I find myself disappearing into the world of SEO for days, sometimes weeks, before I stick my head out. As an SEO (Search Engine Optimizer) I do everything in my power to achieve first-page rankings for my clients. This means continual education and constant learning. Often times, when speaking with new clients, I forget that I am so far gone in the SEO world that I have to bring things back to the basics. With this said, I would like to take a moment and share a few SEO 101 guides.
If you are new to SEO and researching an expert to hire, I highly recommend reading one or all of the below guides before you make your final decision.
Google’s SEO Starter Guide: (http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2008/11/googles-seo-starter-guide.html)
- A well-put-together guide to SEO 101. This is an illustrated guide that explains the basic concepts of SEO. On-page and off-page optimization techniques are included here. This will teach you everything from how to write a title tag to what type of URL structure you should have. The best part about this guide, it is free!
The Beginners Guide to SEO by SEOmoz.org (http://www.seomoz.org/beginners-guide-to-seo)
- Everything that you need to know about basic SEO in one place. Unlike the Google Starter Guide, this outlines tools to use and techniques that will work with Yahoo and Bing, as well as more advanced techniques. SEOmoz is one of the authorities in SEO.
Learning SEO From the Experts: A Step-By-Step Guide from HubSpot (http://www.hubspot.com/learning-seo-from-experts-guide/)
- The guides by SEOmoz and Google are free, open to anyone. In order to gain access to this guide you will need to create an account. Odds are you will get some promotional material from Hubspot from time to time. This is a perfect example of link bait (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Link_bait), but that’s a technique from SEO 202.
There you have it, three easy-to-read SEO guides. Take the two hours that is needed to go over these. Once you do, you will be able to understand the basics. Use your new knowledge in your vendor selection process! Ask the SEO that you are interviewing questions like, “So do you recommend using a canonical url?” The best part is, you will know what you are talking about!