Free SEO Guides for Beginners

Search engine optimizations (SEO) is serious business. If you are a blogger or site owner, SEO is of critical importance to you. Why? At the most basic level SEO is what helps your blog crawl up the Google (or Bing or Yahoo) search results and appear in front of your target market. Even if you hire a consultant to do SEO work for you, understanding the basics of SEO is really important -- if you are an informed, educated client you will find your relationship with an SEO consultant that much more productive. A free SEO guide is a great way to get the basic knowledge that you need without being overloaded by technical detail.

Free SEO Guide - Our Five Favorites

In this post, I've rounded up our five favorite free SEO guides for beginners. Some of these guides are PDF downloads while others are interactive websites. All are great options for the beginner looking to learn more about search engine optimization.

1. SEO Moz's Beginners Guide to SEO.


2. Google SEO Starter Guide (link opens PDF)

free seo guide for beginners

3. WordTracker's SEO Made Simple (links opens PDF)

free seo guide for beginners

4. Kissmetric's Comprehensive SEO Guide for Beginners (a truly awesome blog post)

5. Copyblogger's SEO Copywriting Made Simple


Free SEO Guide - 3 Things to Look for

As you read these SEO guides pay attention to three important points that just about every one of these guides will draw your attention to.

  • Long-tail searching: What if you stopped trying to optimize for "italy tours" and started thinking more about "great tours of italy in the spring." Long-tail search fans believe that it's better to optimize for less used, but more specific words then to try and compete for general terms with thousands of sites vying for search ranking.
  • The keyword tag: Once upon a time (like, in the late 90's) you could stuff a keyword meta tag full of words and poof! appear high up on search engines. It's a useless tag and these guides explain why. The "value" of keyword stuffing is a HUGE misconception that many of our clients still have when they come to us.
  • Social power: It's becoming more and more important to be well-liked and highly-regarded on the internet. Search engines care about who links to you, who you link to and who influences your social circle on the web. This page on the SEO Moz guide covers this topic particularly well.