Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of optimizing websites for visibility in search engines such as Google and Bing. Unlike information technology (IT) or programming, SEO is not something that you can have a degree in, nor does it require one.
Starting out in SEO can be a challenge. Keywords, meta-tags, page titles and backlinks may not mean anything to you, but in SEO these are the most important terms. Luckily, you can learn online and even learn from the experts. Whether you want to be your business' very own SEO expert, or you just want to expand your knowledge or know what your SEO specialist is doing, here are some of the free online resources that you can use to improve your SEO skills today.
SEO changes are primarily dictated by Google, the largest and most popular search engine to date. When optimizing your website, it's advisable that you learn and comply with the tech giant’s latest guidelines and recommendations. Google provides online resources such as Google 101, Google Webmaster and Google SEO so you can keep up.
Google 101 is also referred to as Google Basics. From crawling the Web and indexing Web pages to providing results, you can learn how Google works. This will be extremely handy when creating a SEO strategy. You can create pages that are easier for Google to crawl and index, which results in better chances of getting an improved search ranking. You can also use the Webmaster Guidelines as reference. This guideline will teach you how to improve your website’s design and content. Quality and technical guidelines are also included.
Google’s SEO guideline is another worthwhile read. You will be briefly educated on how Google comes up with its search results. You will also learn more about paid advertisements, which are often seen as Ads or Sponsored results. If you want to know more about Google’s SEO guideline, you can check out the Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide, which is available in the form of a 32-page PDF file that you can download. Another Google tool you need to check is Webmaster Tools.
Moz, also called SEOMoz, is a great resource for everything related to SEO. One of the most notable pieces of content from Moz is the Beginner’s Guide to SEO, which offers twelve chapters that comprehensively discusses the ins and outs of SEO. You can also interact with SEO experts and novices at the Moz community page, as well as learn more about SEO from their blog.
Quicksprout is also one of the best resources, not only for SEO but also for online marketing. Quicksprout’s SEO guide is a great alternative to lengthy how-to guides, online articles, and books. This is because you will be taught through visual infographics with short explanations that get straight to the point.
SEO is not constant, and a search engine’s algorithm changes can make or break a SEO tactic. That's why you need to continuously educate yourself on the best practices and latest trends. One of the best ways to expand your knowledge is to learn from the experts.