Learn SEO Online for Free: The Ultimate Resource List for Mastering SEO

No matter the nature of your business, if you’re going to be online then you’ll be able to benefit greatly from an in-depth understanding of SEO. This is a tool that you can use to promote yourself through Google which will lead to your business being discovered by thousands more people. Unlike advertising though, SEO doesn’t have to cost the Earth and can actually offer some of the best ROI available.

If you’re smart and you know how to do it well, then just a little work on SEO can lead to results that continue to pay off for years to come. The only question then is: how do you go about learning it?

Right here, we’ve got a huge list of researches for you that you can use to master the basics of SEO and then some.
We’ll go over the basics and at the same time, point you to external sources where you can continue your education. Think of it like a free online course that pulls together all the best information designed for you to learn SEO online for free. You can go at your own pace, bookmark the pages for later or print them out even. Take your time, drink it all in and good luck!

Learn SEO Online for Free

Lesson 1: SEO Basics

Before you dive straight into the practical side of learning SEO, it makes sense to first understand what it’s all about, why it’s so important and how it works. In other words, you should get a grasp on the basics!

Here are two fantastic resources that will help you understand the basics:

  1. The Beginners Guide to SEO

  2. Google Ranking Factors

MOZ is actually a great resource in general for anyone interested in SEO – it has a ton of different in-depth features on all aspects of SEO and digital marketing and it’s always comprehensive, well-written and helpful. You can also check back there regularly for news. This guide in particular is a great starting point.
The second resource will break down all of Google’s ‘ranking factors’ for you. Once you have read about SEO you’ll have an understanding of how it employs an algorithm to decide what order to show links. This algorithm is based on around 200 ranking factors and those are the variables you need to work with. That article will list them all for you!

Lesson 2: SEO Content Writing

SEO Content Writing

Content is what makes the web go round. When you think about it, content is what you’re looking for 9/10 times when you load a website and content is probably what you’re looking for. Likewise, when you click on a link on Social Media, it’s probably because you want to read something or watch a video. Once again then… content.

Thus good SEO means writing lots of great content. That content has to be great so that people want to read it but it also needs to be written in such a way that Google understands it. This means using keywords, ‘latent semantic indexing’ and various other technical sounding techniques.

Don’t worry if that all sounds a little bit complex and daunting, you’ll learn all about it from these resources:

  1. Content & Search Engine Success Factors

  2. SEO Copywriting: How to Write Content for People and Optimize for Google

  3. 68 Content Tools, Trends, and Tips for B2B and B2C Brands

  4. The Idiot-Proof Basics of Writing SEO Page

Lesson 3: On-Page Optimization

The next lesson you need to go through is ‘On-Page Optimization’. This is another important part of SEO and it involves designing your web pages to be more ‘appealing’ to Google.

That means including the keywords you learned about in the last lesson within the meta tags of your website, as well as making sure it loads quickly and is responsive for mobile devices. There’s much more to it than that though, which is why this is such a great resource:

On-Page SEO: Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimized Page

Another from Backlinko, this one will go through the complete anatomy of the perfectly designed web page from an SEO perspective. You can simply go through the resource and make sure that your pages contain all the same elements.

Lesson 4: Link Building

SEO Link Building

The next huge aspect of SEO that everyone needs to know is link building. This is the process of getting other sites to link to you, which gives visitors and Google’s spiders more ways to find your site. At the same time though, Google considers a link from a well-respected site almost to be a testimonial – a sign that your content must be good and worth sharing.

The following resources will show you the best techniques and practices when it comes to building links. This is important and complex, so there’s lots of them!

  1. Link Building: The Definitive Guide

  2. Beginners Guide to Link Building

  3. Advanced Link Building Guide

  4. Complete List of Link Building Strategies

  5. 17 Untapped Techniques

  6. Link Building Through Link Roundups

  7. The Ultimate Link Building Guide for 2016 and Beyond

Lesson 5: Advanced Guide to SEO

At this point, you’re on your way to learning SEO for free online and you know all the most basic strategies and aspects.
But there’s more to SEO. That’s why we’re graduating you to the big leagues! It’s time to learn some more advanced SEO techniques which you’ll find in this excellent piece from QuickSprout.

Advanced Guide to SEO

Lesson 6: WordPress SEO

WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) and a blogging platform. Essentially, it an incredibly useful tool for building websites that makes it much easier to quickly put together a blog/website that looks highly professional and will make the right first impression on your visitors.

WordPress also comes with a number of plugins which have the useful benefit of automating some aspects of SEO. It’s worth installing one of these and learning about it – we recommend

The Definitive Guide to Higher Rankings for WordPress Sites from Yoast

Lesson 7: Social Media

Social media and SEO are not the same thing and can certainly be used independently from each other. However, the very best SEO strategies will incorporate social media and vice versa.

While SEO helps you to get to the top of Google and get discovered by new visitors looking for the kinds of services and products you provide, social media allows you to build an audience, to generate feedback, to interact with your customers and clients and generally to have a much more dynamic and flexible relationship with your audience.

Social media can also be a fantastic way to generate inbound links (through linkbait) and Google+ is actually a big ranking factor.

You can learn more from these excellent resources:

  1. The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media

  2. 18 Social Media SEO Resources to Improve Your Search Ranking

The latter resource is particularly useful for learning how to incorporate social media into an SEO strategy.

Lesson 8: SEO Experiments

As you learn SEO online for free, you’ll find a lot of sites give similar advice. As long as a website is generally up-to-date then it should be recommending adding lots of great content to your site and building a natural and diverse links profile from high-quality blogs and directories.

But you don’t want to just follow the rulebook. What makes the difference between good SEO and great SEO is the willingness to experiment and to try new strategies. Below you’ll find some exciting SEO experiments that you can learn from. You can use these more cutting edge techniques yourself, or you can just learn from the spirit of experimentation and endeavour to try new things yourself as well!

Here are some exciting experiments to look over:

  1. Content and Link Spam Experiment 

  2. How to Rank for Rand Fishkin

  3. Zero Link Building

Lesson 9: SEO Case Studies

Something else that can help is to look over case studies of successful SEO. Seeing how other people have made SEO work for them and then borrowing that advice for yourself is a brilliant way to improve your own skills and to see what’s possible.

In this case, we’ll be looking at some amazing studies that really show what’s possible with good SEO. One shows how someone reached the top spot on Google with their link and then went on to earn $100K from it!

  1. White Hat SEO Case Study: How Emil Turned On Post Into a #1 Ranking

  2. SEO Strategy Case Study: 963% More Organic Traffic

It’s inspiring stuff and there are definitely some takeaway lessons you can learn here!
In fact, you’re probably so inspired that you’re just about ready to leap in and start making some money from your SEO…
Which is great, because your education is almost over!

Lesson 10: SEO Tools

Before we let you loose on the world, it makes sense to first share with you some SEO tools and resources that you can use to help you get more done. Think of SEO tools as force multipliers: that means that they can allow you to accomplish more in less time by multiplying the output from the same amount of input. In other words? More ROI!

Follow the links as usual to find more:

  1. The 100 Best Free SEO Tools & Resources for Every Challenge

  2. SEO Tools: The Complete List

Closing Notes

If you’ve been through the whole list and you’ve opened up every one of those links then

congratulations: you now have a fuller understanding of SEO than probably 90% of internet marketers. These were some of the best resources on the net and you’ve been through them all. You know how SEO works, you know each of the key strategies and you have access to all the very best tools and case studies.

Let’s just recap everything we’ve learned:

  • What is SEO?
A method of raising your visibility by climbing the ranks of Google for specific keywords
  • How does it work?
Google uses a search algorithm in order to index the web and to organize the links it finds by the most relevant and valuable. In order to do this, it refers to 200 different ‘ranking factors’.
  • The basics of good SEO
  1. Content: Good SEO requires you to add lots of original content to your website that incorporates subtle use of keywords and LSI optimization. You write for the people first but making sure that it’s all ‘Google-friendly’
  2. Links: You should also focus efforts on building a large, varied and natural ‘links profile’. This is comprised of all the different links pointing at your website which should come from relevant and high quality websites.
  3. Optimization: Your site itself also needs to be optimized. This means fast load times, keywords and responsive design.
  • Advanced/Extra
  1. Incorporate social media marketing as well
  2. Learn to use WordPress SEO by Yoast
  3. Read up on case studies and experiments that can give you extra tips and inspiration
  4. Use the best tools that help you to accomplish more in less time
And that’s it – SEO in a nutshell.
Remember: a lot of this you’ll learn as you go and the more work you put in, the better you’ll gradually get! So don’t worry if you’re not on top of it right away, you’ll get there eventually and it’s definitely something that takes a little practice. While it might seem a little work, rest assured that it is more than worth it once it all starts coming together. With SEO skills under your belt, you’ll be able to reach a massive, targeted audience whenever you want. The only question then is what you’ll do with all that exposure!
Hopefully you found this list pretty comprehensive and useful. Let us know what you thought in the comments and of course feel free to post your own resources that you may have missed. We want to make this into the best resource for learning SEO online free, so keep checking back as we grow and develop this masterclass in search optimization!

Comments (3)

  1. Kuldeep Rajbhar December 21, 2015
  2. priya February 9, 2016
  3. Manoj sharma March 1, 2016

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