Over the past couple of years, I’ve been absorbing tons of information to learn SEO (Search Engine Optimization). According to a SEMRush report, there are 1,900 monthly (US) searches for “learn seo” on Google with roughly 325 million results.
That many results are enough to melt your brain but luckily I’ve combed through all of them (not really) for you so you don’t have to. I’ve mined the top SEO & digital marketing blogs to find the best resources for learning SEO and implementing it into your workflow.
Along the way, I read a lot of junk articles but I also came across some GOLD.
This list is purely my favorite and the most informative resources only.
Yes, it’s an article about articles.
Ready to get schooled?
Before we dive in I want to make sure you are prepared for the future. Here are my favorite blogs for learning SEO that you can continue to follow long into your journey. Most of the links in this article come from these resources but you’ll find even more as you go through them. Stay tuned to these blogs and never miss a beat.
Top SEO Blogs
- Neil Patel
- Online Media Masters
- Content Marketing Institute
- Sprout Social
- Search Engine Land
Now onto the meat of it. Here’s what’s covered:
- Intro to SEO
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
- SERP Ranking & Ranking Factors
- Case Studies
- CTO & CRO
- Content Writing
- Social Media
- Google Search Console & Google Analytics
- Keyword Research
- Local SEO
- Technical SEO
Don’t miss the end of this article, there’s way more value beyond this! Just keep reading and you’ll be rewarded.
Just starting out with SEO? No need to Google “How to learn SEO.” It’s all right here. Read through these articles and you’ll have a solid step by step base to get started.
That being said, the best way to further your knowledge after that is actually implementing, testing, and trying these SEO tactics.
You’ll try and fail but that’s a big part of what this is all about – learning what doesn’t work so that you can get closer to what does.
I’ve also included some great SEO Tools articles. Like a car mechanic, you need the right ones to get the job done.
If only this were the entire solution we’d all rank #1 on Google! The bottom line is, on-page SEO is necessary and the most obvious but once you’re “finished” with it, there is still so much more to do. Don’t ignore the other SEO ranking factors to feed the Google algorithm.
The ugly duckling. We all wish SEO would work without off-page. Off-page can be tedious, time-consuming, and difficult. The truth is, you need a high-quality building strategy in place if you’re serious about ranking #1 in the search results. Start with these articles and let the fun begin!
The Holy Grail. #1 Google Ranking. It’s everyone’s dream and it’s not easy to attain. You don’t have to be Brian Dean but armed with this knowledge you can set yourself up for success. Even if you don’t ever rank #1 for your target keywords, these articles are critical to understanding SEO in 2020.
OK, reading articles about tools and optimization only go so far. Where are the results?! These case studies will give you a better idea of the How & Why when it comes to SEO. Read what other businesses and organizations have done and think about how it can be applied to your own or your client’s.
SEO optimize your site all you want but if you can’t convert, I don’t know what you’re doing here. Some people separate SEO and CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) but in my opinion, it should be just as much a part of the discussion. Search engine optimized does not necessarily mean conversion rate optimized, but they don’t have to conflict with each other either. Take a look at these awesome CTR (Click-Through Rate) and CRO optimization articles and get the wheels turning.
Content writing is an integral part of SEO. Blog posts are practically the beating heart of SEO in 2020.
This is how you grow your organic traffic long-term.
If you can’t write or don’t want to you’ll need to find someone to do it for you. If you are willing to write the content, you’ll find that thanks to the tools and resources available to us that it’s so painful. Read these are articles for some killer content writing strategies and tools that will help you along the way.
Whether you love it or hate it, social media activity and presence have an impact on SEO. Does Google specifically rank sites with great social media higher? Not necessarily. But there are significant enough correlations that SEO experts have determined that social should be a part of your SEO strategy. I’ve decided to through a couple fantastic social media articles in here to help you out.
Google Search Console is frequently overlooked. Don’t do that. If you’ve read any of the articles above you’ll have read about GSC at least 20 times. It’s that critical. Get started with it by using this in-depth guide.
Guessing at keywords your audience might be searching for? Still trying to rank #1 for single word keywords? (*sets Yoast focus keyword*… ‘Blog’) You need some schooling on keyword research. It’s the foundation of what you’re doing. You’re optimizing your site for the search engines. So what are you targeting?
Have a local business but not getting traffic through Google or Bing? This article will cover (pretty much) everything you need to know about Local SEO. It’s not as simple as setting up Google My Business and Yelp and calling it a day. Find out what else is involved:
This is where things get crazy. You’ve optimized the heck out of your site, you have a killer blog, backlinks galore, and more. But something still isn’t clicking. You may need to take a deep dive into technical SEO. Technical SEO is only becoming more and more prominent moving forward. Educate yourself, be prepared, and start working on it.
That’s it! Hopefully, you’ve just increased your knowledge database by at least 100x.
All in all, SEO at the end of the day isn’t that complex. Yes, there are thousands of details and hundreds of ranking factors but it can be simplified.
The core of it all: Create a great site that fully answers a user’s questions and provides a fantastic user experience.
Think about it, Google just wants people to have a good time and solve their problems.
Those are the sites that will rank well.
Just focus on producing good content and providing a solid user experience. Once you have that down then you can think about all of the more technical aspects that come along with SEO. Optimizing your site and content is a long-term process. If you take shortcuts, expect to be hurt later on.
It always amazes me when I hear about people taking shortcuts by doing things like buying backlinks. First of all, those backlinks are usually junk and will bite you later on long term. Second, try actually writing good content and having a strong distribution plan in place. Then you will naturally gather strong backlinks and natural backlinks are often the highest producing.
Enough of the rant! More value:
It wouldn’t be an SEO article if I didn’t put a bonus at the end. These are the tools I use every day and I’ve found to be absolutely imperative to success in the world of SEO.
BONUS: Top 10 Essential SEO Tools & Plugins To Boost Rankings & Optimize Your Site
- WPMU DEV Plugin Platform – We recommend this over Yoast. Read here to find out why.
- SEMRush – Probably the best digital marketing tool out there. Period.
- Google Search Console & Analytics – The staples from Mountain View, CA.
- SEOQuake – Convenient plugin for running SEO site audits.
- Ubersuggest – Another nice keyword research tool. One of the cleanest.
- WP Rocket/WP Fastest Cache – Paid & free caching plugins for WordPress, use them if you aren’t using the WPMU DEV suite.
- Smush – Image compression and optimization is one of the fastest ways to speed up your site. This WP plugin just plain works.
- AMP for WP – AMP plugin for WordPress. Use along with Glue for Yoast & AMP to create lightning-fast pages and posts.
- SEO Review Tool – This might be overkill but has some good resources for site auditing.
- Keywords Everywhere – Keywords galore! They’re everywhere. Pulls keywords from, well, everywhere.
Free Courses To Learn SEO
Still not enough for you? If you’d rather a full step-by-step instructional course than individual articles, think about taking a couple of free training courses.
They are definitely more time intensive but you’ll be walked through SEO by the experts and even better, come away with a resume-worthy certification! It’s definitely something every digital marketing professional should be doing throughout their career as the landscape is every changing and we want to stay sharp.
Several of the companies that write the awesome articles above also provide some great free courses. Find out what targets your needs the most and is most worth your time, then dive right in!
Step by Step: How to Learn SEO
If you are looking to learn SEO and all of this information looks super daunting, I want to break it down for you so you know where to start.
This will be geared toward a wide range of people whether you work in a digital agency environment, own a small business, or work in a digital marketing role within a company.
Follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Start Reading
Yes, right off the top, start getting into the articles, subscribe to newsletters and begin ingesting information.
Even if you don’t fully understand right away, you’ll begin to see things repeatedly and in different contexts which will help you learn.
Read as many of those articles listed as possible and more. The more you read, the more knowledge you will absorb.
Step 2: Start a Personal Project
One of the best ways to learn SEO is to begin applying it right away. Again, it will feel early but it’s best to get your feet wet as soon as possible.
If you have a personal website or a friends website you can try to optimize, get in there and start using what you’ve learned.
Utilize as many of the tools listed above to begin getting familiar with them and learning which one’s you like.
Step 3: Start a Free Course
Using the free courses above, start completing these courses one by one.
Some of the information may be redundant from your article reading, but it’s important to hear it multiple times so that it gets engrained in your memory.
Step 4: Apply Your Knowledge to Your Work
Now that you have a solid understanding of SEO, it’s time to use it in your work.
If you don’t specifically work in SEO yet, you can potentially find opportunities to break into the space by proposing an SEO strategy to your company.
If you’re a small business owner, this would be a great time to start implementing what you’ve learned to your company site.
Step 5: Continue Reading, Watching YouTube Videos, Taking Courses, and Listening to Podcasts
As you’ll learn, you don’t just “SEO your site” and call it a day.
SEO is an ongoing process of continuous improvement. Continue digesting information about SEO from every angle possible. The more funnels of information coming into your brain, the better.
Now get out there and get ranking!
What are your favorite SEO tools, articles, and blogs? What is your favorite SEO tip?
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