Learning SEO 101

I first learnt about what SEO was while looking for a placement at university. To cut a long story short I had a friend introduce me to a company called Home24 who went on to interview me. During the interview they never actually asked regarding experience in SEO, they were more concerned with; Did I know my way around the web? Could I produce high quality copy? I was familiar with both these factors from personal hobbies and university. I was taught SEO basics over the following months and learnt that the fundamentals of SEO are not that difficult. If you’re a new comer to Search Engine Optimisation I try to provide a few beginner insights and places to start below.

Where should you start learning SEO?

Like most new skills in digital it can be difficult to know where to start looking to actually get a good understanding for the principles of SEO. Many of the starting points I used at Home24 are still relevant and have been updated to reflect factors impacting SEO today. Google actually provide a document for beginners in SEO. It provides valuable insights into what makes well optimised websites and web pages. The guide is well worth a read and includes factors such as site structure, optimising content, dealing with crawlers, mobile SEO and analysis. Keep in mind that because this is from Google themselves they may not show the full picture which is why looking at more guides is worthwhile.

This is where the Moz Guide comes in. Moz is well known throughout the industry with more than 1 million digital marketers using the website. To top it off the guide is co-written by Rand Fishkin the co-founder of Moz and industry SEO guru. The guide itself is 10 chapters long and includes topics from how search engines operate to the myths and misconceptions on SEO. Alternatively if you’re more of a book person, I would strongly recommend The Art of SEO which can be picked up on Amazon fairly cheaply.

Keeping up to date

Moz’s Whiteboard Friday’s; Every Friday Moz provides a video looking into a specific SEO related topics. Previous topics have included how to produce better content and how to use competitors to leverage link building outreach.

Google Webmaster Channel; Although not always directly linked to SEO, the Google Webmaster YouTube channel has some great informative hangouts to assist web owners and improve sites not just in ranking but user experience too.

Search Engine Land; A hugely popular site among the SEO community. A must use for the latest news and trends including SEO analysis, advice and how-to guides.

Search Engine Journal; Another great site for keeping up to date. SEJ takes a community driven approach to its content so its written from around the globe by online marketing experts.

The best way to Learn

Everybody has different learning styles and what works for some won’t always be the case for others. Once you’re comfortable with the basics the best way you can improve is to simply start doing SEO. The bonus of this of course means you can test to see what works and what doesn’t, which is what optimisation is all about.

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