I’m the first to admit I don’t know a ton about SEO – it hasn’t been where I’ve focused for the past several years. Reaching out into the world of freelancing, I’ve had some potential clients contact me about SEO work and accordingly, I’ve done quite a bit of research. The SEO ocean is wide and deep, but I’ve found some helpful resources in the waters and here they are for you.

If you’re unsure what SEO is, that I can tell you: it stands for search engine optimization. Which basically means Google optimization. Google’s gotten very very good at knowing what people want when they’re performing a search – how many times do YOU go past your first page of search results? There you go; neither does anybody else. So at it’s core, SEO is about making Google like your website enough to rank it highly for specific keywords, when people search for them. Ta-da! Now you’ve learned something, and you’re about to learn even more.

1. SEOmoz and their beginner’s guide: The awesome people at SEOmoz have put together a fantastic beginner’s guide to SEO which takes you all the way from “this is how internet works” to measuring metrics and using analytics to help your SEO efforts. It’s lengthy, but totally worth a read.

2. MarketingProfs: Give Me Ten Minutes and I’ll Make You An SEO Expert: The title is a clever lie but this post is a quick and dirty on the main components of what makes up SEO and what you need to be looking for when creating content.

3. Forbes: Strong SEO For Online Retailers and a primer on Social SEO (which is apparently the hottest new craze): Forbes is one of my favorite online resources for business and tech news, and I found these articles extremely digestible. Even the post about online retailers is worth a read even if you’re not one – it definitely has helpful advice for all of us.

What have I picked up from the above?

  • Create keyword rich content geared towards pleasing your audience; what pleases your audience will please Google.
  • Try to create extremely shareable content that will generate links back to your site.
  • The quality of your backlinks matters; don’t pay $10 on Elance or oDesk for 500 links back to your site. They will suck and then so will your ranking. (And in this moment it finally clicked why so many new business owners like to do blog tours, where they have a whole host of guest posts on other sites. Light bulb moment.)
  • Be active on social media – especially Google+.
  • Use Google Authorship for your posts and articles.
  • It takes time; SEO is something you’ll have to work on consistently and you will not see results on right away.

Any further tips and advice for someone just diving into SEO-land?