How to Learn Basic SEO Skills
SEO is a huge topic and it can seem overwhelming at times, but learning the basics is actually an incredibly useful skill that isn’t too intimidating once you get started. There are certainly more advanced SEO methods out there, but the basics are enough to give you a good idea of how business and the Internet work together. If you’ve been putting off learning what SEO really means until now, don’t sweat it. Your first step is to understand why it matters in the first place, and I think you’ll find that the whole process snowballs pretty easily from there.
Why Understanding the Basics of SEO Matters in the First Place
As discussed above, understanding the basics of SEO can be incredibly helpful for anyone working in any type of business or department; however it can also be something interesting to learn for consumers who use Google or other search engines (all 1.17 billion of you). If you still need a little bit of convincing, a few reasons SEO can be so helpful include:
- Many different departments in a business can benefit from knowing the basics. For example, an IT department may need to understand why one page gets priority over another when dealing with different coding issues, and a sales department needs to understand what pages people visited before connecting with a sales representative.
- SEO is important for the big picture of a company because it drives so many leads, so having some of this knowledge can you see the big picture yourself.
- If you’re ever going to hire an SEO agency or an expert, you’ll need to know the basics so you know what questions to ask and what answers to expect for an initial interview.
- SEO insights help you understand what your online visitors want to see.
- As a consumer or searcher, knowing how SEO works will help you understand why you are getting certain results. It will also help you be able to analyze results better and type in more sophisticated search queries.
Whatever your reason for wanting to learn the basics of SEO, the sooner you can get started the better. The basics are actually not too difficult to grasp, but you definitely need motivation and a willingness to put in the hard work and time.
Easy Tips to Learning Basic SEO Skills
There are many different ways to learn the basics, but I recommend doing a little bit of each option below to get a well-rounded understanding.
1. Seek out SEO training guides online.
There are quite a few different SEO tutorials and articles out there aim to give you the basics and nothing more. I highly recommend making this as your first step. Search for things like “basic SEO guides” and then try and click some of the top entries. You’ll find that there is an overwhelming amount of basic SEO guides, so just read one or two to get a feel for what it means. I recommend The Beginners Guide to SEO by Moz or Search Engine Land’s Guide to SEO by Search Engine Land. Both are easy to understand guides from authoritative SEO websites.
2. Read top SEO blogs and authors.
There are many different SEO related blogs out there that are writing about the latest news and giving tips about successful SEO (so not necessarily guides). While this might not be a good first step, it can definitely be a good second step.
We talked with Scott Langdon, managing partner of SEO Company HigherVisibility, who explained that
“Even if you aren’t exactly sure what every article is talking about, it’s good to read through a few things you find interesting to keep in the back of your mind and simply just get yourself immersed in the SEO world. You may be surprised in the future at just how many connections you can make to that one once-confusing article.”
3. Get involved with online communities and forums.
This is a great place to observe the kinds of questions that are being asked and some of the answers people are giving. Once you know a little bit more about SEO you’re bound to have questions, so try to ask these in different forums and to different people you connect with (more on this in the next section). I recommend checking out different LinkedIn groups for SEO beginners to help you connect with others in your same position.
4. Connect with SEO experts on social media.
Once you start reading different blogs and getting familiar with the community, you’ll be able to pick out pretty quickly people who are influencers in the niche. Try to follow these people on social media so that what he/she posts will show up in your news feeds. This will help you constantly stay reminded of different SEO ideas without having to do much work. Connecting with influencers is also a great resource if you ever have any questions, but keep in mind that some of the top people might not connect with you back. Nonetheless, you’re sure to find someone who is willing to help!
5. Practice with different SEO Tools.
Finally, the best way to really learn SEO is to actually try it out. Once you’ve learned the basics through reading guides and connecting with influencers, you will find that there are different tools that SEOs use to complete keyword research or track the success of certain pages (particularly in Google Analytics). If you’re feeling adventurous and want to really get a handle on the basics, try out tools like Google Analytics and the Google Keyword Planner to see how it all fits together.
What about paid options? If reading an SEO guide for the basics isn’t quite what you had in mind, there are of course paid options you can try such as different SEO learning and training courses. This is a great option if you want to get it all out of the way and practice using SEO all at once, but it will cost you. There are lots of different options depending on your location, so research queries like “basic SEO training courses” to learn more about some paid options available specifically in your area.
Do you have any tips to learning the basics of SEO? Anything that has or has not worked for you in the past? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comment section below.