How to Learn SEO (That Will Get You Hired)

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With so many SEO resources online it can be hard to figure out which ones to pick. We've narrowed down our list to 53 resources that help us stay at the top of our game. Best of all, they can help you learn SEO for free.

How can I learn SEO?

There are a ton of free (and paid) resources online to learn SEO! Here are 53 places/tools to learn SEO for free:

Follow SEO blogs/news outlets:

  1. https://searchengineland.com/
  2. https://www.searchenginejournal.com/
  3. https://neilpatel.com/blog/
  4. https://ahrefs.com/blog/
  5. https://www.semrush.com/blog/
  6. https://www.seroundtable.com/
  7. https://www.stateofdigital.com/articles/
  8. https://www.searchenginewatch.com/
  9. https://yoast.com/seo-blog/
  10. https://backlinko.com/hub/seo
  11. https://www.iqnection.com/blog/
  12. https://www.seobythesea.com/

Free online SEO lessons:

  1. https://neilpatel.com/training/
  2. YouTube: SEMrush
  3. YouTube: Ahrefs
  4. https://www.hubspot.com/resources/courses/seo
  5. https://moz.com/learn/seo
  6. https://yoast.com/academy/
  7. https://academy.hubspot.com
  8. https://learndigital.withgoogle.com/digitalgarage

SEO Podcasts:

  1. The Search Engine Journal Show
  2. Edge of the Web Radio
  3. Voice of Search
  4. The Business of Digital Podcast
  5. SEO is Dead
  6. Google’s Search Off the Record
  7. SEO 101
  8. SEO Podcast the Unknown Secrets of Internet Marketing
  9. Local SEO Tactics
  10. Search Talk Live

SEO Google Resources:

  1. https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35769?hl=en
  2. https://webmasters.googleblog.com/
  3. https://blog.google/products/search/
  4. https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451184

Free SEO Tools:

  1. Google PageSpeed Insights
  2. MozBar
  3. Moz Link Explorer
  4. Moz Backlink Checker
  5. Google Analytics
  6. Google Search Console
  7. Bing Webmaster Tools
  8. Ahref’s Backlink Checker
  9. Ahref’s Toolbar
  10. Google Trends
  11. org
  12. Google’s Schema Checker
  13. XML Sitemap Creator
  14. Chrome Extension: LinkMiner

SEOs to follow on Social:

  1. Rand Fishkin – Previously the CEO of Moz, Rand is an awesome resource to follow. @randfish
  2. Danny Sullivan – Founder and editor for Search Engine Land, a great industry resource. @dannysullivan
  3. Barry Schwartz - Barry is a writer for Search Engine Land. @rustybrick
  4. John Mu – As a Webmaster Trends Analyst for Google, John has great interviews and insights. @JohnMu
  5. Bill Slawski – Director of SEO Research at Go Fish Digital. @bill_slawski
  6. Neil Patel – A New York Times best-selling author, named a top 10 marketer by Forbes and a top 100 entrepeneurs under 30 by Obama. @neilpatel

Do I need a certification in SEO to get a job?

No!

Certificate programs are helpful because they cover a lot of basic SEO topics. Having taken a lot of them, I find them beneficial just to hear the information again and again. However, most people who work in SEO don’t have certifications in it. There is a TON of free information online about how to practice SEO. There are also some great paid resources:

  • Moz Academy
  • LinkedIn Learning (previously Lynda.com)
  • ClickMinded
  • SEO That Works

Certificates can be helpful if you are someone who needs structure to learn. Programs are, generally, lead by experts so you know the information is reliable. Certificate programs also are more focused on education rather then practical experience.

That being said a lot of experts, Neil Patel for example and other SEO News Outlets, are experts and have free information available. Most SEO certificates carry little to no weight in the industry. Experience is more important.

How do I get a job in SEO with no experience?

Like many jobs, SEO is the culmination of many skills. Review your current resume and compare to the lists below to find growth opportunities.

Here are five ways to build an SEO resume:

  1. Hand of employer scrolling in touchpad while looking through information about an applicant in electronic resumeStart writing! Write copy and publish it on a front-facing (free) platform like Medium or a blog.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the backend of your businesses website. Be curious! Look at where there are H tags, review the backlinks, research keywords. Compile your findings into a document and share it with your manager. If you're a local business investigate your Google My Business Account. You’ll boost your resume and look like a Rockstar.
  3. Learn about, and conduct, some User Experience research (UX). SEO is moving away from technical SEO and towards human-focused SEO. UX research is an awesome way to learn about how to navigate this new future. Learn about UX for free here OR take a course like this one from Udemy. [Pro tip: Udemy is ALWAYS having sales, this course included! Wait until a sale and snag this one, or one of the many SEO courses at a good price!)
  4. You’re more qualified then you think! Look for opportunities for project management and maintenance, client-interaction, reporting, and research. All of these are fundamental to SEO.
  5. Finally, stay on top of what’s happening in the industry. Learn to speak fluently about what’s happening in SEO and you’ll no about impress your prospective employee.

When in doubt, find a mentor! Network on LinkedIn to find people with SEO Specialist as a job title and reach out - most people want to help. Need somewhere to start? Feel free to send me your questions.

What skills would help me get a job in SEO?

When it doubt, look up Job Descriptions on Indeed or LinkedIn to see which skills are most important. Some companies need more help with content writing and backlink building over Technical SEO. Find out what your strengths are and how they compare to those listed.

Basic SEO Skills:

  • H tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • Alt Image Descriptions
  • Title Tags
  • Site Audits
  • Backlinking
  • Writing
  • Customer Service
  • Keyword Research
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Some coding skills

Top soft skills for SEO:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity
  • Customer Service
  • Communication Skills
  • Flexibility (I couldn’t think of a “c” word that was comparable!)

Other helpful skills/knowledge to have:

  • User Experience
  • Behavioral Economics/Psychology/Consumer Behavior
  • Excel
  • Marketing
  • Design Thinking

What programs should I know to get a job?

Some platforms include:

  • Moz
  • SEMrush
  • ScreamingFrog
  • Wordpress
  • Hubspot
  • SilverStripe
  • Drupal
  • Google Search Console
  • Google Analytics
  • Ahrefs

Do I need to know how to code for SEO?

Nope! Though it’s very helpful.

Cropped shot of a male computer programmer working late in the office on a new codeMany web platforms are WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) which makes it easy to make changes. If you’re an SEO of one, I’d recommend learning HTML, JavaScript or another type of coding. If you’re on a team with web developers or other techy-geniuses, like we have at IQnection, being able to read through and understand code is helpful but big changes are navigated by those who are better skilled.

Is your organization looking to hire an SEO? Share our "21 SEO Job Interview Questions [+5 Questions to Ask Check Culture Fit]" post with your hiring managers!