There’s no shortage of information on Search Engine Optimization. Enter any term or question into a search engine and you’ll get tons of results in return. “SEO Tips and Tricks,” for instance, returns about 1.29 million search results. That’s a lot of tips and tricks!
Of course, there’s no way all of that information is useful. But when you’re just starting out, it’s hard to know what info is good and what’s just bunk. Even if you’re an experienced SEO veteran, there’s still a ton of material out there to wade through.
This Complete Resource Guide is here to help all levels of SEO professionals, even total beginners. These are all links to a variety of trusted industry sources, big-name blogs and other valuable content.
These resources are all relevant for current SEO trends of 2016. Check out my hand-picked collection of articles, tutorials, videos, tools and more:
Beginner SEO Guides
These resources are a good place to start. They introduce core concepts about SEO, Google, how search engines work and other introductory material.
We all have to start somewhere! Here’s a collection of guides, posts and videos which will give you a solid overview of what SEO is and how it works:
- Google Search Engine Optimization Guide – Directly from Google is their official guide on how to optimize for their search engine. (And their search engine is kinda popular…)
- How Google Crawls – Learn how Google crawls the web, indexes and serves results. Basically, how does Google find your site.
- How Google Works – This video is a more comprehensive view of how Google does all it does.
- Getting the Basics – This article covers the basics of how Google ranks and then drives traffic to your site. Learn an overview of the signals Google looks for to determine a site’s quality.
- Domain Authority – SEO metric used to describe the probability that your site will be found on a search engine. Use Domain Authority when comparing one site to another or tracking the strength of your website over time.
- Quick Sprout’s Guide to SEO – A nine chapter, infographic-style guide to general SEO concepts. More thorough than a blog post and a quicker read than a textbook.
- Moz’s Guide to SEO – Moz is a trusted name in SEO with a lot of helpful guides on their site. This is a 10 chapter guide.
- Google’s SEO Starter Guide – A 32-page doc explains how to run SEO. Written by Google in 2010.
- SEO Tips for Beginners – Five simple tips to help your first site get off to a great start.
- Creating a SEO Strategy – Googler Maile Ohye explains how to create a SEO strategy using a wide variety of tools.
Bonus! Newbies Guide to Marketing Jargon – This is my personal guide to common terms you’ll hear in this industry. A good guide to keep nearby for reference as you learn.
Advanced SEO Guides
There’s not a lot of room at the top of the search results page. Competition is fierce, and only getting tougher.
You’ll need to learn which specific SEO strategies will work best to reach your target audience. Here are a few specific SEO strategies you’ll want to know about:
- 11 SEO Tips for Optimizing for Local Search – Well-written blog about how to target local results. This is especially valuable for brick-and-mortar businesses.
- 5-Step Google SEO Guide for Creating and Optimizing Video Content – Video is the fastest growing type of content. Here’s how to stay on top of the trend.
Bonus! The Best Social Media Platform for Your Brand – This is my guide on using social media to help optimize your site.
Before you write content, you’ll need to identify the right keywords. Then you can seamlessly incorporate them into your blog posts, video titles and other content. The right mix of broad and long-tail keywords will help increase your position in the search results.
- SEO Basics Guide by WordStream
- WordStream’s Keyword Research Tool – Helps you find the right keywords
Internal and external links help increase your site’s visibility in the search results and even across social networks. Here are some link building articles for all levels:
- Link Building 101 – This Google guide to SEO link building covers all the basics link building techniques.
- How to Build Amazing Backlinks – 5 steps to building amazing links.
- Link Building for SEO – One of the most up to date link guides with everything you need to know.
- Best Link Building Guide – Covers different levels of tactics ranging from white, grey and black.
- SEO tips from Ahrefs – 200+ Actionable tips many of them dealing with link building and outreach.
- Five Experts on Google SEO Link Building This Google SEO starter guide provides you advice from SEO gurus who share their best link building secrets.
- Guest Blogging & Influencer Outreach Guide This is my complete guide to expanding your reach & links through guest posting
- Alverez Media How to Build Quality Links at Scale How to Build 1,000s of Inbound Links Cost Effectively
Bonus! My Complete Guide to Anchor Text.
Building a great website is similar to building a physical object. High quality tools make the work easier and lead to a better finished product. Here’s a variety of free SEO tools you’ll want to be familiar with:
- Google Webmaster Tools – Before you look at any other tools, check out this suite from Google. For help using Webmaster Tools, check out this page.
- Bing Webmaster Tools is a similar suite for the Bing search engine.
- Meta Forensics – Full website auditor. Check your architecture, internal links, content, metas and more. Free up to 500 pages.
- Open Site Explorer – This Moz creation is also known as the search engine for links. Open Site Explorer tool allows you to see who links to your site, find old/broken links, and research the links of competitors. Toolbar and product demo are available on this page. In order to understand this tool, you’ll need to be familiar with the terms Page Authority and Domain Authority.
- Broken Link Finder – Find and fix broken links with this free tool.
- SEO Site Tools – This is a Chrome extension which pulls up meta descriptions, incoming links, and more for any site.
- Keyword Suggestion Tool – A free tool (with an account) from SEO Book. Shows the number of searches for a specific keyword and gives suggestions.
- Majestic SEO – This tool for viewing backlinks to your website with metrics.
- Ahrefs – Track your backlinks, keywords, brand mentions and know what your competitors are doing
- Link Diagnosis– Another tool for viewing backlinks.
- Spider View Simulator – View your website the way a spider would. This will give your site a different perspective and may help you find and fix errors.
- Spider Test Tool – Similar tool as above, but this one is from SEO Book.
- Robots.txt Checker – Errors in your robots.txt can cause problems for a spider’s ability to crawl your webpage. Find and fix any potential problems with this free tool.
- Yoast SEO Plugin – A popular, multi-faceted plugin for WordPress.
- Anchor Text Over Optimization – Google is cracking down on websites that are overly optimized for SEO. Part of that involves anchor text. This tool highlights where you may be at risk for anchor text over optimization.
- Test Page Speed – Your website speed affects your page ranking, so you want to ensure your website loads as quickly as possible. This Google tool will measure your site’s speed and offer suggestions for improving speed.
- Google Trends – Shows volume of searches over time. A good tool to view keyword popularity.
SEO Campaign Monitoring
You’ll need to check how well your SEO campaign is running. This lets you identify which SEO strategies are working well, and what isn’t connecting. Here are some ways to examine your optimized site:
- Google Analytics –Google Analytics lets you measure your visitors & your ROI
- Guide to Google Webmaster Tools – Monitor the health of your site, learn to check your search presence and latest links.
- Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimized Web Page – Unsure of how to make an SEO optimized page? Or not sure if your page is optimized as well as it could be? This graphic is a simple way to check.
- Webmaster Guidelines – These guidelines make sure your site is in compliance with Google. Don’t forget to check out the Link Schemes document, which has recently been updated.
- Marketing Grader – HubSpot’s popular free tool gives you an overview of your marketing efforts, including an SEO analysis.
Tips, Tricks and Extras
There’s no magic formula for success, so these aren’t really “tricks.” But they are a collection of tools, articles and other useful stuff which will help with your site optimization:
- Setting up an SEO Friendly WordPress Site – WordPress is a publishing platform that is used by millions of websites. Read this article if you have a WordPress site or want to set one up but aren’t sure how.
- SEO for Blogs – Don’t have a WordPress site but still want SEO for blogs? Have a WordPress site and want to learn about SEO for any kind of blog? This article shows you how.
- Patrick McKenzie’s SEO Tricks – McKenzie provides some SEO tricks. Plenty of info here even for advanced users.
- Making Content Memorable – If you run a blog, it’s important to not put your time and energy into getting tweets, likes, +1′s, etc. Why? Because it’s still not totally clear how these play into Google’s ranking. You should be spending your time focusing on producing great content. This SEO Copywriting (SuccessWorks) article gives a good overview of how to turn an article from “meh” to memorable.
- Strategic SEO for Startups – More good SEO tips from McKenzie, this time focusing on “Startup SEO.”
- Quick Wins in SEO – Want some quick wins (that you may not be familiar with already) in SEO? Are you familiar with title tags and h2 tags? This article will help bring some quick wins to your website.
- SEO for Software Companies – Run a software company and want to know how to get traffic to your website via content creation? This article has all the details.
- SEO for ecommerce – An eight-part article which delves into optimizing an ecommerce site for SEO. Also check out SEO tips for e-commerce sites written by Google employee Maile Ohye.
- Conducting a Competitive SEO Audit – HubSpot gives an overview of how to conduct an SEO audit of the competitive landscape.
Staying Updated in the SEO Industry
You always want to maintain a quality site containing fresh content filled with accurate info. That type of site will never go out of style.
However, a site also needs to stay up-to-date with the latest changes in Google’s search algorithm. These resources will help ensure you’re always complying with Google’s guidelines and requirements. Add blogs to your RSS reader in order to always stay on top of all things SEO.
- Google Webmaster YouTube Channel – Frequently updated with a Q&A from Matt Cutts. If anything about SEO is a “must watch,” it’s this. No speculation and no conjecture — just accurate information from a key employee on Google’s search team.
- Google Webmaster Central Blog – The official Google blog is for all the latest info related to search. Written for webmasters.
- Google Algorithm Changelog – A good, unofficial resource where you can find the change history to the Google algorithm.
- Moz Blog – A variety of topics in the SEO arena are covered. Features a variety of guest bloggers.
- KISSmetrics SEO posts – A collection of SEO articles that have been posted to the KISSmetrics blog.
- Search Engine Land – This homepage has lots of good articles related to SEO.
- Dave Naylor – Dave Naylor is well respected in the SEO industry. Read his blog to get the latest insights.
- HubSpot SEO Posts – A collection of posts HubSpot has relating to SEO.
- SEO Book Blog – Aaron Wall is well known in the SEO community. This is his blog, which is part of his site.
- Search Engine Journal – Gives you tips while also providing some industry news and commentary.
- SEO Roundtable – Provides a good overview on SEO news.
- YouMoz – Blog posts written by the Moz community.
- Search Engine Guide – Contains lots of intriguing and educational posts.
- Alltop SEO – A continuously updated collection of all the top posts from a variety of SEO blogs.
Connecting with Other SEO Pros
There’s always more to learn. Connect with other SEO pros around the world with this forum, community and subreddit:
- Webmaster Central Forum – A large forum hosted by Google where you can get help with SEO issues.
- Moz Community – A community hosted by Moz that features a Q&A, articles written by others in the community, and webinars.
- SEO Subreddit – An SEO community in Reddit. Features news, Q&A, case studies, and more.
- Talk with an Expert – Need to talk to someone for help or advice with SEO? Check out the experts available on Clarity.
- SEO Book Community – A popular SEO community. Requires a paid account of $300 a month.
- Inbound – A Hacker News-like discussion board where many inbound marketing issues are covered. There’s a heavy focus on SEO here.
Search engine optimization is a lifelong learning process. Don’t let the sheer volume of information scare you away. Simply start with the most basic information and build from there.
With over a decade of experience, I’m always ready to help answer a question or otherwise provide advice. Check out my blog section here or contact me today to learn more about how I can help you achieve your e-commerce goals.
What SEO Resources and Teaching Tools do you recommend? Any posts, guides or infographics you’d add to the Resource List above? Share your know-how in the comment section below: