To many, search engine optimization can seem like an elusive concept. It may sound like it’s very challenging to conquer. Truthfully, it can be if you procrastinate and refrain from taking it seriously. If you approach it with the mindset of education and business development, you’ll be able to master search engine optimization practices. The key to SEO mastery is education. When you gain the knowledge, you’ll have more confidence to try different SEO tactics and will naturally become better.
A great example of this is the fact that all bloggers and site owners must start from zero. There are many resources online for how to start a blog, but if you want to find success with a website or blog of your own, it’s not just about writing content and building something of your own, you also need to understand the basics of attracting an audience through the search results and how to rank above the competition. Just like anything worth doing or achieving in life, it will take time, effort, and dedication to see results — just like it did when you were a child in school.
In order to get the education, start with online resources. Consider these seven quality resource guides to get the ball rolling in the SEO department.
To date, this resource has been downloaded and read over 3 million times. This speaks volumes in relation to its value. It’s written by Rand Fishkin and the staff at Moz. There’s a total of ten chapters. Chapter One focuses on how search engines operate and run. Chapter Two focuses specifically on how the everyday consumer interacts with search engines like Google. You’ll learn more about why search engine marketing is essential in Chapter Three. Chapter Four covers the basics of search engine-friendly design and website development tactics. Chapter Five covers the intricacies of keyword research, which is a chapter you can’t skip. Chapter Six focuses on usability, experience and content and their relations to the rankings. Chapter Seven covers all things related to link-building and growing popularity. Chapter Eight is a conversation surrounding the tools and services you’ll want to use when you’re working on SEO strategies. Chapter Nine exposes the various myths and misconceptions surrounding search engines. This will also be helpful for shaping and shifting your mindset toward search engine optimization. Chapter Ten culminates with education relating to how to track your results and measure the success of your efforts.
The Search Engine Land’s Guide to SEO includes a nifty Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors. There are nine chapters in this success guide. According to the creators of Search Engine Land, there are numerous types of success factors. In Chapter One, they teach more about the three major groups. Those groups involve on-the-page SEO, off-the-page SEO and violations. Chapter Two focuses on content fundamentals. It’s often stated that content is king. You’ll learn more about concepts like content quality, the use of keywords within content and more. Chapter Three covers site architecture, duplication and more. Strategies that cover a site’s mobile-friendliness and more are also covered in this section. Chapter Four is the hub for HTML. Title tags, meta descriptions, header tags and structured data are all important factors to consider surrounding the HTML conversation. Chapter Five covers all things regarding trust. Is your site an authority site? Do you get good engagement? Can the search engines trust you enough to send people to your site? This discussion is incredibly important in relation to SEO. The other chapters continue to go in-depth on matter such as links, personalization and social factors.
This 32-page resource guide is an in-depth look at SEO basics and strategies. Creating unique page titles and using the description meta-tag is crucial. You’ll learn how to improve the structure of the website as well as the URLs. If you’ve ever visited a confusing website, you’ll understand how ineffective it can be. This guide shares more about how to make sure your site is easy to effectively navigate. Robots and crawlers are all issues you’ll have to deal with when approaching SEO. A large percentage of people operate primarily on their smartphones. Knowing this, the mobile experience for SEO needs to be taken into account. This guide covers more about how to notify Google of mobile sites and how to guide your users correctly. In the final pages of this resource guide, you’ll also get links that take you to other supportive resources. As a resource that comes straight from Google, it’s wise to read this all the way through. After all, Google is the #1 search engine and visited website in the world.
This resource guide does a great job of breaking down the complexities of SEO into a few specific subgroups. The first area of coverage is the perfect keyword. There actually isn’t just one perfect keyword. However, knowing and using the right keywords will help you create good content. It’s important to find your keywords first and then work your content around the right keyword. Ultimately, it’s still important to make sure the content and keywords match and feel organic. On-Page Optimization is another major subgroup to focus on. This area covers the actual placement of the keywords, the body of the text, meta tags and other terms. The last subgroup covers the topics of link building and content promotion. Link building 101 is one of the discussed sections. Backlinking involves linking to other articles and blog posts that connect to the same topic. Those links will also register in the search engines. If they all contain great content, your main website will get more approval from the algorithms.
Terminology is so important. There are so many technical terms in any niche. On the other hand, there are tons of slang terms and informal language that so many people use as well. Just like many Millenials use texting terms like “IDK” and “BTW” in actual language, search engine optimization professionals and marketers have their own terminology for various efforts. This website serves as a resource guide and a glossary. You can learn more about different terms like ad retargeting, PHP (PHP Hypertext Preprocessor) and paid inclusion. There are ao many other terms to consider and others include numbers. Have you ever seen the number ‘301’ on a website page? Well, it’s definitely not an indication of the Maryland area code. It’s actually a signal to let website visitors know that the page has been moved permanently. If you see the number ‘404’, know that it’s not redirection you to the Atlanta area code. This number signifies that the server wasn’t able to locate the URL. Knowing these terms and lingo will really help you so that you can fluently speak the language, communicate the language and not get frustrated when you hit a wall. It’s easy to just revert back to this glossary and gain some more clarity on a concept you may not know or understand.
This guide is supported through Backlinko and is currently updated to the 2017 version. This is a really excellent resource with captivating graphics, succinct language and effectiveness in teaching SEO concepts to beginners. Chapter One focuses on the fundamentals of link-building and builds such a strong foundation. Chapter Two focuses on teaching you how to find high-quality links. Chapter Three discusses the intricacies of content marketing and creation. As previously mentioned, content is king and this guide doesn’t ignore that at all. Chapter Four targets email outreach and the role it plays in link building for SEO. This is an interesting fact that most guides don’t cover. Chapter Five talks about black hat links. Black hat links are links that use really aggressive SEO strategies and go against search engine guidelines. Sure, you might be able to gain traffic, but you’ll be cheating the system. This guide talks about the realities of pursuing black hat links. Chapter Six discusses link building strategies that are encouraged. Chapter Seven focuses on new case studies. New case studies are helpful because you can ses the bird’s eye view of a person’s journey using the proper SEO strategies. Chapter Eight takes it up a notch and helps you upgrade your efforts and begin advanced link building strategies.
This is an amazing resource by Moz and comes in the form of a website section on their page. This is the only resource guide on this list that’s actually comprised of a video series. Whiteboard Friday focuses relaying the information on topics such as image link building, your competitor’s keywords, optimized headlines and more. If you’re a person who prefers visuals and audio in one presentation, Whiteboard Friday will be a great resource for you. As the topics covered span the gamut, you can cherry pick and decide which videos you’d like to focus on and learn more about.
These resources will really help you become educated within the subject area of search engine optimization. If they seem so overwhelming, there’s an approach you can take. Take a look at the different resources and see which one speaks to you the best. Start with a beginner’s guide to get you started. Take in the information on a consistent basis and begin practicing. As you build a strategy that works for you, do your best to make sure that you implement new practices into the mix. As you implement more, you’ll be able to achieve more results. For now, start with the education portion and study it daily. Before long, you’ll be able to understand SEO and implement practices in your sleep.