Learn SEO

A Comprehensive Guide to Start Learning SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a form of organic search marketing. Digital Marketers use their knowledge of SEO to create written content that performs well in search engine rankings and drives traffic to websites.

Discover the techniques and strategies of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that can boost a website's ranking and bring in organic traffic. Learn how SEO can be a crucial part of various careers, from Web Optimization/SEO Specialist to Digital Marketing roles.

Key Insights

  • SEO involves optimizing website pages to rank higher on search engines, utilizing strategies such as high-quality content creation, link building, and keyword research.
  • There are three main ways SEO determines search engine success: technical SEO (site structure, loading speed, etc.), on-page SEO (content quality, keywords, etc.), and off-page SEO (link building, social media engagement, etc.).
  • Careers that commonly use SEO include Web Optimization/SEO Specialist, Digital Marketer, and Digital Strategist.
  • Salaries for these roles can vary, with SEO Specialists earning an average yearly salary of around $53,000, Digital Marketers making about $60,000, and Search Managers earning around $87,000 annually.
  • Learning SEO can enhance your brand's online reputation and credibility, increase website traffic, and potentially boost sales.
  • Noble Desktop offers a variety of SEO classes and bootcamps, available in-person or online, offering targeted instruction for beginners and advanced learners.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing your pages and website to rank higher on search engines. SEO strategies and techniques can boost a website's ranking and bring in organic traffic. If you’ve always wanted to learn SEO but can’t figure out how to get started, this guide is for you. Here, you’ll learn more about the various ways to learn SEO, free resources to take advantage of, and the types of careers that commonly use SEO.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a way to drive more traffic to your website and gain more customers. It depends upon content, technical website optimization, link building, and keyword research to ensure that your website appears near the top of a Google results page. A BrightEdge survey conducted in 2019 found that SEO is 1000% more effective at driving website traffic than organic methods like social media posts. Professionals who work with SEO are often called Website Optimization Specialists.

The primary goal of SEO is to build trust between your business and your users. You can do this through high-quality content, ensuring your website loads quickly in desktop and mobile versions, and optimizing your site for voice search. Another way to improve your rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs) is to create a “Google My Business” listing.

Read more about what SEO is and why you should learn it.

What Can You Do with SEO?

SEO is used to determine search engine success in three crucial ways: technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO.

Technical SEO looks at a website's technical features and how they affect search engine rankings. These include the site structure, schema, and URL. The site needs to be easy to navigate with a clearly understood organization. Other aspects of technical SEO are website loading speed, mobile friendliness, voice optimization, and the XML sitemap.

The primary goal of on-page optimization is meeting the intent of the searcher/user with high-quality content. On-page content is essential and refers to everything that appears on a website, including text, keywords, images, tags, and internal links. Researching and choosing the best SEO keywords shows that the website has authority and is trustworthy.

Off-page SEO involves building links and strengthening social media engagement. Backlinks and social media help build authority and trust with search engines. Link building refers to finding reputable and relevant websites to link to your website or content. The more references to your content on other reliable sites, the better. Additionally, building out social media presence across various channels will further establish your internet presence and boost your SEO. You can use different analytical tools to track SEO and conversion rates.

Careers that Use SEO

Search engine optimization is an integral part of digital marketing and online advertising, and knowledge of how it works and how to improve it can work in your favor when looking for a job.

SEO can help any business with an online presence enhance its virtual reach. No matter the industry, SEO drives traffic to websites and increases sales. There are plenty of careers across the country for those with a background in SEO.

As a Web Optimization/SEO Specialist, you can find several options depending on your unique interests. SEO Specialists in small firms often perform more tasks than those in larger companies. An entry-level Web Optimization/SEO Specialist might be responsible for following how content is performing on various channels or keeping an eye on web analytics. They interpret the data, report it to the marketing team, and have input into the decisions made about changing strategies and setting goals.

According to Indeed, SEO Specialists in the U.S. earn an average yearly salary of around $53,000, though that number may change depending on location. As you gain experience over the years, you can become a Senior Web Optimization Specialist, or you may choose to move into a managerial or leadership position. Some people with significant experience in SEO start their own consulting firms and contract their services out to companies that don’t have their own Web Optimization/SEO Specialists.

Digital Marketing is another industry that relies on search engine optimization. Digital Marketers typically make about $60,000 across the United States. They use SEO and data analytics to review their online marketing campaign results and guide future projects. Digital Strategists make around $61,000 annually. These professionals focus on digital strategy for websites, social media, and digital marketing. Digital Strategists find places where companies can improve and work to make that happen.

Those with more experience managing teams and working in the digital marketing sector can find work as Search Managers, bringing home around $87,000 annually. A search manager knows how search engines work and how to use them to get results. These digital professionals will generally manage both organic (SEO) and paid search projects.

Why Learn SEO?

If you are an entrepreneur or own a small business, learning SEO can be the difference between success and failure. Optimizing your website will rank it higher on Google and other search engines, which will help your target audience find your content and lead to sales. Another reason to learn SEO is to control how your brand is viewed online. When your business appears higher in search results, that adds to your brand’s reputation and credibility. If your content appears near the top of the page, other businesses will link to your blog posts and increase the number of visitors to your site.

Becoming a Website Optimization/SEO Specialist is also a great career move. All businesses with an online presence need SEO to enhance their virtual reach, even in industries you might not expect, like healthcare, construction, or education. There are plenty of careers across the country for those with a background in SEO. In the United States, Web Optimization Specialists earn an average yearly salary of about $64,000—though that number will differ depending on location. The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics doesn’t list Web Optimization Specialists separate from Marketing Analysts. Still, that field is expected to grow by 22% in the next ten years, which is a much higher level of growth than other fields.

Read more about why you should learn SEO.

How to Learn SEO

How you choose to learn SEO is up to you. You can watch free video tutorials like Noble Desktop’s Pillars of Digital Marketing to get an introduction to SEO and other topics. After that, the best plan is to sign up for a class. You can take live in-person SEO classes or choose online instruction. Some people prefer to attend brick-and-mortar sessions when learning new information, but that isn’t always available. Online SEO classes have a similar set-up to in-person classes with a real-time, remote instructor who can answer questions and take control of your monitor—with permission—to answer questions and demonstrate techniques. You can sign up for part or full-time classes on weekdays, weeknights, or weekends.

Some companies offer asynchronous SEO classes that you can take according to your own schedule. You can watch the videos from work or home and move at your own pace. Udemy offers self–paced classes on SEO, as does Skillshare. One advantage to asynchronous video classes is that you can go back and watch the material as often as you need to if you are having trouble with a concept.

If an entire class feels like too much right now, you can attend free online seminars like Noble Desktop’s Dominate Local Search with Google My Business or free SEO seminars on Hubspot Academy, SEMRush’s Learn SEO, and Udemy’s free SEO Training Course by Moz. These free seminars will give you an idea of what SEO is about and whether you want to explore it further.

Read the full guide on how to learn SEO.

Free Introductory SEO Courses Online

If you are not quite ready to commit the time and funds to a bootcamp or certificate course, there are numerous free tutorials and online courses available. These tend to be overviews and introductions to SEO, but there is enough information to help you decide if you want to go further.

You can learn SEO online for free. Here is a list of possibilities:

  • SEO for Beginners from Yoast
  • SEO Training Course by Moz through Udemy
  • Free SEO Course from ClickMinded
  • Building Sustainable Traffic for Business Growth at Hubspot
  • On-Page and Technical SEO Course from SEMRush
  • Search Engine Optimization Specialization by Coursera
  • Free SEO 6-part video series from Moz

The Pillars of Digital Marketing on the Noble Desktop YouTube channel is about different types of digital marketing and strategies. Dominate Local Search with Google My Business covers what GMB is, how to set up a profile, and where to get help if you need it.

Some other free tutorials include Coursera’s Strategy of Content Marketing program, which covers how to plan, organize, and implement a successful content marketing campaign. Fundamentals of Digital Marketing by Google is a free class, including practical exercises in SEO and digital marketing. Finally, HubSpot Academy has an SEO Training Course that covers how to improve website performance, along with link building and keyword research.

Read about more free SEO videos and online tutorials.

Level of Difficulty, Prerequisites, & Cost

SEO is not necessarily hard to learn, but it does take time, effort, and persistence. If you are just starting out and know nothing about how search engines work, you can expect to feel a bit overwhelmed at the beginning. However, it is important to keep trying. This is where classes can be a real sanity saver.

Some skills pave the way for a successful SEO career. Logical reasoning, curiosity, a love of learning, and perseverance are personality traits that can make learning SEO easier. Some technical skills that will help you get a job in SEO are knowing how to do website audits, keyword research, and data analytics.

Beyond the cost of a class, learning digital marketing is not very expensive. Some of the most widely used tools, like Google Analytics, are free, and others like Moz have a free version to get you started. SEMRush is another useful digital marketing tool, and while it can be expensive, you get a seven-day free trial to try it out first.

Read about how difficult it is to learn SEO.

How Does Learning SEO Compare to Other Fields?

One comparable subject to SEO would be Google Analytics. Like SEO, Google Analytics involves working with computers and understanding how to collect data and what you can do with it. Website Optimization Specialists also need to learn how to use data analytics tools and interpret the data they collect. Most people find that learning Google Analytics is more challenging than SEO, so it could be wise to learn SEO basics before moving on.

Web development is another field that is comparable to SEO. Web Developers work with the code that builds websites and need to learn multiple coding languages depending on their specialty. Web Developers need to understand the best way to put websites together, which also affects SEO. Some people move from SEO into web development, and the two fields are equally complex, with front end development being somewhat less challenging than back end.

How to Decide the Best Way to Learn SEO

What is the best way to learn SEO? That is up to you to decide. You can take an in-person class or study through a live online program. You can choose courses that meet during the week, on the weekends, or in the evenings. And you can select the level where you feel comfortable starting.

If you are just getting started with SEO, you might be more interested in a general overview of the key features of SEO, such as what it is, how you do it, and what tools you need. Many free introductory seminars, like Website Fundamentals & Conversion Optimization from Noble Desktop, offer this high-level survey for SEO beginners.

Once you understand the fundamentals of SEO, you might want to learn more about how to drive traffic to your website or help a friend with a small-business marketing project. You can sign up for a bootcamp course that covers SEO in-depth, like one of Noble Desktop’s SEO bootcamps. These programs deliver targeted instruction on a specialized subject such as Google Analytics, web optimization, or SEO.

Learn SEO with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

If you want to change careers and become a Web Optimization/SEO Specialist, you can sign up for Noble Desktop’s SEO Bootcamp. This two-part class will teach you beginning and advanced SEO strategies to get your website to the top of the page. In the first class, SEO Level 1, you’ll learn how search engines work, how to do keyword research and competitor analysis, and how to use SEO-driven content to increase web traffic. SEO Level 2 covers how to do SEO audits and gives you hands-on experience with an expert instructor.

You can also sign up for a Google Analytics Bootcamp to learn how to set up an account, know which metrics to track, and understand the Google Analytics reports. You can also learn about paid advertising with Google Ads Bootcamp.

Another way to prepare for a career as a Web Optimizations/SEO Specialist is a digital marketing certificate course. Noble’s Digital Marketing Certificate includes the digital marketing, SEO, and Google Analytics bootcamps, plus Google Ads and classes on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter marketing, as well as content marketing with blogs.

Use Noble Desktop’s Classes Near Me to find other courses in digital marketing in your area.

Digital Marketing Certificate: Live & Hands-on, In NYC or Online, 0% Financing, 1-on-1 Mentoring, Free Retake, Job Prep. Named a Top Bootcamp by Forbes, Fortune, & Time Out. Noble Desktop. Learn More.

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