Doing SEO on your own and learning SEO can be a challenging task for two major reasons:
The demanding, ever-changing landscape of search algorithm behavior is often unpredictable and nonintuitive.
There are literally thousands of details and tactics to learn, some of which may have little impact on their own, but when used in various combinations with other components can hold powerful influence over ranking. Herein lies the “art” aspect of mastering SEO.
Fortunately, many SEO training materials are available via paid subscription at SEOmoz, SEO Book, Market Motive, and the SEMPO Institute, among others. If you don’t have the budget for a subscription, you can try public blogs and resources such as the SEOmoz Blog & Guides and SearchEngineLand.com. Also consider the many resources for learning that we outlined in Chapter 11.
You can do numerous things, at a fairly low cost, to improve your site’s overall optimization, including the following:
Use the free set of tools provided by the three major search engines. Create an account in Google Webmaster Central, Bing Webmaster Center, and Yahoo! Site Explorer, and verify yourself as a site owner on all three. This will provide you with access to diagnostic tools, such as robots.txt validators, and reports on backlinks, spidering activity, server errors, top search queries, anchor text, and more.
Assess your site and those ...