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The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Handbook — 201+ Resources, Tips, Guides & Tools

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is evolving. And the good thing is… you no longer need a ton of backlinks to rank higher on search engines. In fact, all the Google algorithmic updates that happened over the past several years were to filter out low-quality websites.

For instance, there was an algorithmic update to penalize content farms and websites that were engaged in spamming. And there was another update to penalize web pages with slow loading speed or one with lot of ads.

Here is a comprehensive list of SEO resources that I have collected over the past several years. I have made sure that only the best resources that are comprehensive and simple to understand remain in this list. And to make it easier to consume I have organized all the resources into the following categories and sub-categories.

SEO (Click To Scroll)

SEO Basics: What You Need To Know

First things first. What is SEO?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines. — Search Engine Land

In other words, SEO is the process of improving the visibility of your website in search engine results pages (SERPs).

If you are totally new to SEO then it’s very important to know its basics. So, here are some of the key aspects of SEO that you need to know as a beginner.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Guides

SEO is changing changing rapidly and if you are a beginner then you probably don’t know where to start, what to follow, and what to ignore, right?

If so, the following resources will help you understand how search engines work and assist you in kick-starting your first SEO campaign from nowhere.

  1. What Is SEO And Why Should I Care?
  2. How Google Search Works
  3. Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide
  4. SEO: The Free Beginner’s Guide
  5. The Advanced Guide To SEO
  6. Google Webmaster & SEO Guidelines: Everything You Need To Know
  7. 40 Essential SEO Terms Marketers Should Know [Glossary]
  8. 120 Social Media Marketing Terms Explained [Glossary]
  9. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Expert Quiz

Don’t Miss: Over 101 SEO Tools (Free & Premium) You’ll Ever Need

On-Page SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is classified into two: On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO. On-Page SEO refers to anything and everything that you do on your website to make it more search and user friendly. Some of the key aspects of on-page SEO are: keyword research, website audit, content creation, and web analytics.

Keyword Research

Keyword research is crucial to any SEO campaign and its goal is to identify keyword phrases that can bring targeted traffic to your website.

  1. Keyword Research: The Definitive Guide
  2. A Visual Guide To Keyword Targeting And On-Page SEO
  3. Why You Should Target Long Tail Keywords For SEO
  4. How To do Keyword Research In 90 Minutes
  5. How To Easily Find The Best Keywords To Write About


Website Architecture

When you improve your website architecture it will improve your search rankings as well. Because a better site architecture offers better user experience.

Improving the site architecture involves addressing duplicate content, managing redirects, improving site map, increasing search engine crawling efficiency, tweaking design, and almost all technical things “on-page”.

  1. On-Page SEO Factors: Which Ones Have The Most Impact On Rankings?
  2. How To Create a Site Structure That Will Enhance SEO
  3. How To Make Your Website Source Code Optimized For SEO
  4. 15 SEO Best Practices For Structuring URLs
  5. Pagination: Best Practices For SEO & User Experience


Content Marketing: Strategy, Creation, Audit, Promotion

Content Marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you. — Copyblogger

Content Strategy

Content strategy is about efficiently and effectively managing the website content to achieve business goals.

  1. The Psychology Behind Content And Why It Works
  2. What Is Content Strategy?
  3. How To Build A Content Strategy
  4. How to Build A Content Marketing Strategy
  5. A Content Strategy Template You Can Build On
  6. How To Produce High Quality Written Content
  7. Reverse Engineer Perfect Content Marketing Strategy

Read: Why 365 Blog Posts Is All You Need To Become A Successful Blogger

Content Creation

Want to write search engine friendly content? Look no further!

  1. How To Write A Blog Post That Is Perfectly Optimized
  2. 15 Blogging Tips To Supercharge Your Next Blog Post
  3. How To Generate 36k Readers And 1k Subscribers From Your Next Blog Post
  4. The Guide To Getting Traffic, Subscribers & Sales With Your Articles
  5. 37 Content Discovery Tools To Find Great Social Media Content
  6. 21 Content Curation Tools That You Never Thought You’d Need
  7. 40 Image Sources & Tools For Free Stock Photos, Images & Cliparts

Read: The Freelance Writer’s Handbook — 75+ Tips, Resources & Guides

Content Audit

Content audit is all about analyzing the existing content on your website to see how well it’s performing.

  1. A Complete Content Audit And Spreadsheet Template
  2. How To Do a Content Audit  [Step-by-Step]
  3. How To Conduct A Content Audit On Your Site
  4. A Beginner’s Guide To Content Audits [Infographic]

Content Promotion

Because, if content is King, promotion is Queen!

  1. 16 Explosive Content Promotion Strategies
  2. How To Increase Traffic 272% In 30 Days (Without Spending A Penny)
  3. 31 Ways To Promote Blog Posts & Get Blog Traffic
  4. How To Get Your Blog Post Shared 1000 Times
  5. 13 Steps To Take Your Content Promotion To The Next Level
  6. How To Create A Winning Content Promotion Plan
  7. Top 30 Social Networking Sites To Drive Traffic To Your Blog

Content Marketing Guides

The following resources will take your content marketing to the next level.

  1. The Ron Swanson Guide To Content Marketing
  2. A Not-So-Brief Guide To Better Content Marketing
  3. The Beginner’s Content Marketing Guide
  4. The Advanced Guide To Content Marketing
  5. How To Structure A Killer Content Marketing Campaign
  6. Your Content Marketing Will Fail Without These 10 Features
  7. 11 Content Marketing Lessons Learned From 20 Of The Top 100 Blogs

Don’t Miss: The Content Marketing Handbook — 81+ Resources, Tips & Tools


Don’t Miss: Over 101 Content Marketing Tools (Free & Premium) You’ll Ever Need

SEO Audit

SEO Audit is the process of inspecting the technical aspects of a website to make sure that it’s search and user friendly.

  1. SEO Website Audits: Everything You Need To Know Part I & Part II
  2. 10 Tips For Conducting The Ultimate SEO Audit
  3. Technical Site Audit Checklist
  4. How To Perform The World’s Greatest SEO Audit
  5. How To Perform An SEO Audit – FREE $5000 Template Included
  6. How To Perform The Ultimate Local SEO Audit
  7. 96 Quick SEO Wins — What Can You Do With An Hour?
  8. The Ultimate Guide To Google Webmaster Tools

User Experience (UX)

“Your goal should really be to make a fantastic website that people love and tell their friends about and link to and want to experience. As a result, your website starts to become stronger and stronger in the rankings.” — @MattCutts

Modern SEO is all about user experience (UX). So, it basically means that whatever you do to enhance the user experience of your website automatically strengthens your SEO as well.

  1. Google Web Fundamentals
  2. 4 Things Online Marketers Should Know About User Experience (UX)
  3. How to Increase Traffic with a Better User Experience
  4. Why SEOs Need To Care About User Experience
  5. UX Is The New SEO
  6. Designing For SEO
  7. Reduce Bounce Rate: 20 Things To Consider
  8. Google Doesn’t Use Bounce Rate
  9. The Late, Great Bounce Rate Debate
  10. How Important Is Time On Site For Ranking In Google?
  11. SEO Ranking Factors You Can’t Ignore!


Mobile SEO

Mobile SEO is the process of optimizing your website to make sure that it’s mobile-friendly.

  1. Making Websites Mobile Friendly
  2. Google Webmaster’s Mobile Guide
  3. How Do I Make My Site Mobile Friendly?
  4. How To Optimize Your Mobile Site For Search Engines
  5. How To Do A Mobile SEO Audit [Step-By-Step Guide]

Read: The Internet Marketing Handbook – 101+ Resources, Tips & Tools

Page Speed Performance

Google has incorporated site speed in search ranking, back in 2010. It basically means that websites that load faster will be ranked higher than sites which are slow.

  1. Why Website Speed Is Important
  2. How Load Time Affects Google Rankings [Infographic]
  3. How Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line [Infographic]
  4. Why Site Speed Optimisation Should Be Part of Your SEO Strategy
  5. 20 Quick Tips To Optimize Page Load Time
  6. How to Make WordPress Sites Load 72.7% Faster
  7. How To Speed Up Your WordPress Site
  8. How To Speed Up Your WordPress Website
  9. Why Trying To Get 95+ On PageSpeed Insights For Your Site Will Drive You Mad!
  10. Top CDN Services to Make Your WordPress Site Blazingly Fast & Reliable


Content Delivery Network (CDNs)

Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a large system of servers distributed throughout the world. The CDN caches the static content on your website so that when a user requests a web page it delivers the content from the server that is closest to the user.

WordPress Plugins

The following plugins helps you improve the performance and page loading time of your WordPress blog.

Don’t Miss: Over 101 WordPress Plugins — For Anything & Everything

Web Analytics

Web Analytics is the process of analyzing your website’s audience. So, it will give answers to your questions like: where your visitors are coming from, what they’re doing on your website, why are they leaving your website, are they coming back to your website, etc.

  1. The Complete Guide To Setting Up Google Analytics
  2. Beginner’s Guide To Google Analytics: Setting Up Your Account
  3. The Complete Beginner’s Guide To Web Analytics [Videos]
  4.  11 Google Analytics Tricks To Use For Your Website
  5. Building Your Marketing Funnel With Google Analytics
  6. Find Which Social Media Links Perform Best In Google Analytics
  7. The Definitive Guide To Conversion Optimization


Read: 13 Google Analytics Alternatives You Probably Don’t Know

Off-Page SEO

Off-Page SEO is all about increasing the popularity of your website. And it involves, but is not limited to, competitor analysis, link building, influencer outreach, and social media marketing.

Competitor Analysis

Competitor Analysis is the process of analyzing and understanding your competitors’ internet marketing strategies and techniques. It’s all about learning from your competitors so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

  1. Become A Content Marketing Secret Agent With Competitive Intelligence
  2. The Illustrated SEO Competitive Analysis Workflow
  3. Competitive Link Analysis – How to Outsmart The Competition
  4. How To Use Competitive Auditing To Pinpoint And Outsmart Your Competitors
  5. Building Better Content By Improving Upon Your Competitors
  6. Guide To Competitive Backlink Analysis For SEO


Link Building

Link building is not dead. In fact, it’s still the most popular off-page SEO technique. Basically, it’s all about increasing the authority of your website.

  1. The Beginner’s Guide To Link Building
  2. The Definitive Guide To Link Building
  3. The Advanced Guide To Link Building
  4. Link Building A-Z Guide [Definitions & Terms]
  5. 50+ Things Every Link Builder Needs To Know
  6. 59 Lists You Really Must Have To Build Links
  7. What Is a “Good Link Profile” And How Do You Get One?
  8. The Noob Guide To Link Building
  9. Link Building Methods That Work Right Now
  10. Link Building Tactics — The Complete List Point Blank SEO
  11. How To Build High Quality Backlinks In A Scalable Way
  12. 7 Proactive Ways To Get Backlinks That’ll Actually Boost Your Traffic
  13. 131 (Legitimate) Link Building Strategies
  14. SEO Copywriting Tips For Improved Link Building

Read: Over 60 Web 2.0 Sites To Get Instant Backlinks To Your Blog


Don’t Miss: The Link Building Handbook – 75+ Resources, Tips, Strategies & Tools


Influencer outreach is perhaps the most powerful way to promote your work. The following resources will show you how to do it.

  1. The Five Stages Of Blogger Outreach
  2. 21 Better Ways To Do Blogger Outreach
  3. 22 Tips For A Better Outreach Response
  4. The Definitive Guide To Guest Blogging
  5. The Easiest Method To Link Baiting
  6. How To Include Influencers In Your Content Strategy
  7. Blogger Outreach: How To Get Influencers To Promote Your Content For Free


Social Media

You have already seen how social media has grown over the past few years and it’s still exploding like never before. So, here is a list of some of the best social media marketing resources. And if you are looking for more then check out The Social Media Handbook.

  1. The Beginner’s Guide To Social Media
  2. How To Create A Social Media Marketing Plan From Scratch
  3. Building Brand Awareness On Social Media [Infographic]
  4. How To Conduct A Social Media Audit
  5. How To Build A Content Strategy Using A Social Media Audit
  6. What Are The Best Times To Post On Social Media
  7. The Social Media Marketer’s SEO Checklist

Don’t Miss: Over 101 Social Media Tools (Free & Premium) You’ll Ever Need

SEO Tips & Strategies

Here are some of the best SEO tips and strategies that will attract more search traffic to your website.

  1. 7 Concepts Of Advanced On-Page SEO
  2. The Ultimate Google Algorithm Cheat Sheet
  3. 21 SEO Techniques You Can Use Today To Get More Search Engine Traffic
  4. The Most Actionable SEO Tips Ever
  5. The Step-By-Step Guide On Improving Your Rankings Without Getting Penalized
  6. 7 Ways To Increase Your Rankings Without Leveraging Content Marketing
  7. How We Got Over Our Fear Of SEO And Improved Conversions 20%
  8. What You Can Learn From KISSmetrics’ SEO Strategy
  9. How I Would Do SEO For Rap Genius
  10. If I Did SEO For @Everywhereist, I Would…
  11. How I Increased My Traffic By 500% In 10 Months (And Doubled Them In A Year)

Read: Why Sponsored Reviews & Nofollow Links Are Highly Undervalued

Google SEO

Google Search Timeline

Google uses over 200 signals to rank a web page and changes its search algorithm over 500 times a year. Most of the algorithmic updates are minor and hence you won’t notice it.

And then there are major algorithmic updates called “Panda”, “Penguin”, “Hummingbird“, etc. that affects the search results in a big way. Learning more about it will make you a better SEO. Guaranteed!

Google Algorithms

Here is everything you need to know about different Google ranking factors and algorithmic updates.

  1. Google Ranking Factors: The Complete List
  2. The Myth Of Google’s 200 Ranking Factors
  3. Google Algorithm Change History
  4. Your Google Algorithm Cheat Sheet: Panda, Penguin & Hummingbird
  5. Google’s Content Quality Score
  6. The Complete Google Leaked Panda 4.1 Do & Don’t List

Google Penalty Recovery

The following resources plus case studies tells you how to recover from a Google penalty and it also shows how different webmasters recovered from various Google penalties.

  1. Ultimate Guide To Google Penalty Removal
  2. The Advanced Guide To Google Penalty Removal
  3. Your Start-To-Finish Guide To Using Google’s Disavow Tool
  4. One Site’s Recovery From An Ugly SEO Mess
  5. After A Link-Based Penalty Is Removed, Will Your Traffic Increase?
  6. Manual Spam Action Revoked! A Case Study
  7. Manual Penalty Revoked – A Case Study
  8. Recovery From Google Penguin — Tips From The Trenches
  9. Penguin 3.0: A Recovery Story
  10. Penguin 3.0: A Proven Roadmap To Recovery
  11. A True Story: From A Triple Whammy Google Penalty To $60K/Month Revenue
  12. 10 Things That Expose Good Sites to Google Panda
  13. Duplicate Content In A Post-Panda World
  14. 12 Common Reasons Reconsideration Requests Fail

Negative SEO

Negative SEO is all about using black hat SEO techniques to ruin the rankings of a competitor. If you feel that a rival is hurting your rankings then the following resources will help you.

  1. Sorry: Negative SEO Does Exist
  2. Negative SEO: Should You Be Worried? If Attacked, What Should You Do?
  3. How To Protect Your Website From Negative SEO
  4. Negative SEO – The 800 Pound Gorilla
  5. A Startling Case Study Of Manual Penalties And Negative SEO
  6. How To Recover From Negative SEO
  7. Negative SEO From Links, What You Can Do?

SEO Browser Extensions

Here is a list of some of the best SEO browser add-ons that you can try as a marketer.

  1. MozBar
  2. Alexa Traffic Rank
  3. Ahrefs SEO Toolbar
  4. Open SEO Stats
  5. SEOquake
  6. SEO Doctor
  7. WooRank SEO & Website Analysis
  8. Google Page Analytics
  9. Google Analytics URL Builder
  10. META SEO Inspector
  11. Check My Links
  12. Redirect Path
  13. Live HTTP Headers
  14. NoFollow

Don’t Miss: Top 30 Google Chrome SEO Extensions

SEO Blogs

If you are an SEO or a marketer then it’s very important to stay up-to-date with the latest industry news and tactics. So, subscribe to the following blogs and stay up-to-date with tips, strategies, and latest news.

  1. Moz
  2. Search Engine Roundtable
  3. Search Engine Watch
  4. Search Engine Land
  5. Search Engine Journal
  6. SEO By The Sea
  7. Social Media Examiner
  8. Social Media Today
  9. Razor Social
  10. Buffer
  11. Copyblogger
  12. Backlinko
  13. OkDork
  14. Quick Sprout
  15. Google Webmaster Central

SEO Forums

If you have questions related to SEO or would like to help others to share your expertise then join the following discussion forums and communities.

  1. Stack Overflow
  2. BlackHatWorld

Read: The Internet Marketing Handbook – 101+ Resources, Tips, Guides & Tools


Now you have got almost all the SEO resources that you will ever need. So, the next step should be to apply everything you have learned.

I’m pretty much sure that once you have gone through the above resources you will learn a lot of SEO strategies, and find a ton of tips and tricks that you will want to put into practice.

If I have missed any interesting resource or an aspect of SEO then feel free to comment below and I will be glad to add it to the list.

Happy SEOing! 🙂

Note: This handbook is a revamped version of The Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Handbook that I published a couple of years back. I have rewritten the whole blog post from scratch to make it more organized.

Image Credit: Flickr