As a beginner to SEO it can be a little overwhelming. There’s an overload of information to filter through. It can appear to be very technical, complicated or spammy depending on how you look at it.
Thing is, the basics are simple: do keyword research + optimize the website + build links. When it boils down to it, that’s all you have to do.
You do not need to spend thousands of dollars on courses and conferences to learn the “SEO Secrets”. There are plenty of free SEO tutorials online.
Whether you’re looking to do SEO for your personal blog, or trying to increase your value to employers (SEO/SEM was the #8 most desired skill of 2019), or you’re looking to train employees in SEO, this free post is all you need to get started. Read these tutorials, set up a website, and start ranking!
1.Introduction to SEO
Google’s SEO Starter Guide by @Google SEO
Google’s search engine optimization starter guide is a good place to start. It begins by walking you through all of the on-page basics including setting proper title tags, meta descriptions and all that SEO 101 stuff.
The guide continues on to explain how to promote your website, what a no-follow link is and touches on the importance of being mobile-friendly. Seeing as SEO revolves around Google, it’s a good idea to hear what they have to say about it and what Google views as important factors.
Moz’s Beginners Guide to SEO by @Moz
Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO is another good resource if you’re looking for an introduction. It covers more topics than Google’s version and talks about keyword research and some link building methods. Moz’s guide gives a solid overview of SEO as a whole but doesn’t dig deep in to any one subject.
It’s basically the beginner’s bible to SEO! Moz is also a great place to hang out if you’re just starting out too. Get involved with the community and you’ll learn a lot.
Keyword research is arguably the most important part of SEO. Even if you have the most powerful backlinks in the world – if nobody’s searching for the keywords you’re optimizing for – there’s no hope for traffic. Good keyword research is a balance of picking profitable keywords with enough search volume and that you can actually compete for.
Keyword Research: The Definitive Guide by @ Backlinko
Brian Dean’s blog is a goldmine of SEO tutorials. His guide to keyword research is a good place to start for keyword research. He gives a fantastic tutorial on using the keyword planner which is useful for beginners. The guide then walks through clever ways to find long tail keywords and how to evaluate commercial intent. If you’re new to keyword research there’s no better guide to read.
3.How to Do Keyword Research in 2019
In my opinion, Nick Eubanks is at the top of the SEO world when it comes to keyword research. Meant for an intermediate to advanced SEO, the course is broken down in to 13 clear sections. Nick’s guide on keyword research is updated for SEO in 2018. He details his exact process and tools he uses, so you can follow his keyword research process step by step. He dives into determining search intent, a factor you can’t forget during your research.
4.On-Page & TechincalSEO (Auditing)
On-page is a big part of the equation of to be successful in SEO. While the basics are relatively simple – title tags, meta description, internal links – it can get complicated. If you’re looking for tutorials for your personal WordPress website, Moz’s Beginners Guide will suffice.
If you’re looking to optimize enterprise websites with thousands (or millions) of pages you have some reading to do. Knowing how to deal with a website with four languages, duplicate content, tricky URL parameters and a dev site that hasn’t been blocked from the search engines separates the SEO experts from the startups.
5.DIY Self-Guided Site Audit Template by @Tech24Tune
Okay, okay so I’m Not cheating a bit… This guide/template is free BUT it may be worth it if you plan on doing SEO audits in the near future. It’s broken up in to 19 sections with a whopping 197 checkpoints. Each check even has step-by-step instructions on addressing and fixing the issues. If you need advanced guidance on an SEO audit for a client, this is the template to get.
For some reason the importance of building links is still a common debate among SEOs. The truth of the matter is… Anybody who disagrees that links are a key part of the equation has clearly never ranked a website for competitive terms before.
Local SEO is the practice of optimizing a website for searches based on a user’s current location. If a company is geo-specific at all (ex. coffee shop in Toronto), they can most likely benefit from Local SEO. It can help businesses rank for local search terms and move them up the list on Google Maps.
Page speed is now a search ranking factor (at least with Google) but it affects much more than that. Having a slow website can increase your bounce rate and page load speed heavily impacts a website’s overall conversion rate.
Beginning in 2015, Google began using mobile friendliness as a ranking factor. Now Google has announced that they will switch to a mobile-first index at some point during 2018. Seeing as mobile web usage has now eclipsed desktop you need to be optimized for mobile anyway.
Mobile Search & SEO, The Digital Marketer’s Guide by @Builtvisible
Builtvisible’s guide to mobile SEO does a great job of explaining the importance of being mobile-optimized and gives a thorough explanation of how to make it happen. This guide walks you through configuring a website to be mobile friendly, indexing & promoting apps, and developing mobile content. It’s easy to follow along as they give visual and code examples for every point made. If you’re looking to go mobile this is a great place to start.
10.Google Penalties & Cleanup
Google penalties are something that all SEOs should be aware of and be able to identify. Whether you’re hit for unnatural link building, thin content, or any of the other penalties, they can be a frightening event to wake up to. Good thing is, most can be remedied if dealt with properly.
The Expert’s Guide to Google Penalty Removal by @webpagefx
This guide got surprisingly few social shares… Possibly because they didn’t promote it enough, but wow is it thorough. They walk you through an intro to Google penalties, identifying if a website has one, steps to fixing the issue and reconsideration requests. WebpageFX even throws in a few case studies of some of the penalties they’ve fixed for good measure. Getting a Google penalty can be a nightmare, but this guide can help you remedy the situation.
SEO Tools: The Complete List by @Backlinko
If you’re going to take SEO seriously you can’t avoid using the tools available to you. They can save you or your employees tons of time and some are simply necessary to do the job. There are free tools available but some paid tools are well worth the money. Brian Dean has put together a thorough list of SEO tools broken down in to six sections: link building, technical SEO, keyword research, rank tracking, content optimization and backlink analysis. Browse them and find the right ones for you!