You probably know that SEO is like the key to Fort Knox for any online entrepreneur. Search for the term “SEO companies” and there will be hundreds or thousands of companies out there literally yelling out their services.
These companies are there because they know that SEO market is huge. And it is only getting bigger..
Why exactly is SEO so important?

The reason is simple: No matter what anyone tells you, the fact remains that efficient SEO opens doors to leading positions in the search engines.
The higher your website ranks, the more users will be finding you before your competitors and you will be generating more sales (that is, if your sales copy is not horrible enough to make your visitors run).
We all understand that SEO can be THE only approach you need to master in order to dramatically improve your online business. But what if you are hearing the word ‘SEO’ for the first time?
How do you learn SEO, something which is an art for which some SEO companies charge upwards of $5000 every month?
Have you ever wondered what exactly the SEO companies are selling you?
Trust me, it isn’t links. It is not even their skills. It is their experience.
Can you “learn” SEO to the point that you do not need SEO companies anymore?
Sure, you can.. but doing this is usually a nightmare, unless you have countless hours to spare and a burning desire to succeed.
If you can afford to spend 6 months locked in your room looking at all available SEO methods, try out all the different link sources and can spend over USD 5000-10,000  in a short span of time “testing” everything, you will “learn” SEO much faster.
But I digress..
Technically speaking, you CAN learn SEO by reading books. But the main keyword here is “technically”.
Although SEO books can give you an idea on how to do the on-site SEO, build links and improve rankings, the problem is that no two SEOs will “optimize” your website the same way. For that reason, unless you test out all the major SEO methods out there, you cannot know for sure which ones work.
So where can you find the knowledge treasure house of self taught SEO? Many SEO experts today recommend that forums and blogs where the experts share their experiences are the best places to learn SEO.
I was once a person who knew nothing about SEO when I began using the internet. But after spending a lot of time testing most SEO methods out, I have a good idea of what works.
…And what “works” is always a moving target. It changes all the time.
If it didn’t change all the time, SEO would be quite easy to implement. And we all know that successfully “SEOing” a website isn’t the easiest thing in the world.
Reading and searching the internet about SEO techniques can be very interesting and/or frustrating process. I have to admit that I have tried out a lot of SEO techniques that have failed me miserably. Article writing, directory submissions, search engine submissions are, for the most part, things of the past.
The basics of SEO can be learned by reading and searching forums but, experience is something that nobody can help you with. Reading and learning SEO techniques and methods is not simply enough to become an SEO expert. There is a lot to learn with true experience.
SEO mainly comes down to link building. If your website does not have quality inbound links, it will not rank high in the search engines.. unless your terms are so uncompetitive that your website will rank high for them anyway, in which case you would be lucky to get more than 10 visitors a day.
The main idea in effective SEO is to find link sources which are valuable, current and have NOT yet been exploited by the masses.
Find out these link sources and you are ahead of 95% of all the other webmasters out there.
So yes, you can learn SEO by reading up. But you will not be able to make your website rank on  page 1 just by reading how SEO works.
Want to become better at SEO? Here is what you need to do:
1. Read books related to SEO.
2. Participate in SEO forums, blogs and communities.
3. If an SEO technique sounds a bit too popular, chances are it will lose effectiveness in the near future. Ditch such techniques.
4. Testing all SEO methods.
5. Take what SEO professionals say with a grain of salt. Do your own testing and form your own beliefs.