You can learn how to do Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, for completely free. All you need are strong resources written or created by SEO experts.
We’ve compiled a list of 50 of the best SEO blogs, courses, videos, podcasts, conferences and tools to get you started.
50 FREE Ways to Learn SEO (Updated for 2019)
- The Best SEO Guides and News Sites
- The Best SEO Blogs
- The Best Free Tools for Learning SEO
- The Best Videos for Learning about SEO
- The Best Places To Learn SEO in Person
- Social Media Accounts to Follow to Learn About SEO
- Free SEO Courses with Certification
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The Best SEO Guides and News Sites
What better place to start than Google’s very own starter guide to SEO? While search engines and SEOs tend to have different goals in mind, there’s no doubt that it’s worth listening to what Google has to say about making websites rank.
Moz creates useful tools for both web marketers and SEOs. It’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO is one of the most authoritative pieces on content on the subject and a must-read for newbies, and recently refreshed in March 2019.
3. Google (Search)
New resources are being created all the time and the best way to find them is via a search engine like Google. SEOs tend to focus almost exclusively on Google as the market leader, but don’t forget about Bing and other competitors.
Designed as a companion piece to the periodic table of search factors, Search Engine Land’s SEO Guide is a nine-step tutorial.
This SEO guide explains how you can use the SERPStat tool to improve your website’s SEO.
Looking for SEO tools? Check out this podcast for our top tools of 2022
Had enough of SEO guides? WordStream brings something slightly different to the table by approaching SEO from a PPC (Pay Per Click) perspective.
At Search Engine Roundtable, some of the biggest names in SEO report on the latest updates and trends in the world of search.
Search Engine Journal is a community-based alternative to Search Engine Roundtable, with comprehensive reports on the latest Google updates and marketing trends.
Search Engine Land is one final SEO news site to add to your bookmarks. It’s worth reading all three and sticking with your personal favourite!
The 10 Very Best SEO Blogs
10. Backlinko (Brian Dean)
Described (by his friends) as “a unicorn among a sea of donkeys”, Brian Dean is a superstar in the SEO world. Anyone wanting to learn more about SEO should read his blog on the Skyscraper technique — a method of building backlinks — at an absolute minimum. While you’re on Backlinko, check out its SEO Guide. This guide has two distinguishing features:
- It’s super up to date with best practices from 2022
- It’s focused on helping you learn as quickly as possible
11. Watch Alexis Sander’s Class: “Developing Search Strategies”
This class, which is hosted on Skillshare, teaches students how to create and implement organic search strategies. You can get this class for free by signing up for a month’s free trial with Skillshare
12. Quick Sprout (Neil Patel)
Another famous figure from the world of search, Neil Patel is someone you can’t go far in SEO without hearing of. His free keyword research tool, Ubersuggest, is a good, quick alternative to some of the more complex (and paid) tools out there.
This advanced guide SEO touches on some points not included in other guides, such as search verticals.
14. Yoast SEO Blog
This blog is brought to you by Yoast, the people behind the ubiquitous SEO plugin for WordPress sites. To this day, I recommend that new SEOs read the Yoast blogs on page titles and meta descriptions — which are key to ranking successfully on Google and securing organic traffic.
Among other innovations, Copyblogger founder Brian Clark coined the term “cornerstone content” in blogging and search marketing. This is the first resource on the list to consider SEO from a copywriting point of view and the site includes some excellent introductions to copywriting.
ProBlogger includes tips and tricks for blogging. There’s a good chance that the majority of your SEO campaigns will involve a blog or two at some stage, so there’s no excuse for neglecting this fundamental aspect of the craft.
We finally get to the good stuff! Exposure Ninja’s very own blog is where you’ll find gems like this very list! We also have plenty of insights into how big businesses became successful through digital marketing, how to increase traffic to your website, how to get started with Google Analytics 4…the list goes on. We add to the blog at least once a week with fresh new content.
Exposure Ninja’s founder Tim Cameron-Kitchen goes in-depth about marketing strategies, industry trends, and top tips for getting the most from your digital marketing.
What’s the difference between a knowledge base and a blog? That’s the kind of question you wouldn’t have to ask if you’d already read our knowledge base, which is a veritable treasure trove of SEO riches.
It’s absolutely my favourite non-Exposure Ninja blog of the moment, with the blogging team at Ahrefs bringing A-grade content to life in this beautiful blog.
The Best Free Tools for Learning SEO
There’s no substitute for getting out there and trying to do some SEO for yourself, and you can’t really do SEO without your own website. WordPress allows you to quickly build your own website and start messing around with some of the techniques you’ve learned so far. Many of our best Ninjas were hired on the strength of their WordPress websites, so don’t be afraid to dive in.
22. Google Analytics
Once you’ve got yourself a website, it’s time to dive into the data using Google Analytics. Google Analytics is arguably the best tool web marketers have for measuring the success of their campaigns. Use Google Analytics to review your traffic sources, dive into your user demographic information and more. You can then use this valuable data to improve your website’s performance.
As per the Google site, “Google Search Console helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site’s presence in Google Search results.” Everybody who wants to learn SEO should take a look at a Google Search Console account and understand how to submit pages to Google and review any warnings at a minimum.
24. Google Skillshop
Feeling intimidated by Google Analytics? You’d have to be superhuman not be! But fear not — Google Skillshop provides an extensive online course that explains how you can make the best use of this powerful tool. You’ll even earn a qualification once you complete all the modules!
Do you ever wish you could get access to a real-life marketing campaign and budget just to see how you would do? Well actually, you can! Google’s Online Marketing Challenge pairs students of online marketing with charities in need of online marketing help. The idea is that the students get a chance to learn their trade, while the charities benefit from some marketing. Even better, Google will gift you $10,000 in ad spend to get the campaign rolling.
Majestic is a powerful backlink profiler that gives free users a limited number of tries per day. At Exposure Ninja, our SEOs use Majestic on a daily basis to research our competitors’ backlink profiles and build our own outreach plans.
27. Yoast SEO
Yoast is a WordPress plugin designed to make SEO easy for WordPress websites. While dedicated SEO students will quickly outgrow Yoast’s recommendations, the tool does help people start to think about SEO.
The Best Videos for Learning about SEO
It surprises me that more people don’t rave about the Google Search Central YouTube channel. These completely free videos, which include some of the most technical SEO videos I’ve ever seen, are recorded by Google’s very own webmaster team.
We’ve added ourselves in here for good reason. Six of our ten most popular videos are about SEO. We share at least one new video a week about all things marketing and, more often than not, our videos always include an SEO element. We upload every Monday – don’t forget to subscribe and turn on notifications so you don’t miss a video.
Run by Luc Durand, Ranking Academy shares weekly videos on all things SEO, with a focus on small businesses.
This new video series from technical SEO mastermind Aleyda Solis is well worth checking out! Aleyda’s channel combines instructional deep dives into technical SEO with interviews with SEO professionals.
Income School is a YouTube channel run by Ricky Kesler and his team. Their goal is to teach SEO, along with internet marketing, blogging and Youtube. Many of Income School’s top videos focus on SEO, with some videos lasting up to an hour.
Whiteboard Friday is the 800-pound gorilla of SEO videos. While founder Rand Fishkin has since moved onto pastures new, the Moz team still creates or sources a fifteen-minute video every week. The videos range from beginner friendly to deceptively advanced.
Get to the top of Google for free
The Best Places To Learn SEO in Person
34. BrightonSEO (FREE tickets!)
“Free” and “conference” don’t normally go together, but BrightonSEO dishes out thousands of free tickets via ballot every six months. The conference, which is held twice a year in Brighton (England), is quite possibly one of the world’s largest SEO conferences, boasting 4,000+ attendees and some of the industry’s most innovative speakers.
There are 100s of groups dedicated to SEO on MeetUp, a social networking platform designed to facilitate face-to-face meetings. If you live in a major city, there’s a reasonable chance there’s already one near you. And if not? Why not be the person to start one!
Social Media Accounts to Follow to Learn About SEO
36. Quora SEO
Over 94,000 SEO questions have been submitted to Quora — that’s a mind-janglingly large data dump. If you add the related topics, including SEO Tools, Search Engines and Web Marketing, then chances are that any SEO question you have has probably already been asked somewhere on this enormous forum.
37. Reddit SEO
With 90,000 subscribers, the SEO community on Reddit actively discusses all things search, from algorithm updates to the fine line between white and black-hat practices.
John Mueller is Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst and a key spokesperson for Google on SEO matters. He’s worth following on Twitter and via Google Webmaster Hangouts.
Rand may no longer work for Moz, but his insightful analysis of SEO trends is still worth paying attention to as part of a tightly curated SEO feed.
Brian Dean doesn’t upload to YouTube as often as he used to, but on his channel are a huge amount of informative videos about SEO. If you enjoyed the Backlinko blog, you’ll love these videos.
41. Follow Buzzsumo on Twitter
Buzzsumo is a piece of software that analyses content performance, especially across social media. Their Twitter shares insights into every aspect of marketing.
42. Follow Screaming Frog on Twitter
Screaming Frog enables you to see key SEO stats for each page on your website. They keep their Twitter updated with SEO news, and updates to their software.
Exposure Ninja’s free marketing reviews help website owners understand any underlying issues with their website. Each website review is unique and created by a living, breathing marketing professional, which is probably why we’re averaging five-stars on Facebook reviews for this service!
Got your eyes on a big SEO conference but can’t convince your boss to buy you a ticket? Many SEO speakers upload their slides to Slideshare after a speaking event, making it yet another key resource for learning about SEO.
SparkToro crawls the major social media platforms so that you don’t have to. For the hottest news, head straight to its trending page, which curates the top search marketing stories from across the web into one easy feed.
Free SEO Courses with Certification
46. Semrush Academy
Semrush Academy is one of the best courses available. One course we love is the SEO Fundamentals course with Greg Gifford. Create a free Semrush account to get started.
47. HubSpot Academy
HubSpot Academy contains a more content-oriented set of courses, including videos on inbound marketing, email marketing and even Instagram marketing. While I love and appreciate the content that the HubSpot team has put together, I do recommend you watch this content at 1.5x speed — you’ll see what I mean after your first module!
48. Udemy SEO
One of the kings of online courses, Udemy has a substantial library of free SEO courses. To find them, head on over to the Udemy site and filter by price (selecting free)!
Codecademy isn’t necessarily an SEO-focused website, but there’s not a week that goes by where I don’t use some (extremely basic) HTML or CSS that I picked up from one of its free courses. Highly recommended.
50. Coursera SEO
Amazingly, Coursera still offers courses from top universities for free, including “Introduction to Search Engine Optimization” from the University of California, Davis.
There are so many great places where you can learn how to do SEO for yourself, including many which didn’t make this list.
Start teaching yourself SEO today and you too will know how to increase organic traffic for your website or online business.
What to Read Next
Check out our guide on how to learn digital marketing skills
This article was originally published by Luke Nicholson, and updated by Jess Percival in 2022