How to become an SEO expert in Vancouver? A step by step guide

Are you looking to change careers and get into digital marketing? Are you looking to expand your skill set and become a marketing consultant? Or are you trying to expand your knowledge and apply digital marketing to your own business? Where ever you are in your career path, if you are looking to gain a very high income skill and have the ability to apply it to those who are in need of this skill set, this blog is a must read.  

What this blog is not about? This blog is not about how to install a blog platform, how to host a website and all the technical details that is required to get a website running. There are numerous other blogs on this subject that do a great job explaining how to get your website up and running. This blog is also not about using pay per click advertisements to attract buyers. 

What this blog is all about? This blog is about you becoming an SEO expert consultant. Which is to say, at the end of this blog you will have the mindset, the psychology, the mental tools and the ability to execute on effective strategies to market any business through organic search. Not only will you gain the knowledge, you will also have a game plan on how to apply and find the right SEO jobs or find the right SEO clients in Vancouver. If this excites you, let us get started.

Why should you become an SEO consultant? 

Understanding digital marketing at a deeper level is a high income skill set. Which is to say, companies are willing to pay you top dollars to fill in that role. Why? Because it is a strategy that allows then to market their products/services to their target audience, lure them in, and convince them to make a purchase without actually trying to hard sell. This allows companies to scale, have growth, increase their customer base and grow a profitable business. This is the power of digital marketing. 

There are 2 main skill sets in digital marketing. One is mastering pay per click advertisements, and the other is to rank your website high on search through organic means. Both might be important for a business, but the focus of this blog is to rank your website high on search through organic means and generate leads.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the ability to bring more eyes to your website. It allows you to rank high for keywords associated with your products/services. When you rank high on search you have a higher probability for users to click your link and visit your website. The goal is to rank on the 1st page of a search result. This is the essence of this blog. How to rank high on the 1st page of search organically without using any form of paid advertisements.

By definition SEO is all about putting out valuable content users are looking for. Content in this blog refers to written blogs, landing page, written words, copy writing, video blogging, marketing and software tools, podcasting, etc. 

SEO vs PPC ? 

Neither strategies is superior or inferior. You can use SEO with PPC (Pay per click) advertisements, or just PPC or just SEO. Depending on your needs, the companies/clients goals and what you want to accomplish, SEO and PPC can both be right for you. 

If you want to get leads immediately you can buy ads. Once you stop paying, your ads too would stop and your lead flow would be broken. You are basically using money as your leverage.  Your goal is to make sure you generate more revenue than the cost of your ads or else your PPC strategy is not effective.

If you have a long term vision, SEO gives you the ability to generate leads over a longer period of time. SEO allows you to get leads by ranking your website high on search for relevant keywords without you spending any money. In this case you will be trading time and effort for organic rankings and leads. 

What steps to take to become a SEO expert? 

Becoming an SEO expert can take years. What this blog is going to do is give you the strategies that will allow you to cut your learning time by half if not more. The idea is to give you the mindset and tools that will be effective forever even if the search algorithms keep changing. 

At the end, a search algorithms job is to give you the best answer for a particular question. Now, that best answer can be subjective, but the most comprehensive post on that subject is generally the one that will rank higher. The goal is for you to create the most comprehensive article on that subject.

Let us dive in.


Without having the right mindset, you will not be successful. there are 8 core mindsets that will allow you to think in the right way and become an exceptional consultant.

Givers Gain - SEO is all about positioning your website high on search results for relevant keywords. Which is to say, more value is directly proportional to higher ranking. Start learning to give a lot of value for free. It is the name of the game. Robert Cialdini calls it 'reciprocity' in his book Influence. Which is, humans are obligated to return the favor if they think someone has gone out of their way to help them out. 

In this case, if you keep giving valuable information to your readers, more value than your competition, search engines are obligated to rank you high. So always strive to write the best content on a particular subject. There are various methods and ways in which you can write effective content. Check out this article to become a great blogger

Practitioner not preacher - The only way to give effective advise, is to practice what you preach. Get in the habit of writing, learning, doing, creating, making and getting results. Being a SEO expert is a lifestyle, a mindset, a behavior and about being a visionary. You need to start writing content, writing content people want to read, people are hungry to learn about and you need to satisfy that hunger. 

The 1st few times you write a blog no one will want to read it. Over time with practice you will be able to write effectively. Eventually when others consult you, you will know exactly what is stopping their website from ranking and what they need to do to fix it.  

You can only obtain that level of mastery by first being a doer. Eventually you will start to have a  visceral understanding of the subject and you will start to cultivate powerful intuitions.

Transparency - Start learning to be transparent. Which is to say, share your best stuff to the world. Do not worry no one is going to steal that idea away. Why? Because no one cares about your ideas. On the contrary, if your ideas are really worth their time and they see potential in it's execution, your prospects will just hire you to do the job. But they can only know if you are the best in the business, if you share the best piece of advice. 

Being transparent is all about being honest, trustworthy, sharing your best ideas and tactics, and eventually attracting prospects in the process. Great examples of being transparent is the open source community. 

At ANTSAND, we developed our own CSS library as a way to create websites that looks stunning,  mobile tablet responsive, SEO friendly and over all it is designed to have elements that would help boost conversions.  If a user wants to use the library, they are free to go-ahead. If a a prospect finds the library useful, but they do not have the time or resources to work on creating a conversion centric website, they will most likely want to get in touch with us.

By sharing our best piece of software and design principles, we now have the ability to demand authority over the subject and attract the right prospects. Be transparent. 

Persuasion and positioning - To be great at SEO, you need to be great at persuasion. Which is to say, you need to know what are the elements that help in persuading your prospects to take action. Based on Cialdini's work, there are 6 persuasiveness triggers. 
  • Reciprocity
  • Likability
  • Scarcity
  • Social Proof
  • Authority
  • Commitment and consistency
Which is to say, if you want to influence your prospects, this is what the above 6 points translates to.
  • Give a lot of value that your prospects perceive as valuable and they will return the favor
  • Have raving fans. You can have haters, but you need to have raving fans. Fans that love what you do, they will go above and beyond to meet you, they want to buy every product you put out there. Build a cult not followers.
  • Be available sparsely. Which is to say, give an offer that is time bound, is rare to have, and it is a must have because of the results they will get. 
  • Most buying decisions today are made through online reviews and testimonials. Gather testimonials from your clients, your partners and everyone you have worked with. This is what brings about the social proof. 
  • Be knowledgeable and obtain mastery over the subject. Be the the best SEO expert there is in Vancouver by giving your clients the necessary results. Once people start to notice your skill set and the results you bring, they will start to listen to you and perceive you as an expert. So go out there and position yourself as an authority.
  • Be consistent. You cannot expect to do something once and keep getting results. Which is to say, you cannot eat a whole years meal in one meal. Be consistent in your approach and the law of compounding will kick in.
This groups 2-3 mindsets into one. But it is worth noting that without having the ability to persuade, you cannot be an SEO expert. Be cautions how you persuade, and persuade people using the right principles. 

In a statement, this is what persuasion looks like. 

Give value that your prospects and customers perceive as valuable (reciprocity). which in turn will make them look up to you as an authority over the subject. They will start to rave about your work, will give you reviews/testimonials and will talk about you in social meetings and gatherings. This will help you build social proof. All you need to do now, is be consistent in your approach and only give time to the very few who desperately need your time in exchange for a lot of $$$ (scarcity). 

Measure everything. Be a data freak - You know what to expect only if you measure it. Which in the SEO world is, you won't know what content to write till you find out what users are searching for. Without looking at the data, you will start to write content no one wants to read. So start looking at data and measuring your results. 

Speed of implementation - When you learn a new piece of information, go out there and test it as soon as possible. Do not wait. Just do it. The faster you can test if something works, or it does not, the faster you will become an SEO expert. So learn to act on a piece of advise and information as quickly as possible. 

Do not just be an information gatherer. Become a action taker. Without action, you won't really progress.

Master a skill not the tools - Do not be obsessed with tools. When ever I go for a networking event, and I state I run my own marketing company, the questions I get from most people are, so what platform do you use to create a website? What tools do you use to collect data? What tools do you use for this... for that... for bla, bal bla ...? In a split second I can judge their knowledge and approach to problem solving. 

Tools, any tom dick and harry can learn. My mom knows how to click buttons and make something work. What is so special in you know how to use a tool? 

I tell my team, do not use  tools you do not understand, rather make your software tools. And so we created ANTSAND. A platform written from the grounds up to edit, publish and manage your website. When someone asks me, so what tools do you use, I say oh yeah, we use ANTSAND. You should see the confused look on their faces. Like a small kid just slapped the hell out of them and they have no clue what to do. 

This is because most people are consumers not creators. Not producers. They almost cannot fathom someone making their own tools in-house. Because they cannot make such tools, they project their limited skill set and ability onto some else. Do not be like that.

Rather, focus on what results you want to achieve. See what can make you achieve those results in the long run. If a tool can help you achieve those results in the long run, by all means use it, but for the most part you will have to make your own custom tools to achieve grand results. 

Focus on the results first, and then think of the tools that can help you get there.

Mastery and depth of knowledge, not a lingo babbler -  I see many marketers that know a lot of words that even confuses me, but in reality that is all they know. Lingo! Do not be a lingo babbler. Rather take time to understand why things work the way they do and learn from first principles. 

If you want to be great at SEO, it is good to have a fundamental understanding of software. Learn the basics of HTML, CSS and Javascript. Why? Because every webpage is built using these 3 software languages. If you want to make a website rank high on search, understand what comprises of a website. Understand, UI and UX at a deeper level. Understand what makes a website convert better. Understand human psychology and persuasion at a deeper level. 

You do not need to go out and babble, 'on page seo', 'technical seo', 'on site seo', 'off site SEO' and the likes. Rather, come up with your own definitions. You can only do so, if you have a very deep understanding of the subject.  Many of the greatest scientist in the world, do not use words everyone uses. They come up with their own mental tools kits to better understand a subject. Do not be a slave to the SEO community and their lingo. Become a slave to mastery. 

For me, I categorize SEO into 2 parts:
A. The software behind the website
And all I do, is make the software load fast, make it mobile/tablet responsive, make it look beautiful, create tools and platforms, etc. My skill level in writing software is very advanced, but that is what I am trying to communicate. When you understand a subject so deeply, you come up with your ways of working. This is what makes it effective. You will rarely see me use words like, back links, on page seo, off page seo and the likes. I find all these words non-sense. I rather see an SEO professional know understand and know how to write software. That is more meaningful. 

B. The psychology of what the website is trying to communicate. 
To put content on to a webpage you need to understand human psychology. How they click, how they navigate a website, what are they looking for, what makes them buy, how do you persuade them, etc. 

In a nutshell, become a master of a subject, not a person who just spits out lingo's for the sake of it. 

Becoming a SEO expert

Now that you have the right mindset and what it takes to become a SEO expert, let is dive into the steps you can take right away to reach your goal. 

Step 1 - Master the mindsets
Without a doubt, go read the mindsets again. learn it, become it, practice it, follow it. Without the right mindset, you will just be learning tactics. Tactics are important but they can blind you in the long run. Mindsets allow you to strategies accordingly. and tactics will help you execute on those strategies. 

Step 2. Learn from the best
When you learn, do not learn from tactical preachers. Learn from a strategist, from first principle thinkers and the likes. In the sense, most blogs that you read on the internet are all tactical thinkers. Nothing wrong, but it won't allow you to see the big picture.

Your knowledge should be so powerful that even if the search algorithms change, your ideas will be able to withstand the test of time. Powerful strategies will allow you to do so. 

As mentioned earlier, to become and SEO expert you need to have 2 high income skills
1. Ability to write software
2. Ability to understand human psychology and persuasion - (Marketing)

There are numerous books on learning how to program and numerous books on learning how to master sales, persuasion and psychology. If I recommend a few, start reading these books on copywriting (the art of persuading a human through written words):
  • Scientific advertising by Claude Hopkins
  • Anything and everything by Gary Halbert
  • Sapiens by Yuvraj Noah
  • Adweek copywriting handbook by Joseph sugarman
  • Getting Everything You Can Out of All You've Got - Jay Abraham
  • Ogilvy on Advertising - David Ogilvy
  • Marketing made easy
  • Blogging made easy
  • Mastering local seo
Also, get into the habit of reading magazine headline. Those headlines can be great inspiration for your blog title or podcast title or video blog. Those magazine writers are one of the highest paid writers in the world. Which is to say, they know how to persuade. 
Keep a swipe files of everything related to online ads and paper ads

To recap, half of SEO is understanding human psychology. Human psychology will not change any time soon, so master the art. 

Step 3. Practice, Practice, Practice
Well, there is no substitute for hard work. To become great at SEO, become great at writing content 1st and them become great and understanding the software. To master the art of writing or producing valuable content, you need to practice writing.

You can take a piece of paper and pen and start writing literally. Or you can Open a note editor on your computer and start typing. As mentioned, the tools are not important, the results you want to obtain is what you need to focus on. 

Set a content calendar for 10 weeks, and write the topics of the blog. Be systematic in your approach. Give your self time to get the flair of writing consistently. SEO at its root is nothing but writing great and valuable content people want to read. 

 Content Calendar

Week 1. The headline or title of my post could be:
Week 2. The headline or title of my post could be:
Week 3. The headline or title of my post could be:
Week 4. The headline or title of my post could be:
Week 5. The headline or title of my post could be:
Week 6. The headline or title of my post could be:
Week 7. The headline or title of my post could be:
Week 8. The headline or title of my post could be:
Week 9. The headline or title of my post could be:
Week 10. The headline or title of my post could be:

You want to have the ability to write words that are engaging, persuasive and enlightening. Master this skill. This is half of SEO. Master copy-writing.

Step 4. Measure everything
After you produce content, measure how users are reacting to your content. Are you ranking on search, are people clicking your links, are they reading your article or they are just bouncing off. Measure your results.

Step 5. Improve on your mistakes
Once you measure, act upon your measurements. Make sense of the data and work on improving your results. Set 3 main goals you want to achieve with your content and focus on improving those results.

Goal setting ideas:
  • I want to get 10,000 visitors per month visiting my blog
  • I want users to stay on my website for at least 10 minutes
  • I want to rank on the 1st page of search for these keywords by the next 2  months
  • I want to produce 3-4 blogs a week for the next 6 months
  • I want to capture 100 leads per blog post
One method for goal setting is to use the O.K.R method. (Objective and Key Result)

Objective: Generate 100 leads per blog post  - by ___ date
Key Results
  • Write a 2000-3000 word blog on marketing made easy  - Ultimate guide - by ___ date
  • Create an eBook and marketing tools to help users implement the ideas written in the blog - by ___ date
    • Create a marketing tool for users to create their customer avatar - by ___ date
    • Create a 10 page eBook that acts as a step by step marketing guide for them to implement on their next marketing campaign - by ___ date
    • Create a marketing tool to help them create a powerful marketing plan when they are brainstorming on an idea - by ___ date
  • To access the tools and eBooks capture their email address in exchange - by ___ date
  • Promote the tools and eBooks through blogs, news and media, word of mouth, offline workshops, meetup groups till SEO kick in - by ___ date
  • Measure the traffic to the blog
  • Fine tune the blog till you can capture that many leads
Each of the key results can be broken down even further, into their sub-objective and sub key results

As you can see above, set an objective and them set key results that will help you accomplish that objective. To capture 100 leads per blog, you now have a strategy that can help you reach that goal. This is how you become an effective SEO consultant. By setting objective and setting key results.

By setting powerful but worthy objective, then finding out a strategy to accomplish those objectives you start to position your self as an expert consultant.   

Step 6: Sell your service based on what results you can bring and the value you provide

Finally the last step. If you are organized, disciplined, have the right mindset, constantly improving on your self, deepening your knowledge, you can become an SEO expert in no time. The name of the game is consistency and discipline. So be disciplined.

There are many marketing agencies in Vancouver. Most of the interviews might end up in asking very stupid technical questions like on page SEO, off Page SEO, back-links and the likes. I don't believe in knowing the answer to those questions. I believe purely in understanding your buyers or visitors journey from the time they do not know you, to the time they get to know you and purchase your products/services. 

To aces those interviews, create your own blog and make it rank. If you can get results for your self, you can get results for anyone else. It is much easier to apply for a company if they can see what you can do rather than you tell them what you can do.

Be a practitioner and start writing blogs. Set your O.K.R and accomplish them. Use your blogs to attract clients and agencies and to get a job. This is the only way I know, where you do not really need to answer dumb lingo based questions but rather talk about strategies and ideas that will blow away your customers, clients your job interviewers mind.

Putting it all together 

This concludes our blog. Most of my knowledge comes from running my own marketing and software company ANTSAND. Customers pay me $15,000 - $20,000 for an 8 month plan to help them with their SEO. They pay me that much because in a few months time they break even and a few months later they get immense R.O.I. My strategies have to work, my game plan has to work. I sell value and results not feature, benefits and lingos :)  

My unique skill set in the marketplace has allowed me to execute on my strategies with ruthless efficiency. I bring to the table a programming skill set and a marketing skill set. The question is, if you want to demand huge bucks what skills do you bring to the table that can give your customers, clients or employer the results they demand? 


Please comment below if you have questions, ideas or how you can apply it. At ANTSAND, we apply everything we preach and teach. What we put out is based on our experience, our failures and success. We love to be transparent, as it really brings out the best in us. We will soon be creating a $5 monthly marketing package for our readers. You can pay us for one cup of coffee every month, and in turn we give you strategies, ideas, tactics, mindsets and exercises, you can apply in your business immediately. If you want to know more about it, just type in the comments below, "Coffee with ANTSAND". We would love to hear your feedback. If you want to read other blogs that might interest you, have a look below.
Written by Anthony Shivakumar
Founder, Lead Marketing and Software Developer at ANTSAND

Anthony has a Master Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He has worked in major software firms for the past 15 years and currently runs his own software and marketing company.

He continues to write articles related to marketing, programming, sales and growth hacking.


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