20 SEO Experts Share Advice on Career, Skills and Education in 2018

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20 SEO Experts Share Advice on Career, Skills and Education in 2018

Martin Benes
20 SEO Experts Share Advice on Career, Skills and Education in 2018

Nowadays, there is an endless amount of information on starting and enhancing a career in online marketing and one may find it challenging to filter out what is worth reading and what is not.

To save us time and make us the job easier, some of the world’s leading SEO experts shared their personal opinion on must-have skills for 2018 and gave unique advice on how they would start their SEO careers today. 

They also revealed how they educate themselves and how they keep up with the ever-changing industry of search engine optimization. 

I would like to express massive thanks to all the contributors and, with that being said, make sure to check their social media profiles, since those are important sources of SEO hacks, tricks, and the latest news as well.

Note: The list is not based on any particular order, and if I could, I would love to put everyone in the first position. Therefore, even that the list is quite long, it is definitely worth reading all of the amazing answers.


John Doherty - Founder of Credo, Enterprise SEO Consultant

John Doherty - Founder of Credo, Enterprise SEO Consultant

Twitter: @dohertyjf

1) If you were at the beginning of your career again, what would you start with in 2018? What is the most important skill in 2018?

If I were beginning my marketing career this year, I would be overwhelmed by the many options and channels to invest in, people to follow, content to read, and more. I have always believed that the most important skills in any career are meeting people, being curious, and being committed.

If I were beginning my career just now, I would seek to connect with as many smart people as possible in places where I could learn. This is still very possible to do on Twitter, but there are also many great Slack groups for marketers where you can learn from others. The access to super smart and successful people through these channels is amazing, and I would take full advantage of it.

I say curiosity because the marketing world is always changing and with that, your skillset needs to be evolving. When I was first starting my career, I dabbled in all of the areas of marketing so that I could figure out which ones spoke to me and which ones were more difficult to me. I focused on the ones that I could be great at.

And third, I think you need to be committed from the start. I commonly hear from young professionals that they are bored in their career and ready for a change. If you are bored with your career, then that means you haven't gone deep enough yet. You are bored because things are easy. When you get deeper into your career, and you cross from that "I know everything" state of mind into the "There is so much that I will never know" area, that is where the fun really starts. But you do not get there by bouncing from job to job and industry to industry all the time. Do it when it makes sense career-wise and financially, but at some point, you need to commit to something and become an expert if you really want your career to go somewhere.

2) Do you have any favorite sources of education in SEO? How do you keep up with the ever-changing trends?

There are so many good sources out there for education, but there is also a lot of noise in our industry. Therefore you have to cut through the noise to get to the signal. For high signal-to-noise SEO education, I follow Search Engine Land for news, people like Rand Fishkin and Wil Reynolds on Twitter, and some niche-specific people who have deep understandings of the business behind digital marketing.

Most of the sites in the SEO space these days are focused on beginner-level SEO content, as advanced content is very context-specific to the specific site. The good sites to follow for beginner level content are Search Engine Journal, Moz, and The SEM Post. If you are looking for a canonical piece of content on getting started in SEO, I recommend the Moz Beginner's Guide. And if you want to get an education in SEO in a paid course, then I still recommend DistilledU (full disclosure: I used to work at Distilled and worked on DistilledU).

Barry Schwartz - CEO of RustyBrick, Founder of Search Engine Roundtable

Barry Schwartz - CEO of RustyBrick, Founder of Search Engine Roundtable

Twitter: @rustybrick 

1) If you were at the beginning of your career again, what would you start with in 2018? What is the most important skill in 2018?

I suspect in 2018, the most important skills to be careful about not having AI take over your job, is to be able to program the AI. :) But also, I still think having good fundamentals in math and statistics is important for most skilled jobs.

2) Do you have any favorite sources of education in SEO? How do you keep up with the ever-changing trends?

Well, I am biased. I write educational SEO content all day at Search Engine Roundtable and Search Engine Land. I use tons of tools to keep track of what is changing, what is new, what to write about and who to track. This includes RSS feeds, Twitter profiles, Google Alerts, forum chatter, and so much more.
 

Dan Sharp - Co-founder and Director of Screaming Frog

Dan Sharp - Co-founder and Director of Screaming Frog

Twitter: @screamingfrog

1) If you were at the beginning of your career again, what would you start with in 2018? What is the most important skill in 2018?

If I were just starting out in SEO in 2018, I would immerse myself in learning the technical fundamentals of the web, SEO, and information retrieval.

I think it's so important to have that grounding, even if you're a more creative SEO (and end up in more of a content/PR role). I really like this checklist put together by Dave Sottimano to help new starters in the field get the right skills with hands-on tasks.
 
Any skill can be picked up when you have the right attitude and drive to learn.

2) Do you have any favorite sources of education in SEO? How do you keep up with the ever-changing trends?

I think as a beginner Moz is still a great resource for learning and for industry news, a combination of Search Engine Land and Search Engine Roundtable will cover most things. But nothing will beat testing things yourself and learning through doing.

Eric Enge - ‎ CEO and Founder of Stone Temple, Co-author of The Art of SEO

Eric Enge - ‎ CEO and Founder of Stone Temple Consulting

Twitter: @stonetemple 

1) If you were at the beginning of your career again, what would you start with in 2018? What is the most important skill in 2018?

If I were starting my career today, I'd be looking at what areas I could get in on the ground floor on. In other words, what are the big changes happening today that may become huge over the next few years? The interesting choices I see are:

  • Digital Personal Assistants 
  • Blockchain Technology and its Marketing Applications 
  • Augmented Reality 

Each of these has the potential to be explosive in their impact on how marketing is done. As for what is the most important skill, I think the ability to be analytical is the big one. Can you take complex problems, unravel them and find solutions, and then explain what you found and how you fixed it in simple terms to business people and marketers.

2) Do you have any favorite sources of education in SEO? How do you keep up with the ever-changing trends?

I use many sources of education, but my primary approach is threefold: 

  • Twitter - I follow people like Barry Schwartz, Glenn Gabe, and others who are constantly sharing the latest news. Doing this helps me pick up on new things fast.
  • My network - To supplement Twitter, I rely on the network of people I know to alert me when something comes up. This often happens because they come to ask me my opinion on something. 
  • Google - Once I've identified a trend, technology, or tool to learn about, I go to Google and start searching to find the best possible articles on them, and I start reading and analyzing. I keep going until I develop an understanding of how it fits in. This works really well for staying on top of things.

Additionally, you can regularly check sites like Search Engine Land, Moz, and Search Engine Journal for the latest news on search related topics.

Stephan Spencer - SEO Expert, Bestselling Author, Professional Speaker

Stephan Spencer - SEO Expert, Bestselling Author & Speaker

Twitter: @sspencer

1) If you were at the beginning of your career again, what would you start with in 2018? What is the most important skill in 2018?

I always have the long view in mind, so I'd start with machine learning. The only way the SEO practitioner of the future stands a chance at outmaneuvering Google's A.I. is to have his/her own A.I. The most important skill in 2018 is foretelling the future, in other words, being a futurist. Things are moving way too fast (and the rate of change is accelerating). You won’t stand a chance if you can’t see where things are heading. What will be run-of-the-mill to us in 2023 will blow your mind.

2) Do you have any favorite sources of education in SEO? How do you keep up with the ever-changing trends?

You’d think it was my book The Art of SEO (it’s my favorite to recommend, but I don’t need to read my own book). For me, it’s conferences. I speak at many of my favorites, like Pubcon, SMX, and Content Marketing World. There are many others that I pay to attend, like Traffic & Conversion Summit and Social Media Marketing World (which is very valuable for the outreach aspect of link building). I also keep up by following futurists like John Smart and Ramez Naam. For example, this article series on personal agents is a must-read.

Sean Si - CEO and Founder of SEO Hacker

Sean Si - CEO and Founder of SEO Hacker

Twitter: @seo_hacker

1) If you were at the beginning of your career again, what would you start with in 2018? What is the most important skill in 2018?

If I were given a choice and the circumstances allow it, I would still work with SEO, since it’s still one of the greatest industries of today. However, I would already explore more opportunities in online marketing and business. I would like to start doing E-Commerce from the very start because it is already one of the most profitable online business models of 2018.

One of the most important online marketing skill that everyone must have in 2018 is reputation management. The internet allows transparency and is also one of the biggest platforms to share our opinions and experiences. Managing your brand’s reputation is definitely a make or break process, as one review can affect it greatly. Knowing how to manage legitimate criticism and malicious attacks is something that would be able to strengthen your image and branding on the internet, and it can take your business to new heights if you are able to handle it correctly.

2) Do you have any favorite sources of education in SEO? How do you keep up with the ever-changing trends?

SEO Hacker came to be a knowledge-based blog and one of my main sources to learn proper copywriting, blogging, and content marketing was Copyblogger. Their tutorials are some of the best and most accessible and can help anyone wanting to start with SEO and online marketing. Aside from learning proper content marketing, I made a habit of keeping up with the latest trends by constantly reading various articles related to SEO and online marketing. These articles from authoritative sources help my team, and I stay updated regularly with regards to changes and events in the SEO world.

Shannon K. Steffen - Human SEO™ Digital Marketing Strategist

Shannon K. Steffen - Human SEO™ Digital Marketing Strategist

Twitter: @shannonksteffen

1) If you were at the beginning of your career again, what would you start with in 2018? What is the most important skill in 2018?

If you want to become successful in SEO, the best place to start is always with a basic understanding of web development. Technical SEO is crucial because you are, in essence, using technology to communicate with Google technology. If Google cannot easily spider your website, no amount of keyword research or content optimization is going to increase search engine rankings.

2) Do you have any favorite sources of education in SEO? How do you keep up with the ever-changing trends?

In order to stay on top of the ever-changing landscape of SEO, you not only need to follow news on specific search engines and social media networks but also case studies from your successful peers. My go-to resources are the Official Google Blog, Google Webmaster Central Blog, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, SEMrush Blog, and the Moz blog. Start with the basic foundations of SEO and grow your education at your own pace. Every SEO professional has specific areas in which they excel. Find yours and become the top go-to source in that area.

Joost de Valk - CEO and Founder of Yoast

Joost de Valk - CEO and Founder of Yoast

Twitter: @jdevalk

1) If you were at the beginning of your career again, what would you start with in 2018? What is the most important skill in 2018?

I'd still start with working on and with WordPress. It's the dominant CMS; people far too often underestimate what that means.

2) Do you have any favorite sources of education in SEO? How do you keep up with the ever-changing trends?

Slightly self-serving: Yoast Academy :) I keep up to date through Barry Schwartz's ridiculous amount of work on SearchEngineLand and SearchEngine RoundTable, and read a lot of other stuff through Twitter.

John Rampton - Online Influencer, CEO and Founder of Calendar

John Rampton - Online Influencer, CEO and Founder of Calendar

Twitter: @johnrampton

1) If you were at the beginning of your career again, what would you start with in 2018? What is the most important skill in 2018?

I think the most important skill in 2018 is the ability to make mistakes and rebound from them. Everybody makes mistakes — especially anyone who wants to accomplish anything — but as social media and SEO efforts make everything more visible, people seem scared to not appear perfect. You want to learn from your mistakes and avoid repeating them, but if you aren’t willing to take risks and try something new, you’re not going to get very far. Making mistakes helps you figure out what you’re really good at so you can zone in on that. 

2) Do you have any favorite sources of education in SEO? How do you keep up with the ever-changing trends?

Keeping up with changing algorithms is hard, which is why I read Google’s blog regularly. Google won’t tell you how to adapt to its changes, but it will tell you what they are so you can start strategizing and reading about what others are doing.
 
I actually created a beginner’s guide to SEO, which I recommend for those just getting started. I also suggest reading SEMrush, Moz, Search Engine Land, and Search Engine Watch to stay updated on what’s changing. The HigherVisibility Insite blog is good for tactical tips; SEMrush does the same and offers some good audit tools. And reading up on how AI is impacting SEO is a must these days.

Brett Tabke – CEO and Founder of Pubcon

Brett Tabke – CEO and Founder of Pubcon

Twitter: @btabke

1) If you were at the beginning of your career again, what would you start with in 2018? 

Diversity. The technologies, coding, and marketing of websites continue to evolve in dramatic fits-n-starts. One month we are redoing websites for mobile first indexing, and the next month we are creating new sites based on Accelerated Mobile Pages. The only constant has been change.

What is the most important skill in 2018?

The ability to learn and adapt. The only skill is to learn new skills. Lifetime learning is a must.

They say Elon Musk reads a new book every week. He is the ultimate 'generic man' that learns at a high rate from a wide range of disciplines.  We have to apply that same strategy to building websites and marketing websites, both for ourselves and for our clients.

2) Do you have any favorites source of education in SEO? 

Conferences. Go and listen to experts in the field. I was just at a conference yesterday and learned an enormous about a couple of subjects I had not checked in to in a few years. Then we had a reception where I was introduced to a couple of people that could be very instrumental to our business going forward. The networking contacts we made at conferences have helped my business be much more sustainable than without such resources.

How do you keep up with the ever-changing trends?

I read 2 to 4 hours a day on mainstream news sites, tech journals, expert blogs, and forums.

Lukasz Zelezny - SEO Keynote Speaker and Social Media Consultant

Lukasz Zelezny - SEO Keynote Speaker and Social Media Consultant

Twitter: @lukaszzelezny

1) If you were at the beginning of your career again, what would you start with in 2018? What is the most important skill in 2018?

I would have to say networking.  SEO is, of course, important, but many entrepreneurs and small business owners do not understand the importance of networking. Not only can it help you to build relationships and a customer base, but it can enable you to do this much quicker than starting an SEO campaign from scratch.

The two main types of networking that I do are social media and conferences. I speak at conferences all over the world about SEO, and after my talks, I take the time to speak to those who have shown up to listen to me. I do a similar thing on social media – I regularly listen to what other people have to say and take the time to talk to them. Both of these things have helped me to establish myself as an expert and open doors for new business opportunities. It’s something I think will become even more vital to do in 2018 as it becomes increasingly more difficult to reach the top of the search engines as a new business.

2) Do you have any favorite sources of education in SEO? How do you keep up with the ever-changing trends?

I think I would have to say Twitter.  I know it’s not a specific blog, but it really is the best way for me to keep up to date with the latest news and the trends. I even have certain accounts set up to send me notifications when they post. I then use my commuting time to check Twitter to refresh my knowledge on a daily basis. Of course, working in SEO, I also hear snippets of information from my colleagues, and I make sure to research this further.  Twitter is such a good source of information though, that I can’t recommend it enough.

Bartosz Góralewicz - Co-founder and CEO at Elephate

Bartosz Góralewicz - Co-founder and CEO at Elephate

Twitter: @bart_goralewicz

1) If you were at the beginning of your career again, what would you start with in 2018? What is the most important skill in 2018?

2018 is only going to get more technical. Tech skills are worth more now than they ever were. The days when good developers had problems finding gigs are long over. We are witnessing a massive growth of JavaScript frameworks, technical SEO, machine learning, and so on. If I were starting my career again, I would make sure to have a very good understanding of the basics. Learning is now much easier than it was even a couple of years ago. With courses like this one by Codecademy, you can learn the solid basics of development in 10 hours a week. I can only imagine my potential if I had more time to learn :)

2) Do you have any favorite sources of education in SEO? How do you keep up with the ever-changing trends?

Apart from all the classics in our SEO community (SEL, SEJ, MOZ), I do my best to stay up to date with news from the development/frontend industry. Nowadays, good SEOs need to feel comfortable in, e.g., Chrome Developer Tools, Lighthouse or know which JavaScript framework is easier to configure for SEO. Finding valuable articles usually comes from following the right people on Twitter. I believe that my list is pretty good, as it usually keeps me in the loop with all the current trends.

Aaron Wall - Founder of SEO Book

Aaron Wall - Founder of SEO Book

Twitter: @seobook

1) If you were at the beginning of your career again, what would you start with in 2018? What is the most important skill in 2018?

I don't think I would get into SEO in 2018 if I were starting from scratch. I'd probably prefer to focus on another newer channel earlier in the S-curve, where the parent platform wasn't squeezing out former partners: Why Decentralization Matters - "When they hit the top of the S-curve, their relationships with network participants change from positive-sum to zero-sum. The easiest way to continue growing lies in extracting data from users and competing with compliments over audiences and profits."

For many years link building and SEO were essentially synonymous. You could rank 1-page flash websites for a broad array of related keywords just by pounding it with links. The post-click user experience really didn't matter much (at least in terms of building rank).

Links = SEO is not what it once was.

If I were brand new to SEO today, I would probably suggest sort of ignoring the relevancy algorithms & focus on other disciplines that have bled over into impacting SEO as the algorithms have evolved: usability, branding, competitive differentiation, etc. Or if I were starting today and needed to generate quick cash flow from SEO, I would probably opt to sell on a marketplace that is already widely trusted like Amazon.com or eBay.

2) Do you have any favorite sources of education in SEO? How do you keep up with the ever-changing trends?

For usability, you can't go wrong with Steve Krug's books, and you can get a good weekly email newsletter from Nielsen Norman Group. I like some of Seth Godin's books like Purple Cow. As far as straight SEO goes, Glenn Gabe does a good job covering the industry. You can also get Google's perspective from the daily SearchEngineLand SearchCap newsletter. TechMeme is great for following tech news. 

Bill Slawski - President and Founder of SEO by the Sea

Bill Slawski - President and Founder of SEO by the Sea

Twitter: @bill_slawski

1) If you were at the beginning of your career again, what would you start with in 2018? What is the most important skill in 2018?

If I were just starting out in SEO, I might not go to law school first, even though I feel it taught me how to think in ways that help me to do SEO. I suspect a philosophy undergraduate degree might be more helpful than an English degree as well because it could help me think in a more analytic manner. Some more programming skills would be helpful as well. In 2018, we have a lot more access to information and ideas and writings about the Web than we did in 1996. So being able to access those and learn from them would be helpful.

2) Do you have any favorite sources of education in SEO? How do you keep up with the ever-changing trends?

My favorite source of education in SEO involves reading and trying to understand search-related patents. More education in computer science may have been beneficial, but being able to read the thoughts and ideas and assumptions that search engineers make when they come up with new approaches to solve problems and new algorithms to index content on the Web, and retrieve it, and display it explains a lot. Having an opportunity to network with other SEOs and bounce ideas off of them, and share ideas with them and others helps create an atmosphere where learning can take place well. 

My second favorite source of education in SEO involves rolling up my sleeves and making changes and improvements to a site. A hands-on approach enables an opportunity to feel success right at your fingertips. Again, being able to talk with others about experiences, and questions and concerns can help make that an even richer experience.

Adam Connell - Founder of Blogging Wizzard

Adam Connell - Founder of Blogging Wizard

Twitter: @adamjayc

1) If you were at the beginning of your career again, what would you start with in 2018? What is the most important skill in 2018?

When I got my first marketing agency job, I had no relevant qualifications, and the other applicants did. I even missed the group interview, but I still got the job because I could demonstrate that I knew how to market & grow a website. The other applicants just had a piece of paper and no experience. 

So, if I had to start my career all over again, I'd do the exact same thing:

Start a website, market the hell out of it and use that as my 'springboard' into a marketing role. Working in the trenches teaches you a lot about marketing in general, but it also teaches you to adapt and become completely self-reliant.

Because even when you get that marketing job, despite being part of a team, you'll need to be able to work independently and adapt to navigate emerging trends. Both are important skills.

2) Do you have any favorite sources of education in SEO? How do you keep up with the ever-changing trends?

One of my favorite sources of marketing education is marketing conferences. 

The information shared by speakers at events like the Traffic & Conversion Summit is far ahead of a lot of information found freely on the web. 

Mike Moran - Digital Marketing Expert, Co-author of ‎Search Engine Marketing, Inc.

Mike Moran - Digital Marketing Expert, Co-author of ‎Search Engine Marketing, Inc.

Twitter: @mikemoran

1) If you were at the beginning of your career again, what would you start with in 2018? What is the most important skill in 2018?

I think it would have to be analytics. Marketing has traditionally been about soft skills, for the most part, and they will always be important. But there is a dearth of talent that understands the numbers. If you have the data analytics skills to understand and interpret data, you can write your own ticket. Now, if your brain isn't built that way, all is not lost. Communications skills will always be in style. But if you really could choose anything, I would choose analytics.

2) Do you have any favorite sources of education in SEO? How do you keep up with the ever-changing trends?

Can I cheat with that answer? It's the book that Bill Hunt and I wrote, Search Engine Marketing, Inc., which is now in its third edition. But there are many other great sources of information, also. SearchEngineLand is probably my favorite source of breaking news, but the best way to keep up with changing trends is to grow a good network of experts to help you and to try things yourself. Never stop experimenting and never stop talking to other experts.

Fili Wiese - SEO Expert at SearchBrothers.com, Former Google Engineer

Fili Wiese - SEO Expert at SearchBrothers.com, Former Google Engineer

Twitter: @filiwiese 

1) If you were at the beginning of your career again, what would you start with in 2018? What is the most important skill in 2018?

Technical SEO is hugely important nowadays and only growing further in prominence. Anyone just about to begin their SEO career is well advised to become intimately familiar with technical aspects of Search, that includes expert coding skills in some technologies as well as being familiar with most currently applied web solutions, standards and -very important- trends. For example being a Google App Engine guru is a great asset.

At the same time really understanding Google Policies, not just Google Webmaster Guidelines is what makes a huge difference from an SEO perspective. My personal experience and that of some of my peers shows that working at Google on Search and being passionate about web technologies as a site owner offers great insights from all perspectives. In my opinion, it is the preferred path to becoming an expert SEO.

Now not every great SEO out there has had the rare opportunity to glimpse at Google secrets. Having no first-hand experience while working at a major search engine is not an SEO career roadblock. It can be well compensated by intense study and learning from the right sources. And learning and associating with the Best.

There are but few as elite and excellent SEO communities as the SEOktoberfest Brother and Sisterhood, initiated by a real life SEO rockstar Marcus Tandler. My advice for young, ambitious SEOs is to put their best foot forward and apply for a job at Google if possible. And, whether successful or not, to read as much about SEO as possible and carefully choose what to believe and apply.

2) Do you have any favorite sources of education in SEO? How do you keep up with the ever-changing trends?

When it comes to Google policies and SEO the trends are in-fact rather stable. Putting user experience first remains, now for many years, an SEO winning strategy. Nuances may change here or there, such as new, quite possibly passing technology trends popping up, just like AMP but that does not fundamentally change what SEO is about. Of course, some new trends become new standards; just think of migrating to HTTPS

Now SEO is both an art and a science and a complex one on top of that, so it is of the greatest importance to keep up with industry and Google updates. My favorite sources to do so are a handful: Google Webmaster Central Blog, Search Engine Land, and Search Engine Journal are just some examples. Lastly, I frequently speak at online marketing conferences and make it a habit to learn from other participants both speakers and audience at these occasions. Conferences, such as BrightonSEO and SMX are really highly recommended.

Jason Barnard - Search Marketing Consultant, Author and Speaker

Jason Barnard - Search Marketing Consultant, Author and Speaker

Twitter: @jasonmbarnard

1) If you were at the beginning of your career again, what would you start with in 2018? What is the most important skill in 2018?

This is the easiest question of the day... A real no-brainer: Communicating with search engines in formats they can easily digest and understand. In short:

  • Structured Schema markup 
  • Semantic HTML5 

These skills are relatively simple to master and very powerful. They should be considered the foundation of any SEO strategy.

2) Do you have any favorite sources of education in SEO? How do you keep up with the ever-changing trends?

I read (almost) everything that comes my way. There are a phenomenal number of great people out there writing about SEO. I (truly) do not have any particular preferences. 

My advice: 

  1. Read a lot (be curious - it isn't time wasted, although it can sometimes feel like it).
  2. Don't take anything at face value.
  3. Read what Google has to say. Treat this as an essential part of the process (you can always choose not to believe them).
  4. Test whatever conclusions you draw from 1 to 3 before implementing at scale.

Concerning point 4 - I am a BIG fan and do a great deal of testing. Testing is truly essential to avoid getting it wrong (point 2). I am lucky as I participate in (and so get access to) the extensive research done at Kalicube.pro .  

Aaron Bradley at SEO Skeptic has a take I like a lot - Critically evaluate sources of information:

  • Be wary of claims unsubstantiated by data.
  • Take the search engines at their word, but be circumspect about their motives.
  • Be wary of information based on limited or imperfect testing.
  • Be wary of second- or third-hand information.

Aysun Akarsu - Founder and Blogger at SearchDatalogy

Aysun Akarsu - Founder and Blogger at SearchDatalogy

Twitter: @aysunakarsu

1) If you were at the beginning of your career again, what would you start with in 2018? What is the most important skill in 2018?

In my opinion, the most important skill in 2018 is data analysis and communication. First, collecting or finding the right data for each part of the problem we are facing which I consider the hardest part and then being able to clean, explore and analyze each of the collected data. Second, knowing how to cross them with each other in order to get powerful insights. Last, of course, the ability to communicate the results of our data analysis by sharing our findings with others in a meaningful way.

If I begin my career again, I will invest more in data engineering and improve myself in communication.

2) Do you have any favorite sources of education in SEO? How do you keep up with the ever-changing trends?

To begin with, I always study data science and data engineering. It is a lifelong learning process that will never end.

Furthermore, I sometimes attend SEO conferences, as a speaker though. Nowadays there are very good ones with amazing speakers. In addition, I follow not only Google's communications about SEO or search in general but also I analyze the public data-sets they share with us such as HTTP archive, Chrome RUM (Real User Monitoring) data. Last but not least, I am learning a lot from Twitter when I can, but undoubtedly it depends very much on who you follow and to what extent. 

Max Bennett – Digital Strategist and SEO Expert

Max Bennett – Digital Strategist and SEO Expert

Twitter: @maxbennettinc

1) If you were at the beginning of your career again, what would you start with in 2018? What is the most important skill in 2018?

I certainly have no regrets with my career journey. I feel very fortunate to have stumbled into SEO, and I think it's the most interesting and challenging form of marketing there is. As long as your career challenges you early on, and also allows for you to make it whatever you want it to be, then you can't go wrong. 

On that note, I think the most important skill is problem-solving. Sometimes it's not a skill but rather a discipline but I think it can be learned and improved upon so in that way it is a skill and it's crucial especially early on. SEO requires serious problem-solving. There is never a recipe; you have to have skills in data analysis, statistics, Excel, data visualization, creativity, communication, but ultimately you just have to be a problem solver. The skill will also help you drive your career to whatever heights you desire. 

At the beginning of your career, don't stay at a job that doesn't allow and value someone who wants to go above and beyond. If you aren't getting the training, mentoring, resources, challenges, and freedoms to flourish then solve that problem by moving on to find something that gives you all those things. Hopefully, you can find all of that within the SEO world. Now that I'm 10 years into my career and was fortunate enough to have all of those things, I'm dedicated to offering it and enabling it for those coming up behind me however I can. 

2) Do you have any favorite sources of education in SEO? How do you keep up with the ever-changing trends?

Make sure you're following the heavy hitters in SEO/Digital Marketing on Twitter. The best and easiest way to keep up is to get notifications on your phone whenever Dr. Pete, Larry Kim and Cyrus Shepard retweet Gary Illyes or John Mu (just an example). I also love when people like Rand Fishkin or anyone with a big following and clout post about an update or ask a question and dozens of gurus respond with their perspective, it's always a gold mine, and for someone like me with OCD, it's more digestible than blog posts. Be sure to subscribe to the Google Webmaster Blog and also email roundups or newsletters like from Search Engine Land and the Moz Top 10


What are your most favorite sources of education in SEO? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section - I will check them out!

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Martin Benes is a SEO professional based in Malta, on one of the most beautiful islands of the Mediterranean sea. He writes and publishes on several SEO related websites and enjoys reading anything connected to digital marketing. He has just started on Twitter as @imbenes and you can get in touch with him on www.benes.me.
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Melvic Real Estate
Hey. Awesome Colection of expert opinions. I know some more expert of digital marketing. That is Divyaraj . Founder of [link removed by moderator] , Jason Parks founder of the media captain, Sandip Trivedi Co-founder of [link removed by moderator]
Smart Blogger
Thank you for sharing this useful information.

Have a nice day!
Melanie Nathan
Great post but I would've liked to hear from some more of the women in SEO (as they're the ones I most relate to). Peeps like Marie Haynes, Julie Joyce, Ann Smarty and Rhea Drysdale would've been awesome :)
Saravanan Subramani
Some great insights indeed.!

These are really good inspirational heroes for every SEO Experts. And everyone should follow them. Before this post, I know few of theme but this post is great learning for me.

Thanks for such a wonderful bunch of advices. Being a newbie in SEO world, I really need to learn and progress both professionally as well as financially in this field.

Great Post Martin.! Thanks for all the hard work.
Jalil Mehar
hello Martin,
Thanks for this valuable article… Very interesting article. thank you!
Informative & interesting post! Thanks & keep do posting!
Nice article , learned a lot from this article post .
Simon  Cox
I think Bartosz has hit it on the nail here - Tech SEO is the way forward for 2018. It is certainly, the biggest SEO role growth I have seen in the past 12 months - possibly because business is starting to get it at last - plus seo shortcuts are fast disappearing!
George
Wow, this is like a small book of great info. Thanks for all the hard work.
Thanks for sharing such amazing insights, learned a lot from this post ♥

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