A guide to SEO in 2015

A guide to SEO in 2015

Unfortunately we cannot provide anyone with personalized SEO advice. Our expertise is in solving technical problems, rather than SEO - but we do wish we had more time to dabble in SEO!

We can, however, point you in the direction of a few great starting resources for SEO in 2015:

Introduction to SEO

The first thing you should do is read this 32-page Google SEO Starter Guide. This guide alone should have enough information to get you off to a racing start to learning the more basic SEO tasks.

 

Website Performance

This MOOC (massive open online courses) was also built by Google. In this short course you’ll learn how to optimize any website for speed. There is a growing demand for speed and a faster user experience. Speed is also a ranking factor, which is expect to pick up more weight over time.

 

 

 

User Experience

This MOOC examines how users interact with a Web page and website. The course provides an overview of the general principles of UX (User Experience). You will learn about techniques and tools used to create a great user experience. You will also learn about the design process and how user-centric design can fit into traditional software development cycles.

 

 

SEO Audit

Keeping in mind that these courses are designed for non-technical types, we're not recommending a full-blown course here. Instead, The Perennial SEO Audit, created by Purna Virji covers the basics and even provides a framework for regular review to ensure peak performance.

 

Keyword Research

There is probably more material written on this subject than any other SEO topic. In terms of a simple, straightforward, and effective approach, it’s hard to beat this Step-by-Step Guide to SEO Keyword Research.

 

On-Page Optimization

The basics are covered well in the Google Starter guide. A number of free tools are available to assist you. One "advanced" optimization technique, marking up content with schema, is detailed by Google in Webmaster Tools > Help. Once you’ve finished optimizing your site, analyze it using the free Microsoft SEO Toolkit. Download it here, turn on IIS Services, and install.

Writing for the Web

Writing for the Web is different from print writing. Understanding the difference is incredibly important in order to be effective. Because of the interactive nature of the Web, it begins with understanding user behavior. This MOOC will teach you how Web design, writing style, structure, and search engine optimization can all affect that behavior.

 

 

Content Strategy

Content strategy practitioners know how to use words, pictures, video, social, and mobile media to interact with users. The Content Strategy MOOC, developed by Northwestern University, teaches you how to better understand your audiences. It also focuses on ways to develop strategic content to convey and achieve important goals.

SEO for Local Search

Paul Schmidt created this guide for HubSpot, introducing people to the fundamentals of local SEO. The guide focuses on three primary things on-page signals, local profile pages, and inbound links and citations. According to the author, "This guide is intended to be a local SEO jumpstart…," which is a very accurate description.

 

Link-Building

Link Building the Right Way explains the difference between link scheming and safe link-building. The key takeaways:

  • Focus external link-building efforts on the acquisition of editorially given links. These are links requiring human intervention and approval.
  • Build links that are relevant – on pages where the readers would have a genuine interest in your website.
  • Quality trumps quantity. A few links from high trust/authority websites will have more impact than hundreds of links from "Made for Guest Posting" blogs.

To learn specific link-building tactics, here’s a good place to start - Link-Building With Ahrefs: A How-To Guide or The Essential Guide to Effective Link-Building Outreach

 

Webmaster Tools

Webmaster Tools, a free service provided by Google, helps you monitor your website's presence in Google Search results. Using GWT can help you understand how Google views your site and help you to optimize for peak performance in search results. Learn all about Webmaster Tools by navigating to Webmaster tools > Help.

 

Google Analytics

Improve your analytics skills with free online courses from Google Analytics Academy. There are a number of self-study programs, including:

  • Mobile App Analytics Fundamentals
  • E-Commerce Analytics
  • Google Analytics Platform Principles
  • Digital Analytics Fundamentals

These courses are designed to teach the core principles of digital analytics, including how to build a useful measurement plan and how to get started with Google Analytics.

 

Run a Digital Marketing Campaign

Once you have all of this great knowledge, it’s time to run a campaign. This MOOC shows you how to coordinate multiple online marketing channels into a cohesive, money-making marketing campaign. All bases are covered, including how to create a design based on the way that customers make decisions, how to calculate return on investment, and how to connect different marketing channels.

 

 

Takeaway

The amount of digital marketing resources available on the Web is overwhelming. Much of it is outdated, or worse yet, up to date, but flat-out wrong. Anyone who follows this plan, from start to finish, will have a better understanding of SEO than most. And in case you were wondering, yes, I’m hiring.

 

Note - most of this information was found in this article, created by Chuck Price, on Search Engine Watch's website.

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