Starting from square one: the 5 best online SEO resources
November 9, 2015
Like quite a few people I’ve met, I really fell into SEO headfirst. It wasn’t what I went to school for, and I knew of it only in a peripheral sense. A couple years ago, I was working in-house for a private company’s marketing department, when I was asked to “take care of the SEO” — which I discovered soon after meant making tweaks and changes to the internal Yoast plugin.
I knew it had to be more than some simple plugin or else everyone would be doing it. I had to start from square one, so I started doing research — a lot of research. During this back-to-the-basics process, I learned that there are hundreds upon hundreds of how-to SEO resources. Despite the plethora of sites that claimed to know what they were talking about, I kept circling back to a select few.
So here is a list of my favorite search engine optimization resources; these are my 5 “square ones”:
The brain child of the one and only, Rand Fishkin, SEO guru and one of the biggest names in the industry. Moz.com became somewhat of a marketing bible for me. Their Beginner’s Guides where nearly unmatched in their level of knowledge and detail in addition to the exercises at the end of each chapter which we clear and easy to understand the concepts being portrayed.
In addition, as if the Beginner’s Guiders weren’t enough to turn your n00b SEO brain into mush, Moz supplemented their guides with pages upon pages on top of more pages of resources, blogs, tips and tricks, and the very popular, White Board Fridays.
Search Engine Land
Search Engine Land can be daunting at first. Above the fold, the homepage is essentially a collage of images with big headlines on them. However, once you dive into one of the topic sections from the tool bar it becomes more manageable. Search Engine Land is essentially an article site, with tons of articles about random SEO based topics, but it’s the “What is SEO?” page that puts Search Engine Land on this list.
They start your off with a video explanation of what SEO is, followed by what is one of my favorite pieces of SEO knowledge, The Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors. This table breaks the influence every factor of SEO has both positively and negatively based on 7 factors: Content, HTML, Architecture, Links, Trust, Social, and Personal. Each one of these is further explained in the chapters following in the guide.
Kiss Metrics Blog
My favorite thing about this blog is that Kiss Metrics doesn’t just stick with traditional topics for their tutorials. Yeah, they have introduction courses about SEO and PPC, but the fun part about Kiss Metrics is the topics that you might not think about at first, for example, “How Colors Affect Conversion” or “The 7 Deadly Sins of Landing Page Design”. Their topics are unique and innovative and come in infographic, text, or webinar form. Kiss Metrics is great for once you have a little bit of knowledge under your belt and want to start drilling down into more specific topics.
Search Engine Journal
SearchEngineJournal (SEJ) is similar to its other counterpart SearchEngineLand and that is by no means a bad thing. Overall layout and design resemble each other so if you’re familiar with one you can navigate the other with ease.
The thing that made SEJ stand out for me was “SEJ’s Guide to SEO”. Now I know there are plenty of other guides out there, but the appeal for me about this one is how straight forward it is. There aren’t loads of images or arrows with small text or other forms of clipart. It is straight text and packed full of useful up-to-date information.
Video tutorials about SEO are easy to come by, just go to YouTube, type in SEO, pick a video and hope the person who made it knows what they are talking about…assuming you can understand them through horrible audio quality or thick accents from wherever they are from. Or, you can go to QuickSprout’s University. The University offers short video tutorials that are easy to understand, descriptive, and most importantly skill based. Each topic is broken down into a beginner, intermediate, and advanced knowledge level so that your bright eyed and bushy tailed brain doesn’t get overloaded and discouraged by topics that are way above your level of understanding.