Starship Enterprise, eh, Oligarch?? Close, but no potato. Search Engine optimisation is firmly rooted in an ever-changing digital landscape. And in this land, getting your business, website or blog noticed is increasingly challenging. Niche keywords are hard to come by and you can be competing against big business budgets. But one simple thing you can do to give your startup or SME the best chance of early success is to make sure your site ticks all the SEO boxes.
If you’re new to the world of SEO and looking to educate yourself, learn the basics and keep up to date with the industry (Google’s change-happy algorithm, for example) by adding these blogs to your reading list, and by following, engaging and learning from these experts on Twitter.
Whether you’re a business blogger, managing a company website or setting up your freelancer site, getting the basics of SEO down is a must. You can create as many listicles and fancy infographics as you like, but unless you’ve put the time into making sure Google can find and crawl your site, it could all be time wasted.
What Google considers relevant for ranking is in a constant state of change and update, but one trend we SEOs have seen on the rise and unlikely to die out is the quality, usefulness and consistency of content. Giving sites with quality content and context kudos, and penalising those that take shortcuts trying to cheat the system. With an ever-changing algorithm, updating and optimising your site for search is a must.
Before getting to know the tools to use and keeping yourself updated on the fast-changing world that is SEO, you’ll need to put some time into understanding the basics. Get grounded in how Google looks at your site, how it works and how it crawls your site. For this, start with Google’s own Search Console and Webmaster Tools. These free tools will help you understand what’s going on with your site before you invest time in optimising it for search.
You might already know the general idea of optimising your site for search, and want to learn more. Or you could be a complete beginner. Whatever end of the SEO spectrum you land on at the moment, it’s worth keeping up to date.
Moz started out as an SEO consultancy company over a decade ago, so they know their worth in salt. The blog authors offer expert knowledge and tips for SEO and content marketing. It’s a good place to keep up to date on all things SEO related; things move fast in this world.
The Q&A forum is also useful for when you have specific questions, and the answers given by users are helpful and comprehensive. Check out their Whiteboard Friday videos where every week one SEO topic is discussed in depth. Super helpful stuff.
Google is routinely changing its PageRank algorithms to keep search relevant. This means competition to keep a top spot continually gets tougher. It’s worth keeping an eye on the news and updates.
Search Engine Land is a daily publication that covers all aspects of the search marketing industry. Here, you’ll find daily news coverage about trends, announcements and product launches. Once you’ve gotten the basics of SEO down, sign up for the daily newsletter to keep on top of all the updates. They also offer educational features with tactics, tips and strategies to try out.
Although the core product here is a paid tool to help businesses understand their ranking better, the folks at Advanced Web Ranking also run a pretty comprehensive blog. With weekly articles published on SEO tips and advice, it’s worth bookmarking this one.
Helping web owners get better at SEO by providing tutorials, case studies and opinion pieces, Ahrefs Blog is another well put together resource. Once you understand the basics, this blog will help you tweak and test tactics and get you experimenting. With articles on finding the right keywords to rank on, working with negative keywords, content best practices, link building and growth hacking, it’s an interesting one to check in with. They also have a pretty loyal readership who contribute with insightful comments on the articles. A sign of a good thing.
Your one-stop shop to learn about getting traffic. SEO expert and blog author Brian Dean posts regular tips to do just that, and he stresses the importance of today’s marketers getting comfortable with link building, UX and content promotion. His ‘Definitive Guides’ in particular are a great resource, and they’re easy to digest.
Web optimising company Yoast.com run an extensive and useful blog covering topics like content, SEO, usability and conversion rate optimisation, search news, social media and lots more. They publish articles almost daily, and you can subscribe to get it all in handy newsletter form. If you’re not sure where to start once you land here, pop on over to their Must Reads section, which is exactly what you think it is. They also cover off all of the basics here. Their comic book style imagery is pretty engaging too, enjoy that as you’re cramming.
Search Hubspot’s blog for SEO posts. While slightly more top-level, they are worthwhile reads and link out to what they consider helpful resources on covered topics. Start with their guide to keeping up with Google from last year. It’s all still pretty relevant.
No SEO blog list would be complete without SEMrush’s blog. The SEO product powerhouse publish articles on the more advanced side, but once you know the ins and outs, it’s a wealth of knowledge that you’ll be glad to finally understand.
Rand Fishkin used to head-up Moz but recently moved on to pursue SparkToro; is a software in development which when released will allow businesses to discover any target audience’s influential publications, channels, and people. Although not officially with Moz anymore, he still shares SEO gems on Twitter.
Brian heads up Backlinkio and shares insightful tips around mobile SEO, content, voice search and more.
Barry is a mind-blowingly knowledgeable SEO and speaker. I’ve seen him a few times in action at LearnInbound (pro tip: go to their event in September to really immerse yourself in all things SEO and Inbound, you shan’t regret.) and am forever scratching notes of wisdom down as fast as humanly possible.
Olga is in charge of global marketing at SEMrush, so you know she knows her stuff. She shares lots of SEMrush blog posts and retweets learnings from other expert SEOs. So plenty to learn there.
So there you have it. A list of resources that should kick-start your good SEO habits for the year. Do you have go-to resources that I haven’t mentioned here? What are your favourites?
Need some SEO help for your startup? It’s what I do. Let’s talk.