How Long Does It Take to Learn SEO on Your Own?

Last updated on August 30th, 2023.

In a previous article, I was sharing how I learned SEO.

People ask often: “How long did it take you to learn SEO?”

The answer: It took me 2.5 weeks (94 hours) to get a hang on basic SEO.

How do I know so exactly? I’m a productivity nerd and track my time investment with Toggl.

But it didn’t stop at those 144 hours. And ever since I spend roughly 4 hours per week to keep up to date with recent changes. I read articles, chat with peers and catch up on SEO and Content Slack channels.

But let’s get back to those 144 hours. What did I actually do? Here’s how much time I spent at each step:

StepWhat actions did I take?Hours spent initiallyHours spent per week
Step 1: SEO for beginners guidesRead two beginners’ guides.
MOZ guide: 7 hours
Google starter guide: 5 hours
 12 hours  
Step 2: Understand Content MarketingTake the Hubspot Content class and prepare for the exam40 hours
Step 3: Understand the basics of website analyticsTook the free Google Analytics for Beginners class and created trial reports8 hours
Step 4: Technical SEO– Took the HTML and CSS class at Cibernarium. Each 2 hours of class and 3 hours of self-training per course
– Blue Array technical SEO course
50 hours
Step 5: Get your hands dirty – do a basic SEO auditConducted an SEO audit for a friend. It took me 3 working days.24 hours
Step 6: Keep up to dateListen to SEO Podcast: ~ 1.5 hours per week
Read Newsletters and blogs: 2 hours per week
Attend Meet-ups: 0.5 hours (1 meetup per month of circa 2 hours)
4 hours
Step 7: The advanced stuffI haven’t done that yet! I plan to attend the Intro to data science with Python on Datacamp and to grab a copy of the book Javascript for Kids.?
Total hours spent144 hours initially4 hours weekly
Hours spent on my journey into SEO

This is my personal journey. There is no right or wrong. Every path is individual with detours.
I’m also grateful for Aleyda’s You can deep dive into each section of SEO. There is so much knowledge out there – and most of it is free. Take advantage of that.

I wish you joy in embracing the learning curve.
How did you start out? Share your story in the comments.

Corina Burri

Corina is a SEO professional from Zürich. Since 2016 she's in SEO and has contributed to publications such as SEOFOMO, Tech SEO Tips, or iPullRank. When not grinding, she enjoys exploring Switzerland.

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  1. Pingback: 31+ Experienced SEOs Share How They Started Their Career

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