How long does it take to learn SEO

How long does it take to learn SEO?

SEO – Search Engine Optimization is a process of optimizing your website to rank high on a Search Engine (esp. Google the most famous search engine).

Now when it comes to learning something so open-ended as SEO, it requires not only dedication but also an open mindset to adapt yourself to the new updates coming every now & then.

So, one may say that learning SEO is a lifetime process (mainly due to the regular algorithm updates). But there is a stage where your learning journey will hit zero & it will seem easier than before. So how do we reach that point when it comes to SEO.

So before we answer that question let’s break the SEO process into different stages & tentative time to learn the theory. SEO is divided into the following

  1. Keyword Strategy – 10 Days
  2. On-Page SEO – 20 Days
  3. Off-Page SEO (Link Building Activities) – Theory 15 Days
  4. SEO Tools – 20 Days

Total Number of Days: 65 Days

The above 4-steps can further be divided into different segments (e.g. on-page SEO can be divided into Technical SEO, Content Optimization, etc.) but for a beginner, this should be good to go.

Each point will take at least 12 to 20 days of continuous learning to master the theory, I am not talking about the practical side since something like “link building” can take years to master. So let’s look at each of the above sections in detail.

1) Keyword Strategy

Keywords are the base for any SEO project, approach any SEO agency and their first question will be about “What are your keywords? or what keywords do you want your website to rank for?”. So what is so much that you have to learn in this section.

Some important concepts to learn when it comes to Keyword Planning/ Strategy are: 

  1. What keywords should you target?
  2. How many people will or are looking for this keyword?
  3. What is the intention of the user when he is searching a specific keyword & what action is the user likely to take?
  4. What are long-tail & short-tail keywords?
  5. What are business & traffic keywords?
  6. What Tools should you use for Keyword Planning?

Once you learn the above concepts you can move to the next section i.e. On-Page SEO.

2) On-Page SEO

Once you know how to find the best keywords for your SEO project, the next step is to integrate those with the website & that is called On-Page SEO also known as On-Page Optimization (On as in On The Website).

Some important concepts to learn when it comes to On-Page Optimization

  1. What are meta tags (meta title, description, canonical, etc.)?
  2. What are heading tags & why are they important?
  3. What is image optimization?
  4. What is schema markup?
  5. What are sitemaps?
  6. What is website load-time?
  7. What is keyword-optimized content?
  8. Is your website Responsive?
  9. Do you have outbound links on your website?
  10. Are your website internal links in place?

& many more.

Now if your website is a CMS system (a website with admin where you can make all the changes) something like WordPress then you will need a WordPress Tutorial to make the On-Page SEO changes, otherwise, you will need help from your developer to make the changes to the website.

3) Off-Page SEO

Off-Page Optimization means or includes activities that will increase the reputation of your website on the internet and in the eye of Google. It includes building backlinks (incoming links from other websites) from websites that have a good reputation.

Some important concepts to learn when it comes to Off-Page Optimization

  1. How to get quality backlinks?
  2. What is link juice?
  3. What are no-follow and do-follow links?
  4. What is linking root domains?
  5. What are low-quality backlinks?
  6. What is an anchor text?
  7. How to do Article Submission
  8. How to do social bookmarking?
  9. What is a local citation and how to do it?
  10. What is social profile creation?
  11. What is classified posting?
  12. What is Syndication Submission?

& many more.

If you have never heard of any of those terms, all the above may sound complex but eventually, once you get well versed with these terms you will not have a tough time understanding & relating to those.

4) SEO Tools

Now, that you are aware of Keyword Planning, On-Page SEO & Off-Page SEO the next step will be the level up your game and move to the SEO Tools. There are many tools out there and getting a hang of the ones that suit you will be a challenge. There are many factors in choosing the tool such as cost, complexity, benefits provide.

Free vs Paid tools, if you are a start-up and do not have a great budget it is always recommended to start with the free SEO tools.

  1. Keyword Research Tools
  2. Website Audit Tools
  3. Analytics Tools
  4. Competitor Analysis Tools
  5. Backlink Checker Tools
  6. Plagiarism Tools
  7. Website Speed Test Tools

& many more

Now that we know the things that we need to know in SEO, let’s look at the factors that will influence the time you will take the learn SEO.

Factors influencing the SEO Learning Journey

1) Time in Hand

How much free time do you have in a day? If you can give 30 to 60 mins every day in your learning journey, you will have good hands-on knowledge in the first month of your learning journey. On the other hand, if you have time only during weekends then you may take a couple of months to get hang of the basics of SEO.

2) Background

Though SEO can be learned by anyone, the time and effort depending on your background. For e.g. someone who is a content writer will find it easier to deal with keywords and various use cases. A web developer will easily pick up the On-Page SEO activities etc. But, if you are well-versed with using the internet you should not find it tough to grab the concepts.

3) Persistence

Believe it or not, there are tons of people who pick up tons of courses but don’t complete those. Udemy has a course completion rate of 5% i.e. out of all the people who purchase a specific course only 5% complete the entire course. This indicates the lack of persistence when it comes to learning new things. So it is highly recommended that you are persistent in your learning journey.

4) Resources

When it comes to resources, unlike a decade ago, there are tons of videos, materials, blogs, online paid courses to learn SEO. But that brings a different problem up, which one should you start with and which one is the right one. Some best websites to start with are,, & many others. If you like watching videos YouTube & Udemy are good learning sources. But yes there is no one place to learn the entire SEO, you will need to follow multiple blogs and buy 2-3 courses to learn SEO.

5) Practice

How much of that you learn can you practice, the best way to do that is to start your own website and do SEO on it. If you are working somewhere you can start implementing whatever you learn on the company website (if they already are not doing SEO).

Learn how to make your website using WordPress

6) Mentor

Getting a mentor always helps it is not just to coach you but motivate as well, you can easily get solutions to your problems with their experience. Having a mentor is a big plus in whatever you do. Again, it is not easy to find the right mentor you need someone who knows stuff & you believe in him. It’s always good to have someone who is reachable & not just someone you follow on YouTube, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

7) SEO Tools

Starting without tools is good but eventually, it makes more sense to take advantage of the various SEO tools. It doesn’t mean you end up buying tools of expensive SEO tools but at least start working with the free tools or freemium tools. In the long run, the tools reduce a lot of manual work & can give you an edge over competitors. Some good tools that you can use: Google Search Console, Google Keyword Planner, Google Analytics, Keywords Everywhere (Chrome Extension), AskThePublic & Google Trends.


Learning anything is a challenge that you need to take up with dedication and determination, the timelines will greatly differ from one person to another so don’t judge your progress by looking at others. It takes 4 to 5 months for your website to start ranking on Google so it is like planting a seed and waiting for it to grow but you need to water it to ensure it grows as a tree, same applies to your SEO learning journey as well.

All The Best

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