Nov 14, 2017
I recently received a call from somebody who asked about learning SEO. Apparently the office junior had been tasked with sorting it out and he was wondering where she should go to learn it; as if there was a page of instructions she could read and immediately become an expert. I got the distinct impression he thought it was something which could be all done and dusted before the end of the week. By which time the company Website would be at the top of Google.
Anybody who has taken even a passing interest in search and SEO will know that it is a very broad and often contentious subject area, which takes in not only the elements present on the actual website itself, but also a lot of external factors, such as inbound links, social media presence, and so on. It is also something which seems to change on a frequent basis as search engines (Google primarily) change the algorithms which decide the order of results for a particular keyword phrase.
Anyway, endeavouring to be as helpful as possible I sent him the following links, which I believe are all excellent resources for the budding SEO expert.
Before diving into the official Google stuff, a good place to start is https://www.udemy.com/whiteboard-seo/ - Moz is highly respected for their SEO expertise and this course is free.
https://learndigital.withgoogle.com/digitalgarage/ - Very comprehensive list of courses from Google, includes search, social media, email marketing and more. Courses are free and certified. A Google account (email address) is required to enrol.
https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/03/29/2016-guide-to-free-online-seo-training-courses/ - loads of other useful stuff for learning about SEO is linked from here.
But before getting embroiled in all of the SEO and search marketing details and minutiae linked above, there are a couple of very simple things anybody can carry out which I absolutely guarantee will improve a Website’s search rankings.
The first is to set up local business listings on Google and Bing
The second is to submit your business to reputable business directories.
There are no technical or special skills required and simply by following these tips the presence of any website will be greatly improved. So, does that mean these things can be called “search engine optimisation”? Actually, yes - they can certainly be considered a part of an overall SEO strategy, but this knowledge alone will not immediately turn somebody into an SEO expert.
I haven’t heard back from the caller since, so I have no idea whether the office junior found the links useful or has indeed become an expert yet. A search for his area of business doesn’t find his company’s website at the top of Google just yet though so that might be a clue.
I hope this little lot helps. As I mentioned at the beginning, SEO is a very broad subject area and one which needs quite a bit of time and ongoing attention to even begin to approach ‘expert’ status.
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Tony Williams is the founder of TDL Web Developments and specialises in creating effective and affordable Web solutions for local businesses in Wirral.
Follow on Twitter @tdlwebs