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Ultimate Guide to Understanding SEO to Increase Sales and Traffic

Understanding SEO can be quite a complex effort these days. That’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

With all of the technical requirements, artificial intelligence, and more than 200 Google ranking factors – trying to figure out SEO might make your head explode. It almost seems like it isn’t worth even attempting. But you and I know the internet is too vast and competitive to ignore SEO.

And that’s where this comes into play. I wanted to write an ultimate guide to understanding SEO and everything that goes with it. And I wanted to make sure this guide was super simple to understand. The easier it is to learn something, the easier it is to do it and turn it into a habit.

That’s my goal with this article.

And it’s very important to understand how to do SEO because 68% of all internet experiences begin with search engines. Around 53% of all web traffic comes from organic search results. That’s more than half. And almost 93% of that is on Google Search and its web products. You can see that search engine optimization is really important.

To get your SEO done, you can hire an agency to do it for you, which could be anywhere from $500 to $5,000 a month. You can delegate it to someone on your staff who knows how to do it. Or you can read this guide to understanding SEO and start using it on your website today.

Ultimate Guide to Understanding SEO: Table of Contents

I’ve added the section links below to help you jump to the section of your desire in this guide about understanding SEO.


What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. To do SEO means you’re optimizing your content or website for search engine positioning.

You typically have to do at least some SEO techniques to rank better on search engines. Most of the techniques involve technical aspects, content optimization, and link-building strategies.

You also have to choose a target keyword and research it.

It can sometimes be complex, but understanding SEO is easy to accomplish through practice.


The History of Search Engine Optimization

Most people think SEO started with Google. In reality, it started before Google in the late 1990s. At least that’s when marketing and search engine agencies started using the terms “SEO” and “Search Engine Optimization.”

While SEO does predate Google, it all became clearer and more relevant once Google came into play as it led the search engine industry forward. Google has more or less set the standards for search engines.

Today, more than 53% of websites are found on search engines. More than 90% of the search results are from Google. That tells you how much of an impact Google has on the search engine industry. Over the years, Google has updated its search algorithms mainly to combat cheating.

As the years passed and into these modern times, SEO continues to evolve, and now, with artificial intelligence at the forefront, SEO will evolve in ways we’ve never witnessed.


PROs and CONs of SEO

There are advantages and disadvantages to practicing search engine optimization. The PROs and the CONs will help you determine if you wish to do the actions, delegate them to a dedicated staffer or team, or even contract SEO work.

The PROs of understanding SEO are that you can use these tactics to increase traffic and awareness to your digital mediums, create customer trust, spread your brand, develop an online community, and lead a competitive advantage. It can help you increase your profit and achieve success in your KPIs. And SEO is very measurable, which is always delightful.

But there are definitely CONs associated with SEO. Getting measurable and desired results will typically take time, which might mean years. You also have to invest a constant learning flow into SEO because of the rate of the algorithm change. SEO isn’t a miracle formula – it doesn’t always work as expected. If you contract SEO out, it’s typically expensive.

It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of SEO and decide how you wish to implement it. But you should definitely implement it.


Challenges of SEO

There are numerous challenges that you will be faced with in terms of understanding SEO. Some of the challenges can be quite complex and difficult to interpret. This is why it’s important to be open-minded in learning the tricks of the trade.

The design will always be a challenge. Your content or website has to be user-friendly and quickly served. Content is always a challenge. It’s important that all content meets the search intent, is fresh and unique, and is the best content for the optimized keyword.

Of all the challenges of SEO, technical aspects are often the ones that trump the rest. The page speed, use of JavaScript, HTML markup, and crawlability of web content are big deals. Mobile response is another important challenge because over 75% of your traffic is on mobile devices.

Once you understand SEO better, it will get easier to implement. You can get over these challenges by continuing to move forward.


Search Engines and SEO

The first two letters of SEO stand for Search Engine. Search engines are effectively what you’re optimizing your content and website for.

More than half of all web traffic comes from search engines. Almost all of that comes from Google and its products. It is important to optimize for these search engines, but you should also understand why.

In this section, we’ll take a look at everything to do with understanding SEO when it comes to optimizing for search engines.


The Main Search Engines

The top five search engines online are Google, YouTube, Bing, Yahoo, and Duck-Duck-Go. Google is number one, and YouTube (also owned by Google) is the second-largest search engine online.

Understanding SEO for Google and YouTube is going to be your primary mission. You can optimize for Bing and the others by practicing the tactics you’ll use for Google. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to optimize for too many search engines.

Google is number one, and it’s likely going to stay number one. You should optimize for Google first, and your practices will reflect in the other search engines.


Algorithms of Search Ranking

Google and other search engines use algorithms to rank websites and content on their search engines. These algorithms used to be called search robots or spiders. They basically go to a website and start crawling, collecting all the allowed information to reflect back on Google.

The algorithms are complex and get updated thousands of times a year. There are also hundreds of search engine ranking factors that the algorithms used to collect and rank content. And while they are complex and difficult to understand, Google does present information about how their algorithms rank content.

The algorithms look at a number of things. There are over 200 factors. I won’t cover 200+ factors because that’s a guide all in itself. But I’ll cover the important one further in this article. And those are the factors that you should worry about the most.

It isn’t the algorithm that you should try to understand. You need to learn about the important factors that will help you rank.


Paid vs. Organic SEO

There are two different types of search engine results to focus on for the sake of understanding SEO. They are organic and paid.

Paid results are search engine results that you pay for. You pay through Google Ads (or another ad service on other search engines), and your link gets put on results pages against your chosen keywords. You will typically pay for actions such as website clicks, calls made from searches, and other actions you’ve included (PPC or Pay Per Click). You shouldn’t buy ads unless you have a goal of your ROI being more than you spent. Paid results typically are positioned above non-paid (organic) results.

Organic results are search results that are not paid for. This will be where your content is positioned as you optimize for search engines. SEO is recommended because of the amount of competition for keywords. Your goal is to be ranked on the search results’ first page (and top). Most people do not go past the first page. Organic results typically fall under paid results since you don’t pay for them.

For the sake of SEO, your main focus is organic SEO. SEO tactics are for organic results since you’re not paying for their positioning.

Understanding SEO

Google and its Ranking Factors

Google has over 200 ranking factors. These factors are used to help rank your content and website on their massive search engine.

Understanding SEO and these factors can help you rank better on Google. While I recommend you research every search factor you can find, there are about ten major factors worth understanding from the start.

Don’t feel like you have to learn how to master 200+ search ranking factors. But you should at least master the ones below.


Content Targeting

Part of understanding SEO understands keyword research. A keyword is a phrase you will use to target the topic of your content for optimization. It will require you to research the keyword for its competitive scores. Then you’ll place the keyword within your content strategically. Many tools are available (free and paid) to assist you in content and keyword targeting.



In order for your website or content to even appear on search engines, it must be accessible for crawl ability by search engines. This is typically accomplished by using a robots.txt file at the root of your main website. If you disable the ability for Google to crawl your website, it may not appear on their search engine.


Quality Links

Any links you link to on your content must be relevant to the anchor text (the text that’s linked) and your content. Any websites or pages that link to your content should also be relevant to your content and have a history of being good content. Link quality has always been a very important search ranking factor of Google.


Satisfying User Search Intent

If someone searches for a phrase and your website comes up, they will click on it and see your content. If it does not provide them with the information they’re searching for, they’ll typically press back and go to the next result. That will harm your search ranking because it failed to satisfy the user’s search intent. Only optimize for keywords that you’re creating related content for.


Unique Content

The content of your product should be relevant to other forms of content produced by other competing websites, but it must be unique in order to rank on search results properly. This means that the content must not be anywhere else but your page. Don’t copy others word for word, and don’t duplicate content.


Google E-A-T

Google E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. It helps Google determine what websites should rank for producing the best possible result for users who are buying items or improving their lives. Your website and its content should show expertise. You should be seen as an authority in your niche or industry. Your content should be trustworthy.


Fresh Content

It is important to create content frequently. Creating daily content is best. Multiple contents per week are suggested. One page of content and below isn’t recommended. Google loves websites with fresh and new content. So, you should have a content creation strategy in place whether you’re writing the content or someone else is.


Click Through Rate

Click-through rate or CTR measures how many searchers actually click your website or content link versus how many people see the link. If 10,000 people see your website on the search results and 3,000 people click it, you have a CTR of 30%. Your goal is to have a high CTR.


Page Speed & Core Web Vitals

Page speed and core web vitals are factors of how quickly your pages load. Most website pages should fully load within or under 2 seconds. If pages take over 2 seconds to load, it could harm your search ranking. Core web vitals go into deeper details on how you can improve your website load times.


Responsive to Devices

Responsiveness is almost the most important factor, but content still remains king. Responsiveness factors in how all devices view your website. More than 75% of your visitors will be using a mobile device. Your website must identify the mobile device used and instantly show a website that is optimized for mobile devices. Not optimizing for mobile is a big mistake that you don’t want to make.


Developing Your SEO Strategy

Having an SEO strategy is an example of understanding SEO. You should have a strategy so that your efforts can be successful and you don’t waste your time.

Your SEO strategy should be treated like a business strategy. In order to be successful with search engine ranking, you need to be successful at utilizing your SEO strategy. Otherwise, why create one, and why even try to begin with?

I’ll show you how to start creating your SEO strategy in this section, so be sure you pay close attention and save this post for later to come back to.


Types of SEO

There are three types of SEO that you should be focusing on. These types include technical SEO, on-page SEO, and link building.

Technical SEO is technical optimizations, including adjusting your meta tags, keywords in your title (at or towards the beginning), and meta description tags. It also affects page speed and load time (2 seconds or less). Technical SEO also covers the user experience (make your website easy to use). Your URL falls under this type, too – Use friendly URLs and put your keyword in them. And lastly, make sure your domain uses SSL (Let’s Encrypt is free and useful for this).

On-Page SEO factors in your content optimization. Your first image alt tag, H1 header (only have one H1), and first H2 header should include the keyword. You should occasionally include your keyword in your content as long as it seamlessly fits. Your content should be the best content possible for your target keyword. Update old content to keep it fresh and modern. Create a detailed FAQ page on your niche to earn a spot in Google’s “People also ask” section. Ensure your anchor text (linked words) defines the user’s destination after clicking it. And use copywriting techniques in your content.

Link building is exactly what it sounds like. You need to get others to link to your content organically. The websites that link to you should have related and reputable content. You don’t want any bad website to link to you because it can hurt your search ranking. You can get backlinks with some business directories (most directories make bad backlinks). You can also gain backlinks through guest blogging (make sure you write like it’s your blog), podcasting (typically in the show notes), links on other peoples’ websites (related content, don’t buy links), and social media marketing.

Focus on each of these three types of SEO, and your website will have a much quicker chance of being ranked higher on Google search.


Specialized SEO

There are some specialized types of SEO to consider learning. These can ultimately help you if you use these types of SEO structures for your website and content.

Local SEO is one of these special types. Understanding SEO for local is all about using standard SEO practices and integrating local practices. For example, list your local business on Google Business and take advantage of all its features. Ensure you update your contact page to include all forms of contact such as a form, email, postal address, phone number, and social media pages. Create content that is targeted at local topics and create a lot of it. Focus on getting local backlinks and customer reviews from local people.

Video SEO is another great type to consider focusing on. Remember, YouTube (owned by Google) is the second largest search engine online. There are some additional things you can do outside of routine SEO practices. For starters, ensure your video has accurate closed captions and subtitles. Target keywords in captions/subtitles but also in the video by voice. Voice SEO will be an evolution in the future. Tap into it now! Consider subtitles in multiple languages. Optimize your keyword in titles and descriptions. Use related video cards and end screens. Optimize thumbnails. Name your video file and your keyword.

Social SEO is another way to help increase your brand’s optimization on search engines, as social media content is often indexed in Google and other search engines. You can use a few SEO techniques on all social media platforms. The first is to optimize your profile and bio information to include your targeted keywords. If there is an option to add ALT tags, do so to help impaired users but also to help algorithms understand your content better. Use captions that are keyword-optimized and hashtags when appropriate. Lastly, just like with websites and blogs, ensure your content is the best you can post – that will matter the most.

Many of these specialized SEO types will be tactics that you likely use. In the future, I’ll create some extensive guides to cover each one more in-depth.


Keyword Research

Keyword Research is part of understanding SEO that many people give up on. And I don’t understand why because once you do it a few times, it gets really easy to do after that.

Keyword research is simple. You select a keyword that describes what your content is about. Then you research it to see if it’s worth using based on competition and search rates. Then you integrate the keyword into your content. You always choose a new keyword for each piece of content – never use the same one more than once. And then, after that, you try to create content buckets using keywords that relate to your main keyword.

Researching keywords isn’t difficult, either. You can use an assortment of tools (listed at the bottom of this article) to check all the rankings, search rates, competition, and important metrics to help you decide. You should always use keywords with low competition but ones that are being searched for. Some keywords have low competition because no one is searching for them, and those won’t do anything good for you. Long-tail keywords are going to be your best bet, too. They’re going to have less competition than single or doubled worded keywords. So, for example, “North Dakota primitive tent camping” is going to do better than “North Dakota camping” because a large population of articles is trying to rank “North Dakota camping” rather than the other.

Getting keyword ideas is often considered a challenge. One of the best ways I get inspiration for a new keyword to research is by typing my main keyword into Google. Then I scroll down to the “People Also Ask” section of the search results page and scroll through the questions. These topics can give you great keyword research ideas. You can also compete for their positions with your own content, which will help you get more views, followers, and potential customers.

You don’t need a tool to help you research keywords if you thoroughly study it and understand it fully, but tools are helpful for automating things.


Content Optimization

When it comes to SEO, content optimization is critical. Your content must be at its very best to go anywhere on the ranks of Google search and other search giants.

The first thing you need to do is research your topic thoroughly. Consider all the main questions and problems that don’t get easy answers. Figure out the answers and format them easily in your content. That will make you go viral in your niche. You’ll be the expert everyone goes to. If you can do that, you’ll win significantly.

But you also need to audit your content. Take a look at every sentence you include. Is that sentence worth keeping? Does it keep a reader hooked? Does it add something significant to the content? Can a reader take something with them from reading it? Don’t just add a sentence for fluff or filler. Don’t add more words because you’re trying to get a certain number of words in the article. Treat your content like a book, and make sure every sentence counts.

The structure is extremely important when it comes to content. You must ensure you’re using the right headers, placing the right content topics where they need to be, and using the right formatting. Remember, a lot of your traffic will be on mobile devices. So that means you should use more line breaks, shorter sentences, shorter paragraphs, and often fewer words.

Grammar and spelling are another big deal. I use Grammarly to help fix my content issues and make everything make sense. It makes it quicker to edit content versus trying to do it myself. If you do it yourself, try to read it aloud to help catch stuff that doesn’t make sense. You might even have someone else read it and give you opinions.

Make sure your content is top-notch. If you write an article to compete with another, your article needs to include everything their article includes, but then you need to fill in the gaps of what they left out. You’ll need to add something more to it. It has to be presented better than your competition’s content for it to compete and do better. You have to put your heart and soul into it.

Focus on an excellent content optimization strategy; you’ll do well in your niche and industry.


Measuring and Understanding SEO Tactics

Understanding SEO means you need to understand how to measure its results and use its tactics. Knowing the results is the only way to know if you’re doing it right, correct?

This part often scares people away from search engine optimization. It’s the part where you look at metrics, analytics, and numbers. Don’t worry, though. I’ll show you an easy way to interpret metrics because I use it and hate math.

The important thing to consider is that SEO isn’t a magical overnight formula. It takes time to work. Sometimes it can take more than a year or two. You have to be patient with SEO.


Google Search Console

Google Search Console is free and a great way to understand your SEO tactics. Don’t be afraid to use this feature. It isn’t as intimidating as it might seem.

You’ll add some code to your website for Google to be able to track metrics. After that, it usually takes a day or two for Google to review the information and provide results. It could take longer if your website is bigger. In the meantime, I would suggest reading more articles about using Google Search Console and watching YouTube videos about it.

Once the data is available, there is much to see on your console pages. You’ll be able to see activity overviews for certain days and weeks based on your modification of the date system, which is easy to do using a filter system. You get to see backlink information, social media metrics, top traffic channels, top referrals, and even more metrics that you can use to help judge how your SEO tactics are going.

If you make an SEO change, I recommend you give it a week or two before you start looking at Google Search Console to see if the change has helped. You need to have patience and give things plenty of time to make changes. You should also take advantage of A/B testing, where you test one thing next to another. It’s a great way to determine what works and what doesn’t work.

Google Search Console is an ideal SEO tool for beginners and people who are getting used to metrics. Even experts still use and recommend using it. It’s free, after all, and a Google service is the search engine you need to rank the most.


Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

Google Analytics version 4 (known as GA4) is its newest analytical service. They had to make changes to comply with online privacy laws.

Because of the changes Google made, the service is new and scary for many people. But once you understand how to use GA4, there is so much potential that you can unlock. There are so many great metrics that you can enable to understand your SEO methods. GA4 is really a revolutionary upgrade that gives you more control over what sort of data and metrics you want to see.

GA4 integrates many artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. This speeds up the analytical process and allows you to gain more information much more quickly. The goal is to help you identify current and future forecast trends based on your metric results. The insights metric is more sophisticated on GA4 than ever, giving you automated information from learning from your activities and habits while using the service.

GA4 also introduces more data visualization features with its upgrade. It makes it easier for you to understand SEO data and graphical features. The old analytics was mainly numbers and outdated graphs that were hard to understand. With GA4, you can customize information and metrics to understand better what you’re looking at. The downfall is that you have to learn how to use these features, which might be a challenge for some people.

I suggest that you read more articles, what more YouTube videos, and maybe even take a really good course showing you how to use Google Analytics 4 because it’s the future for sure.


A Warning Against Black Hat SEO

Black Hat SEO is what we call bad SEO practices in the search marketing industry. These are the practices that can get your website banned from Google.

Could you imagine your website getting banned from Google? It would be horrible. It could devastate your sales if you’re an e-commerce entity. But it happens because people try to cheat the system.

This is why it’s so important to understand SEO so you don’t try to cheat the system or make a mistake unknowingly that could have negative results in search because of the bad practice.


Don’t Buy Links

Back in the early days of Google search and SEO, buying links to gain backlinks wasn’t an uncommon practice, but now it can harm your SEO, especially on Google.

The definition of buying links is exactly how it sounds. You buy a link for the purpose of it being a backlink. The problem is that everyone started doing it as a way to increase their Page Rank, which used to be a Google metric for understanding SEO better. Then Google made a rule that buying and selling links for the purpose of an SEO boost is prohibited. Your content would be panelized for it, and you might even get banned from the search engine.

Buying and selling paid reviews and sponsored blog posts still occurs. It’s a way for these websites to monetize and earn a living. But if it’s done repeatedly, it can be seen as trying to cheat the system, and Google may penalize it for it. It’s one thing to buy a sponsored ad or post, but it’s another thing to buy an anchor text link in the content. It’s too shady to risk it.

And anything paid in the review or blog post space should be marked as “sponsored” just to be safe. Many clients will argue against that, and that’s when you should detect that it’s shady activity and you shouldn’t do business with those people.


Don’t Keyword Stuff

Keyword stuffing can be difficult for beginners in SEO. It’s an easy mistake to make, but it can come with a steep penalty from Google and others.

Keyword stuffing is when you use your keyword too often in your content. Google sees this as you trying to “cheat the system” and rank the best for that particular keyword. But the problem is that Google ranks content based on its intent from a user’s search behavior rather than on the number of times a keyword is mentioned. And keyword stuffing often makes the content look generic, which typically turns a searcher off from reading your content.

The best practice with keyword use is to include it in your title tag, meta description, H1 heading, your first H2 heading, at the beginning of your content in the first sentence or paragraph, in the first image you use (ALT tag), and in the URL text. You can mention it a few more times throughout your content, but don’t feel like you need to have a certain percentage of the keyword based on word count. That’s a myth.

Instead of focusing on keyword placement in your content, try to create the best possible content because that will do much more for your SEO than keywords will.


Use Your Original Content

Bad content can affect your SEO ranking on Google and other search engines. If you think you can cheat a robot, you’re in for a bad time.

I’ve said it repeatedly throughout this post – the number one thing about understanding SEO is understanding that Content is King. It will always be king, but it might change in format over time. If your content isn’t at its best, it isn’t going to rank well on search engines. Search engine missions are to serve content to searchers based on what they are looking for. If your website results in a back button click and then on to the next link, Google will see that your content wasn’t good enough for the search user, and then your rank will drop. It’s that simple!

So, you need to ensure that your content is the best that it can be. When you start using cheaply paid-for content, or you copy the content, you’ll start to see your search engine rank drop, and you won’t be high up in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Your main goal is to be on page one near the top of Google search results for the keyword you’re targeting. You need to make the best content for that keyword to reach that goal. If your content isn’t the best, how can it be worthy enough to rank high on Google when your competition outdoes you?

As we evolve more in the artificial intelligence world, more and more content creators will start using AI to write content. It’s unclear how search engines will respond right now because of the threat they face from AI companies. Google and others are being forced to evolve, start using AI, and accept different uses. But just remember, content created by AI entirely means a human didn’t make it. Sources will likely be incorrect. Human emotion and personal feelings will likely be absent. People will notice it, and you might lose followers. By all means, explore the features of AI and get good at it but don’t let it replace a human connection with your content strategies.

Write original content that solves the biggest problems of your niche or industry, and your SEO will do better than you imagined.


SEO Resources

To help you further, I put together this nice big list of resources for understanding SEO beyond what you have learned from this guide.

These resources cover many topics, including innovation and the future of SEO, such as artificial intelligence. I also link to tools and SaaS products that many SEOs use to measure the rank of their content and websites.

And I’ve included some great blogs, vlogs, and courses to consider making your SEO expertise thrive.


SEO and AI

The following SEO tools integrate Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning into their features.

Rank IQ – This tool helps you create and rank content with keywords that will likely put you on page one of Google if you use the tool correctly. It was with over 500 blog niches integrated within it. You type in your desired keyword, and it will use AI to search for the best content topics for you to write about that can get you a page-one position on Google Search. It costs around $50 a month and is widely used by bloggers and small businesses.

Surfer SEO – This tool allows you to audit your website and pages for understanding SEO better. It will break down the good practices and the practices that need more attention. It uses AI to help process the information and give you ideas to help fix issues. There is a generous free feature, but you can upgrade to a paid plan to get more features that might benefit your needs.

Competitors App – This SEO tool uses AI to monitor your competition and report changes you might find interesting for your SEO and marketing needs. You input the competitors into their system, and it will monitor (using artificial intelligence) any changes that occur and report back to you. These could be as simple as an H2 heading change to something on social media. It’s a great way to keep up to date with what your competition is up to.


SEO Tools

Here are some tools that are meant to help you with Keyword Research and for understanding SEO metrics better.

Ahrefs – This tool is among the best in the SEO and keyword research world. It is used by most online businesses that track their SEO and by many SEO and marketing agencies that provide service to customers. Its features will help you choose the right keywords and fully understand your SEO process and how you need to improve it. Ahrefs isn’t cheap, but it’s said to be one of the best tools available.

SEM Rush  – SEM Rush is another tool like Ahrefs. One could easily say the two are competing with one another based on the features they provide. SEM Rush will help you better understand your SEO methods and give you important metrics and feedback for keyword research. The good news is that it has a free version you can use. But it’s very limited. Like its competitor, SEM Rush is also expensive but widely used by businesses and agencies.

Uber Suggest – Uber Suggest is a Neil Patel tool. It allows you to research keywords and their competition, do SEO audits of websites, and determine what new tactics are required to rank better, and there is even an AI tool for writing content. There is a very generous free version of the service. But the paid version is more economically affordable than others like Ahrefs and SEM Rush. You don’t get as many features, but Uber Suggest is still a worthy SEO tool.

Keywords Everywhere – This is an excellent tool that you plugin to your browser while searching for content on Google. There is a great free version, but buying credits (every search is a credit) will give you loads more information. You can disable the browser addon to search without losing credits. This is one of my favorite SEO tools. It will give you SEO competition and a bunch of metrics for the keywords you’re searching for.


SEO Blogs

Following blogs that create content about SEO is a wise decision. The following SEO blogs will help you evolve your SEO expertise.

SEM Rush Blog – You might as well take SEO advice from one of the best SEO tools available on the market. If you use their tool, their content will likely be more beneficial, but they share content that will help people not using their tool.

Yoast Blog – Yoast is a free and paid SEO plugin for WordPress. I use it to help score every article I write, including this one. They have an excellent blog that frequently adds tips, hacks, and strategies to help you make the best out of your content and search engine optimization.

Backlinko – This blog will help you improve your SEO and build backlinks. Link development is one of the three most important SEO types you should focus on. This blog is great for everyone, but it is good for beginners or people wanting to learn more about SEO.

Search Engine Land – Search Engine Land provides news articles about search engines and the search engine industry. They do share SEO tips frequently. However, the main reason I follow this blog is to understand the latest news about Google and other search engines so that I can stay on top of any changes that are being made that might impact my own SEO practices.

Google Search Blog – The official blog for Google Search and webmasters is worth keeping up with. When Google makes changes, they often write about them and why they occurred on this blog. Google is king in SEO, so it’s a good idea to follow their official blog.


SEO Courses

The following free and paid courses will help you better understand search engine optimization and how to master it.

Hub Spot SEO Certification – This free course will teach you everything you need to know to get started on being an SEO expert. Hub Spot has such a high reputation that doing this free training can help you get a job in SEO. They offer all sorts of SEO and marketing courses that are worth taking.

Ahrefs SEO Course – Ahrefs offers a free extensive SEO course to teach you the basics (and advanced) search engine optimization skills. IT will likely gear the education around using their tool, which is kind of expensive, but I’m sure the course is still helpful for those who don’t use their tool.

Copy Blogger Academy – The Copy Blogger Academy is an online community-based membership that costs a few hundred dollars annually. It has numerous courses that will teach you SEO, startup, profiting, and copywriting skills. I’ve been using it for a few months and have really enjoyed it.


Understanding SEO isn’t as hard as you thought it would be after all, was it? Now that you are in the know, you can start putting your new skills into practice. I encourage you to share this article with others and help spread the word. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn for more SEO and content marketing tips.

Shawn Gossman

About the Author

Shawn Gossman has created content, blogged, ran online communities, and shared a passion for digital marketing for over twenty years. Shawn believes the best way to help content creators, businesses, brands, and marketers is to give away more than you sell. The same advice is recommended for the readers who follow this blog. Shawn also offers various services for extra help in content creation and blogging.

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