Apart from a user-friendly website, and a fully functional e-commerce platform, entrepreneurs need to master the science and the art of getting Page 1 ranks for targeted keywords on Google and other search engines to achieve the best possible online visibility for generating traffic to the website and clocking up conversions. However, not only is the search engine environment extremely dynamic making it difficult to stay abreast of constantly changing but also it can be difficult to make head or tail of the often contradictory, outdated, and incorrect information regarding the implementation of a sound SEO strategy.
However, the good news is that there are lots of training materials available, and that too completely free of charge that can transform a hesitant newbie online entrepreneur into a confident marketer well clued up on the nuances of SEO. Some practical tips on how you can come up to speed and become an SEO master without spending any money:
Technical SEO refers to all the actions that can be taken at the level of the website as well as at the level of the server, but generally excludes link building and content optimization. It covers all the requirements of search engines to permit them to improve their crawling and content indexing abilities. Technical SEO is considered a vital element of search engine optimization due to the dynamic nature of search engine algorithms that are undergoing constant refinement in order to deliver better and more useful information to users. By ensuring that your technical SEO is as refined as possible, you can provide the best possible environment for your links and content to shine in searches.
Some of the courses that can improve your proficiency in technical SEO include:
- Advanced SEO: Developing an SEO-Friendly Website: Available at Lynda.com, the course covers a comprehensive range of factors governing technical SEO, including indexing, web crawling, data structures, page rendering, website architecture, and content optimization, among others.
- Advanced Search Engine Optimization Strategies: Offered by Coursera, this course complements the previous one by providing additional insights into aspects like page speed, data analysis, and key metrics.
Instead of undergoing a structured SEO course, if you would rather read a guide, the Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide published by Google can be very useful. Originally, internal documentation, the 32-page book now available as a webmaster resource covers the best practices for on-site optimization, according to a Walnut Solutions SEO consultant. According to https://www.inc.com, the guide explains the various rules dictated by Google, violating which, would drive down the page ranking.
SEO for WordPress Sites
With more than one-third of all sites built on WordPress, it is quite likely that your website too would perhaps be built on WordPress, so it can be very useful for you to know some of the best practices for optimizing it for SEO. Not only will you be able to put the knowledge to use the next time your SEO plug-in fails but also you will have a better understanding of content marketing, and be able to appreciate why good-quality content is a vital factor for organic traffic generation. Some of the free course, you can consider:
- The Strategy of Content Marketing: Offered by Coursera, this course imparts an understanding to students of how to formulate and implement an effective content marketing strategy. Developed as a partnership between UC Davis and Copyblogger, the course teaches the process of analyzing and measuring the impact of a content marketing campaign.
- HubSpot Content Marketing Certification: The course imparts knowledge regarding the implementation of scalable processes for content marketing program creation and promotion for generating traffic and converting leads.
There are a couple of guides that can prove very handy for people who wish to supplement their coursework or just develop a better understanding of the subject. “What Works in Content Marketing” is a free e-book published by Search Engine Journal. The book also offers a number of tools and case studies for achieving success in content marketing. Udemy has also brought out “Content Marketing 101: A Free Guide for Beginners or Pros”, which also includes videos and other downloadable resources. The guide provides excellent quality information on the fundamentals of content marketing and strategies aimed to boost organic traffic and revenues.
It is well known that page speed has a great impact on both traffic generation and the number of conversions. Google has gone on record saying that while it takes 22 seconds on an average to fully load a landing page on a mobile, nothing less than 53% of the visitors abandon a page if it takes more than three seconds to display. The quality of user experience of the site revolves around the loading speed, among other factors. This is the reason why Google considers page loading speed as a ranking factor. Google has two highly-recommended courses for people looking to understand how to optimize websites for speed.
- Website Performance Optimization by Google: Delivered by Udemy, it teaches students the basics of optimizing websites for speed by exploring how browsers for desktops and mobiles render the pages.
- Browser Rendering Optimization by Google: Offered by Udacity, the course is aimed at building proficiency in developing web applications that react fast and render smoothly.
Students can also read a handy freeCodeCamp guide, A Beginner’s Guide to Website Optimization to bone up their knowledge on the fundamentals of optimization of page loading speed and how to improve the speed score of a website. Another good resource, A Curated List of Web Performance Optimization Materials comes from GitHub. It has lots of links to useful articles and blogs as well as information on documents, books, talk shows, events, etc. related to the optimization of website performance.
Owners of small businesses and startups have to deal with several hard realities. Not only do they have to multitask because it is not possible for them to have dedicated human resources to look after each aspect of the business but also the budget is always stretched thin. Since it is only by the power of digital marketing that they can hope to compete with other players, they need to excel in driving organic traffic to the website too with practical SEO techniques. They can arm themselves with the necessary knowledge about important SEO aspects by undertaking the free courses and by accessing the free guides.