world.
I have never been an employee in the field so I wouldn't know.
I do employ people in my company, with the average salary being a net 18$ an hour.
The income of independent site promoters varies greatly.
We all theoretically offer the same service "SEO", but one promotion can cost 1800$ plus VAT per month, while "SEO" by another company can cost 500$ Shekels, or in some cases 400$.
And there's the rub!
In most cases, companies that look for clients at 500$ per month don't last very long.
This is because in order to promote websites you need to spend a significant amount of money (most certainly so in the beginning, when you are just building the infrastructure for the whole thing).
Take it as a baseline assumption that in order to promote a site well, you need to spend 200$ a month on the average client, and this is before factoring in the expenses of workers, an office, professional software and more.
This is why many promotion companies that charge an average of 500$ per client end up closing at some stage due to mounting losses.
You can't provide real quality service for 500$.
That is to say, you can, if you don't want to live well but rather only get through the month in the best scenario, whereas in the worst scenario – you are just charlatans that are charging money and not doing the actual work, a practice that gives the field a bad name.
If this is the case – I'd thank you to close this guide immediately.
The best tip I can give for anyone who wants to start making their way in the digital world is not to take on clients at a rate lower than 800$ a month plus VAT (as a start).
After this the calculation of how much a promoter makes a month becomes simple.
The sum you chare per month multiplied by the number of your clients.
Usually a private website promoter can handle around 10 websites that he can promote by himself, with no employees under him.
Assuming he charges 800$ a month from every client on average, he can finish the month with 8000$ gross.
I would like to emphasize once again, all this is assuming the promoter actually promotes the websites and doesn't just charge money (yes, there more than a few companies that just charge money, while in practice there is very little promotion going on, if any, certainly not the kind of promotion that will bring the clients up to the top spots in competitive areas, and this is definitely not a way that a company can live in the long term).
Later on, the company can make a good name for itself, promote its own website for the search terms "Search Engine Optimization" or "SEO", sign more clients and grow and grow.
There are SEO companies in Israel that have got to 400 or 500 clients!
My personal dream is to get to a high number of clients at high budgets, ranging from 1000$ to 6000$ a month (and if I can get more – then more) so that every 13 clients will provide me with an average 25000$ annual income.
Is there any knowledge one must in advance have before studying SEO, or can anyone do it?
There isn't really anything you know in advance, you can learn everything, even starting from scratch.
However, computer knowledge, fast writing, ability to manage employees, tasks, budgets, and most importantly – connections, will all certainly give you an advantage.
I personally currently (30.5.2020) employ 7 workers and 45 freelance content writers.
Not one of my 7 employees have taken an SEO course, for a simple reason: I would rather take people who haven’t learned anything and teach them from scratch so that they don't bring with them the mistakes and bad habits they've picked up in a course.
This is not to say that an SEO course is a negative thing, it certainly isn't!
But the gap between what is taught in the courses (usually), and what you need to know how to do in practice – are immense.
Every promoter has his method and the series of actions that in his experience can bring about the best results for the clients, and therefore I would rather take in workers who come with zero knowledge so that I can teach them from the beginning, in the methods which I believe in.
I do prefer to find workers with technical knowledge (like one of my employees who is a graduate of the 8200 IDF intelligence unit), but this is not a must!
My little brother also works for me in the company.
I will never forget that in the first instruction session I had with him I told him to press ctrl + c and he didn't have any idea what I want from him.
Today he is a top employee who submits 6 posts with full optimization in an hour!
so there is no doubt that anyone can learn how to do it, if he can only find the right source to learn from, or in other words – you don't really need knowledge in advance, it is merely an advantage and a better starting point.
In addition, people who know how to build websites will enjoy a distinct advantage.
Congratulations! You have completed the theory part, now it's time to move to "Step 1: What is a robots.txt file, and how you should define it".