What Are The Best Resources To Learn SEO?

Ad - Web Hosting from SiteGround - Crafted for easy site management. Click to learn more.

Written by Helen Pollitt –

This week’s Ask An SEO question comes from Nicolò, who asks:

“What are the best resources to learn SEO and who are the best people to follow online for good advice?”

This is a great question that goes to the heart of what a lot of people struggle with when learning SEO. There is a lot of information online.

There are a lot of SEO “experts.”

Often, there is a lot of contradictory advice.

So, how do you sort the truth from the fiction – the opinionated from the experienced?

People To Follow

The issue in the SEO industry is that we are often left in the dark. Google and the other search engines offer us morsels of information, and we run wild with speculation.

Unfortunately, this can then become “fact.”

The rumor spreads. Pretty soon, you’ll hear it discussed in agency pitches and incorporated into brand strategies, all without it being properly questioned.

Finding the truth amid all of this noise can be tricky. Essentially, you are asking me, “Who and what can I trust?”

Really, the answer is to find SEO pros to learn from who are constantly testing their own assumptions.

I’m not going to list names here. I don’t want to risk putting you off following an SEO on social media purely because I haven’t included them in my list.

There are a lot of highly accomplished SEO pros who I don’t know.

Instead, I’ll suggest some ways of identifying those people who are digging into SEO and drawing conclusions from data.

Conferences And Publications

Start by attending SEO conferences and taking note of the speakers who are bringing something new to the table.

These are the people who are conducting experiments or backing up their claims with their own case studies.

Similarly, look for authors writing in reputable SEO publications – like Search Engine Journal – read their work and follow those constantly looking to question conventional wisdom and prove or disprove it with data.

Conference organizers and publication owners perform a certain level of due diligence, which means you are a little bit safer following the people they have chosen to showcase than following strangers on the internet.

Follow Who They Follow

A good next step to expand your list is to look at who the people you identified above follow.

If the same names pop up on the social media profiles of these conference speakers and article writers, you can be reassured that they are bringing useful insight to the platform.

Try to identify who they are discussing SEO with on social media. Snoop on those conversations and see who your trusted list of people to follow are also having informed discourse with.

It’s okay, too, if the SEO professionals you follow do not necessarily agree with what’s being said by the other people, as long as those other people are bringing rational, data-backed opinions. Sometimes, we learn best through hearing both sides of an argument!

Ask For Recommendations

It’s also perfectly acceptable to ask for recommendations of who to follow online like this Reddit user did.

To avoid getting back the same small list of famous SEO professionals each time, consider reaching out to some of your “trusted” SEO pros from the list above and ask them who they would recommend for specific areas of SEO.

For example, are you looking to learn more about local SEO or ecommerce SEO?

Ask for recommendations of who they would turn to if they had a question in that field.

Be Part Of The Discussion

SEO is constantly evolving, and no single SEO expert has all the answers. We learn from each other and from discussing ideas and opinions.

It’s never too early in your career to take part in those discussions.

Join In The Conversation

Look for conversations that are happening on SEO topics and join in the discussions. For example, @MordyOberstein’s #SEOChat over on X or the Google Search Central Help Community 

Try some of the Reddit subreddits about SEO, like r/TechSEO and r/bigseo. There will be a lot of discussions (I mean arguments, really) that will give you some quick insight into what practicing SEO pros make of particular ideas or approaches.

You can simply read through questions and replies, or you can take part. Give your own thoughts and ask for critiques and opinions. Engaging in discourse and learning from others can help you to sharpen your knowledge.

Start A Conversation

Perhaps, if you’re feeling brave, you can start your own conversations in these forums.

There is always the risk that you might be met with answers by people who haven’t really practiced SEO that much. The great/awful thing about the internet, however, is there are always people waiting in the wings to argue and say an opinion isn’t valid!

Ask a specific question and crowd-source the answer. Wait for the arguments to be presented and countered, then use it as an opportunity to learn how to validate others’ SEO opinions.

Conferences And Meet-ups

As already mentioned above, seeing who is speaking at events can give you an idea of some reputable people to follow, but let’s explore that a bit more.

Learn Something New

Something I recommend to SEO pros, both experienced and new, is to attend SEO talks that don’t interest them. That might seem counterintuitive, but it can actually be extremely eye-opening.

The chances are that the aspects of SEO you find exciting are the ones you will actively seek to learn more about.

If you are interested in the technical side of SEO, you will likely look for talks on cutting-edge experiments, advances in load speed and rendering, or case studies about complicated migrations.

But you possibly already know a lot about that as you are already interested in it. Every once in a while, set out to attend the talk you are least interested in.

If you are a digital PR at heart, attend a tech talk or two. If you are an in-house SEO, attend a talk about client management.

By doing this, you have a high chance of learning something completely new that will enhance or complement your existing skill set. For example, the in-house SEO will be able to apply skills discussed in the agency talk to their own stakeholder management issues.

Some good conferences to start with include BrightonSEO (Brighton, UK, and San Diego), WTSFest (Philadelphia, London, Berlin), MnSearch Summit.

Read more: The Best SEO Conferences For 2024-2025

Look Outside Of SEO

A good way to expand your knowledge of SEO is to not just attend SEO conferences. Go to events where a more holistic digital marketing approach is spoken about.

Or, if you are feeling really inclined, go to one that discusses adjacent disciplines like PPC and email marketing. This way, you may well learn more about the context of SEO in the digital landscape and how to better implement it within a complicated marketing system.

There are several specialist conferences that cover marketing subjects like paid media, social media and content marketing available, including ADWorld Experience, Hero Conf, and Content Marketing World.

There are also large multi-discipline conferences that cover a wide range of digital marketing topics, including Moz Con, State of Search, INBOUND, and the Growth Marketing Summit.

Go To Panels

A conference talk is, by design, very one-sided (heckling aside!). The speaker presents the material how they want to and goes into as much depth as they feel appropriate.

Due to this, you don’t have any opportunity to hear other peoples’ views on the subject or even their challenges to the assertions made.

Panels, however, are more collaborative and discussion-focused. Many events that have traditional workshop or presentation formats will also have the occasional panel or fireside chat.

These are your opportunities to hear the views of multiple SEO pros, perhaps even disagreements on a subject.

Listening to more than one view of a topic will help you discern what you agree or disagree with and ultimately form your own opinion. It is a good way of preventing yourself from just agreeing with whoever you have heard speak on the subject most recently.

Participate In Webinar Q&As

Webinar question and answer sessions are another way to hear multiple SEO pros give their opinions on a topic. They will also allow you to ask your own questions to the participants.

For example, the Good Signals “SEO Office Hours” webinar hosted by Michael Chidzey and Jo Juliana Turnbull is a weekly webinar that allows viewers to submit their questions in advance or ask questions during the event itself.

Then, a panel of SEO practitioners will discuss their thoughts on the questions.

Similarly, if you want to hear directly from the horse’s mouth, you can participate in Google’s “SEO Office Hoursasking your questions directly to Googlers from the Search Quality team.

Read more: Top 17 SEO Podcasts For 2024

Communities

Many communities have been set up to help with learning SEO. Some are region – or demographic-specific to help with more nuanced questions or support those traditionally less supported in the industry.

These communities are designed to facilitate a safe space to ask questions and get answers from others in the industry.

This sort of networking isn’t just useful for increasing your practical knowledge of SEO, they can also help with job opportunities. There are a lot available but here is a selection:

Location-specific Meetups include:

Create Your Own

If there isn’t a community that serves your specific need, or you’d prefer something smaller, consider creating your own.

It could start off as regular meet-ups at local cafés where you get to know other SEO pros in your area.

Or perhaps, an online call once a month where you can just bring questions to each other.

Maybe you have met some other SEO pros you feel you could learn from. You might be able to invite them to participate in a Slack or WhatsApp group.

Create A Forum

Another way to create a community that uses existing infrastructure and is, therefore, much easier to create is through Reddit or other forums.

You could set up a “subreddit” for a particular aspect of SEO and share it on other SEO subreddits. That way, you can encourage a much wider range of people to participate without you needing to know and invite them all personally.

Resources

To finish, let’s return to the question I discerned at the beginning: “Who and what can I trust?” There are already a lot of resources online about SEO, some less helpful than others!

Newsletters

Other than online blogs like Search Engine Journal, there are newsletters that can round up breaking industry news and case studies.

For example, Aleyda Solis’s “SEOFOMO Newsletter” sends a weekly summary of interesting articles and webinars from the SEO industry.

Nikki Halliwell’s “Tech SEO Tips newsletter” offers news and tips designed to help solidify your tech SEO knowledge.

Tom Critchlow’s “SEO MBA” newsletter focuses on the career and management side of SEO.

Women in Tech SEO also has a newsletter for everyone in the industry to learn SEO from, summarising interesting articles that have been recently released.

Training Courses

There are a lot of SEO training courses out there, paid and free.

Some that have been highly recommended to me in the past are the Hubspot Academy, Semrush Academy, BrightLocal Academy, Blue Array Academy, and the BrightonSEO short courses.

Sometimes, though, you may want to go more in-depth into new areas of SEO. Perhaps you don’t really know where your skills gaps lie. For this, I would strongly recommend looking at Aleyda Solis’s LearningSEO.io.

It is a free and highly comprehensive roadmap of SEO concepts. It runs from beginner to advanced, with reliable free resources accompanying each.

Summary

There is a lot of information about SEO online. It’s an ever-evolving subject and that means more content will be produced on it all the time.

With that amount of information available, it can be overwhelming to know who or what to trust.

Use the suggestions and resources above to start to curate your own list of trustworthy material and people to learn from. That way, you can keep expanding your knowledge in a safe and helpful way.

More resources: 


Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal



Source link