Whether you're planning to hire an agency to boost the search rankings of your website or you're interested in learning to do it yourself, you will quickly find that there is a seemingly-unlimited amount of information related to the practice of search engine optimization.

Needless to say, quantity isn't always indicative of quality. Since I have been down this road before (and the many dead end side roads that caught my eye along the way), I'd like to help steer you in the right direction! Below you will find my favorite resources for learning SEO.

Basic SEO

The practice of search engine optimization (SEO) involves a lot of technical jargon, slang, and inside jokes (for example, how irritated penguins and panda bears make us). Therefore, it's important to get your head wrapped around a few concepts before jumping into the How-To! Here are some good places to start:

"The Beginners Guide to SEO," by Moz

Becoming an SEO master is going to require a lot of reading, so it makes sense to start with a text-based guide! Created and maintained by Moz, their guide for beginners is packed with information related to what affects search engine rankings.

"SEO Basics" by Dan Gorgone

Dan Gorgone is a tech- and business-savvy teacher at Treehouse Island (a great source of video courses related to web design, coding, and business). One of my favorite courses from Dan is SEO Basics, which serves as a fantastic start for anyone seeking to add search engine optimization to their toolbox.

Though access to the course will require a credit card swipe, Dan truly tailors the content to newbies by focusing more on SEO as an ongoing process and way of thinking. Dan shares the industry-standard best practices and useful tools, and he quizzes you every step of the way!

Especially if you're starting from scratch, get your toes wet with the idea of search engine optimization by enrolling in Dan's course.

"Introduction to SEO," by yours truly!

Though I'm a bit biased, this Evan VanDerwerker guy really knows what he's talking about! For one payment of $29, you'll get access to over 30 bite-sized training videos and half a dozen benchmark tests!

Intermediate SEO

After you have developed an understanding of the concepts (and why panda bears no longer seem very cuddly) you can start picking up on common strategies. Be sure to check out:

"Learn SEO to Grow Your Website," by Josh Cavin

Over at SkillShare, Josh Cavin promotes a "try things out and measure your results" methodology to SEO. With that said, Josh cuts out all of the noise, offering up the strategies he uses day-to-day in his business.

Furthermore, Josh offers a unique view on widely accepted practices that aren't as effective as people claim them to be.

Advanced SEO

Once you're confident and calling yourself a Search Engine Optimizer (and further confusing your mother as to what it is you do for a living), you're ready to tap into the flood of information that hits the web each week:

"Advanced SEO: Tactics and Strategy," by Moz.

Here we are--coming full circle--back to Moz.com. Rand Fishkin, the founder, presents a Whiteboard Friday in the form of a video course on Udemy.

Advanced SEO Tactics and Strategies

Making sure your new content is optimized for search is important, but you'll want to make sure your existing stuff is pleasing Google bots as well! This course gets down in the gritty details of SEO. Specifically, Rand talks about improving the search rankings of existing (or "old") content on your website.

What's the best part, you ask? It's absolutely free to enroll!

Lastly, keep up with the latest news, tricks, and best practices!

Search engines update their search algorithms frequently, so it's important to stay vigilant. Here are 6 of my favorite search marketing blogs that I have loaded into my Feedly:

(And, of course, we can't forget about Search Engine People.)