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How to Learn SEO: 7 Tips for Beginners

Learning SEO is a bit like trying to learn a new language. It can be challenging, especially for beginners. There’s a wide range of new terms and skills to know.

With the right approach, however, learning SEO becomes more manageable. Here are a few tips for learning SEO as a beginner.

1. Read SEO Blogs, Guides, and E-books

It might seem obvious, but this is the best place to start. There are countless online resources dedicated to learning SEO, from the basics to more advanced concepts.

Many SEO tool providers have courses that can teach you SEO basics. Here are a few:

Well-known publications like searchenginejournal.com and searchengineland.com can teach you about the latest best practices in SEO and digital marketing. And for the constant updates within the industry (and Google’s algorithm and SERPs), there’s seroundtable.com.

Suppose you’re slightly familiar with SEO and want to learn specific topics or disciplines. In that case, resources like learningseo.io by Aleyda Solis are great to visit. There, you’ll find a curated library of resources to learn all areas of SEO.

No matter how experienced you are, reading and education will always be a part of your SEO journey. SEO is a constantly evolving industry, and marketers need to update their processes to meet best practices.

2. Ask a Lot of Questions

Everyone was an SEO beginner at some point. Having questions is natural when learning new skills and concepts.

Don’t be afraid to ask your coworkers, manager, or colleagues when you have questions. Doing so is the fastest way to confirm what you’ve learned or correct your understanding of a concept.

Suppose you’re starting and don’t have colleagues to ask, turn to the internet. Plenty of SEO questions have already been answered in blogs, forums, and more. 

If you still don’t find what you need, you can turn to resources like Reddit. Subreddits like r/SEOr/bigseo, and r/TechSEO have several thousand members who can potentially answer your question (if the thread doesn’t already exist).

3. Start With SEO Basics

It can be easy to go down multiple rabbit holes when learning SEO. Advanced concepts like Core Web Vitals, crawl budget optimization, and hreflang can quickly complicate things.

It’s better to start with SEO basics before learning about more advanced topics. Doing so will help you build a robust and foundational understanding for becoming a more effective SEO.

Here’s what I recommend learning for SEO basics:

  1. At a basic level, how search engines work
  2. The importance of keywordsbacklinks, and content
  3. Additional ranking factors that affect organic visibility
  4. The basics of on-page SEO, including keyword research and basic HTML tags such as title tags, meta descriptions, and headings
  5. Effective ways to acquire backlinks for off-page SEO, both organically and with manual efforts (i.e., link building)
  6. At a basic level, how technical SEO works (e.g., web crawling, crawling and indexing, and more)
  7. How to measure the impact of SEO efforts (e.g., Google Analytics or Google Search Console)
  8. Apply what you’ve learned

4. Create Your Own Website

The last step of SEO basics, “Apply what you’ve learned,” can be difficult if you cannot optimize your company or client’s website. One way around this? Create your own website!

In addition to SEO basics, creating a website will help you understand more about the internet and amplify your skills. You’ll run into domain registration, DNS, web hosting, CMS, CDN, and other concepts.

Creating a website can be daunting to those unfamiliar with the process. Thankfully, many web hosting providers make it easy to get up and running with step-by-step instructions. 

For example, Siteground is the web host for AndrewBurd.com. They make it easy to create your website, install WordPress, secure your website, and start building your online presence.

Here are a few tech stack suggestions for a simple website or blog (like this one!):

5. Follow SEO Experts

SEO professionals, as a whole, have a strong presence on Twitter and other social media platforms. In my experience, Twitter is one of the best sources of SEO tips and news.

Experts frequently share their articles, tips, and case studies that help you level up your skills. With a complete list of Follows, you’ll also see retweets of news and updates from people and accounts you don’t already follow.

There’s no right or wrong answer to who you should follow. Some articles include suggestions of experts to follow, like this one from OnCrawl. But ultimately, the choice is yours.

Here are a few SEO professionals I follow:

Again, this is far from a complete list. There are so many excellent, talented SEOs that share great content daily.

For anyone in SEO, I also recommend following John Mueller, Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, and Barry Schwartz, SEO news extraordinaire and author of seroundtable.com.

6. Become Familiar With SEO Tools

A wide range of tools and software help SEOs with everything from keyword research, web crawling, on-page optimization, and more.

You don’t need to memorize every SEO tool out there, but knowing some of the bigger ones can help you navigate the marketplace. Choosing the right tool depends on your needs. Below are some options.

Keyword Research

Web Crawling

On-Page Optimization

Backlink analysis & Link Building

7. Review high-ranking websites  

Whether they’re your competitor, looking at websites that rank highly for competitive queries is helpful. It will help you think of ways to differentiate your product or service. You’ll likely come away with tactics and strategies to try on your website.

Here’s a simple process you can follow:

  1. Google a term you want to rank for (e.g., “SEO agency in Pennsylvania”).
  2. Click on some of the top-ranking web pages.
  3. Look at the page’s content. How do they have it organized? What topics/subtopics do they cover? What keywords do they mention? What kinds of resources do they link to?
  4. Review their backlink profiles if you have access to a tool like Ahrefs or Semrush. Do they have mentions in high-authority publications?
  5. Visit their blogs. Do they have articles that expand on the primary term, answer common questions, and link to the main page?
  6. Go back to the SERP. Are there other features (such as Featured Snippet, Map Pack, and People Also Ask) that these sites are leveraging?
  7. Go back to your own website. What are some updates you can make to your web page? Are there any topics you can cover on your blog? What are some other things you can emulate?

This competitive review process and applying insights to your website can significantly expedite the learning process. If you don’t have a website, simply reviewing the elements of a successful site is helpful too.


Learning SEO as a beginner is no walk in the park. Many terms, concepts, and techniques will likely be things you’ve never heard of.

However, learning SEO becomes less intimidating when you break it down into smaller pieces. If you’re a beginner and want to learn more about SEO, use these tips to help your journey.

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