The game of SEO seems to change every few months. Google, the King of all search engines, updates their algorithms so frequently that it's challenging for marketers to keep up with these changes. Some elements of SEO, however, remain consistent.
The following 21 resources on SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, can help you understand the basics of SEO that remain the same while keep up with the seemingly never-ending Google updates.
Best Books on SEO
Although some may think that books are not the best way to learn about a highly dynamic topic such as SEO, I would still argue otherwise. Books usually provide a more systematic and organized way to teach about complex subjects such as Search Engine Optimization.
Here are my favorite books on SEO:
1. SEO Fitness Workbook, 2016 Edition
By Jason McDonald
This book didn't become the highest rated SEO book on the internet by accident. Many SEO experts and beginners choose this book because:
It provides up-to-date coverage of Google's Penguin, Panda, Semantic Search, Mobile and even Local algorithm updates.
It has tons of free SEO Tools - includes access to Jason's SEO Toolbook.
It includes worksheets and videos to guide you from SEO novice to SEO expert.
It contains complete coverage of 'On Page' and 'Off Page' SEO, the 'new' content marketing, blogging, link-building and every other esoteric technical tactic.
This book is built upon Dr. Jason McDonald's years of real experience, and his teaching methodology in his classes in the San Francisco Bay Area, including Stanford University's Continuing Studies program. It's in-depth, and supported by facts and real experience.
2. SEO 2016: Learn Search Engine Optimization With Smart Internet Marketing Strategies
By Adam Clarke
SEO 2016 walks you through all major Google updates and how to use them to your advantage. It also reveals industry secrets about staying ahead of Google's algorithm, and what potential Google changes may be coming up in 2016.
Discover powerful link building techniques experts use to get top rankings and generate massive traffic.
You will also discover:
Important SEO concepts, from beginner to advanced.
Sneaky tricks to get local businesses ranking high with local SEO.
How to find "money" keywords that will send customers to your site.
Six insider sources to get expert SEO or Internet marketing advice worth thousands of dollars, for free.
25+ little-known but powerful search engine optimization tools top Internet marketing experts use.
Steps to recover from problems caused by Google updates.
The inner mechanics of Google's algorithm, and how to use them to rank your site at the top.
Potential updates coming up in 2016 and 2017.
3. SEO: Marketing Strategies to Dominate the First Page
By Grant Kennedy
This book shows a step-by-step process on what SEO is, how it works, and the importance of keywords. By understanding how search engines really work, you’ll gain a competitive edge on your competition.
It describes a variety of internet marketing concepts and strategies:
Understanding SEO vs. PPC (Pay-Per-Click)
Getting the Most from Organic/Natural SEO
Using Paid Searches to Your Maximum Benefit
Market a Startup Business
Understanding the Various SEO Marketing “hats”
and Dominating the First Page
4. Ultimate Guide to Link Building
By Eric Ward and Garrett French
Sharing little-known techniques for link building via social media platforms, blogs, partnerships, public relations, articles, and more, Ward teaches marketers which link-building techniques will maximize the quality links that point to their site, allowing them to charm both search engines and customers and which methods to avoid.
This one-of-a-kind guide details a variety of link building tools, tactics, and techniques illustrated by case studies, expert interviews, and resources. Ward leaves no opportunity unexplored, and no link-building questions unanswered.
5. SEO Like I'm 5: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Search Engine Optimization
By Matthew Capala
The truth is that today, online success has more to do with your ability to create amazing content, establish a strong social media presence, and build relationships with bloggers than writing lines of code or stuffing keywords into your meta data.
SEO Like I'm 5 takes you through an action-oriented, workshop-style, pain-free process to plan, build, and optimize your online presence, including:
Where to start
Which free platforms and tools to use
How to build a search-friendly website
How to build a killer content strategy
How to become a rockstar blogger
How to find the golden-nugget keyword opportunities
How to monetize your website
How to attract backlinks to your content
How to build relationships with bloggers and influencers
How to build a winning social media strategy
How to make money online
Who is this Book for?
Entrepreneurs and startups
Forward-thinking small business owners
Marketing executives who want to learn how to innovate like startups
Students and professionals
Authors, artists, and bloggers
The cool thing about SEO Like I'm 5 is that it offers more than just text. It comes with hundreds of screenshots and step-by-step instructions you can actually use while reading it.
Best Tools for SEO
There are two components to effective SEO: creating targeted and quality content, and deploying on-page and off-page SEO. There are many great tools to help us with these two components.
1. Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is the King of all keyword research tools, Powered by its gigantic database of keywords, it has the most complete and accurate data among all tools.
A free Google AdWords account is needed to use this tool.
SEMrush is a competitive intelligence suite for SEO, Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC), social media, and video advertising research.
SEMRush has three major features:
Analytics Report. Get insights into your competitors’ strategies in display advertising, organic and paid search, and link building.
Tools. Combine and visualize SEMrush data to compare competitive domains and estimate keyword difficulty with a few clicks.
Projects. Launch global campaigns for your website and get all the necessary metrics regarding its competitors, keyword rankings, and on-page health from one place.
Cost: Pro for $69.95/mo, Guru for $149.95/mo, Business for $549.95/mo. Click here for the latest pricing.
3. Bing Ads Intelligence
This is a very solid keyword research tool from Microsoft Bing Ads, especially if you want to target Bing and Yahoo! search engines. It's a downloadable application with an interface similar to Microsoft Office Excel interface.
Wordtracker has keywords from Google, Amazon, and YouTube. It is a great tool if you want to create content for all three channels. Its KEI is very useful at finding keywords with low competition.
Cost: Bronze: $27/mo, Silver: $69/mo, Gold: $99/mo; free 7-day trail available. Click here for latest pricing.
Best Free Training for SEO
If you want to pay for books, there are also many free training resources on the internet. Here are some of the best:
Google's Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide
There is probably no better way to learn about SEO than from the company that invented SEO - Google. This short but highly useful 32-page guide by Google has 6 modules:
SEO Basics: How to create page titles and description meta tags.
Improving Site Structure: How to improve URL structures and make your site easy to navigate.
Optimizing Content: How to offer quality content, writer better anchor text, optimize images, and use heading tags effectively.
Dealing with Crawlers: How to use robots.txt and rel="nofollow" for links.
SEO for Mobile Phones: How to notify Google of mobile sites and guide mobile users
Promotions and Analysis: How to promote your site properly and utilize free webmaster tools.
Search Engine Land’s Guide To SEO
Search Engine Land is one of the most authoratative websites about SEO. Its comprehensive SEO guide has 9 chapters:
Chapter 1: Types Of Search Engine Success Factors
Chapter 2: Content & Search Engine Success Factors
Chapter 3: Site Architecture & Search Engine Success Factors
Chapter 4: HTML Code & Search Engine Success Factors
Chapter 5: Trust, Authority, Identity & Search Rankings
Chapter 6: Link Building & Ranking In Search Engines
Chapter 7: Personalization & Search Engine Rankings
Chapter 8: Social Media & Ranking In Search Results
Chapter 9: Violations & Search Engine Spam Penalties
SEOBook's Online Training Course
Aaron Wall is one of the leading SEO experts. His website, SEOBook, has helped millions of webmasters with their SEO since 2003.
This online training course has 100+ training modules that cover all aspectsof SEO. The main modules include:
Why Search is so Powerful. Introduction article explains why search is unlike any other type of marketing.
Writing for Search Engines. Includes information about keyword research, on page optimization, user interaction with search results, site architecture, and robots control.
Off Site SEO. Includes many modules about link building, web directories, social interaction, blogging, and viral marketing.
User Engagement Metrics. Includes information about how search engines may evaluate user engagement metrics and fold those into their relevancy algorithms.
Search Engines. Compares and contrasts how to optimize for engines like Google and Microsoft's Bing. Also discusses search engine submission, the history of search, and vertical search.
Buying and selling SEO services. Tips to help make the transaction go as smooth as possible either way.
Moz's The Beginners Guide To SEO
This is an in-depth tutorial on how search engines work. This guide covers the fundamental strategies that make your websites search engine–friendly.
There are 10 chapters in this guide:
Chapter 1: How Search Engines Operate
Chapter 2: How People Interact With Search Engines
Chapter 3: Why Search Engine Marketing is Necessary
Chapter 4: The Basics of Search Engine Friendly Design & Development
Chapter 5:Keyword Research
Chapter 6: How Usability, Experience, & Content Afffect Rankings
Chapter 7: Growing Popularity and Links
Chapter 8: Search Engine Tools and Services
Chapter 9: Myths & Misconceptions About Search Engines
Chapter 10: Measuring and Tracking Success
Best Paid Training for SEO
These are the best paid training courses on SEO in the market:
Best Blogs on SEO
If you want the latest scoop about SEO, here are the industry's best SEO blogs: