Learn SEO: 12 Indispensable Resources For Beginners

You’ve hit the ground running.

Business licenses filed, website launched, e-commerce portal in place, social media profiles up and running, and new content publishing to your blog three times a week like clockwork.

Now what?

How do you keep the forward momentum?

What are the next steps to capturing more market share?

When it comes time to tackle SEO as a business owner, there are no shortcuts, no easy button. It’s time to hit the books and start studying; learning what SEO is, how it impacts your web ranking and what strategies are most likely to improve your online position.

Many business owners don’t have the budget funds in place to hire a professional, so SEO strategy falls onto the hook as one of the many hats a business owner must wear.

If search engine optimization has reared its ugly head on your to-do list, you have to know where to start. Just like with any new skill, getting a grasp on SEO and how to best apply it to your online strategy is a marathon, not a sprint.

Start with the basics to be sure you have a clear understanding of what you’re dealing with before you graduate to more complex ideas and applications.

The basics

SEO 101 – knowledge is power

The most difficult challenge students face when tackling new subject matter is learning the lingo. Language fluency is pivotal to developing skills that are firmly rooted in subject mastery. True talent emerges when a student has mastered the language that allows them to creatively design effective strategies that will convert consistently.

Few small business owners have the available time to immerse themselves in an environment that fosters language fluency. Most have a few minutes here and there to quickly explore the vocabulary to get a grip on their surroundings before they dig in to try and apply their recently acquired “knowledge.”

Where best to start? Take a look at these powerful resources to get on the fast track to understanding the who, what and whys of SEO strategy.

Moz Beginner’s Guide to SEO: The best place to start, this comprehensive guide begins with the most fundamental terms of SEO. Exactly what it is, why your business needs it and what can happen when you neglect or overlook it in your marketing strategy.

Kissmetrics 58 Resources to Help You Learn and Master SEO: Looking for a one-stop shop that covers the basic terminology behind SEO along with a valuable list of free tools and resources that can give your website a critical SEO “mental health check” to identify the problem areas that need your immediate attention? Look no further.

Advanced Web Ranking Learning SEO The Ultimate Resource: Access forums full of dialogue and discussion on SEO tips and tricks, troubleshooting and more. Watch video tutorials and sign up for online courses, flip through the glossary and explore countless SEO resources and online tools.

Whitespark Local SEO for the Small Business Owner Short on Time: If you’re in a pinch and really don’t have the time to learn the lingo, this resource has simple task lists to make small, but critical improvements to your SEO, along with the amount of time you can expect to spend on each project.

Intermediate level

SEO 200 – getting in the game (prerequisite SEO 101)

Got your bearings? It’s time to take your newfound knowledge and apply it. Now that you know what you’re talking about and can understand what you’re reading, you’re ready to dig into more specific content that describes strategies and tricks that will expand your reach and improve organic search results.

SEO can be an incredibly complex animal, and you’ve just grasped the fundamentals. Finding “how tos” and more in-depth guides will help you positively impact your business’s’ market presence without straying too far into high level strategies designed for SEO experts.

Trying starting here:

Moz How to Rank:  Within two to ten weeks, move through 25 well-guided steps to better SEO for your business. Marketed as beginning to intermediate SEO, this resource assumes basic comprehension of SEO fundamentals, but still keeps the language relatable and digestible.

A thorough strategy towards improving your reach, you’ll find the path to success without the information overwhelm.

The Definitive Guide to Keyword Research: Now that you understand what keyword research is, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and dig into some homework on your competition. In seven chapters, this helpful guide covers keywords from A to Z, research, analysis, selection and strategy.

Inbound Marketing and SEO Insights From the Moz Blog: You won’t get far when it comes to SEO research without running into Moz, one of the foremost experts in online marketing and strategy today.

Keep the best of the best in SEO information and strategy close at hand with this compilation of Moz’s most popular articles on inbound marketing disciplines and marketing techniques.

Advanced placement

SEO level 300 – the movers and the shakers (prerequisite SEO 101 and 200)

You’ve reached language fluency, have done your homework and are ready to take the final step towards subject mastery.

You’re well beyond the fundamentals of basic SEO and are ready to dig deeper into the complex and powerful strategies that will put your business on the fast track to page one. You’re ready to move and shake in your marketplace with high level creativity and precision application. It’s go time!

Master the art of SEO with these top notch guides:

Quicksprout Advanced Guide to SEO: Marketed as “the most extensive and detailed guide of advanced SEO techniques that exists today,” this resource has a virtually endless supply of complex strategies that take SEO to whole new levels for your business.

A powerful next step for SEO students who have conquered Moz and the more simplistic guides, this resource will amplify your SEO insight exponentially.

The Art of SEO Mastering Search Engine Optimization: Looking for innovative tactics for advanced learners? Truly master the art with the disciplines and insights shared by three top SEO experts.

Designed with the most current SEO research and methodology available today, this book exhausts cutting edge technique for motivated SEO professionals sticking close to today’s inbound marketing conversation.

Congratulations, graduate!

Never stop learning

You did it! You’ve followed the educational path to SEO mastery. You’re in the know and your business has taken critical steps towards page one by implementing a variety of creative techniques and strategies to compete in your marketplace. You’re done, right?

Technology will always keep us guessing when it comes to what works best in both the long and short term arenas. The last step to a complete SEO education is one simple reminder. Never stop learning.

The landscape will always be changing, new information will always be developing. Stay agile and aware, regularly brushing up on current news and testing out the latest tips and tricks. Never stop learning.

Extra credit

Resources and tools to check out

Are you an overachiever who wants a little extra homework? Check out these powerful resources to bring an added punch to your inbound marketing strategies and you’re sure to be the teacher’s pet.

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Katy Blevins

Social media and small business expert, Katy Blevins, is an avid contributor to the team at NerdyGirl Writers and is also the working mom behind the blogs at Chaos & Kiddos. A lover of all things Twitter and entrepreneurship, Katy is a motivated writer serving the NerdyGirl team in multi-media partnerships while also continuing to build her own professional empire with her long-time business partner, Somer Anne. Single mom to a teenager and twin toddler boys, Katy excels when it comes to efficient marketing strategies that produce quality results quickly.

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