Useful Resources for Learning SEO
SEO Can Be Completely Self-Taught
Recently, I wrote a post entitled “SEO Writing Can Take Your Freelance Writing Career to New Heights”. This piece was published in The Startup and has been well-received from readers so far. Although that post has only been published for a day or so at the time that I’m writing this, I thought it would be helpful to go ahead and offer a continuation of sorts. For those who read my previous post and are interested in learning more about SEO, this post is for you.
When I started out with SEO writing, I knew little to nothing about the way the Internet worked, much less how Google decided which websites were featured at the top of its search results pages. Still, I had recently taken on a job that required extensive knowledge of SEO and knew I had to get started with learning and fast.
So, like most people in search of an answer to a question they have, I took to Google. This ended up being one of the best choices I could have possibly made. While there are countless masterclasses out there for those looking to learn the best SEO methods and techniques, many of the resources available to learners are completely free to use.
Today, I’ll be highlighting the best resources for SEO newbies to learn how to optimize websites for search engines. With these resources, you too can become a self-taught SEO expert. Will a little hard work be required? Yes, absolutely. But like most things worth having in life, it’ll be completely worth it when you can say with confidence that you know how SEO works.
SEO Websites and Blogs
As an avid reader, it’s only natural that one of the best resources for information on SEO was SEO websites and blogs when I first started out. These tended to be the first pages to appear in Google’s search results when I searched popular questions like, “What is SEO” and “How to learn SEO”.
Many of the best SEO websites and blogs for SEO newbies are laid out in an easy-to-follow way and this is important as SEO can be a complicated topic. These resources can be viewed as SEO encyclopedias of sorts, packed with useful information ranging from the basic definition of SEO to more technical topics regarding the finer details of SEO like meta tags and ALT tags.
Here are just a few of the SEO websites and blogs that I found helpful at the start of my journey:
- Search Engine Land: Search Engine Land is absolutely packed with useful SEO information. Offering everything from SEO tips to news, Search Engine Land is one of the best resources for anyone that works with SEO, ranging from SEO newbie to SEO expert. It is, in particular, a great website to follow for updates on recent changes in Google’s algorithm. Considering the fact that staying on top of changes and additions made to Google’s algorithm is one of the biggest secrets to success when it comes to SEO, Search Engine Land is one of the best resources for information.
- Moz: There’s a lot of value to be found at Moz, especially for those new to SEO. Moz is an inbound marketing company, as well as a provider of some of the most useful online SEO tools (more on that later), and their blog is frequently updated. Moz was extremely helpful to me when I first started out and the company’s Whiteboard Friday is an especially helpful series where newcomers are offered tips to more effective SEO practices. This isn’t a resource to skip if you’re new to SEO.
- Hubspot Blog: Hubspot is yet another great source of information for SEO amateurs. Although Hubspot focuses on a variety of marketing topics overall in its content, some of the most useful SEO information I have found online has been published here. One of my favorite things about Hubspot’s blog is that posts are broken up by the reader’s experience level in SEO, making navigation easy based on your own level of experience. Visit the Hubspot blog’s SEO page and simply click “Beginner” to be directed to their blog posts focused on those new to SEO. As you become more experienced in SEO, you can advance to “Intermediate” and “Advanced” for posts focused on a more experienced skill level.
- Neil Patel: Neil Patel is considered somewhat of a marketing celebrity and his marketing blog is a well-known source of information on a variety of marketing topics. That being said, his content surrounding the best SEO practices are packed with valuable information that those new to SEO will appreciate. Alongside his team of talented marketers, Neil puts out content on a regular basis surrounding the latest news in the world of SEO in an easy-to-follow, comprehensible format. Neil’s instructional videos aren’t something to miss, either.
Guides and Videos
Sometimes learning SEO calls for a more instructional, how-to format. For this reason, I found a lot of value in the guides and videos that can be found online. As a visual learner, watching a more experienced SEO professional complete some of the most common SEO practices and being able to follow along was beneficial to me. If you consider yourself more of a visual learner or simply understand the benefit of the how-to format, these resources are for you.
- Google’s SEO Starter Guide: While search engines like Bing, Yahoo, and Duck Duck Go aren’t without their merits, we all know that the search engine you want to focus your SEO efforts on is Google, the head honcho. After all, if your website isn’t showing up at the top of Google’s search results, you could be missing out on valuable traffic, leads, and sales. For this reason, it is important that you know what Google is looking for, specifically. That’s what makes Google’s SEO Starter Guide such an important resource. Here, you’ll find what Google itself has to say about best SEO practices and methods. Google practically provides the secret to ensuring good search rank here so don’t skip this resource.
- Google Webmaster’s YouTube Channel: Google’s Webmaster’s YouTube Channel is, as you might expect, packed with information and advice regarding the world of SEO. Those looking for a more visual introduction to SEO will appreciate the easy-to-follow format found here. Don’t forget to subscribe so that you’re updated whenever Google releases another video.
- Eric Enge: Eric Enge is yet another SEO celebrity, co-authoring the well-received book, The Art of SEO. As it turns out, Enge’s YouTube channel is also a great resource for those new to SEO. The YouTube channel offers a slew of educational videos with a fun, comedic twist. Most notably, Enge’s Digital Marketing Classroom offers best practices, SEO suggestions, and easy-to-follow tutorials on all of the most important aspects of SEO. Check out this channel.
Online SEO Tools
It’s a simple fact: sometimes the best way to learn is by doing. For this reason, some of the most helpful resources I utilized when learning SEO were online SEO tools that allowed me to put what I had learned thus far into practice. These online tools are still used by those that consider themselves SEO experts but there is much for amateurs to find in the form of learning here. Mastering SEO can be difficult, especially when you are first starting out. Fortunately, these SEO tools make utilizing the best SEO practices easy.
- Ahrefs: Ahrefs is, by far, one of the most highly recommended SEO tools online. When it comes to website crawlers, Ahrefs is only second in size to Google itself. One of the most useful features found on Ahrefs is the Site Audit feature where SEO newcomers and experts alike can check up on exactly how their website is doing in terms of SEO. This tool highlights which areas of your website could stand to be improved for a better search ranking. Ahrefs can also be used for competitor analysis, an important practice in SEO. Using Ahrefs to monitor your competitor’s backlinks, you will gain valuable insight into what SEO practices your competitors are using, giving you an advantage in combatting them.
- Google Search Console: Google Search Console is another resource from Google itself, offered for free to anyone with a website. Google Search Console lets users monitor and track their website’s performance in Google’s search results over time. Although it should be noted that you don’t have to be signed up for Google Search Console in order to rank in Google, this resource is one of the best ways to gain insight into how your website is performing on the search engine. When using Google Search Console, you can learn much more about the search queries your website is being promoted for, how many visitors your site receives on any given day, as well as keeping track of which of your web pages are indexed in Google.
- Moz’s SEO Software: When searching for the best online SEO tools at the beginning of my learning journey, Moz’s SEO Software was one of the resources that popped up time and time again. When I eventually check it out, I was impressed with how much Moz had to offer in features. Whether you are looking for a site crawl or keyword recommendations, Moz is a full-service wealth of SEO information. The MozBar toolbar can be downloaded completely for free and allows you to observe important metrics whenever browsing through your website.
- SEMrush: SEMrush tends to be a fan favorite among SEO professionals and you can easily assess your rankings, changes to rankings, and new ranking opportunities. Of the more popular features of SEMrush’s online tools is the Domain vs Domain feature where users can easily compare websites side by side. This is very useful for important competitor analysis practices. SEMrush also offers a slew of analytics reports that you can use to understand your website’s search data and overall traffic.
Want even more tips on the best SEO practices, guides to boosting your freelancing career, and guides to jumpstarting your career as a self-employed professional? Check out my website.
My name is Renee Rose and I am an SEO expert and freelance writer. I have a passion for helping clients achieve success in reaching their target audience, driving sales, and boosting online visibility. Stay tuned to my Medium page and website for more useful information. Thanks for reading.