A guest post by Charles Sipe of Criminal Justice Degree Schools.
The topic of search engine optimization (SEO) can be intimidating for the non-initiated—and for good reason.
Google considers over 200 signals in its algorithm to determine rankings. And with technical-sounding phrases like canonicalization and robots.txt, beginners may think that SEO is rocket science.
However, adhering to some basic concepts can help your site gain significant traffic from search engines while leapfrogging your competitors in the rankings. The 80/20 rule definitely applies to SEO knowledge. A small amount of key information, if applied to a website, can lead to huge gains in organic traffic.
Whether you are a beginner looking for a place to start learning about SEO, an SEO manager who needs to train a new employee on SEO, or an SEO consultant who wants to point clients to places to learn more about SEO, you should check out this list of some of the best SEO educational resources.
1. The Beginner’s Guide to SEO by SEOMoz
When professional SEOs are asked where to go to learn more about SEO, one of the most common recommendations is the SEO Beginner’s Guide by SEOMoz. Written in straightforward language, the guide focuses concisely on what you need to know to be dangerous. And it provides a strong foundation from which you can expand your understanding of this subject. It also has some cool infographics and diagrams. The guide can be downloaded as a PDF and shared.
2. Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide by Google
The Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn the basics of SEO, straight from the company who controls the top-secret search algorithms.
3. 21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic by Rand Fishkin
Rand Fishkin put together this list of his greatest tips for building traffic. Many tips are based on proven SEO tactics, such as writing guest posts and conducting keyword research.
4. The Professional Guide to Link Building by Eric Enge
This excellent guide provides a good overview of the essential fundamentals of link-building, including how to estimate the value of a given link and ways to attract links to your site.
5. Fat-Free Guide by Ian Lurie
This is a really helpful and easy-to-understand guide to SEO without the fluff by Ian Lurie, who is an SEO legend and author of the popular Conversation Marketing blog. I used to pay about $8 dollars a month to have access to this content before Ian generously made it free for popular consumption.
6. Search Engine Optimization Getting Started by Jill Whalen [video course]
Lynda.com offers hundreds of great technology courses in an all-you-can-eat format for just $25 per month, which is remarkable when you consider the same material is taught less effectively at many colleges for thousands of dollars. The course on SEO is titled “Search Engine Optimization Getting Started” and taught by Jill Whalen, the founder and CEO of High Rankings. The course is 2 hours and 20 minutes, and it is broken into short segments.
7. Search Marketing School at MarketingProfs University [training course]
A provider offering professional SEO training instruction is right here at MarketingProfs, with MarketingProfs University’s Search Marketing School. For $595 (or $297 for MarketingProfs PRO members), you can access the 13 classes in the Search Marketing course On Demand—so you can watch them from anywhere at any time. The instructors are industry experts, such as Maile Ohye from Google and Lee Odden from Top Rank. Students also receive some free goodies, such as the book The Findability Formula: The Easy, Non-Technical Approach to Search Engine Marketing by Heather Lutze (a $22.95 value). Editor’s Note: See other marketing training courses at MarketingProfs University here.
This is probably the best book available on SEO and is a collaboration by Rand Fishkin, Eric Enge, Stephen Spencer, and Jessie Stricchiola. Written in a textbook format, The Art of SEO is about the size of a textbook. The content is very low on fluff and focuses on what you need to know about SEO to be successful. The one drawback is that it is over a year old, so some information is dated, due to the lightning-fast speed of change in the search field.
9. Whiteboard Friday [videos]
The Whiteboard Friday videos by SEOMoz are the best free SEO online videos. Hundreds of these short videos provide actionable tips and useful SEO knowledge to viewers in a lecture format. Rand Fishkin is typically the star of these videos, with guest hosts occasionally taking the reins to share SEO wisdom and helpful recommendations.
10. SEO Book
SEO Book has a paid membership of $300 per month, which grants members access to more than 100 SEO training modules, training videos, a premium monthly newsletter with updates of the latest changes in SEO, and a private SEO forum to get help from search experts. Founder Aaron Wall is one of the most well-known and respected people in the SEO field.
11. Market Motive Courses
Market Motive offers online courses on SEO taught by well-known search experts like Todd Malicoat and Avinash Kaushik. A self-paced plan costs $299 per month, while a coached course is $3,500.
12. SEO Blogs
Don’t forget to regularly visit the top SEO blogs to keep up with the most recent changes in the SEO field, such as major changes to search algorithms, new penalties, or announcements from Google.
Many SEO blogs focus on advanced SEO but some great blogs for beginners include: The Daily SEO Blog, Conversation Marketing, The Marketing Spark, the Distilled SEO Blog, Small Business Search Marketing, Point Blank SEO, and the Seer Interactive Blog. Subscribe to these blogs and read them regularly to be more knowledgeable about SEO than most folks—just within a few months.
Have a recommendation to add? Please share it in the comments below.
Charles Sipe is the online marketing manager of Criminal Justice Degree Schools.
(Photo courtesy of Bigstock: Magnifier)