Search engine optimization (SEO) is an incredibly powerful and popular marketing strategy. But the way people talk about it, you’d think it was some kind of mysticism.
To be fair, there are a lot of components of SEO to consider, with more than 200 ranking factors weighed by Google when calculating search engine rankings. But learning SEO is much easier than most amateurs think—and you don’t need a college degree, enrollment in a specific course, or years of apprenticeship to do it.
It IS something you can do all by yourself.
Okay, maybe not entirely by yourself, since you’ll be relying on guides like this – but the point is, it’s accessible.
Let’s start by confronting the elephant in the room. While you can learn SEO on your own, it isn’t necessarily “easy” to learn. I’d wager that any novice, regardless of current knowledge or past experience, can pick up the basics of SEO in just a few days. Within a few months, you can get the hang of the practice.
But no matter what, you’re likely to face some obstacles along the way.
These are some of the core issues associated with learning SEO:
Still, if you can overcome these obstacles (and we’re about to teach you how), you can learn SEO relatively easily.
Note that learning SEO and practicing SEO are two entirely different concepts.
You may understand that you need to write compelling, detailed, articulate content on a regular basis to rank, but are you a good enough writer to actually do it?
You may know that “bad” links can get you penalized while “good” links will boost your authority, but do you have existing publisher relationships to help you earn those good links?
You may be familiar with some of the things that can limit a campaign’s progress, but could you recognize them in a live environment?
For most newcomers, the answer is no.
That’s why, even after learning the basics of SEO, you should be prepared to hire a professional SEO agency to help you execute the work.
Want to see how easy it is to learn SEO?
We’ll teach you the basic fundamentals right now, in less than 10 minutes of your time (even if you’re a slow reader).
Of course, these descriptions only scratch the surface. You’ll need to take a deeper dive to learn more.
Don’t worry – we’ve got a section for that.
Ready to learn more about SEO?
There are many online sources that can help you. These are some of our favorites.
Google is the ultimate authority when it comes to search engines. But they’re not always clear about how their search engine algorithm works. That said, they can be an abundant source of information on how to manage your website and better serve your users.
There are tons of resources from Google to explore.
Google Search Console is going to be your best friend — specifically the help section. Search Console is completely free to use and it’s packed with features that will make your life as a webmaster easier. In the help section, you can explore some of the main topics that will help you be a better webmaster or search for something specific you want to know more about.
The Google Webmaster Guidelines are also an awesome source of information. It’s a bit of a read, with hundreds of pages to go through, but it will tell you everything you need to know about how to make a website compliant with Google’s standards. For a short and concise version, check out this article titled Steps to a Google-Friendly Site.
Google is usually pretty tight-lipped when it comes to SEO; they don’t want to encourage webmasters to manipulate the algorithm they’ve worked so hard to build. But they do offer a Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide that you can use to educate yourself on how search engines work.
Finally, make sure you check out the Google Developers blog and the Google Search Central blog. There, you’ll find an ongoing release schedule of new articles and new information. They’re some of the first places you’ll hear about new algorithm updates.
Okay, so maybe we’re a bit biased, but we’ve worked hard to bring you the most up-to-date information in the SEO industry – it’s even in our name. Whether you want to learn how to build a strategy step by step or discover more about one niche topic related to SEO, our blog is full of valuable information. We also have free SEO training videos, which we are adding to regularly.
Moz has long been a leading authority in the world of SEO. They offer dozens of different tools to search optimizers, many of which are free, designed to help you with everything from researching keywords to analyzing your backlink profile. But even better, they have a blog that’s always full of interesting insights and hot takes on SEO matters – not to mention recommendations and tutorials for newcomers.
Search Engine Watch/ Search Engine Journal / Search Engine Land
I’m listing Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Journal, and Search Engine Land together because they serve a similar purpose, though they’re separate entities. On each of these sites, you’ll find a constantly updated, fresh list of articles written by SEO experts and other contributors in the field of digital marketing. These range from details about new algorithm updates to contributors sharing stories about how they tripled organic traffic on their website.
QuickSprout provides information to help you make a website successful, from creating and hosting your first website to nurturing it with the power of SEO and digital marketing. There’s so much good content here, it’s almost overwhelming.
Ahrefs offers a fantastic set of SEO tools you can use to build your campaign from scratch, but they also have a robust blog (and it’s free). Check it out if you’re looking for more tips on link building, increasing domain authority, and remaining competitive in the SEO space.
Reading is a great way to learn new information, but it’s also a good idea to spend time talking to other SEO experts. Ask questions. Explain your understanding of a topic and see if they agree with your assessment.
Because there’s a qualitative, subjective aspect to SEO, you’re likely to find people with differing opinions this way. You’ll get direct guidance and insights from the people you contact and eventually, you’ll come to a much better understanding of how SEO works. Plus, if you run into issues on your own, you might be able to hit them up for some help.
Throughout your SEO research, you’re almost certainly going to encounter contradictions between one expert and another. This can be frustrating, but there are a few questions that can usually help you resolve these contradictions:
Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking that you have to learn SEO all at once.
Instead, break down your SEO education into bite-sized, manageable goals.
Your SEO education journey will never be complete – at least not fully. That’s because search engines like Google are constantly evolving and user needs are constantly changing.
It’s tough to keep up with the latest changes in SEO. Then again, it’s tough to do anything in SEO all by yourself. That’s why most businesses interested in higher search rankings and more traffic enlist the help of an SEO agency like SEO.co.
Are you ready to learn more about SEO strategies? Do you need help with keyword research, content writing, link building, or any other aspect of SEO? Contact SEO.co today for a free review of your current strategy!