The Professional's Guide to SEO


Welcome to the Professional's Guide to SEO!

Over 14 million people have cut their SEO teeth on our Beginner's Guide to SEO, learning the ins and outs of search engine optimization from scratch. For 16 years, it's been the go-to resource that kicked off careers and page-one rankings the world over. And now, for the first time, we're introducing the next-step resource to take you from practicing SEO to preaching it — from pupil to pro.

Why read the Professional's Guide to SEO?

This resource was a collaborative effort between several subject matter experts in the SEO field. We set out to help level-up anyone comfortable with the basics of SEO, who has some experience practicing it professionally, and who craves the challenge and reward of moving from intermediacy toward mastery.

We’ll take you beyond the basics from every angle of SEO, to show you how the tactics you already rely on – like keyword research, link building, and technical optimization — can be expanded towards advanced SEO strategies that will lead your team and the brands you work for to better efficiency and long-term success. Throughout, you’ll also find actionable tips and advice for developing the skills you need not just as an individual marketer, but as an industry leader.

If you’re an SEO who has grasped the basics and is looking for actionable tips for building, implementing, and iterating your SEO skills and tactics, this is the guide for you.

Table of contents

Curious about what you're getting into? Here's the rundown on what to expect from this guide.


Your SEO is only as good as the strategy you've set. This chapter covers the things you'll need to consider when crafting a next-level SEO strategy that will work for your business and goals.


There are multiple search engines, but only one that owns more than 90% of the global search market. Learn about Google algorithm updates, SERP opportunities, new technologies, E-A-T, and more in Chapters 3 & 4.


As a professional SEO, your work must go beyond a basic list of keywords. In this chapter, we’ll discuss ways to expand your keyword research, and use it to create content that works for the overarching SEO and business strategies


Doing link building right is easier said than done, and doing it effectively as an art. We've invited one of the SEO industry's foremost link builders and author of our own Beginner's Guide to Link Building, Paddy Moogan of Aira, to share his knowledge and experience in this arena.


In this chapter we'll cover the technical foundations of technical and non-technical SEO alike, the technical knowledge you should have as an SEO specialist, and technical activities with SEO intent.


In this chapter, we’re talking all about SEO for highly competitive niches. This brand of SEO is not for the faint of heart. It demands innovation. It doesn’t let you stop working. If you’re responsible for the organic success of a website in a competitive niche, this is the chapter for you.


You're doing a ton of work to improve your rankings. But if you don't measure the effort and track it somewhere, you'll be hard-pressed to know where to improve. A combination of benchmarking and careful measurement is the secret to knowing which strategies and tactics work, and when you need to pivot.


In the closing chapter, we're going to discuss what it means to work in SEO, from what skills you need and the sort of SEO jobs you can eventually land, to the tools you can use and how to get buy-in for your work.


For this guide to be useful to you, we expect that you’ve got a firm grasp of the SEO foundation laid out for you in The Beginner's Guide to SEO — no crib notes needed. You'll have hands-on experience implementing SEO improvements, from content marketing to on-page optimization, from link building to technical SEO projects. You don't have to do it all, but you should know how and why most SEO concepts exist, and feel comfortable crafting a basic SEO strategy for your site or business.

If you're not feeling quite there, that's okay! We have a ton of other resources to help get you where you need to be:

  • Take a leisurely stroll through our Moz Academy course catalog for instructor-guided learning.

  • From local SEO to keyword research to competitive SEO, our collection of how-to guides provides the comprehensive know-how you need on specific topics.

  • The Moz Blog is where you'll find the most up-to-date SEO news and practices — we publish new articles every week!

  • The One-Hour Guide to SEO sets you up with an evergreen baseline for what you need to know, without taking a huge chunk of time out of your day.

  • Our SEO Learning Center covers oodles of core SEO topics! It's a great option if you need to brush up on a few things.

Ready to get started?

Let's dive right in and get cracking — first up, we're learning Advanced SEO Strategy.