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Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of influencing the online visibility of a website or web page in a search engine’s unpaid results, which is referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results. SEO has always been a fascination of mine, but never a full-blown priority until recently.
I follow a simple mantra; if nobody can see or find you, you are irrelevant. In other words, if your posts, products, and services show up on the ninth page of Google search results, it will be difficult to attract traffic/visitors to your website (no/low traffic = no/low sales). Therefore, understanding and implementing SEO activities is critical and can lead to attracting more visitors and sales.
Many studies highlight the importance of being on the first page of search results. Call it convenience or laziness, most searchers limit their clicks to page one results. According to Philip Petrescu, “On average, 71.33% of searches result in a page one organic click. Page two and three get only 5.59% of the clicks. On the first page alone, the first five results account for 67.60% of all the clicks and the results from 6 to 10 account for only 3.73%.”
Learning about SEO and applying the best practices won’t guarantee top rankings. However, it will provide you with strategic advantages and allow you to pick your SEO battles more wisely. For example, I choose not to write about specific topics because those posts probably won’t rank well (given the competition). Also, I’m always on the lookout for negative SEO attacks.
Who Should Learn SEO
Although SEO is just one of many online marketing activities, it’s the most critical to learn. Understanding it helps with ranking in search engines and wherever search is applicable, for instance, on marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay. You should learn SEO if you:
- Create content regularly
- Own or manage a website or blog
- Have a desire to expand your digital marketing strategies
- Conduct online marketing activities such as affiliate, content, social media, and video marketing
- Generate revenue on online marketplaces, for example, Amazon, eBay, Fiverr, and Upwork
SEO Courses, Tutorials, & Training
In a quest to learn SEO, a person can get overwhelmed by search results (the irony). Fortunately, my exposure to SEO and e-learning platforms enable me to point you in the right direction. I recommend referencing two or three courses and resources. Thereafter, the law of diminishing return will set in and information will become repetitive.
- Search Engine Journal
Google is synonymous with search and commands nearly two-thirds of US search activity. Most training providers base their contents on Google’s search engine, algorithms, and announcements. Google offers many platforms to learn about online marketing and SEO. Its brief SEO starter guide is a must-read.
Coursera provides access to the world’s best education through partnerships with top universities and organizations. For example, it has partnered with Stanford, Yale, and Princeton to offer online courses. Students can take courses for free or pay to obtain course completion certificates. Additionally, it offers degrees and specializations in various subjects.
Coursera offers a comprehensive six-course SEO specialization in partnership with the University of California, Davis. I completed several courses in the specialization and was thoroughly impressed with the content. I recommend paying for the program if you wish to expand your career options or desire to become an SEO consultant.
Search Engine Journal
Search Engine Journal (SEJ) is dedicated to producing the latest search news, the best guides, and how-tos for the SEO and marketing community. They publish insightful articles such as “The Death of Organic Search (As We Know It)” and other content relating to online marketing. It offers a beginner’s guide to SEO that is worth reading.
Moz started in 2004 as an SEO consultancy and offers a range of software as a service (SaaS) solutions. Its brand has become synonymous with SEO, and it’s considered a global authority. In fact, it has two results on the first page for the search query “what is SEO.” Moz offers a treasure chest of online learning resources including guides, webinars (Mozinars), quizzes, whitepapers, and more.
HubSpot publishes fantastic content regarding digital marketing, and it has many free guides. It has many posts about SEO and a couple of videos worth viewing, that is, How to Find the SEO Strategy that Fits Your Business and How HubSpot Uses Blogging to Rank #1 on Google. It also offers a free online course.
SEMrush is an all-in-one marketing suite consisting of more than 30 tools and reports that help companies market better online. It helps users with keyword research and website improvement. It offers blogs, webinars, guides, and podcasts about SEO.
Shopify is an e-commerce platform that has everything you need to sell online, on social media, and in person. The Shopify Academy has an e-commerce SEO course. Also, its blog is excellent and has many posts about SEO including beginner and intermediate guides for e-commerce SEO.
Udacity offers a comprehensive digital marketing nanodegree that covers SEO, marketing fundamentals, content strategy, social media, email marketing, and various Google Ads tools.
Yoast helps you optimize your website through SEO software and educational resources. It offers free and paid content.
On YouTube, there are hundreds of videos and tutorials about SEO. Furthermore, other popular e-learning websites have courses, for example, Skillshare and Udemy.