How to Learn SEO

Written by Nick Stamoulis

A lot of site owners have asked me how they can learn SEO. There seems to be so many different sources of information out there, and for every level of expertise, that it’s hard to know where to start if you’ve never done any SEO before. Here are 4 (albeit of the many) ways that you can learn SEO for yourself:

#1 Way How to Learn SEO: Google SEO Starter Guide
If you need to learn SEO, it’s best to start with the reason why SEO exists in the first place—Google. The Google SEO Starter Guide is the perfect starting point if you are looking to get your feet wet with SEO. Consider this guide as your line in the sand—if the search engines say something is black hat that avoid it at all costs, no matter what other workarounds someone tries to pitch to you. The SEO Starter Guide gives you a good introduction into the world of SEO, including optimization basics, content marketing guidelines and important vocabulary you’ll need to understand going forward.

#2 Way How to Learn SEO: Read SEO industry blogs.
Even after 13 years in the industry, I am constantly learning new things about SEO because SEO is constantly evolving. Best practices and tactics changes as the algorithms update; tactics that used to work great 10 years ago don’t even show up on the radar any more (or have been labeled as black hat as the search engines got smarter). And social media, which has become an integral part of SEO, didn’t even exist until recently! If you want to learn SEO, and make sure you stay aware of the evolution of it, it’s definitely worth subscribing to the RSS feed of several industry blogs and learning from the most respected names in the field. Here are a few blogs to get you started:

#3 Way How to Learn SEO: Take an SEO training course.
Of course reading about and doing SEO are two very different things. If you prefer a more hands-on approach to learn SEO, consider taking an SEO training course. An SEO training class will not only guide you through the basics of SEO, but it should help outline some action items that you can leverage for your own site’s SEO when you go into the office the next day. While you can’t learn everything there is to know about SEO in a day or so, a full day SEO workshop can help tie everything you’ve read together into one tangible package. The nice thing about a small SEO training course (as opposed to a conference) is that you can interact directly with the instructor and ask questions as you have them.

#4 Way How to Learn SEO: Hire an SEO consultant.
Personally, I think it’s best for site owners to at least understand the basics of SEO before they hire an outside party to help guide their SEO, but working with an SEO consultant is also a good way to learn SEO. You get a one-on-one guide through the world of SEO, which can be very helpful so you don’t unknowingly run afoul of the search engines. I’ve worked with several site owners recently that were penalized by the search engines for one thing or another that they didn’t even realize they were doing. Having a trusted professional on your side is definitely a worthwhile investment.

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