10 Ways to Become an SEO Guru

Let’s be honest, if you’re reading this blog and researching about SEO, then becoming a “guru” of it is something you definitely want. Just so you know, you won’t become a guru after reading this post, but you’ll have the ingredients you need to becoming one as soon as possible.

Keep reading if you want become an SEO “guru” (yes, that’s a picture of Yoda.. don’t judge me)…

1. Live and Breath It

Especially when you’re just getting started, you should be deeply immersed in SEO. There is so much information and knowledge that you can take in when you’re a beginner. Keep in mind, a lot of it is garbage, but after awhile you start to see what’s legit and what’s just generalizations and guru advice. One of the best ways to advance your SEO knowledge is to immerse yourself inside Black Hat World. There is a ton of awesome information that you should know.

Don’t worry… they have a white hat section for those who can’t sleep at night knowing they virtually stepped foot into a black hat forum.

Here are some other recommended options:
Black Hat: Jacob King
Grey Hat: Source Wave
White Hat: Backlinko

It doesn’t matter what you classify yourself as, all of the blogs above will inch one step closer to mastery.

Since my SEO workload is full, I don’t get a ton of time to read these blogs and forums, but I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve fallen asleep with my phone in my hand consuming information from BHW 😛

The point is, I do and think about SEO from the moment I wake up to the last second I’m awake. I’m like crackhead for SEO. That’s how you should be for whatever industry you’re working in. It doesn’t have to be SEO.

If you’re a plumber, you better be living and breathing plumbing and trying to figure out ways to become a better one, become more efficient, and how to increase your bottom line.

2. Test or Die

You’re probably getting annoying with me saying this all the time, but TESTING is easily the best way to improve your SEO skills. Why do I emphasize it so much? Because testing is what keeps you one step ahead of everyone else. You start to see trends and flaws before it becomes public knowledge. And once everyone already knows about it, you’ve already moved on to the next technique.

Most importantly, testing can show you things that AREN’T working. This will ensure that you don’t do something on all of your websites that destroys them.

Here’s how to become a pro tester:

Always have a testing dummy website – this website literally doesn’t need to have any content at all. It’s for pure testing. The key is to focus on one technique for the test. So if you want to know if 301 redirects still work, only build 301s and see what happens. Typically, I give my tests about a month. If there’s no movement, then the technique is not worth it.

Don’t make a conclusion based on one site’s results – this is an easy mistake to make. Just because you ranked one website doesn’t mean the next website will rank as easily or at all. Use your combined knowledge to make educated conclusions.

3. Block Your Forums NOW

In the beginning it’s okay to be in the forums, but you need to know that forums are a huge time killer and filled with terrible advice and people who claim to be SEO all-stars. The only forum that I actually read is Black Hat World because there are people actually testing techniques.

You visit Warrior Forum and there’s a party of people spewing white hat nonsense out of theirs mouths, but of course, none of these people have actually ranked a website. I’m sure there are some pretty solid SEOs who hang out on that forum, but I wouldn’t know because I haven’t been there in over two years.

The moral of the story is that ANY forum can take away from what you need to be doing. Every second you waste reading threads like “Question for the Dating Guys…” (That’s a real thread), you’re killing critical time you could have been using to improve your websites, test techniques, and ultimately get better at SEO.

5. Matt Cutt’s…Who?

url-300x300-minI don’t understand how any person doing SEO would actually go to Matt Cutt’s website and listen to what he’s telling you. HE WORKS FOR GOOGLE. HE DOESN’T WANT YOU TO GAME THE SEARCH ENGINE.

Everything he says is a form of Google propaganda and designed to stop people from getting into SEO. They want it to look chaotic and scary because this scares off newbies.

Don’t you realize that Google hates people who rely on and use SEO because they take away from their PPC revenue? Every new SEO that spawns is one less person who is going to use their advertising vehicle.

Aww… I feel so bad for poor multi-billion dollar Google =(

Well guess what… Google doesn’t give a damn about you or your website. In seconds, they can release a new update that could obliterate your website regardless of whether it’s blackhat OR whitehat. Unless you think your “quality” content is going to save you….

Don’t listen to him, do your thing, rank your websites, and make bank.

6. Become a Slimy Salesman and Learn CRO After

Yes, that’s right. You need to learn sales and conversion rate optimization (CRO) if you want to be an SEO guru. It doesn’t matter how many websites you can rank. If you can’t actually get these websites to produce any substantially income, then you’re going to a) kill your resources and b) waste your time.

Slimy-Used-Car-Salesman-300x238-minNotice how I said learn how to SELL before CRO. Learning the psychology of sales is probably the best skill a person can have. That is, a person who likes making money and having security. As long as you can sell, you’re always going to have money or find ways to make money.

Personally, I study this stuff deeply and so do many other popular SEOs you probably read or know. The fact is, as soon as you enter a blog like Quick Sprout, Backlinko, or Source Wave, you’re being thrown into a psychological whirlwind.

Everything these websites do is ethical and very ingenious. You see, when you’re on the offensive side of SEO, you can analyze websites that are doing things right and learn.

Many SEO blogs are always talking about CRO and optimizing web pages, but you don’t often hear about the psychological steps of creating desire and trust.

Every single thing from the language on an optin form to the free gift a site gives you is:
a) breaking down your anti-trust barriers
b) creating an environment of reciprocation
c) creating a desire or “want” for more awesome information (from YOU).

The key is to focus less on the color off your theme or call-to-action button, and more on the value you’re providing and the persuasive (or lack thereof) language you’re using.

At this point, you’re probably a little gassed out from reading, so I want to share a video from Frank Kern that is absolutely awesome. It has to do with what I just explained above. This technique is call “results in advance” and it’s incredibly simple, but insanely powerful.

Check it out:

7. Have Real Life Experience for Producing Genuine Value

If you’re going to create an audience who craves your new content, you have to actually give them super valuable and engaging content. Every single piece of content you produce should have the intention of helping your readers.

But providing genuine value is only possible through your experience. People can tell if you’re faking it, so don’t even try. Become a master of your craft and then use your blog to educate your prospects since you are now the authority on the topic.

The hardest part is writing engaging content, but there’s a super easy way to conquer boring or dull content…

Just be yourself.

Write like you’re speaking to one person and you’re just having a casual conversation about a really cool topic. Most importantly, write for the “Homer Simpsons” of the world. Like Derek from Social Triggers says, “People Who Use Big Words Are Stupid”. I can’t agree with this more.

Be yourself, write freely and honestly, and provide insane amounts of value.

8. Listen to the Right People

Critical point here… there are ton of “gurus” out there when it comes to Internet marketing, so you must be able to differentiate the good from the bad. When I first started out, I was trusting and reading everything ANYONE was saying. But now, I only read about three or four blogs whenever I get some free time or remember to.

You see, if you spend all your time reading other people’s blog, you’re not spending time developing YOUR blog or hustling to get traffic.

Pick a core group of blogs you love, stick with them, and venture out if one of your core blogs starts to slack off.

Either way, your first thought in the morning shouldn’t be “what blog should I read today?” It should be “how am I going to make money today?”

9. Keep the Fire Lit

I can’t emphasize this point enough. For some reason, once you have the ability to rank websites, it’s very easy to slack off. Like right now, I could have more websites ranking and banking for me. But I get complacent from time-to-time. We are human, but as long as you realize that you’re not taking advantage of your skills, you’ll be able to correct it.

KEEP THE FIRE LIT! This applies to every business.

Remember what all your hard work was for. You wanted to become an SEO guru, so freaking use your skills to make some dough. Trust me, there are people who are more hungry than you. Bringing me to my next point….

10. Be on the Offensive At ALL Times

KobeDunking-300x300-minBy nature, I’m extremely competitive because of my college baseball and athletic background. This easily translates over to SEO. I literally get fired up when a website takes my #1 spot or when I’m trying to take theirs. You have to constantly be on your toes and ready to go up against other SEOs.

Obviously, if you’re starting out, you should stay away from niches that are populated with people like me. But once you got some skills, you should definitely try to tango with the real competitors.

You have to get to the point where you honestly believe you can rank for anything as long as the budget is there.

If you think you’ll be able to rank in PayDay loans for free, then come back to me in five years from now and I guarantee you probably will not have even seen the third page of Google. Ranking in super competitive niches is a budget battle. The same goes for local searches like “city + dentist” because you’re competing with companies who are contracting SEO companies like mine.

In sports, they always talk about the “intangibles”.

Take basketball player #1 vs basketball player #2.

  • Player #1 has the highest shooting percentage and leads the league in scoring.
  • Player #2 has an average shooting percentage and is nowhere near the top for scoring, but leads the league is getting to loose balls, minutes played, producing turnovers, and is known for being the hardest worker in the league.

What player do you think wins more games for their team? Player #2 wins more games because he has the intangibles. Sure, player #1 may get more recognition as an individual, but he won’t win as many games as player #2.

Translating this silly story over to SEO: your SEO skills alone will not make you money! You need the intangibles to succeed and to continue succeeding for years to come. If you’re in defensive mode all the time, you’re afraid to fail, and you’re afraid of competition, then I don’t care how good you are at SEO. You will not make money.

If you want to achieve guru status in SEO, you need these intangibles:

  • competitiveness
  • ZERO fear of failure
  • the drive to keep learning and progressing
  • the ability to make adjustments ALL the time

SEO isn’t a static profession. It’s changing all the time and if you’re not changing with it, you’ll fall behind.

I hope you enjoyed these 10 steps and I know they will bring you at least one step closer to becoming really good at SEO.

Thanks for reading and let me know what you think about this post below or if you have any questions.

– Gotch


  1. This post was was spot on, a lot of points stuck out to me.

    1) Frank kerns video was good. I’m aware of the product he was referring to and I can attest to how big of a psychological jerk off the dating industry really is. Most all of the dating gurus are more affiliate marketers than ladies-men/pua wizards.

    – Even Frank kerns black&white thing I have no doubt was a ploy. If you notice he pitches it out and then right when you think he selling you he pulls out and says “enough about that”.

    2) The big words thing was funny as I was priorly(made up word) just watching one of Becker’s videos thinking how much trust he is building with his humor and simplicity; that he mustn’t actually be this goofy or dim in real life, but is putting on a good sales act.

    3) Sales and being personable is a huge factor. I personally owe all my very small IM success to this.

    4) I think another huge issue that I always seem to suffer is analysis paralysis. You start out strong, basic and simple. You make money; your eyes open; you take more in — then you fuck up.

    You start looking at the bigger picture; all the options there are — and you start trying to do more of what “technically works”, or what “will work long term”. You think for the future rather than the present and you fail.

    I’ve seen proof of concept from MNS sites. In fact thats my sole income atm from SEO/IM. Yet I am not building them because I keep hearing how they “shouldnt/wont/soon wont work”. So I am constantly looking for the best form of sustainability and looking for the “best option”. Should I go Adsense, authority, niche, amazon, local, etc, etc. This leads to paralysis and this always happens to me in every activity I become obsessed with. Bouncing around all over the place.

    5) The genuine value thing — I’m sure others do this too — you never want to post your best article or best stuff because you always feel like you need to be “saving” it for the future. It really does seem a better sales option to give incredible value and possibly skimp out on a product; than to give less initial free value and then deliver more in the product.

    A lot of people complain about beckers stuff saying its re-hash of his free stuff. Its because his free stuff is so good that the products are more or less just the “finer details” of it. However, thats why he is doing so well.

    anyway, end rant, glad to see you’re updating one of my core seo blogs and not “slacking” as you put it.

    • Thanks for awesome comment Jack.

      1) Yeah one could argue that Frank Kerns tactics are sometimes questionable, but there’s no denying that he knows what he’s doing and there’s a ton to learn from him.

      2) To the average person, it may just appear that Becker is funny and outgoing without seeing that he’s actually trying to bring your guard down, and he’s very good at doing so!

      3) Knowing how to sell is everything man

      4) Trust me, action paralysis is something I still suffer from. It’s all the result of overcomplicating things. Keep things simple and basic, and it will all fall into place.

      5) People will still buy your product even if they can get the information for free somewhere else because a) they are getting all the information in one spot, and b) they believe it will be extremely valuable because of the value you have already provided free of charge. I’ve heard the same “rehashed” argument about Becker’s products. The people who make those statements are generally those who are more experienced in SEO and don’t understand that Becker’s products are geared towards beginners. If you’re a beginner, then there’s no denying that you can learn a ton from his blog and products.

      Hey Jack, I really appreciate that you always leave such awesome comments man. Thanks a lot!

      – Gotch

  2. Hai Nguyen says:

    Still a good article as usual, Gotch! I love the way you share us your SEO experience.
    Looking forward to your next SEO strategy :)

  3. Quite a motivation ! i am a regular reader of Jacob King’s blog ! Hey between what is hidden underneath the share button ! i twitted it but nothing pops up ! :S

  4. Buddy,

    I found your site yesterday and already Ive read about 5 or 6 of your articles…
    Not only that, im sure im going to get sucked in and spend money with Frank Kern now!
    I really enjoy all the content your putting out, and I love the layout
    I started SEO officially (for clients) about 3 weeks back, and its all ive done since. I literally read and put into action and hustle as hard as I can. Some of it I used to do for myself, but now im really down the rabbit hole!
    Within 3 weeks I already have 3 clients, and are starting to rank for some keywords which im super happy about-as are they!
    Ive started with a RIA approach without even realising. Ive contacted people with free actionable advice for their sites, for them to do themselves. And then after that, as a client, im being paid very minimal until they see the results and can believe in the techniques a bit more! (Where im from it seems only the largest more successful businesses utilise SEO, the rest throw an advert in the paper and their website is there to tell people where the shop location is!…)

    Im off to do some more work on a site now, but I will be sure to be back-im now subscribed to your emails 😉

    Oh, I also g+1 you when I get the chance!


  5. Wow, the information that your provide is pure gold bro, I have been trying to learn SEO for quite some time now, but have been stuck with information overload, where to start? how to start? and considering the options and tools that are available right now is too much for a beginner like me.

    However, your blog seems to be my seo bible for now, I have also joined your list.

    Thank you very much.

  6. This is the first time, I came to your blog and I am pretty much loving it. I have read couple of your articles including the recent one “the epic guide to anchor text” and that on-page SEO mistake. My friend, your knowledge on SEO is so much clear and really brilliant. I am into this industry since last 7 years now and currently running my own startup. After reading your article now I am thinking on couple of things whether my thinking on them were right or I were doing something really stupid till date.
    From now onwards, I am going to make your blog as a permanent and expert knowledge clearing and gaining resource.
    Thanks for all the efforts you made on each of the article you wrote to educate us on this highly unpredictable subject and industry.

    Soumya Roy

  7. great article !

  8. I am new visitors at here your Blog.. But i will read all the previous post..
    Will definitely follow three major steps
    1) go to forums , specially BHW
    2) Visits to Blogs including your’s
    3) test and new techniques..
    how long it for newbie like me to become seo expert?

    • Imran,

      You’re off to a great start! It’s going to take time to become an expert, but through your own testing and experience, you will achieve your goal. Just work hard, stay focused, and don’t give up.

  9. Oh my Gotch! Your blog is so so Addictive. I have been on it for the past 4 days since i discovered it and it answers almost all my questions.
    You’re doing a fantastic job. Thanks alot

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