The very fact that you are reading this post shows that you are aware of the significance of SEO in business success. To be “present online” is a good thing, no doubt, but the smart thing is to be “found online” and this is where SEO is crucial.
SEO is complex combination of tools, techniques and strategies aimed to propel your website to the top of the search engine rankings in response to a particular search term. And whether you do your own SEO work or through an SEO agency, being knowledgeable about different SEO parameters is good.
Besides, SEO is a constantly changing and dynamic field. With newer ideas and tools emerging everyday and Google’s algorithm changes that can topple rankings practically overnight, it is imperative to keep abreast of the latest happenings in SEO.
How do you learn about SEO?
The internet is a good place. There are numerous high quality SEO resources available. But then searching for them may be a difficult and time consuming process. Also there is a lot of junk information out there. How do you decipher which is the most reliable? You may not know which of your search results are the best, trusted and most updated.
To make things simpler for you, I am putting together this comprehensive list of SEO resources from all over the web. I must thank several of my fellow SEO friends, who painstakingly researched and developed resource in the list that I have compiled here.
This post has been divided into two parts:
(A) Resources about Various SEO Components Individually
Includes content, keyword identification and optimization, link building and social media factors.
(B) Resources about SEO as a Whole
Now let us dig into the list.
(A) Resources about Various SEO Components Individually
But of course, everyone knows that content is the most crucial part of SEO. Really good content pulls in readers and makes them eager for more. Good content can thus generate high traffic and also help you build authority in your niche. Site traffic and authority are important Google ranking parameters.
With Google’s latest Panda update, focus has shifted once again to really good content. And since Google is also looking at the bounce rate, and movement of visitors within your website, besides, good (nay great) content, you need content that is engaging and interesting to readers.
Given below are some of the best resources online on how to generate great content, which is the first step to SEO.
- 44 Must Read Resources on Content Marketing
This is a very comprehensive resource on content marketing put together by KISSmetrics. It covers a range of informative posts and resources on various areas related to content marketing starting from “what is content marketing” to “ideas on content marketing” to “how to spread your content” amongst other topics and finally ending with a Coca Cola video that explains why content marketing is important in today’s context.
- SEO Copywriting Made Simple (Free Report)
And here is a very useful and comprehensive free report on creating compelling content for search engines by Brian Clark, founder of Copyblogger and an authority on anything and everything related to content.
We know that Google rewards fresh and updated content by placing it high on the SERP. But one way to ‘cheat the system’ here is by creating evergreen content. Evergreen content, which is content that never becomes irrelevant with time, always ranks fairly high in the search engine results because of quality (obviously, you only write high quality content) and relevance. This helps in the following ways:
– Increased traffic and conversions due to high ranking, which is a positive SEO signal.
– Anyone writing a new post on the topic links to yours because it has been there for long and ranks high. And natural links again boost your SEO.
– You continue to generate leads from evergreen content long (sometimes years) after it was originally published.
Given below are 3 useful resources that explain the concept of evergreen content in depth, how evergreen content boosts SEO and how to leverage evergreen content for SEO. In fact, all 3 are themselves examples of evergreen content.
All 3 posts unanimously state that evergreen content is part of the overall Google algorithms for search rankings. Freshness is another part. So for maximum SEO benefits, your content strategy needs to have a mix of both.
Also to leverage evergreen content (or any content on your website) to the maximum, you have to optimize it for the right keywords. Only then will you get traffic that converts.
And this nicely brings me to the next point in the discussion.
- Keyword Analysis
As SEOMoz mentions in its “Beginner’s Guide to SEO”- Chapter 5, “It all begins with the words typed into the search box”. Those words are your keywords. And unless you find the right keywords for your business, you will attract the wrong audience. And wrong audience will not convert.
Finding the right keyword is not tough with numerous tools available, the most popular being Google AdWords. But you also have to make sure that the keyword has search volume, that is, a reasonable amount of searches are being carried out with that keyword per day or month. Otherwise, though you may get conversions (because you are attracting the right audience), because traffic is poor (due to low search volume), your conversion volumes will remain low.
If you are looking online for help on any aspect related to keywords, these are some of the resources you should consider.
- Are You Using the Right Keywords on your Site?
This post reveals a simple 3-rule test to determine if you are using the right keywords for your site.
- SEOMoz Beginners Guide to SEO- Chapter 5 Keyword Research
This resource tells you all about how to arrive at the right keyword(s) with extensive research.
- How to Select Good SEO Keywords
In this resource, you will find information on how to use Google Trends for determining relevant keywords for your website. (It was Google Insights for Search at the time).
And then there is the debate of short vs. long tail keywords. Single (short tail) keywords are highly competitive and may not fit into every SEO budget. Long tail keywords, being more specific, are less competitive, and can bring in more targeted traffic, though the search volume may be low.
For a better understanding of short and long tail keywords, given below are some resources.
- Short Tail Vs Long Tail: Which Search Queries Perform Best?
Here is an article that looks at how short and long tail keywords perform in search queries and the winner is the latter. And if you feel that your industry/niche is not like others (yes, we all feel that every once in a while) and only high competition keywords are available, learn from this article.
Now that you have your keywords in place, the question is ‘how to place your keywords on your site for maximum SEO benefit’. Rule 1 is not to over optimize, or Google will consider your content as spam and push your rankings down. And this brings us to some of the best online resources on this topic.
- Keywords – The Most Important Item in SEO
This post reveals to you the most optimized keyword placements. (Enjoy the images).
- Perfecting Keyword Targeting and On-Page Optimization
Read this to know how Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz optimizes pages by targeting perfect keywords.
And if you want to ambitiously optimize a page for over 10,000 keywords, look at this Wordtracker Academy tutorial
- Link Building
Links are important factors for ranking websites because when someone links to you/ your content, it means they like your content and find it relevant. Hence Google considers links important. But more than the quantity of links, it is the quality of links that matters.
5 back links from authority websites in your niche are more valuable than 50 back links from random irrelevant sources. For example if you are selling dog food, a back link from a well reputed veterinary specialist is worth its weight in gold for SEO. But if you ask your friend who has a fashion website to link to you (as a favor), it will not help much. And may in fact pull down your rankings.
Here, I have compiled a list of the best link building resources online starting from one that provides a complete understanding of link building, how it impacts SEO and some sample strategies –none other than the (familiar and ever helpful) SEOMoz SEO Beginners Guide.
Another resource that explains link building in plain English, while providing some useful tools to help is:
- Backlinks: Another Important SEO Item (once again, the images are awesome).
Yes building links is important. And you need to initiate a link building campaign. If you are finding it tough to come up with ideas as to where to get started, this resource is a good starting place.
An important part of link building is the anchor text. Anchor text is the “blue, underlined, highlighted” portion in the text, which on being clicked leads to a relevant web page/link. (Hint: there are many anchor texts in this content).
There are two important types of anchor texts – money keyword anchor text and junk anchor text.
Money keyword anchor text is when you use your primary or secondary keywords as anchor texts. Say, you sell dog food and you link to your website with the term ‘healthy dog food.’
Junk anchor texts are words one would use in the normal course of conversation. Something like “click here to read the amazing benefits of dog food”.
Here are two useful resources that explain the concept of anchor text in detail.
And to know exactly how the web uses anchor texts in links, you will find this resource helpful.
And Now Comes a Twist in the Tale
Just when you thought, you had everything about link building perfectly mastered, along comes Google with its Penguin Update that changes everything. Well, at least most things. One of the best resources providing comprehensive information on the Penguin algorithm and its various updates is
The purpose of Google Penguin is to counter link spam. As links became an important ranking factor, people started ‘gaming the system’, creating irrelevant, spam links, buying links, exchanging links, all to gain high ranks. This started impacting the results. And Google rolled up its sleeves. The result…Penguin updates.
In the wake of the Penguin update, following changes in link strategies have come about.
– The focus is more on natural links and relevant links.
– Link velocity is important. Even if you naturally build huge number of links in a short period, (say you have written amazing content that people are linking to by the thousands), you may actually be penalized because of high link velocity.
– Anchor text diversity is important. So don’t use the same set of words to link back to your website.
– The use of ‘junk anchor texts’ is rewarded with better rankings as compared to website that uses more than 60% ‘money keyword anchor text’.
– It is crucial to have link diversity. So don’t put all your eggs (links) in one basket (from one source).
Here are some online resources that do a good job of explaining exactly how the Penguin update affects link parameters and thus SEO.
I will begin this list with a resource that examines the link parameters of websites penalized by Google Penguin for a better understanding of its impact
And two more resources that examine important issues emerging out of the Penguin update – Diversifying anchor text and the definitive junk anchor text list, which is very effective post Penguin.
And now as the icing on the link cake, I give you this resource that lets you in on not one or two or even 10, but 101 ways to build link popularity and attract valuable links for SEO
- Social Media Related
In recent times, social media has become an important SEO factor with Google confirming that social signals are being considered to rank search results. This is a relatively new area, and the exact correlation between the two is not known, though it is quite clear the greater social love you get (be it Facebook likes and shares, Twitter tweets, Google +1s), greater the chances you have of a higher ranking on the SERP.
You remember we discussed link diversity (in the earlier section), so some percentage of links coming from social media is good for you. And before that, we talked of content relevance. Social media is linked to content relevance because people like/recommend your content and share it on their own social networks only if the content is really good and relevant.
These are two very comprehensive posts that discuss the impact of social media on SEO.
A very useful resource that looks into all aspects of social media is
Here you will find several articles that look at the impact of social media on SEO. For instance these 2 posts
Resources about SEO as a Whole
In the sections above, we have covered some important SEO components and the best resources available online for those areas.
Now we look at SEO comprehensively. Resources that cover anything and everything about SEO, including latest updates and future forecasts for the industry. These resources are blogs by some of the most influential and authority figures in SEO.
This super-resource is a list of top SEO blogs (endorsed by Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz) that keep you up to date.
And this is the list of the most subscribed SEO blogs.
Not surprisingly, there are many common names in both lists. Perhaps, you are already following these blogs. If not, signing up for them is the first action to take after reading this post.
Did you find this list useful? Are there other resources that you found awesome, but didn’t feature in this compilation? Please let me know in the comments.