1. Learn SEO Fundamentals

If you’re looking to start learning SEO, you’ve come to the right place! Here you’ll find an aggregation of the best, reliable resources about SEO fundamentals. 

In-depth guide to how Google Search works

Guide from Google

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide

Guide from Google

Google Search Essentials

Guide from Google

The Beginner’s Guide to SEO

Guide from Moz

SEO Basics: Beginner’s Guide to SEO Success

Guide from Ahrefs

The Beginner’s Guide to SEO

Guide from ContentKing

The Complete SEO Guide for Beginners

Guide from Mangools

SEO Fundamentals Course with Greg Gifford

Guide from SEMrush

 

Tips When Learning & Doing SEO Fundamentals

Take a look at a compilation of invaluable advice from an array of experienced SEO professionals to take into account when learning the fundamentals of SEO. 

Get into the habit of thinking of links in terms of quality, not quantity. To understand the potential value of a link you want to look deeper than just metrics such as DA and DR, and ask yourself: Is this link relevant to my niche? Will it help to build brand awareness with my target audience? Does it help me demonstrate topical authority on a subject? Will it provide readers with more information or context? Will it help me to show, expertise, experience, authority and trust?
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Make sure that you apply what you learn while you are in the process of learning it. Although understanding the theory of SEO is essential, dedicating equal time [if not more] to practical implementation will make it easier, more understandable, and more enjoyable. By dividing your time equally between theory and practice, you will enhance your awareness and knowledge, find your niche within SEO, and identify areas for improvement.
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Learning SEO from scratch can be overwhelming. I suggest to focus on one area at a time and apply the learnings on a "real life" task. I'm an advocate of having your private website, where you can apply the learnings and test things. This builds confidence. And if something breaks? You fix and learn. :)
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When doing keyword research, think about the intent and ultimate purpose of the page, not just the search volume. A high search volume alone doesn’t indicate the value of that keyword, the true value lies in the intent and matching that intent with what your business wants to achieve and what your audience is looking for.
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The single best way to get experience in SEO is to create your own site. For you and about you. Not only do you now gain the understanding of what it takes to create a site with SEO in mind from start to finish, but you have a place to experiment without it effecting your company or your clients. AND you’ll build up your own personal digital presence in the mean time. So, it’s a win-Win-WIN! Yes, it’ll cost money, but not much and you’re investing in yourself (something we always seem to forget to do). Because I practice what I preach, here’s my site: https://thatsdiana.com/
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Find and join active, welcoming communities of SEO practitioners who can supplement theory with experience and acquired wisdom. SEO is very experiential. Learning from the mistakes and successes of other SEO pros is priceless. Don’t silo your learning. There are vibrant and helpful SEO groups for all levels and specific disciplines of SEO. These communities can be found in Slack, Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, Mastodon, LinkedIn, Meetups, Forums, Discussion Groups and by simply asking someone in the field what they would recommend. Also remember, that as you interact with them, it is important to thank the community—say “thank you” and “please”; participate in discussions, share what you learn, help someone who may also beginning their SEO journey. Don’t just take—become a contributing, valuable community member because in giving back, you become more successful in your growth.
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A successful SEO strategy is a strategy that brings success (money) to a company (your company or your client's company). All website are a bit messy - no website apply all SEO best practice. Keep in mind your vision and objectives (or your client's objectives). Stand as an advisor to your client. You don't have to know it all to provide smart advice. One step at a time, you can do it (you're on this website, this is already a great step).
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It's very easy to get caught up in the latest tricks and tactics but SEO doesn't have to be complicated. Make sure everything you do is tied back to making your site easy to crawl by search engines, creating high quality, useful content and building your website's authority. If you keep yourself grounded in the fundamentals then you're well on your way to SEO success.
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SEO to a large part is about not making search engines guess. When building your SEO strategy be sure to provide clear, accurate and quality information that helps search engine and user's understand your website goal but not too much to confuse them.
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"Always remember, SEO is a dynamic field, and it's important to stay updated with the latest advancements and adapt your strategies accordingly. By focusing on user intent, providing a great user experience, and embracing AI and natural language processing, you can stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of SEO. Understand what your clients' objective is & how can you provide solution to it, simultaneously keeping in that what value does it provide to your potential customer. Be open-minded to try new things, experiment, and always try to keep technical aspects & your users' interest at front while creating any SEO strategy."
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Remember the people: Searchers, users, unique visitors etc. they're *people*. Build your website for your target audience. Optimise it for search engines. Always in that order.
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SEO is a dynamic field, stay up to date, be bold and test, test, test. You should be open to cooperate with other colleagues such as PPC, social media, the dev team etc. Trust your intention and take ownership of your projects, website, shop. Take your time you, breathe 🧘‍♀️
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Don't be afraid to reach out to other SEOs. Find a community where you feel welcome and safe to ask questions, be active on twitter or reditt, find a mentor - whatever feels right for you. Others' perspectives and experiences are invaluable and often eye-opening.
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With edge, AI and CMS's being so commonplace, understanding the fundamentals of HTML seems to be forgotten often, Google is just interpreting the rendered HTML so starting with the basics allows you to progress so much faster!
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Don't see SEO as a stand-alone channel - it often feeds into many other marketing channels. Think more holistically about the impact of what you're doing and the user journey - from how they're finding you to what you want them to do on the site - to find the best opportunities.
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When experts confuse you, use common sense as your guide. It's not a bad place to start from!
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Don't be afraid to break it down into smaller more manageable tasks, SEO can seem totally overwhelming especially when you are new to it, so just work on one specific task at time, doing it this way means you are less likely to get overwhelmed and give up.
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As a SEO, understanding of business objectives and more specifically the business model (aka how does the business make money) is essential. This will allow you to focus on where SEO can make the biggest impact. Instead of chasing traffic you can start chasing the right traffic.
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SEO is RARELY just black and white, I/O. The very nuance of SEO is why making use of the superpowers afforded by Curiosity, Critical Thinking and Empathy make GREAT future SEO's. Anyone can learn a process. Few can really 'get it' without these skills!
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Don't be afraid to admit you don't know something in an SEO client meeting. It's better than being the person that lies or exaggerates to give the illusion they have all the answers. Tell them you'll look into it and come back to them by a certain date.
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SEO is not a straight line to success. You'll hit roadblocks, and it's okay. Be flexible, learn to adjust, and always remember that some things are out of our control. Take control of what you can when implementing SEO, ask questions, and always be willing to pivot when something doesn't work.
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While learning the SEO fundamentals, apply them to your favourite website or a local business website. Based on what you learned, what can be improved, what opportunities did you spot? Adding practical context to SEO theory is an excellent way to solidify learnings.
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Start by setting up your own website (Wordpress, Wix etc). When you learn something new you can test it on your own website. Learn by doing!
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Develop a critical mindset from day one. Be critical towards what you read, what people say, what Google says, etc. Work on lots of implementations and try to isolate what really drives SEO growth (and what not)
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SEO is a holistic digital marketing strategy, so your main goal is to use all your resources available to help a business grow. Focus on getting the SEO basics right: content that matches search intent, technical, on-page, off-page, & don’t forget to test, measure & learn from it
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When communicating technical SEO to developers, always remember these key things:

🔀 What business problem this will help solve?
📈 Why should anyone care?
⚙️ What is the agreed list of requirements?

Try to have conversations with devs frequently around these three questions.
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Don't forget to look at the SERPs. You can learn a lot simply by looking at what Google is currently ranking for your target search terms.
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Curiosity and constant learning are essential for becoming a good SEO. Read SEO newsletters, articles, go to conferences or attend virtual ones and talk to other SEOs.
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You can infer a lot from Google. When considering a new page or category, do a sanity check of the SERP to make sure that you are not trying to rank a product for a search term which Google clearly only serves recipes for.
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Prioritize business needs and verify decision-making data. Learn SEO tools but don't rely on them blindly. Understand webpage crawling, indexing, and ranking, and their potential issues.
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Keyword Research: Conduct thorough keyword research to identify the terms and phrases your target audience is using to search for information related to your business. Optimize your content with these keywords to increase visibility.
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If you want to test an idea or tactic and don't have permission from your boss, brainstorm alternative ways to try it out. Help a friend, volunteer to do the task for a charity or work on your own experiment/side project that will give you the chance to try it for yourself.
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Learn how Google works. Study and apply what you have learned as soon as possible. I recommend creating a WordPress website and try to rank it in the SERPs. Surround yourself with SEO professionals and listen to their advice on problems they have already experienced.
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SEO should be thought of as a non linear service - because different sites can rank with varying metrics - therefore directly comparing one websites metrics against another aren't a fair rationale for why something might rank better. SEO should be thought of in a way where you are analysing, planning and creating landing pages on a website that truly offer something of value to the end user and where a majority of end users are likely to benefit from it - creating content of value & building trust & performing SEO tests should be at the forefront of an SEOs focus - quality, hard work and persistence are the attributes of a good SEO.
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SEO Fundamentals encompass the basic principles and strategies for optimizing a website to improve its visibility and rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs). It involves various aspects, including understanding how search engines work, conducting keyword research, implementing on-site SEO optimizations, incorporating technical SEO best practices, and building high-quality backlinks.
However, we must remember that in addition to this, we must consider the needs and desires of our users and whether we are genuinely providing them with value. 😄
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SEO is not about finding some keywords, and making some backlinks. Seo is a big game. The basic definition is optimization of the website for users and people. For proper results think like search engine and act like a user. Prevent the problems search engines are having and also provide easy navigation for users. Read different case studies, patents, and run test projects to analyze what is really happening in the SERPs world. Learn how to manage SEO campaigns at large scale. Audit as much as you can. If you are not finding any website for audit go to internet and pick some of them and analyze there problems.
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Don't be afraid to tear a website apart to make it better! You don't need to tinker - large scale changes around URLs, taxonomy and structure can have a huge impact at scale. Just because it was built that way, doesn't mean it has to stay that way.
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SEO Fundamentals FAQ
What's SEO?

SEO is the process of optimizing a website to increase its visibility for relevant searches. The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to garner attention and attract prospective and existing customer visits and conversions to your business Website.

What are the fundamental areas of SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves a variety of strategies and techniques aimed at improving a website’s visibility in organic search engine results. The fundamentals of an SEO process include keyword research, content optimization, technical optimization, and link building; which are key activities to improve a site’s organic search results.  

What are the different types of SEO?

There are different types of SEO Processes focused on the type of companies and industries: Local SEO for businesses with physical location and target, Ecommerce SEO for online stores, International SEO for businesses targeting multiple countries, among others. 

What's the advantage of doing SEO vs PPC?

Both SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) are part of SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and are effective strategies for driving traffic to your website. However, they serve different purposes and offer different advantages. SEO is an investment that needs time to take effect as well as tends to need Web content, technical and promotional actions. PPC offers immediate results, testing flexibility and budget control, although, unlike SEO, doesn’t compound over time as it’s not organic, but advertising.  

The SEO Learning Roadmap

Take a look at the SEO learning roadmap below, featuring the different areas, from the basics of SEO, to the most common activities and phases of the SEO Process:

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1 SEO Fundamentals

Start learning SEO with the fundamental concepts and areas, why they're important, and the basics to execute them: keyword research, content optimization analysis, technical optimization and link building.
Once you know the main SEO concepts, it's time to put them in practice by learning to develop an SEO process, from establishing a strategy and setting goals to management, measurement, and reporting.
Learn to implement the most important SEO configurations in the top Web platforms in the market, along with considerations to take into account.