I guess the SEO basics could be:
- learn how to write optimized content
- learn how to employ the optimizable web page components
- learn how to logically name stuff like graphics and webpages
- learn how to develop a powerful internal linking structure
That'd be about it to get someone going in the right direction.
the best way is to actually have some practice at it. it takes a lot of tweaking to find out what helps to give you a high ranking. I like taking free advice from a seo mentor then experimenting with seo through their advice and adding my own twist.
but to save a lot of time and money in advertising it's best to follow an seo expert who you can see is successful in their own campaigns. And someone who doesn't mind offering a little free advice here and there.
In my ppc training, i've learned how to write my ppc ads, different from what google instructs. for your information, when writing ppc ads, you shouldn't try to sell, you should offer free info. this in turn can give you a higher click through rate and conversion rate as well.
I would suggest that if you have no SEO experience or none as an independent consultant, make the SEO part of your services a subset of a larger skill set. So, if you have marketing experience offer yourself as a marketing consultant with e-marketing experience and basic SEO knowledge. Then if you get hired as a marketing consultant you can bring on SEO consultants as necessary and while working with them you can pick their brains and learn by watching and asking questions. Eventually you will begin to feel confident in your own abilities and make the SEO part of your consulting services the more prominent part of your services.
SEO techniques can be discussed from On/Off page perspectives. The off page elements are going to be far more complex because many times they might be beyond your reach like when you are going to have some quality links.
To become effective and efficient SEO consultant, you need to do promotional work on different niche with use of all SEO tactics for getting website in top result pages of search engine. Update yourself about new changes in algo and promotional techniques through SEO forums, blogs and other resources.
White Hat SEO Techniques and Black Hat SEO Techniques. Avoid Black Hat SEO Techniques...
High Risk "Black Hat Tactics"
1. Cloaking- Showing different content to different users based on user-agent(i.e. Googlebot)
2. Doorway Pages- Little or no useful content pages meant to rank well for a specific keyword set and then funnel traffic to a specific page
3. Link Bait-Creating stories that are blatantly false merely to bait people into linking to your site.
Creating a widget that has
* Hidden Links
* Links to Off-topic sites
* Links to a site other than where the widget was downloaded
* Stuffs keywords into the link back
* Doesn't openly disclose what is associated with the widget (links, etc.)
* High number of links paired with the widget
Search Results in Search Results Compiles a list of links where the person has to click again before they get to the real content they were looking for