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SEO Beginners - 11 Resources to Take You from Buggerall to Badass

beginner.pngBefore Red Giant takes on an SEO client, I feel that it's absolutely necessary for that client to have a firm grasp on the principles involved in Search Engine Optimisation. 

Fact is, SEO campaigns require a significant outlay of both time and money, from our clients as well as from us. If you don't know what your SEO consultant/specialist is doing to earn the money you're paying him/her every month, there's going to come a time where doubt begins to creep into your mind. 

Because, with SEO, it often takes an extended period of time for a consistent, structured SEO campaign to show real results, it's crucial for the client to understand what is going on behind the scenese.

So whether you're considering a new SEO campaign for your website, or whether you're interested in getting into the SEO game yourself, I've compiled 11 of the absolute best SEO resources available for beginners on the Internet. I have personally used each one of these resources at some point while learning my trade, so I'm confident in saying that they will serve you well. 

1. The Beginner's Guide to SEO - by SEOMoz


If you know anything about the SEO world, you'll find it no surprise that something from SEOMoz is at the top of this list. SEOMoz are one of the   most respected authorities in the industry and they have compiled what is one of the most referenced, comprehensive SEO guides on the web.

Best of all? It's free!

In this guide, SEOMoz covers all of the fundamental areas of SEO which we believe you should understand if you are planning on hiring an agency to tackle your website's search engine optimisation. Right from explaining how search engines operate to the necessity of search engine marketing to keyword research, link building and more, the guide covers it all. 

This is definitely the place where you should start your SEO education, so go for it!

2. The Definitive Guide to Local SEO - by SEJournal 


While this is just a single post, I feel it covers local SEO very well. If you own a business that targets mainly local customers, you definitely need to wrap your head around how the search engine marketing process changes.

Read this fantastic post to gain some insight into how search engine optimisers will go about making your site stand out for local searches. 

3. The New Rules of SEO (Webinar) - by Shane Melaugh (IMImpact.com)


The problem with search engine marketing is that things change quickly. Google updates its algorithms (albeit only slightly) once a day, on average, with major updates happening every few months. With each one of these updates, panic sweeps over the online world as everybody tries to figure out what isn't working anymore, what is going to work going forward, and so forth.

This particular webinar was the first time I had ever seen Shane Melaugh in action. I didn't know what to expect from the webinar, but Shane honestly had me hooked from the first minute until the last of what is a reasonably long webinar. 

In the webinar, Shane talks about common SEO practices, what is still working and what's not. He debunks SEO myths and talks some hard truths. His frankness is refreshing in what is a highly saturated online industry. 

Watch this webinar (or read the transcript) for an up-to-date outlook on SEO. Highly recommended.

4. Search Engine Land's "How To" Section

This is more a section of SELand's site containing a collection of posts on certain topics to do with SEO. 

Everything is covered, however, from beginner stuff right through to advanced optimisation practices.

This resource is great for supplemental reading, as well as picking up on some of the more advanced aspects of SEO.

5. The Noob Guide to Online Marketing - by Unbounce


What could be better than a gigantic online marketing cheat sheet? That's exactly what Unbounce has produced here, in an easily digestible format.

This 15 million pixel infographic covers everything from email marketing to social media to analytics. 

This infographic is so good, actually, that we had it printed out in large scale and hung on our wall for quick reference. 

Bookmark this one, you're bound to use it regularly.

6. How to Learn SEO - by Distilled

This post by Distilled is essentially a similar post to the one you're reading now. It contains a more general list of places where you can find great SEO guides and posts, as well as some general thoughts on learning SEO.

Definitely worth a look if you would like some additional reading.

7. Search Engine Ranking Factors - by SEOMoz


Ever wondered what Google looks at when assessing what ranking it should assign to your website? This resource, compiled by SEOMoz tells us exactly that.

SEOMoz's very powerful system and search index has collected years and years worth of search data. They've been able to use this data to try and determine, statistically speaking, what factors affect your rankings and by how much.

If you're into numbers like I am, this is something you could find yourself pouring over for hours. It's like SEO Geek heaven!

The takeaway from this resource is that you learn more about what you should be focusing more of your attention on from an SEO perspective. Time is money, as you well know.

8. SEOMoz's Learn SEO Section

Well look who it is, once again. 

With this resource, SEOMoz has expanded on it's beginners guide to SEO with a bunch of extra resources to help you along your way. There are videos, Q&As, webinars, checklists and more which will really enhance your learning experience. 

This is definitely one to bookmark.

9. 7 Days to SEO Success - SEOBook

This is a pretty sweet collection of posts targeted at SEO beginners which will really help wrap your head around the reasons for and mechanisms involved in search engine marketing. 

They tend to promote their own products a little much, but they are still offering a pile of great information, so I strongly suggest you take a look.

10. 5 Link Building Tactics to Improve Your Local Rankings - by SEOMoz & Matt Green 

For a single post to get a mention in this list of resources, it really had to be outstanding. This post was actually initially part of the user-generated content section of SEOMoz, before it got promoted to their main blog for being an awesome piece of information.

This post deals with an ultra-specific area in SEO, being link building for local websites. That said, it does a really great job at covering the topic. I'll bet that you wouldn't have thought of at least one of the tactics mentioned by Matt in the post. 

11. Whiteboard Friday - On-site SEO - by Rand Fishkin


This is probably the most recent resource contained in this list, which makes it all the more relevant (especially in view of all the recent algorithm updates). Rand has a knack for delivering awesome content in a manner that more often than not completely grabs and holds your attention. 

This episode of Whiteboard Friday covers most of the principles involved in on-site search engine optimisation. It's concise and informative. After watching it, I simply had to add it to this list.

Watch it and thank me later.



I'm confident that the 11 resources above (or even just some of them) will ensure that you have a good enough grounding in SEO to know whether or not you're being hoodwinked by your service provider or not.

Do you have any additional resources that you think should be added to the list? Let me know in the comments!

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Mark is a co-founder of Red Giant Design Studio whose passion lies in business and entrepreneurship - more specifically the branding and marketing thereof. Mark enjoys helping other small business owners grow and market their businesses.

You can follow Mark on Twitter, or find him on LinkedIn and

Mark is also part of the Sitepoint.com elite authoring team: