How can you improve your sites rank on search engines like Google? If you run a website, you’ve probably at least heard of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). However, you may only have a vague (or perhaps outdated) concept of what Search Engine Optimization means in 2017. That’s why we’d like to present you with seven actionable tips and resources that’ll allow you to learn SEO in a flash.

The Best Online Resources to Learn SEO Techniques and Strategies

#1. Google’s Optimization Guidelines

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When you decide to learn about SEO, you should always cross-reference the techniques with the source: Google’s own regulations and guidelines for their search engine result pages (SERPs). As a simple PDF file, it’s not the most engaging or intuitive resource for SEO learning, but you’re not going to find more accurate information than those regularly provided (and updated) by Google itself.

#2. Tools for Picking Your Keywords

Before we proceed, let’s define “keyword”–in this instance, we mean a short (usually 2-10 word) phrase that your potential readers or customers will use to find your site through a search engine.

Other than the content you write, your keywords are the most important element to your SEO success. How can you choose the right phrase to give your page its optimal position in search engine rankings? This guide, presented by Moz, will teach you to choose the right keyword for your business, especially how to find a keyword with high search volume and low competition.

If you’re having trouble identifying the right keyword, or if you can’t decide between short and long-tail keywords, this list of keyword analyzers and tools compiled by marketing experts on Hubspot will prove an invaluable resource for those who want to learn SEO techniques that will work in 2017.

#3. Density Analysis Tool

the words SEO written on an illustrated envelope

Although keywords are an essential part of your overall SEO strategy, it’s easy to go overboard. Many years ago, some of the first “SEO experts” figured out that if you loaded a site with “content” (often no more than gibberish) optimized around a chosen keyword–let’s say, “florist in Albany”–it would help that site rise to the top of search engine results for “florist in Albany”.

Google’s metrics are now complex enough to regard sites like this as spam. How can you avoid this digital death sentence? Low keyword-density–ideally, you wouldn’t use your targeted keyword more than four or five times within a 1,000-word piece of content.

SEO Book’s Free Keyword Density Analysis Tool is one of the best resources to learn SEO keyword density techniques. It can also analyze other potential SEO mistakes you might be making. This will prevent your page from being regarded as spam by Google’s SERPs. Many users who want to learn SEO go a little overboard when it comes to their site’s content.

#4. Search Engine Land’s Mobile SEO Tutorials

2016 marked the first year that more searches and internet browsing was performed on mobile devices than computers. Now that more than half of your site’s visitors are likely using either a smartphone or a tablet to browse your page, you can’t afford to ignore your mobile performance.

Aside from being one of the best resources to learn SEO techniques in general, we salute Search Engine Land as they keep their eyes on the emerging force of mobile searches. If you’re trying to learn SEO strategies for mobile, this is where you should start.

#5. Learning About Backlinks

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As you get more advanced in your attempts to learn SEO, you’ll start to find that there’s only so much optimization you can accomplish if your page isn’t engaged in link building. When a well-established site links to your website, it’s like they’re “vouching for you” to gain Google’s trust. It’s hard for young sites to start building links, but these tools can.

The marketing-oriented site Convince and Convert recently published a handy list of 14 tips to build high-quality backlinks in a relatively short period of time–without breaking your business’s budget.

We also enjoy (most of) Backlinko’s suggestions for “outside the box” backlink building. As you continue to learn SEO, you’ll realize that it’s far from a precise “science”. Experimenting with various techniques and measuring their success is the best way to really learn SEO.

#6. SEO by the Sea: Staying Informed

SEO changes almost constantly–to be truly well-informed about the top SEO strategies, you need to find a site that has the most current and important information affecting the search engine world. What’s more, SEO by the Sea also provides their own SEO training and Coaching through their site. If you’re willing to pay a little extra for a highly-focused coaching experience, this is the one we’d recommend for SEO beginners.

#7. Search Engine Journal’s Voice Search Optimization Techniques

SEO components illustration

Lastly, we’ll take a look at an emerging concept in the SEO world: optimizing your site and your content for voice search. People speak in a very different way than they write, and they even phrase their search terms differently. For anyone trying to learn SEO, it might seem like daunting guess-work trying to optimize for voice search. Still, Search Engine Journal (SEJ, to those in the know) recently produced a page designed for those trying to learn SEO techniques to optimize your sites voice search.

In Conclusion

Clearly, anyone trying to learn about SEO techniques has their work cut out for them. Don’t stress out too much–we’ve tried to pick the most useful and actionable resources and tips to optimize your site’s success in an increasingly mobile-oriented world. Remember, search engine optimization isn’t an exact science, but it’s something you should keep your eye on. As a business owner, you’ll have a major leg up on the competition if you learn SEO. Best of luck in your quest for SEO knowledge!

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