This guide is all about how to learn SEO for free.
And you’re going to get two things here:
- A list of blogs, courses, videos, podcasts, news sites, tools, and conferences you can use to learn about SEO (search engine optimization).
- A detailed overview of SEO with links to more free resources throughout this SEO Chatter website to start learning about SEO.
In this digital marketing age, one of the most effective methods of engaging with, understanding, and reaching your most valuable customers is through search engine optimization.
But if you don’t want to shell out extra money for a paid SEO service or online course, then you’ve come to the right place.
This free SEO training guide was written for those of you who are interested in enhancing your business’s online visibility, accessibility, and popularity through organic search methods that are effective for Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Consider this your Ultimate Guide for how to learn search engine optimization for free without having to scroll through the Internet for the best information.
How to Learn SEO for Free
Below is a list of the best SEO blogs, courses, news sites, videos, podcasts, tools, and conferences you can use to get a free SEO education.
Learn SEO for Free from Google
Given that Google is the king of the Internet, you want to learn how to appease the king. And there’s no better way to do that than through Google’s SEO Starter Guide.
Here, you’ll find basically everything Google wants you to know about search engine optimization, from indexing your site to establishing business details and using the Google Search Console to track your results.
Google Analytics is one of the most indispensable SEO tools through which you can make a realistic and comprehensive appraisal of the success of your SEO campaign.
This free SEO course will teach you the most important aspects of Google Analytics, such as implementing tracking code, setting up data filters, navigating through reports, analyzing your audience, setting up goals, campaign tracking, and more.
Upon successful completion of all models, you’ll even receive a qualification.
If you’re feeling apprehensive about taking on Google Analytics on your own, you’re not alone. That’s where the Beginner Academy SEO course comes in: it’s one of the most helpful SEO courses you can enroll in because it teaches you to use Google Analytics from the ground up.
Google Search Console is another crucial tool for SEO and site performance measuring. So you need to know how to use it inside and out to ensure the success of your SEO campaigns.
In this beginner guide, you’ll learn how to verify site ownership, make sure Google can index your pages, how to review errors, monitor site performance, and more.
This is the free advanced SEO guide for Google Search Console. It goes deeper into using the tool for manual actions, page removals, changing site addresses, reviewing structured data implementation, and more.
Learn About SEO from Blogs
On this blog, you’ll find a wealth of tips and tricks on search engine optimization. My goal with the SEO Chatter blog is to become one of the best resources online for how to learn search engine optimization for free by answering the most common questions about the subject.
Gotch SEO is run by Nathan Gotch, who is a well-known SEO expert that helps local and national companies increase their organic rankings and traffic.
LearningSEO offers a complete roadmap with free guides and tools in areas such as keyword research, link building, strategy, and more.
Mangools is a popular toolset for SEOs and the content on the blog is super helpful with comprehensive guides, case studies, and tips to boost your search engine optimization skills.
Rank Ranger is an enterprise-level SEO software designed for doing SEO at scale. You’ll find some of the best insights about search engine optimization on this blog, including hypotheses on what’s going on with Google during algorithm updates.
SEO By the Sea was founded by Bill Slawski, who has been doing professional SEO and Internet marketing since 1996. He’s one of the only industry experts who write about search-related patents and white papers as a way to help others learn about changes to SEO and search.
Learn SEO from Free Courses
This free SEO course teaches you the basics of search engine optimization in a user-friendly format.
The course covers the following information:
- SEO Basics
- Search Engines
- Keyword Research
- Content Optimization
- On-page & Technical SEO
- Backlinks & Link Building
- Analytics & Metrics
- SEO Test & Certificate
Moz was founded in 2004 and continues to be a leader in the SEO industry.
The experts who put this SEO training guide together give you free information on the following topics:
- SEO 101
- How Search Engines Work
- Keyword Research
- On-Site Optimization
- Technical SEO
- Link Building & Establishing Authority
- Measuring, Prioritizing & Executing SEO
Semrush is one of the most powerful SEO tools on the planet. And the company’s free academy courses offer expert advice on SEO for no charge.
In this academy, you’ll get access to these online courses for digital marketing:
- SEO Fundamentals
- Keyword Research
- Backlink Management
- Mobile SEO
- Local SEO
- Site Audit
- Technical SEO
- On-Page SEO
- Competitor Analysis
SiteGuru has a complete set of resources to help you get your website found in Google and get more targeted traffic for your business. Best of all, this free SEO academy takes you through all the steps necessary to get results and easily explains where to start.
Here are all of the topics you can learn about in SiteGuru’s SEO Academy:
- Basics of SEO
- Advanced SEO
- Technical SEO
- Keyowrds and SEO
- SEO and Pagespeed
- Off-Page SEO
- International SEO
- Google Analytics
- SEO Strategy
- Site Auditing
WordStream has a good introductory guide for learning SEO for free.
It’s a quick read compared to the other courses and guides recommended on this list. But, it still includes the most important information you need to know about search engine optimization.
This SEO resource includes:
- What is SEO & Why is it Important?
- Keyword Research & Keyword Targeting Best Practices
- On-Page Optimization Best Practices
- Information Architecture Best Practices
- How to Execute Content Marketing & Link Building
- Common Technical SEO Issues & Best Practices
- How to Track & Measure SEO Results
- Additional SEO Considerations
Learn for Free from SEO News Sites
Search Engine Journal delivers comprehensive and super helpful reports on the latest marketing trends and updates for Google. They also host weekly webinars on digital marketing which are free to attend.
Search Engine Land is another great haven for new and existing SEO enthusiasts and practitioners, and their nine-step tutorial has created quite the buzz for how to learn SEO for free to improve your search engine rankings.
- Types of Search Engine Success Factors
- Site Architecture
- HTML Code
- Trust, Authority, Expertise & Search Rankings
- Link Building & Ranking in Search Engines
- Personalization & Search Engine Rankings
- Toxins & Search Engine Spam Penalties
- Emerging Verticals in Search
Search Engine Roundtable reports on the latest trends and updates in the realm of SEO. Whether you’re learning SEO basics or already have some skills, it’s always a good SEO practice to keep up to date on the daily happenings in the SEO world.
Search Engine Watch provides news and information about search engines and search engine marketing. It’s similar to Search Engine Journal and Search Engine Land.
Learn with SEO Podcasts
This is one of the most popular SEO podcasts today. Each week, the hosts give their own expert point of view on the most challenging SEO questions. Gael and Mike have a lot of personal experience running online businesses and blogs and therefore know a lot about advanced SEO practices.
This is a weekly hour-long digital marketing podcast discussing a wide variety of topics including SEO. You’ll also hear about social media strategies, content marketing tips, and more.
Fat Stacks is all about teaching people how to launch successful blogs for affiliate marketing and niche interests. On this free SEO podcast, you’ll hear about blogging, publishing new websites, monetization methods, affiliate marketing, and how to launch and grow all sorts of digital assets.
This is a bi-weekly, interview-style SEO podcast from the popular SEO news website, Search Engine Journal.
This is one of the best and free SEO podcasts available today. Each week, the host covers the most important news in the search industry in addition to giving away actionable SEO tips and techniques to improve your website performance.
This free SEO training podcast teaches search engine optimization from the ground up. It starts from square one with the basic principles and goes all the way up to advanced SEO tactics. If you want an easy-t0-understand podcast on how to learn search engine optimization for free, this is a good place to start.
Learn with Free SEO Videos
Video URL: youtube.com/c/AhrefsCom/
Ahrefs TV is all about actionable SEO tutorials that show you how to increase your organic search traffic and rank #1 on Google. Whether you’re an absolute beginner to search engine optimization or an industry leader, you’ll find helpful tutorials on keyword research, link building, content marketing, technical SEO, and much more.
Video URL: youtube.com/channel/UC8P0dc0Zn2gf8L6tJi_k6xg/
Chris Palmer SEO has over a decade of experience in SEO and marketing. His videos are dedicated to helping everyday people succeed through digital marketing with white hat, black hat, and local SEO tips.
Video URL: youtube.com/channel/UCPeOzstGV1FB0cGSBg2piDg/
Craig Campbell has been an SEO expert for over 18 years. He has built and sold websites, run several agencies, and offered full SEO services, so he has a lot of good information to share about search engine optimization and making more money online with your website.
Video URL: youtube.com/channel/UCytOqtKYpACcWMD14UjhSeQ
Income School is a free video channel about SEO that teaches anyone how to create profitable niche sites and to take control of your income. You can learn all about SEO, writing blog posts, and affiliate marketing.
Video URL: youtube.com/c/MattDiggity/
Matt Diggity shares real SEO techniques that work because they’re based on real test results. Matt has been performing SEO since 2009 and shares some of the best free SEO content on the Internet.
SEO Fight Club
Video URL: youtube.com/channel/UCUqb8omUshWynZDFl8cZO7A
SEO Fight Club is a weekly SEO show dedicated to open debate and peer review of cutting-edge SEO research and theory crafting. Many of the topics SEO Fight Club touches upon are technical, black hat, unproven, and potentially hazardous; yet can provide tremendous growth for your website when applied correctly.
The SEO Show
Video URL: youtube.com/channel/UCf99ytepIJxWaTtH06KfkHA
The SEO Video Show was founded by 15+ year SEO professional, Paul Andre de Vera, to help SEOs and digital marketers experience the best SEO video training content. His goal is to master the art of SEO through learning and sharing knowledge bombs, gold nuggets, and secret tactics in the world of search engine optimization video content.
Lear with Free Tools
Ahrefs allows you to learn how to use SEO tools and understand the metrics for free without spending a dime with tools like:
- Amazon keyword tool
- Bing keyword tool
- Backlink checker
- Broken link checker
- Keyword difficulty checker
- Keyword rank checker
- Keyword research generator
- SERP checker
- YouTube keyword tool
- Website authority checker
Google Keyword Planner helps you find good keywords to target for SEO without having to pay for a monthly subscription. This SEO tool can help help you find monthly search volume, competition, and even suggested terms you might not have considered.
Keyword Surfer is a free Chrome extension you can use to see search volumes, CPC, keyword suggestions, related terms, visibility metrics, and on-page data.
Neil Patel has a few tools you can use for free to gain insights on your website or a competitor site:
Learn SEO from Conferences
B2B Marketing Expo is one of the top marketing events you can attend for free.
As a marketing professional, you’ll gain access to the techniques, tools, and innovations you need to stay current with marketing trends. With more than 200 educational master classes you can sit in on, you can gain fresh insights into the world of SEO and digital marketing.
BrightonSEO gives out thousands of free tickets for their SEO conference via a ballot. The conference is held twice per year in Brighton, England) with more than 4,000+ attendees and some of the industry’s most innovative speakers.
The C3 conference is a virtual SEO and marketing conference focused on evolving marketing strategies. You can connect with other marketers to learn new digital marketing tactics to engage customers through search and how to shift your marketing strategy to meet evolving trends.
MeetUp is not a conference per se, but it is still a good online resource to learn about SEO close to home. MeetUp is a social networking platform that sets up face-to-face meetings in local areas around the world. There are tons of groups dedicated to SEO that may be meeting in a city or town near you.
More Completely Free Information About SEO
In this section, you can get started learning SEO for free right now without leaving this web page.
Below, you’ll find a good overview of search engine optimization, the goals for SEO you should be striving to understand, and a scattering of links to related content on this SEO Chatter website to help you learn more about each concept.
What Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
So, you want to learn SEO for free. But do you have a clear idea of what it is?
For some time now, the conception of SEO has been that it is a complex or multifaceted concept. While many factors go into successful SEO, the core concept is quite simple to understand.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization”. (You can dive deeper into the meaning of this term in my other article on what does SEO mean after you’re done with this guide.)
Here are the basics of what you need to know about SEO:
It refers to the practice of optimizing your website for greater visibility on search engines—primarily Google—where potential customers and visitors might be searching for what your online business has to offer.
Using SEO techniques is an organic method of digital marketing to get free website traffic from search engines.
SEO came into being around the same time as the mainstream Internet use in the 1990s. Three decades down the line, SEO today is viewed as an essential method of digital marketing. The SEO industry is, quite understandably, expanding rapidly.
If you have only surface-level knowledge of SEO, you might make the common mistake of confusing it with PPC (pay-per-click) or Search Engine Marketing. However, they are not the same.
PPC and SEO are both components of search engine marketing, but they’re different in terms of how they generate traffic. In SEO, payment of any kind is not involved: the search results displayed for your website are from entirely organic keywords.
What Is the Goal of SEO?
As stated before, SEO is a form of digital marketing. With SEO, the goal is to improve your website ranking in search engines to increase the amount of unpaid, organic traffic that your website gets, resulting in better leads and paving the way for higher sales volumes.
How does this work?
Well, most people reach for the services of a search engine when they are searching for something—and if you’re the one to provide that something, you’re in a winning position.
But in order to be in that winning position, search engine optimization is a must. Whether you’re selling a service or product or simply looking to generate traffic to a blog or similar website, you need SEO for success. Unless, of course, you want to pay for PPC ads.
Through successful SEO, you’re allowing search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing to rank your website higher for internet user searches of keywords associated with your business. In simpler terms, you’re making it more likely that a user will click on your website instead of another URL.
Furthermore, in today’s digital climate, the primary search engine that SEO techniques are geared towards is Google (for obvious reasons).
With that in mind, here are the skills you can develop from the resources mentioned in this guide on how to learn SEO for free.
Understanding How Search Engines Work
No matter what your marketing goals are, chances are you want to boost traffic and revenue. And that’s just what SEO helps you do by ranking your website at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs).
So, it follows that you need to learn how search engines like Google work, which the free courses, videos, blogs, podcasts, tools, and conferences listed in the next section can help you do.
But for now, just know that search engines use bots and crawlers, also called “spiders,” whose purpose is to sift through the Internet to find websites that they then index and rank.
If you want your website to be accessible to people, you must make it accessible for search engine crawlers to index it. You can also submit URLs to search engines for indexing. Google, for example, allows you to do this with their URL Inspection Tool in the free Google Search Console tool.
Mastering Keyword Research
Keywords are crucial elements of SEO as they need to be featured not only in your content but its title, meta description, etc. Understanding the use of keywords is an integral part of technical SEO knowledge.
So, what keywords do you want your website to rank for?
The process of figuring this out is called keyword research. And the more high-volume keywords you can target, the bigger an audience you can hope to reach in the search engines.
The two kinds of keywords are long-tail keywords and short-tail keywords. A summary of the difference between long tail and short tail keywords is essentially this:
Long-tail keywords have a length of four words or more, while short-tail keywords only have one or two words. Integrating long-tail keywords in your SEO strategy makes it easier to rank in the search engines because these types of keywords have less competition.
So, how do you find the right keywords for your website?
You need to use a keyword research tool such as KWFinder, Keywords Everywhere, KeywordsFX, Google Keyword Planner, etc.
Beyond using keyword SEO tools, you can also check out what keywords competitor website owners are using with a complete digital marketing SEO suite like Ahrefs or SEMRush.
Identifying the Right Type of SEO Content
The content of your website should be geared towards one goal: solving a problem that the reader or visitor of your website has.
The content you create or post on your website must address the needs of the audience that you’re targeting. Otherwise, it won’t attract the right type of visitor or convert that visitor into a buying customer.
So, come up with a list of problems or questions your audience might have. Then strive to answer those questions or solve those problems in the content.
After that, you need to get ready to optimize your content for search engines.
Focusing on Making Great SEO Content
What makes good SEO content?
The answer to this question boils down to three main parts:
- On-page SEO
- The actual content
- Good-quality backlinks
On-page SEO involves matters like keyword usage, formatting (like H1 and H2 tags), navigation, meta descriptions, URLs, image descriptions, and image ALT text. This is of utmost importance because it’s what makes your content easier for the search engine crawlers to index your content for particular search queries.
None of that stuff matters, however, without high-quality website content. If your website’s content is of poor quality or doesn’t meet the search intent for the keyword, it won’t rank in Google very well. Remember, you’re seeking to solve a user problem, and you can’t do that with inadequate content.
Good-quality backlinking increases the authority of your website. A backlink is a hyperlink to your website posted on other sites. Even if your content is of super high quality and your website’s SEO is top-notch, backlinking is what really helps your content high in the search engines when you’re competing for high competition keywords.
Alternatively, you don’t have to focus on backlinks as much if you target low competition keywords. See my free guide on how to find low competition keywords here.
Differentiating Between On-Page and Off-Page SEO
So, you already know what on-page SEO is: the bit of content that is directly up to you to influence, dictating which parts of your website will be directly serving customers, and securing organic traffic for you.
In the case of off-page search engine optimization, your web pages are being appraised by search engine algorithms from how other websites view your content. Backlinking, mentions of your brand (think Twitter or Facebook), and social media marketing are all taken together to make up your off-page presence.
And it goes without saying that receiving mentions, links from other websites or blog owners is only possible if your content is shareable and worth reading in the first place.
However, you must be careful about using black hat link building tactics which might be seen as a questionable form of digital marketing.
The opposite of this is white hat link building, considered one of the SEO best practices, through which you’re gaining natural admiration from relevant sites and authorities who are linking back to your website.
(See my article on white hat vs black hat SEO for more details about these two Internet marketing strategies.)
Learn SEO for Free Summary
I hope you enjoyed this guide on how to learn SEO for free.
As you discovered, the Internet is filled with wonderful resources for anyone looking to teach themselves the art of SEO. And an art indeed it is, which you can only master with practice, dedication, and of course, a little help from expert teachers in the industry.
I wish you the best of luck with your SEO journey with these resources on how to learn search engine optimization for free.
Source: Stephen Hockman, Jan 25, 2022