It may seem like all you read about online these days is search engine optimization. If you’re just starting out with web design, you may feel like you’ve arrived late to the SEO party. Fortunately you can catch up on the basics quite easily, with the array of free tools and tutorials available online. The most basic rules of search engine optimization are not all that difficult to master, once you understand the ways that your inbound links and website content factor into your search engine rankings. One thing to be aware of as you start to peruse online tools is that they may contain conflicting information, so be sure to take all the information with a grain of salt and adapt it to your own purposes. The following are a few of the top online tools to help you get started.
Google Webmaster Tools
One of the most obvious first places to look for information about search engines is Google. Google offers a wide variety of free tools for webmasters, including Analytics and Google Trends. These are useful tools for finding out information about keywords and visitors to your website. However, a good starting point for beginners is Google’s Webmaster Tools. This gives you basic data about Google indexing, crawling, and search traffic. You can also sign up to receive notifications about any issues that arise on your website. Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced designer, it’s a very important SEO tool to make use of.
Search Engine Guide
Although this guide was written in the spirit of an SEO tutorial for small businesses, it can be used by any website owner. The posts included on this website have been written by experienced SEO experts, with the end goal of getting your website to rank in the search engines using the most basic strategies available.
It’s always a good idea to turn to forums if you want to know what other web designers are working on. The problem with many other SEO guides is that they can be outdated, but forums like Webmaster World are open to bloggers and webmasters who wish to discuss their current projects. Although it’s free to read the forum, you will have to pay to register and participate. But as a starting point, this can be an eye-opening resource.
HTML and CSS Guides
This guide from w3schools.com helps walk you through the most basic steps of creating a website. At their main website, you can learn about everything from web design to SEO marketing. This specific tutorial helps you learn everything you need to know about creating HTML and CSS tags, without getting too technical about it. If you have little experience with coding, this can help you figure out how to design your site with SEO principles in mind.
Website Link Checker
An important part of SEO is link building and monitoring. It’s essential to monitor the links within your website, to make sure that they’re all working properly. This free link checking tool from Xenu helps you monitor your website’s internal and external links, so that you can keep them in the best possible order for SEO purposes.
These tools are just a basic starting point to help you learn more about SEO principles. The best way to learn is to practice, so don’t be afraid to dive right in and create your own website.