Search engine optimization is something of an art, and marketers without a basic understanding of SEO aren’t doing anyone any favors.
Fear not – I’ve compiled 16 of the best SEO for beginners guides available on the web right now. With a bit of time and effort, anyone can learn the ropes of SEO and be on their way to optimizing search landing pages, writing awesome meta descriptions and title tags, and discovering new keyword targets to rank for.
As the number one trusted resource for all things SEO, Moz offers a great Beginners Guide to SEO. Regularly updated and visually pleasing, the guide is downloadable and chock full of useful information throughout its 10 chapters. Specific areas not found in other similar guides include the relationship between usability, user experience, and SEO, as well as myths and misconceptions about search engines.
Another leader in the SEO world, Quicksprout University is a treasure vault of tutorials, information, and resources on SEO – from beginner to intermediate and advanced. With added tutorials not found elsewhere like SEO for WordPress and how to calculate ROI from an SEO campaign, this guide is definitely worth exploring. While you’re at it, teach yourself a thing or two about other digital marketing topics like paid advertising or email marketing.
A free video series focused on intro SEO, SEOforBeginners features 10 short explainer videos on everything you need to understand the DNA of organic search. With a stand out philosophy on link earning over link building, this guide takes a fresh approach. The last video on staying a student is great advice for beginners – continually learning and staying up to date in the ever-evolving SEO industry is vital to any marketer’s success.
This Comprehensive SEO Guide for Beginners lays out all the basics in one post, starting with keyword research, moving to creating content, and optimizing your code base. Also, great words of advice at the end: SEO takes time, and it’s a lot of hard work, but if you stick with it, it does pay off.
5. Search Engine Land
I love Search Engine Land’s great periodic table of SEO – it’s a cool visual for understanding the different factors important to SEO. Bookmark it! But the accompanying guide provides useful insight and a tutorial worth a look. Chapter 9 has a good overview of violations and spam penalties to be aware of, and also a look into social ranking factors.
This SEO Basics Guide offers eight chapters off useful knowledge and links to resources. I especially like it’s section of common technical SEO issues and best practices, something you’ll surely come across as a beginner SEO. Wordstream’s focus on content marketing and how it applies to SEO is also refreshing and on target with industry trends.
Lynda.com offers an entire series of highly useful videos of varying lengths for learning the fundamentals of SEO. While some videos are free to watch, others are not – but, you can always sign up for a free trial. If you don’t want to watch all of the videos, the guide also offers transcripts for easy note taking or reference. Watch the entire series in one (lengthy) sitting, or break up your study sessions over time.
Clickminded offers an SEO training course and certification in addition to a quick guide to learn how SEO works. Along with a good description of what SEO is NOT (a good way to avoid what you shouldn’t be doing!), the guide runs through both onpage and offpage optimization tactics.
9. Google Webmaster’s Tools
Why not go straight to the source? Google’s Search Optimization Starter Guide started out as an way to help Google’s internal teams, but is now available for the public. You won’t find super secrets to figuring out Google’s algorithm’s, but you will find the basics, how to optimize content, dealing with search engine crawlers, and real, actionable tips throughout the guide.
Buffer App’s Complete Beginners Guide to SEO offers novices a head to toe look at SEO using great visuals and easy to understand explanations. I particularly like this guide’s explanation of what affects a search, and how website architecture and structure is an important part of the process. Plus, there’s extra reading and resources at the end to keep on exploring.