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9 Essential Steps In Building A Winning SEO Strategy

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9 Essential Steps In Building A Winning SEO Strategy

Online shopping has taken over the world.

While people still run to the store to pick things up, the allure of buying just about anything from the comfort of your home is unstoppable.

From plumbing fixtures to pizza rolls, if you want it, you can get it delivered with the push of an app – without leaving the house.

And even if your business sells services, rather than products, there’s an incredible chance that the majority of people are shopping for it online.

This means ecommerce should be a focus for every company that’s selling something. And that means you need an increased focus on web traffic.

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After all, you could have the best website in the world, with cutting-edge design, optimized for ideal user experiences, and copy that would make David Ogilvy gnash his teeth in envy, but if no one ever sees it, it’s not doing you an ounce of good.

You need to get found. And that, of course, is why SEO is a crucial part of any modern marketing plan.

You want to rank highly in search engine results pages (SERPs), so you get found organically by your targets.

However, this is much easier said than done. But don’t fret, we’re here to help.

Whether you’re an experienced professional looking to brush up on the fundamentals for a client or a complete newbie trying to figure out how this whole SEO thing works for your business, you’re in the right place.

Here, we’ll walk you through the steps of creating, implementing, and optimizing an SEO campaign that will have your site shooting up the rankings in no time.

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What Is An SEO Strategy?

You’ve probably already figured out that an SEO strategy is your plan to make your website or landing page more appealing to Google and other search engines

The goal here is to rank higher and drive more organic traffic (and hopefully conversions).

It sounds simple enough, but there’s a big catch: Search algorithms are always changing.

As Google seeks to enhance the quality of its searches and provide users with better solutions to queries, its algorithms are updated several times a year.

What that means for SEO is that you can’t just set it and forget it. Every search engine optimization needs iterations.

You need to regularly analyze and course-correct to ensure you’re taking advantage of the latest best practices and strategies.

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That’s good for SEO professionals – otherwise, we’d be out of jobs rather quickly

But it means a bit of a commitment for you.

To stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the world of search, you need to regularly consult with reliable sources (like this one).

Luckily, there are a wealth of resources you can mine for quality information. Whether you prefer articles, webinars or podcasts, there’s SEO content available for you.

Do You Really Need SEO?

Right now, some of you contrarians are sneering at your screen and asking if you really need SEO to find customers.

You have somebody handling paid search or affiliate marketing for you, so you’re not sure there’s much of a benefit to investing all this time into organic search. Don’t fall into that trap.

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Organic search is what drives more than half of all website visits and should be an important part of any organization’s digital marketing strategy, whether you’re a multinational mega-corporation or a mom-and-pop shop.

And it’s especially important for direct-to-consumer sites. By providing useful content, you’re not only building trust, but you’re matching your website with customer intent, which means higher quality leads.

And even better, you’re not paying for every click, which means a lower cost-per-conversion.

So, even if you have the world’s best pay-per-click (PPC) and affiliate marketing campaigns routinely driving motivated customers to your site, you’re still only fighting half the battle by ignoring organic search.

Creating An Effective SEO Strategy: 9 Fundamental Steps

Though SEO requires a comprehensive strategy, you can break it down into several manageable steps.

1. Align SEO With Business Goals & Define KPIs

First things first, you need to know where you currently stand, where you want to go, and how you’ll measure success along the way.

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You’ll want to begin by performing an SEO audit.

This is the roadmap that will guide you throughout the entire optimization process and allow you to benchmark against your current site.

You need to examine a variety of aspects, including:

  • Domain name, age, history, etc.
  • Page factors like headlines, keyword & topical targeting and user engagement.
  • Content organization, content quality, and the quality of your images (no one trusts stock photography).
  • Duplicate content.
  • Website factors like architecture, schema, markup. and click-through rate (CTR).
  • Past and upcoming website updates.
  • The quality of inbound links.
  • On-site factors like sitemaps, image optimization. and robots.txt.

For a step-by-step guide on how to perform this audit, we have an excellent series that will guide you through it.

Once you know where you’re starting from, it’s time to plan your timeframe and allocated budgets and resources.

This is yet another area of life where you get what you pay for. If you’re looking for fast and cheap, you’re not going to get the results you would by investing more time and money.

Obviously, your budget and timeframe will depend on your company’s unique situation, but if you want good results, be prepared to pay for them.

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For an idea of how much you should be spending, consult this article.

During this step of the SEO process, you’ll also want to define your key performance indicators (KPIs).

This is how you’ll measure the success of your new implementations and figure out what’s working for you and where you need to make adjustments.

Some of the KPIs you should be tracking are:

  • Organic sessions.
  • Keyword ranking increases.
  • Leads and conversions.
  • Bounce rate (keep i mind that bounce rate is an internal metric and  is 100% dependent upon the events you set up on your pages and will be phased out in GA 4)
  • Pages per session.
  • Average session duration.
  • Page load time.
  • Top exit pages.
  • Crawl errors.

For more information on what these are and why they’re important, be sure to read this piece on top SEO KPIs.

2. Perform Keyword Research

Search engine rankings are determined by an algorithm that evaluates a variety of factors to decide how well a website answers a particular search query. And a huge part of that is the use of keywords.

From single words to complex phrases, keywords tell search engines what your content is about. But adding keywords isn’t quite as simple as just plugging in the name of the product or service you want to sell.

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You need to do research to ensure keyword optimization, and that means considering the following:

Search Intent

The beauty of the English language (and the bane of SEOs) is in its richness.

But words often have multiple meanings, which makes it crucial to consider search intent, so you don’t attract an audience that was searching for something else.

For example, if you’re trying to attract customers to a haberdashery, ranking highly for [bowlers] may attract people who want to roll a few frames instead of those looking for a new hat.

Relevant Keywords

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Once you’ve identified your targets, you need to figure out which keywords are important to them.

It’s usually best to target only a few keywords, as targeting too broadly will make it difficult for the search engine to determine what your pages are about.

Keyword Phrases

These are short phrases consisting of two or more words that people type into search engines to find specific content.

For example, someone looking for dance lessons may ask Google for [tango classes near me].

Keyword Research Tools

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The brainstorming process is a great place to start keyword research, but to ensure you’re attracting the right audience and proving your value to search engines, you should utilize a research tool.

Most SEO professionals use Google’s Keyword Planner for this, but it can be a bit frustrating to use, so you may wish to consider other options.

Long-Tail Keywords

These are specific search terms people use to find an exact match for their query.

They tend to be longer and are more likely to be used by people who are closer to making a purchase.

An example of this would be [vegetarian restaurants in San Antonio], which would most likely be used by someone with a craving for a plant-based meal.

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Search Volume

This will tell you the number of searches for a particular keyword over a specified timeframe, giving you an overall idea of the term’s value and competitiveness. [Christmas lights] is going to get a lot more volume in November and December than it will in July. A lot of terms are seasonal, keep this in mind.

Likewise, [used cars] is going to have more competition than [2006 Volkswagen Passant].

Funnel Keywords

These are keywords targeting users at various parts of the sales funnel.

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People at the top of the funnel are more likely to be attracted by more general terms like [Cancun vacation], whereas those who are nearer to purchasing are comparing prices and brands and will more likely be attracted by things like discounts or hotel names.

Keywords are as much about your audience as they are your content.

For a more detailed explanation of every part of keyword research and optimization, we have a detailed ebook on the topic.

3. Define Your Most Valuable Pages

Every team needs an MVP, and in the case of your website, that’s your most valuable pages.

These pages are the ones that do the bulk of the heavy lifting for you.

For non-ecommerce sites, these are usually things like your home page, your services pages or any pages with demos or other offers.

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These pages are also likely MVPs for ecommerce sites, but will also be joined by category and/or product level pages.

To find which pages are your site’s most important ones, you should consider what your organization is known for.

What verticals to you compete in? What pain points do you solve? Define these or add more based on the high-level keywords you came up with in the previous step.

Once you’ve identified the category and product pages that bring in the most visitors, you’ll be able to focus your strategy on improving them and increasing your organic traffic.

Read more about how to find your MVPs here.

4. Conduct A Competitive Analysis

If you didn’t have any competition, there would be no need for SEO. But as long as other companies are manufacturing refrigerators, Frigidaire needs to find ways to differentiate itself.

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You need to have an idea of what others in your industry are doing, so you can position yourself for the best results.

You need to figure out where you’re being outranked and find ways to turn the tables.

You should know which keywords are most competitive and where you have opportunities.

You should have some understanding of the opposition’s backlinking and site structure, so you can optimize your own site for the best possible search ranking.

Learn more about how to perform this analysis and develop a template for it by reading this piece.

5. Plan For User Experience & Technical SEO

Don’t overlook the importance of how your site is structured, both technically and how users interface with it.

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The best content and keyword strategy in the world won’t lead to a single sale if your site is constantly broken or is so frustrating to use that people close your page in disgust.

You should carefully consider your site’s architecture and user experiences to ensure people are taking the desired actions.

Likewise, you should find and fix any technical issues like broken links, slow load times and bad site schema.

There are a number of free tools you can use to ensure your site is working optimally.

6. Consider Your Resources

SEO doesn’t exist in a vacuum – it impacts many other parts of your organization, including marketing, sales, and IT.

If you’re looking for the budget to perform SEO, you may find some of your employees are already well-qualified to help.

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For example, your sales team probably knows which products people are most interested in.

Enlisting them in your SEO strategy development will help with lead generation and find new targets who are already qualified.

Similarly, SEO can tell your marketing team what types of content resonates best, so they can fine tune their campaigns. And your copywriters and graphic designers can develop the type of content that will help you shoot up the rankings.

Your IT team probably already has control over your website.

Your SEO strategy should be designed around their expertise, to ensure website design and structure, development cycles, data structure, and core principles are all aligned.

And these are just a few ways you can integrate SEO into your existing workflows.

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Others exist if you look closely and it’s very unlikely that you’ll need to start completely from scratch.

Evaluate your existing software, technology, and personnel, as there’s a good chance you have some of the pieces already in place.

And if you need to scale production up, you may find the budget already in place in existing departments.

7. Align Your SEO Strategy With Your Customer Funnel

At the end of the day, sales are the name of the game. Without customers, there’s no revenue, and that means no business.

To aid in the sales process, your SEO strategy should align with your customer funnel.

Sometimes described as the customer journey, your sales funnel is a summation of the touchpoints customers have with your company as they go from awareness to post-purchase.

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SEO fits neatly with every stage of this cycle:

  • Awareness: In the modern world, many customers first hear about your business online. Through a Google search, for example.
  • Interest: This is where customers start doing research. And what better place to do research than your website?
  • Decision: The customer wants to buy and is deciding between you and the competition. Your meta description mentioning free shipping could be the thing that sways them.
  • Purchase: Ecommerce continues to grow. Having a search engine optimized point of sale makes it easy for people to buy.
  • Post-purchase: Customer reviews, either on your website or on a third-party site are a great way to build trust and increase your relevancy for keywords.

8. Report And Set Realistic Expectations

Reporting is essential. You need to be able to effectively measure and report on the progress you’re making.

Reporting allows you to establish consistent, accurate data that earns trust.

It helps you understand the factors behind your ranking and identify areas where you could improve, and not least of all, it proves the value of SEO to the organization’s decision-makers.

One of the most common mistakes people unfamiliar with SEO make is expecting overnight results.

And because of the variables involved with competition, inbound links, and the content itself, it’s nearly impossible to provide a definite timeframe.

You need to go into the process with an understanding that SEO takes time and the more competitive the keywords you’re going after, the longer it will take to climb to the top.

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This needs to be conveyed to stakeholders from the start, to ensure expectations are realistic.

For a guide on how to create impactful reports that generate quality insights, read our guide here.

9. Measure And Document Your Strategy

Congratulations on making it this far, but you’re not quite done.

After you’ve generated the reports on how your SEO strategy is working, you need to track the metrics and prove its impact.

Some of the most important metrics you’ll want to consider include organic sessions, bounce rate, top exit pages, and crawl errors.

By identifying all of these, you’ll get a better idea of what you customers are looking for – and what’s driving them away.

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For more information, read this article on top SEO KPIs.

There are a variety of both paid and free tools available that you can use to measure and track conversions, and compare them weekly, monthly, or by another timeframe of your choosing.

Simply find one that works for your budget and needs.

Conclusion

No one ever said SEO was easy, at least not anyone who has done it. But it’s a vital part of any modern organization’s business plan.

However, with a solid strategy, a willingness to learn, and a little old-fashioned elbow grease, even a complete beginner can send their website to the top of the SERP.

In this piece, we’ve given you nine steps to take to get your SEO strategy off the ground. But of course, this is just the start.

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You need a unique plan that will work for your industry and your needs.

Luckily, Search Engine Journal can help with this too.

Download our ebook on SEO strategy with a full-year blueprint for an easy-to-follow 12-month plan you can use to develop a solid strategy, track your progress, and adjust to changing situations.

More Resources:


Featured Image: Lena Noir/Shutterstock




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On-Page SEO Checklist for 2024: A Comprehensive Guide

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On-Page SEO Checklist 2024

On-Page SEO Checklist 2024

Want to make your pages rank high on Google? You won’t be able to do that if you don’t know where or how to start your on-page SEO — and with each Google update, this pillar of SEO gets more and more complicated. To keep you updated with the best and most relevant practices when it comes to this aspect of your website, I have prepared an on-page SEO checklist for 2024. 

On-Page SEO Factors

On-page SEO, in simple terms, is all the ways you can optimize your website take place on your website. Tweaking certain elements of your pages can enable them to climb very quickly up the ranks when done right. These elements include essentially everything you can see on your webpage, like its title tags, headers, and images.

Webmaster’s Note: This is part two of our SEO checklist series. Part one covers our technical SEO checklist, so go back if you haven’t seen that yet. I also do deep dives into other aspects of on-page SEO in other articles, like the best content strategy for SEO, how to hack on-page factors, and ways to dominate niche keywords in your industry.

1. Identify Your Target Keyword

This is where any SEO effort should start. Identify which basic keywords you would like each page to rank for. From there, you can expand into common phrases, questions, and related words people use to find pages like yours through keyword research. 

Key Aspects of Keyword Optimization:

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  • Keyword Research: Identifying the right keywords that your target audience is searching for.
  • Keyword Placement: Sensibly incorporating keywords in titles, headings, the first paragraph, and throughout the content.
  • Searcher Intent: Catering to why someone is performing a search, whether it’s to find information, make a purchase, etc.

Effective keyword optimization allows you to create pages that best meet user intent. This boosts your chances of ranking highly for your chosen keywords. 

Using a Keyword Research Tool for On-Page SEOUsing a Keyword Research Tool for On-Page SEO

I have longer guides on the types of keywords you should look at, and another on how to do keyword research you can follow for this step.

2. High-Quality Content Creation

Quality content is the keystone of on-page SEO. It is, after all, fundamental to the selling point of Google — which is that it is the go-to place to find answers to your questions. It’s why Google pushes Helpful Content Updates every so often.

So, your content must meet Google’s standards of quality in order to make it to the top. To do that, your content must be authoritative, valuable to the reader, and deliver on the promises made by your meta tags and headings.

What Constitutes Quality Content:

  • Originality: Your content must be unique and offer fresh insights.
  • Relevancy: It should align with your target user’s intent and be updated regularly.
  • Engagement: Content must encourage users to spend time on your site and interact with your offerings.

Creating content that exceeds user expectations can dramatically bolster your SEO as it can directly affect user engagement metrics and boost the credibility of your site. 

Webmaster’s Note: Beyond making sure all new content is high-quality, however, is ensuring all of your existing content is also up to par. I’ll be covering that in part four of this series, so keep an eye out for that. 

3. URL Structure

URLs are not only a ranking factor but also enhance the user experience when structured logically. 

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Features of an Effective URL Structure:

  • Concise and Descriptive: A URL should be concise and explain your page content. No stop words.
  • Keyword Inclusion: A relevant keyword can enhance a URL’s performance.
  • Use Hyphens instead of Underscores: Conventional use dictates using hyphens to separate words.

A clear URL helps users and search engines make sense of the page’s content before they even reach it.

Here’s an example of a bad URL slug. 

Example of Bad URL StructureExample of Bad URL Structure

And here’s an example of a good, optimized one.

Example of Good URL StructureExample of Good URL Structure

4. Title Tag and Headings

I find that certain practices for these two elements give the most benefit to a page’s SEO. 

Best Practices for Title Tag and Heading Optimization:

  • Use a Keyword-First Approach: Place keywords first in your title tag, as uninterrupted by stop-words as possible.
  • Keep it Simple: Title tags should be concise to ensure the entire tag is displayed on the SERPs.
  • Same Keyword, Different Phrasing: Use the same keyword in your title tag and heading 1. However, use different phrasing or wording for each. 
  • Insert Related Keywords: Do this for your heading 2, 3, and so on, where it makes sense.
  • Avoid Duplicates: Use different title tags and headings for every unique page.

4. Meta Tags Enhancement

Meta tags, such as the meta description, serve as a brief pitch to users on search engine results pages. Other meta tags, like your image alt text and links, provide important context to both the user and crawlbot.

Tips for Enhanced Meta Tags:

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  • Compelling Copy: Write title tags and meta descriptions that accurately summarize the page content and entice clicks.
  • Keyword Usage: Try to insert target keywords and/or related keywords effectively in your meta descriptions, and within the limit.
  • Uniqueness: Each page should have unique meta tags. 
  • Be Descriptive: Your image alt text should not only include a related keyword but should also adequately describe what is seen on the image. 
  • Add internal and external links: Semantic search means Google can use the links in your pages to gain a better understanding of its content. Always add relevant internal links, and only include external links from trusted websites. 
  • Use Noindex Robots Meta Tag: Add this to prevent any pages with thin content, or pages with little value and no intent from appearing in the SERPs.
  • Use rel=”canonical” Link Tag: Use this for any duplicate pages you have on your website. Doing this can help you control which version of the page gets indexed and ranks for your targeted keywords. 
  • Set your Open Graph Meta Tags: This will let you optimize how your pages look when they’re shared on social media.
  • Set your Viewport Meta Tag: This configures how your pages are scaled and displayed on different devices and platforms, which is important for user experience (more on that later). 

To get the most out of your SEO, don’t neglect this part of your on-page SEO checklist. The small tweaks here can add up to the big picture. 

Well-crafted meta tags have the potential to increase click-through rates, boost your visibility on organic search and image search, enhance user experience, and also distribute link equity throughout your pages. All these contribute to how well your page ranks. 

5. Internal Linking

Internal linking spreads link equity throughout your site and can help search engines discover new pages. Always link back to pillar content, or other high-value content on your website. 

Benefits of Strategic Internal Linking:

  • Navigation: They guide users through other relevant pages on your website.
  • Page Authority: Anchor text can help to convey what the linked-to page is about, which can aid in ranking for those terms.
  • User Time on Site: Providing relevant links can keep users engaged on your site for longer periods.

Good internal linking can significantly increase your engagement rates and contribute to building a robust site architecture. I have a separate post on how to build topical authority through internal linking you can check out.

6. User Experience (UX)

User experience affects on-page SEO because search engines favor websites that provide a positive user experience.

UX Factors to Consider in Your Website Design:

  • Mobile-Friendliness: The site must perform well across all devices — but especially on mobile-view, as most users use Google through their phones.
  • Ease of Use: The site should be navigable and logical in its layout. Navigation bars and other menus should be intuitive and prioritize the most important pages of your website.
  • Page Speed: Pages should load quickly to reduce bounce rates. Follow this guide to site speed optimization for this point.

As UX becomes an even more important ranking factor, I find it is necessary to add to this on-page SEO checklist. Sites that deliver a high-quality user experience will dominate search engine results pages.

Key Takeaway

Mastering this pillar of SEO is crucial for achieving high rankings on Google, and staying updated with evolving best practices is essential. But with every update, what works best changes. 

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My 2024 on-page SEO checklist provides basically the most up-to-date practices for the elements on your website. Follow it, and you should be able to boost your website’s authority, credibility, and long-term SEO performance.

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YouTube Challenges TikTok Duets With “Collab” For Shorts

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YouTube Challenges TikTok Duets With "Collab" For Shorts

YouTube has launched a new “Collab” feature for its short-form video product Shorts, allowing creators to remix and respond to existing YouTube videos and Shorts in a split-screen format.

The full rollout on Android and iOS marks an update that could change how content is made and distributed on the platform.

Collaborative Creativity Unleashed

With Collab, Shorts creators can now record their short videos alongside a video of their choosing from YouTube’s catalog up to 60 seconds long.

The new tool provides options for different side-by-side layouts, picture-in-picture, and green screen effects – opening up creative possibilities for reacting to, collaborating with, and repurposing content.

How Does ‘Collab’ Work?

To use the Collab feature, follow these steps:

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  1. Navigate to the video’s watch page they wish to remix.
  2. Click the ‘Remix’ icon and select ‘Collab.’
  3. Choose a segment up to 60 seconds from the video to sample.
  4. Select from various layout options that align with their creative vision.
  5. Record their Short alongside the original video, which will play simultaneously.

A New Avenue for Marketers

The new ‘Collab’ feature displays the original video and user-created content side-by-side, enabling users to craft responses, duets, and new interpretations of existing videos.

This functionality allows digital marketers to leverage user-generated content to reinforce brand messaging.

Additionally, ‘Collab’ has the potential to boost engagement with branded videos and inspire creative marketing campaigns that incorporate audience participation as a core element.

YouTube vs TikTok: The Remix Battle

The launch of Collab comes as YouTube aims to further compete with rivals like TikTok in the exploding short-form video space.

TikTok pioneered features like Duets, where users can split the screen with another video and film themselves reacting to it. Collab provides YouTube creators with similar reactive and collaborative options natively within YouTube’s ecosystem.

Both platforms now offer tools that enable users to build upon others’ content, fostering a culture of collaboration and iterative creativity. However, YouTube’s vast repository of long-form content combined with Shorts could provide a unique edge in the diversity of content available for remixing.

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Final Thoughts

For digital marketers and creators, Collab represents an engaging new format on YouTube for responding to trending content, viral sounds and moments, and participating in meme culture. The tool makes repurposing audio and video clips even easier. Marketers may find collaborative Shorts are a way to join larger conversations and engage desired audiences.

TikTok pioneered short-form video remixing online, but YouTube has the advantages of a vast video library and powerful search functionality. These provide opportunities for YouTube’s new Collab feature to enable derivative creativity. Like other Shorts tools, Collab seeks to match TikTok’s capabilities and give YouTube creators every option to achieve success on the platform.


FAQ

What is YouTube’s new “Collab” feature for Shorts, and how does it expand creative options for creators?

YouTube’s recently introduced “Collab” feature for Shorts is an innovative function that permits creators to engage with and remix existing YouTube videos and Shorts. This tool enhances interactive creativity by allowing for:

  • Recording short videos alongside a selected video from YouTube’s vast catalog for up to 60 seconds.
  • Employing various layout options such as side-by-side, picture-in-picture, and green screen effects.
  • Enabling creators to react to, collaborate with, or repurpose content fosters a dynamic content creation environment.

 

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How might digital marketers harness the “Collab” feature in their YouTube marketing strategies?

The “Collab” feature offers digital marketers a dynamic tool to amplify their YouTube marketing efforts by:

  • Creating opportunities to engage with user-generated content and incorporate it into brand messaging.
  • Encouraging community engagement through interactive and co-creative campaigns involving audience participation.
  • Using the feature to respond to trends may lead to higher engagement rates and foster a participatory brand culture.

 

What competitive edge does YouTube gain over TikTok with the launch of the “Collab” feature?

With the launch of “Collab,” YouTube has positioned itself to be more competitive with TikTok by:

  • Introducing a feature that parallels TikTok’s popular Duets, allowing users to create content in a collaborative split-screen format.
  • Leveraging its extensive library of long-form content to provide creators with a broader range of content to remix, surpassing the variety available on TikTok.
  • Combining its powerful search functionality and the new feature to attract creators looking to engage with and contribute to trending topics and cultural memes.
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10 Completely Free SEO Training Courses

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10 Completely Free SEO Training Courses

Learning SEO doesn’t have to break the bank. There are plenty of quality free SEO courses teaching everything from the basics to keyword research to link building.

Here are ten that won’t cost a dime.

Course provider: Ahrefs

Duration: 2 hours

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Instructor(s): Sam Oh

Level: Beginner

Link: SEO Course for Beginners

What you’ll learn

  • The fundamentals of what search engine optimization is and how it works
  • Why SEO is important
  • How to do keyword research
  • How to optimize web pages for search engines
  • Beginner-friendly link building strategies to get backlinks to your site
  • Technical SEO best practices for beginners

This comprehensive course is ours and covers the fundamentals of SEO, including keyword research, on-page SEO, technical SEO, and link building.

SEO Certification Course by HubSpotSEO Certification Course by HubSpot

Course provider: HubSpot

Duration: 3 hours 51 minutes

Instructor(s): Rachel Sheldon, Matthew Howells-Barby

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Level: Beginner

Link: SEO Certification Course

What you’ll learn

  • How to evaluate and improve your website’s SEO
  • How to build backlinks to your website at scale to increase your website’s visibility in organic search
  • How to use insights from keyword research and reporting to improve your search performance

HubSpot’s SEO Training Course is tailored for marketers, content creators, and anyone looking to enhance their website’s visibility. Through practical lessons and real-world examples, the course participants will learn how to build a robust SEO strategy, analyze their website’s performance, and adapt to the changing algorithms of search engines.

Make sure customers find you online by Google SkillshopMake sure customers find you online by Google Skillshop

Course provider: Google

Duration: 3 hours

Instructor(s): Google

Level: Beginner

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Link: Make Sure Customers Find You Online

What you’ll learn

  • How to get started with search
  • How to make search work for you
  • How to get discovered with search
  • How to help people nearby find you online

This free course from Google Skillshop helps businesses discover ways to reach and connect with more customers online. It covers improving SEO and using online advertising (SEM) to boost sales and awareness.

Google SEO Fundamentals by UC Davis on CourseraGoogle SEO Fundamentals by UC Davis on Coursera

Course provider: University of California, Davis

Duration: 28 hours

Instructor(s): Rebekah May

Level: Beginner

Link: Google SEO Fundamentals

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What you’ll learn

  • How to complete a competitive analysis on a webpage
  • How to interpret brand recognition through social media
  • How to create sitemaps and robot.txt files, plan redirects, and manage site errors
  • How to use a variety of SEO tools to conduct an audience analysis and develop personas of your ideal buyer

Offered by the University of California, Davis, this course on Coursera delves into the fundamental aspects of SEO, including how search engines work and how to implement effective SEO strategies to attract more organic traffic.

However, due to its length (28 hours), it may not be the most suitable if you want to learn SEO fast.

SEO for Beginners Training by YoastSEO for Beginners Training by Yoast

Course provider: Yoast

Duration: 2 hours

Instructor(s): Joost de Valk

Level: Beginner

Link: SEO for Beginners Training

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What you’ll learn

  • What SEO is and what Google does
  • Tips for quick wins to improve your site
  • Insights into the content and technical side of SEO

This free course discusses what SEO is and how it works. Some of the important points from the course are how to use keywords to optimize your website, how to write content that Google likes, and how to make your website crawlable by search engines.

Keyword Research Course by AhrefsKeyword Research Course by Ahrefs

Course provider: Ahrefs

Duration: 2 hours

Instructor(s): Sam Oh

Level: Beginner

Link: Keyword Research Course

What you’ll learn

  • How to do keyword research and drive targeted traffic to your website

This is our specialized course that focuses specifically on keyword research. It covers topics such as how to choose keywords, how to analyze search intent, and how to find low-competition keywords.

Technical SEO Course by AhrefsTechnical SEO Course by Ahrefs

Course provider: Ahrefs

Duration: 1 hour 21 minutes

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Instructor(s): Sam Oh

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Link: Technical SEO Course

What you’ll learn

  • The fundamentals of technical SEO
  • How to run a technical SEO audit
  • How to optimize your website’s technical SEO

Another specialized course from us, this course is designed for those looking to dive deeper into the technical side of SEO. It covers advanced topics such as site audits, page speed optimization, and how to resolve common technical issues that can impact search rankings.

Technical SEO Certification by Blue ArrayTechnical SEO Certification by Blue Array

Course provider: Blue Array

Duration: 7 hours

Instructor(s): Damion Edwards

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Level: Beginner to intermediate

Link: Technical SEO Certification

What you’ll learn

Aimed at professionals seeking to certify their expertise, this course covers a wide range of technical SEO topics, including crawling, indexing, ranking, and on-page optimization. From site architecture to schema markup, it equips learners with the skills to tackle technical challenges and improve website performance.

Local SEO Course by AhrefsLocal SEO Course by Ahrefs

Course provider: Ahrefs

Duration: 44 minutes

Instructor(s): Sam Oh

Level: Beginner

Link: Local SEO Course

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What you’ll learn

  • How to do local SEO
  • How to do local keyword research
  • How to do local link building

Ideal for businesses targeting local customers, this course teaches the basics of optimizing for local search. It covers essential tactics for improving local visibility, such as Google Business Profile optimization and local keyword targeting.

Advanced Link Building Course by AhrefsAdvanced Link Building Course by Ahrefs

Course provider: Ahrefs

Duration: 1 hour 48 minutes

Instructor(s): Sam Oh

Level: Intermediate to advanced

Link: Advanced Link Building Course

What you’ll learn

  • How to find prospects with the “seed and lookalike” approach
  • How to validate link building campaigns with a “blitz list”
  • How to craft personalized and benefit-rich outreach emails
  • How to create, structure and manage a link building team
  • How to scale your link building operations

Focusing on one of the most challenging aspects of SEO, Sam shares his years of experience creating campaigns, sending outreach emails, and building teams. This is a must-finish course if you need help building and scaling your link building operations.

Final thoughts

The best way to learn SEO is to do.

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So, don’t just go through the courses, take notes, and leave it aside. You need to actually execute to find out what works and what doesn’t. Create a website, implement the ideas you’re learning, and see if you can get more organic traffic to it.

That’s how you become an SEO pro.

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