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How to Learn SEO (Free) & Become a SEO Expert Specialist

marketing online resolution March 14, 2021

Published by Joanna on March 28, 2020March 28, 2020

How to learn SEO & become a professional SEO expert consultantChallenge yourself to learn if SEO is for you with a list of free SEO tutorials online. If it is, learn how to become a professional SEO specialist/expert and get paid for it.

Greetings, this is Joanna Vaiou and today is a great day as I made time to prepare a “how to learn SEO at home free for beginners ” step-by-step TOP Resources List.

My aim with this list is to help you understand if SEO is for you.

If you decide it is, the second part of my article includes tips on how to become a professional SEO specialist and get paid to do SEO, either as an employee or as an SEO business owner yourself.

Many times I am asked by social media acquaintances the following:

  1. How easy or hard learning SEO is
  2. If SEO is free (or how much it costs to learn SEO)
  3. How long does it take to learn SEO?
  4. How to become an SEO expert professional

Today I am giving back to my much younger self who struggled and anyone else who wants to learn SEO and save some struggle along the way.

I am sharing an A-Level list of free beginners’ SEO resources.


If I was a beginner today I would want to be offered the same.

I have consumed and used all the resources I am sharing with you today and this is why I recommend them here.

All these resources have helped me become a better SEO Professional and reach where I am today.

Today I am giving back to all of you who are thinking of changing your life and in the future pursue a new job or a professional career in the SEO industry.

While I don’t do SEO Training 101, I can give you my own personal wealth of Free SEO resources for complete beginners for you to start educating yourself and understand if:

  1. You are right for SEO.
  2. SEO is right for you.

I Struggled to Learn SEO Fast

The struggle was real.

I struggled with information overload.

I cried as I had no one by my side to motivate me to keep going.

Nevertheless, I stuck to my guns.

I relied on my own power and worked on my own motivation through my involvement with Personal Development (another investment I made simultaneously to my SEO self-educational investment).

It took me four years to feel confident enough and start my own Organic SEO Consulting services company.

Today, you don’t have to struggle in order to start educating yourself around SEO.

You will need though to work on your own motivation sources and build an amazing relationship with yourself.

All the SEO free tutorials and resources that I am sharing with you today are in the form of:

  1. Article training materials & guides
  2. Video training playlists from YouTube

I have compiled a List with 15 Top FREE SEO learning & training Resources for Beginners for you to access at home.

Please note: MOZ offers all its courses for free through the end of May 2020.

Make sure you sign-up for MOZ Search Engine Optimization courses in time.

My SEO industry and the global community are AWESOME.

What you don’t need to learn SEO

A great budget to learn SEO is not needed.

I remember when I started, I had 1300 Euros saved from all the previous years’ jobs that I had and decided not to go to another job but sit down and learn SEO.


There are so many amazing free SEO educational resources laying around online by TOP reputable SEO companies and brands.

SEO Learning Budget

  1. You will need money to buy and sustain a domain name to install a WordPress self-hosted website.
  2. You will need to pay for your new website’s hosting.

The above costs are for you to practice all the things that you will be learning from the free SEO courses/resources that I am sharing with you today.

Fact: Learning SEO as a beginner is not easy.

Learning SEO Free (without a mentor) requirements:

  1. Your Positivity
  2. Your Passion
  3. Your undivided time
  4. Your laser focus
  5. Your willingness and comfort in spending countless hours online, reading, following SEO recommendations by your chosen online resources
  6. Your never-ending “SEO knowledge updating” appetite and
  7. Willingness to always test new SEO strategies and improve your SEO skills through trial and error

Few of the TOP SEO Companies:

  2. SEMrush
  3. MOZ

, as well some other Search Engine Optimization Specialists from USA whose training I have been consuming religiously, offer free training guides for those beginners who want to learn SEO for free but don’t want to GO INSANE due to:

  1. INFORMATION OVERLOAD online with the quantity and quality of SEO courses and teachings
  2. Not knowing where to focus their attention and time on

My aim with sharing these resources with you is for you to understand if you can see yourself doing SEO long-term.

The information here is more than enough for you to understand and go from SEO beginner to owning the basics of SEO knowledge that can set you off to a new job or professional career path.

You may choose your favorite type of training resources or your favorite SEO brand from my list according to how you learn SEO better.

Some of us learn better with online step-by-step SEO training videos while others like to read articles.


Best Free SEO Tutorials Online

Here I am sharing with you some Free SEO Resources. These are my own personally used suggestions from TOP reputable sources (SEO Personal Brands and Companies) on how to learn Search Engine Optimization.

I am in the SEO Industry since 2009 and one of the things that I found more challenging at my beginning was where to focus my attention on.

Now, I want to save you time and stress by offering my TOP recommended suggestions to you to dive in and understand if Search Engine Optimization is your “thing”.

These are the resources that I would start with when it comes to learning SEO if I started today.

It took me 11 years to compile those and I am very happy to share these with you today.

# Brand – Source SEO Resource – Course Link Notes Free/Paid Cost
1 ITHEMES Learn WordPress 101 Video Course The first thing you need to do in order to learn and practice SEO is to get acquainted with a self-hosted SEO friendly platform. I started my SEO learning journey with WordPress as I had no coding skills and found it friendly to use. FREE
2 Chris M. Walker How to Set up your First Self-Hosted WordPress Website After you familiarize with a self-hosted WordPress administration interface, you can choose to start a website-blog on your own to start practicing content creation, blogging and SEO in a niche that you are passionate about Free “how-to” Training video walkthrough resource You need to pay for your chosen domain name and your website’s Hosting provider
3 Chris M. Walker SEO 101 for Beginners Video Training Series Access 7 SEO beginners’ training videos from scratch FREE
4 Matt Diggity SEO Beginners Video Series on YouTube Learn the SEO basics from the ground up. Here, you’ll be walked through keyword research, onsite optimization and link building FREE
Brian Dean SEO Tutorial 2020 SEO Tutorial 2020 FREE
5 Brian Dean How to Learn SEO Fast (in Record Time) Brian Dean covers in 9 chapters (articles & video resources) the following SEO Topics: 1) SEO Fundamentals, 2) Keyword Research, 3) On-page SEO, 4) Technical SEO, 5) Link-building and Content promotion, 6) UX signals, 7) Video SEO, 8) Amazing SEO Case Studies, 9) The best SEO resources ever FREE
6 AHREFS Blogging for Business Video Course Access 10 free video tutorials (almost five hours total) by AHREFS team. Learn how to blog for business FREE AHREFS is a paid SEO Tool that offers a free trial you can sign-up for
7 AHREFS How to Learn SEO (and Stay Sane!) A great article/guide from AHREFS on how you can use SEO FREE
8 AHREFS A Simple 7-Step SEO Tutorial for Complete Beginners An awesome article/guide for SEO beginners on what SEO is and how it works FREE
9 SEMRUSH Academy Free SEO & Digital Marketing Courses SEMrush offers a series of SEO & other digital marketing courses for free FREE SEMrush is a paid SEO Tool that offers a free trial you can sign-up for to use it
10 MOZ Beginners Guide to Search Engine Optimization Access an 8-Chapter Introduction SEO Course for Beginners by MOZ team FREE MOZ is a paid SEO Tool that offers a free trial you can sign-up for
11 MOZ Academy MOZ Academy – Get all MOZ’s SEO Courses for free For a limited time , Moz offers all their courses in their Academy for free. You need to log in to your moz.com account (or sign up for free if you don’t have one) and use the code “wegotthis” at checkout to redeem your training FREE for a limited time
12 Google Webmasters Search Console Free Video PlaylistTraining Google shares a beginners training video playlist on their YouTube Channel on how to use Search Console, the free technical and analytics SEO Tool to monitor your websites health and performance in time FREE
13 MOZ Google Search Console Guide/Training for Complete Beginners Here you can follow Moz’s article/detailed guide on how to use Google’s free “Search Console” Tool to monitor your websites’ organic performance and technical health FREE
14 GOOGLE Download Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines 2020 (Updated) Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines pdf report, offers detailed insights on what human quality raters use in order to evaluate websites and SERPs. It doesn’’t directly affect rankings but their judgments are used to improve Google’s search algorithm. And if go the SEO route you should care about what Google raters want to see in order to remain at the sunny side of Google as they change their algorithms constantly FREE
15 GOOGLE Analytics Academy How to Use Google Analytics for Beginners Google Analytics offers a free video training series on how to use Google Analytics free tool to monitor your website projects’ overall performance FREE


Best ways to learn SEO

In the following video, I share the options a person has to start learning SEO.

What I don’t share in the video is what I would do differently if I started today from scratch.

Now that I know better how the industry works, I will share what matters most.

After 12 years in the SEO Industry which include:

  1. 3 Years of learning SEO at home from online SEO courses
  2. 1 year as an SEO Director at an Agency
  3. The last 8 years at my own SEO Strategy/Consulting & Project Management business

If I started today I would change the following:

Instead of working only on my own SEO projects during the first 3 years, I would go to small businesses and ask them to do their SEO for free so I can get the experience faster for as many projects as possible.

This way I would also build my expertise, my portfolio, and trustworthiness FASTER in the industry, with the documentation of the results that I would bring to the #businesses I work with and their testimonials.

In the SEO industry, it counts how good you are in bringing results for the businesses that trust you, in your ability to present yourself, and of course your soft skills.

How long does it take to learn SEO?

This question of how long it takes to become an SEO Expert depends on many different factors. How fast can you practice SEO on as many projects as possible so you feel confident enough to sell your own SEO services to others?

Only you can answer that for yourself. Every question in the Search Engine Optimization industry requires a custom reply that includes many different scenarios and depends on multiple factors.

How long does it take to become an SEO Expert and start getting paid?

I started learning SEO by myself online in March 2009.

I shared more details about my SEO Solopreneur Career journey in a few international media outlets.

To sum it up, when I first started, I had no mentor to teach me by my side how SEO works.

The Struggle was REAL… How the Years of my Life Went Since early 2009

  1. It took me 4 years to start my own remote SEO business.
  2. It took 4 more years to become profitable.
  3. It took 3 more years to start living a lifestyle that includes traveling, saving, investing and spending money as per my priorities & desires.

It took me 4 years since I started learning SEO online by myself, to feel confident and competent enough as an SEO Expert to start my own Solopreneur business.

These four years also included one full year as an SEO Director in a big Web Performance Agency with top tier clients such as Mini Cooper Hellas, BMW Hellas, Coca Cola Hellenic, and other multinational high-end brands.

After that, in early 2013, I started supporting my own clients and have been working independently as an SEO Contractor remotely for partnering companies.

Four Years – Why?

The reason why it took me 4 years to start my own SEO professional services business venture was the restricted budget I had at that time.

I started my online SEO training from mostly free tutorials online and YouTube videos.

So, I had no mentor to guide me, take me by the hand, and show me the correct way fast.

SEO Learning Timeframe Defining Factors

This factor is pretty clear. If you are on a restricted budget, you will mostly learn from free SEO tutorials online.

This can slow you down if you don’t have a clear direction from someone who you trust and is already successful as an SEO Professional.

If you have a decent budget, you can make it faster by paying for a mentor or take a paid course and practice what you learn that will offer you case studies to show as proof for your SEO Career.

  • Your level of passion and love for SEO

SEO is not for everyone. SEO is really demanding in terms of personal time, focus, and attention of a person.

It constantly requires the aspired person to read and stay up to date with the industry that changes frequently and rapidly.

If you realize that spending unlimited time online reading, testing in order to draw your own conclusions in your niche in terms of what works and what doesn’t, then you will keep on doing that and will become more competent faster.

Even if the person has the best mentor to take them by the hand and show them how SEO works step by step, how quickly one becomes competent enough to call themselves SEO Specialists, depends on how self-motivated they really are.

You need to be very determined and in love with your SEO craft. You must aspire to become better and better in your craft (constantly).

  • The quantity of the different projects you work on and brings results

This one is pretty clear. The more projects the aspired person works on, the more case studies they have as proof that they know what they are doing and the sooner they will feel like Experts in SEO.

Learning SEO free & fast at home requires access to the right SEO training tutorials, video courses & guides.

I just delivered that to you.

These free online SEO tutorials will be enough for you to learn as fast as possible what SEO is, how it works, and if you can see yourself pursuing it.

    Best free SEO Courses & Tutorials Online for Beginners - Learn SEO fast and freeThank you for visiting my personal TOP Learning SEO free Resources for Beginners. It is a pleasure to offer you my personal BEST step-by-step 15 TOP Resources to start learning SEO – Joanna Vaiou

    What it is like to Learn SEO at home online

    To learn SEO by yourself online as fast as possible (without investing in 101 mentoring or other paid training), get ready to put on your architect, civil engineer, and your construction worker outfit/suit.

    Imagine that you are assigned to build yourself a building, as big or as small as you fancy, alone, with no other team members to help you by doing what you are not good at.

    You will do everything by yourself and you will always have Google and Youtube to ask questions.

    If you go through my free resources and feel that SEO is the right profession for you, keep reading as I am sharing my tips on how to become an SEO professional and actually get paid from this science and art.

    How To Become an SEO Expert/Consultant

    In my personal experience as a remote SEO business owner with my own clients from 2013, one can become an SEO Expert by constant learning and practicing what they learn through the following ways:

    1. By working on their own case study/test websites.
    2. By a paid/unpaid internship or a job at a company starting as an SEO junior and gaining experience as they go.
    3. By taking one or several free and paid courses online while applying what they learn and create case studies (proof that they know how to do SEO).
    4. By doing free or low-pay work for business owners in order to gather a decent amount of knowledge, experience, and have actual case studies that prove that someone is a Specialist since they have been able to regularly rank websites on the top page of Google for their important keywords and helped their projects make money through online sales, lead generation, email signups and more.
    5. By combining any of the above according to what fits your character, resources, and plans.

    If you have no idea where or how to start, if you are looking for some extra free or even paid courses or mentors that can help you, I suggest you join the largest SEO Group with PROs on Facebook next:

    -> https://www.facebook.com/groups/superstarseo/

    , and start asking questions.

    SUPERSTAR SEO is a global SEO community and very helpful to people who are just starting out. You may ask for guidance and someone will definitely reply to your request if your post is clear and is not violating the group’s terms.

    Wondering how much SEO Specialists make?

    Choose your SEO Work Model

    Firstly you need to choose between working or starting as an SEO Employee or as an SEO Freelance Business owner.

    As an employee, you get to work for just one company, your employer’s.

    Your employer may be an Advertising/SEO agency with many clients of their own for you to handle, or they can be any other company that wants you to take the reins of SEO for them.

    The key advantage of working as an in-house SEO employee manager is the opportunity to get real hands-on experience to become generally good in many areas of SEO.

    My personal SEO career path included:

    1. 3 years of learning and practicing SEO on my own projects at home.
    2. One year as an SEO employee/director at a Web performance agency.
    3. My own freelance SEO company where I serve my own clients as an independent contractor.

    Personally, I would never trade the freedom of running my own business and being my own boss, while taking all the responsibility for the future of my finances.

    But that is just me.

    Not all people want the responsibilities of being their own boss and running an actual business of their own.

    It is completely up to your own character to choose what fits you best as a lifestyle.

    Areas of SEO specialization

    There are many different fields of expertise under the umbrella term “SEO” including the following:

    1. Local SEO
    2. On-page
    3. Off-page
    4. Technical SEO
    5. E-A-T
    6. Mobile
    7. Keyword research (traditional and competitive) and development
    8. Online Reputation Management (ORM)
    9. SEO Research and Analysis
    10. SEO Copywriting
    11. Video SEO
    12. Image SEO
    13. Online PR

    Educational Background

    Usually, this is not a prerequisite for SEO but people who have a Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, communications and IT have better odds of being hired as an SEO expert.

    Also, it is a common practice to hire SEO talents with more than three years of experience in marketing.

    Having a certificate from a well know SEO training programs like ExpertRating.com, SEOpros.org, or Bruce Clay, Inc. also counts but with the recent discontinuing of the centralized SEMPO certification it is becoming of less significance without the necessary experience.

    Personal Branding as an SEO Expert

    Finally, you need to come up with your own personal passionate brand.

    To do this, you should evaluate what made you take up SEO in the first place as well as the things that make you unique.

    You need to create your own optimized website to refer your clients to and make your brand stand out from your competition through your unique personality and character.

    Showcase on your personal SEO brand website the results you bring to your clients, create thorough case studies that show to your potential new clients that you are the expert.

    When you bring great results to your clients, ask them to publish a public review about you on your Linkedin personal profile or your Facebook page, or your Google my Business page.

    It really helps to build your trust and credibility factor in Google and peoples’ eyes.

    Top SEO Industry Blogs

    If you wish to become an SEO Expert, you have to regularly keep up with the latest trends and news on this highly dynamic industry.

    Failure to do so will result in your techniques and skillset becoming obsolete.

    One of the best ways to bring you up to speed with every little detail of the market is to be on the lookout for new blog posts on the top SEO industry blogs to read online for free.

    Here, you will be able to get the latest developments and techniques so that you can give your clients a relevant and effective solution within the bounds of the best SEO practices and industry standards.

    1. The Moz.com Blog

    Moz is a real-life world famous SEO firm based in Seattle which has been a hub for search marketers for a long time.

    It is now providing all manner of tools, knowledge, and resources to marketers for a fee.

    However, you can read the blog posts at moz.com/blog for free and get some real tested advice and skills from the best in the business.

    Moz.com is the ideal site to visit if you are looking to acquire knowledge of value about how search engines work, basic SEO tactics, and get all the education you need to start out as an SEO PRO.

    You can visit this site to learn the fundamentals of search engine marketing from the world-famous top SEO agency based in Seattle and get all the support and tools you need for a fee.

    They also give you the free PRO S.E.O for 30 days trial period when you can try out the exceptional training for free.

    2. The SearchEngineLand.com Blog

    This is one of the most frequently updated blogs there is.

    With more than thirty posts weekly, the search engine land blog has several posts every day that goes by containing important news, advice, tips, and actionable how-to guides for experienced SEOs and rookies alike.

    You can reach the site at searchengineland.com

    3. The Neilpatel.com/blog/

    With an outstanding online reputation, Neil Patel is a one-man army force to reckon with when it comes to his fame and influence in the word of SEOs. According to the Wall Street Journal, he is one of the few top influencers on the internet.

    You can read about six articles from nielpatel.com/blog every week.

    4. The SearchEngineJournal.com Blog

    This journal will provide you with daily in-depth coverage of news and reports as well as heated debates about social media marketing, paid search, and entrepreneurial and SEO Companies’ life.

    Here, you will have over 30 informative posts to benefit from every week making SEJ one of the top SEO industry blogs.

    5. The AHREFS.com Blog

    For the best SEO strategies out there, AHREFS has a powerful blog for you to get acquainted with the latest news, tips, and case studies for the whole SEO field. They also have an amazing YouTube channel with so much free golden information available to consume. It is a real gem!

    6. Backlinko.com blog of Brian Dean

    Brian Dean is one of the most reputable global SEO Experts and shares his insane knowledge, tips, guides for free on his blog backlinko.com. Stay up to date with Brian Dean’s blog and YouTube channel, he is doing a great job educating people about how SEO works and how it evolves.

    Summing up what you need to learn SEO

    Get acquainted with a Google Search Engine Optimization friendly, content management system (i.e WordPress)

    Get a self-hosted website/blog to apply every SEO theory you read online, this is the only way to learn

    Choose a niche for your blog that you are passionate about and are excited to create digital content around from the depths of your heart, I can’t stress how important this is, otherwise, you will quit FAST

    Follow and put to practice my own personal SEO self-education recommendations that I have used since early 2009.

    Summing up how to become a Professional SEO Specialist/Expert

     Document your wins

     Build case studies

    Confidently & comfortably promote/present yourself

    Always consume the top SEO industry blogs and stay updated on what is constantly changing on Google

    If you follow through with my advice shared in this article, you’ll be ready to start:

    A new job as an SEO employee

    Your own SEO business if you want more for yourself (responsibility, freedom, money)


    You will be able to apply what you learn to your own business, whatever that is so you can save the money you would pay a Consultant SEO Expert to run your SEO.

    To your SEO Expert Career success!

    ~ Joanna Vaiou

    Bonus Resources:

     Learning SEO with free resources Google Sheet by Aleyda Solis

    More Relevant articles:

    1. What does SEO stand for in business?
    2. What is SEO and how does it work?
    3. How to hire a professional SEO services company
    4. How to show up on Google Search
    5. SEO Key skills to get hired as an SEO Specialist
    6. What managers look for when hiring Freelance SEO Consultants
    7. SEO Specialist Salary
    8. A day in the life of a Search Engine Optimization Consultant: What do they do?
    9. The different types of Google Search Results
    10. What are the best free SEO tools & software for SEO experts?
    11. Fixing your WordPress website’s Core Web Vitals
    12. The Definitive Guide to SEO Strategy in 2020 – OutreachMama

    Bonus Video: How to UNCOMMONLY Stand-Out on Google with your Personal Brand


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