If you’re a “straight from the horse’s mouth” kind of person, learning SEO from the Google support site might be for you. But while going to Google to learn how to do SEO (search engine optimization) is a good starting point, other places have a much friendlier method of getting the point across. To learn how to do SEO and apply it with the most current information, these five places will help you become an SEO professional.
A Few Words About SEO in General
Before you jump right in and start optimizing, it’s important to understand that SEO is more than just knowing what keywords to rank for and where to put them. As an SEO professional, you need to be well-rounded. You’re then going to have opportunities to do general work or specialize in areas such as:
- Content, on-page or keyword development
- Link building
- Local search and mobile searches
- Reputation management
According to marketingcareeredu.org, there aren’t any national or regional certification boards for SEO pros. When you’re looking for the right fit in SEO training, consider what you want to ultimately get out of the program for the best results. The following five places offer courses that are updated regularly and resources for networking and jobs.
1. SEO Pros
SEO Pros offer a Search Engine College with eight online, self-paced courses in SEO topics. Courses are structured like online college courses with multiple lessons, interactive games, videos, assignments, interactive reviews and online exams. Courses include:
- SEO Starter
- SEO Advanced
- Pay Per Click Started
- Pay Per Click Advanced
- Web Site Copywriting
- Web Site Usability
- Link Building
- Article Marketing and Distribution
- Can sample a course for free before committing
- Conveniently fits around your own schedule; available 24-7
- Self-paced, so no deadlines
- One-on-one tutors available with the certification plan
- No live instruction if you have questions unless you upgrade to certification.
- Some courses require previous knowledge of HTML.
$99 per month subscription for access to all courses, or $295 per course to receive certification.
Moz offers live, interactive webinars that let you ask questions during the class and use websites for examples so you gain practice. Classes are recorded so they can be watched later as a review or refresher. Beginner, advanced and custom classes are available. Classes include:
- Intro to SEO: one-hour class for complete beginners ($40)
- SEO Bootcamps: two-hour webinars in Keyword Research, SEO Site Audits, On-Page SEO, Link Building and Reporting on SEO ($476 for all 5 or $99 each)
- SEO for Google Maps: Half-day course for all things Google Maps (no price listed)
- SEO for Copywriters: three-day course for copywriting SEO skills ($595)
- SEO for eCommerce: Help for Amazon and other eCommerce sites (no price listed)
- Customized SEO Training: Customized to fit you or your organization (price varies)
- Live instruction delivered via webinar allows for questions and help
- Access to recordings for review
- One-time price; no subscription required
- Not available on demand; must meet at the scheduled time.
Distilled U offers two in-depth, online courses, covering basic and advanced SEO topics. Modules vary from 35 minutes to 5 ½ hours each and provide practice and multiple-choice exams to test your knowledge.
SEO 101 offers 11 modules:
- Search Engine Basics
- Search Operator Basics
- On-Page Optimization
- Technical SEO
- Keyword Research
- Information Architecture
- Competitor Research
- Link Analysis
- Google Analytics Setup Training
- Google Search Console Setup Guide
Further SEO offers 14 modules:
- Linkbait That Gets Links
- From Request to Render-A Web Technology Guide
- Expert Outreach
- Excel Skills
- Analytics and Measurement
- SEO Toolkit
- Introduction to HTML
- International SEO
- Meta Information
- Other Ranking Factors
- Consulting Skills
- Building a Mobile-Friendly Website
- Penalties, Updates and Reinclusion
- App Indexing and App Search
- Courses are broken down into easily digestible modules.
- You can try a free demo for each module.
- Convenient, 24-7 access to fit your schedule.
- No live instruction available.
- Requires a subscription; no single-course price option available.
$40 per month with a monthly subscription, or $33 per month with an annual subscription.
4. Expert Rating
Expert Rating offers an all-in-one, online Search Engine Optimization Certification for $49.99. It includes multiple choice questions and a final exam to test your knowledge. Nine chapters teach you SEO from the bottom up, including:
- Introduction to Search Engine Optimization Certification
- Introduction to SEO and What It Involves
- What are Search Engines & Directories
- Keywords – The Key to Successful SEO
- More About Google and PageRank
- Tuning the Meta Tags
- Important Factors that Affect Search Engine Rankings
- Good and Bad SEO Techniques
- Link Popularity and Linking Strategies
- One inclusive low price for the certification
- Accessible 24-7 for your convenience
- Hard copies of the completion certificate are available
- No free demo
- No live instruction
- Course is currently being revised, so it may not be as up to date as other options.
SEOcertification.org offers a Search Engine Optimization Certified Professional certification “membership” for $89 a year. As a member, you receive a 175-page training manual and online exam software that leads to a certification upon completion. Covered topics include:
- Search Engines and Optimization
- Site Readiness
- Pay Per Click
- SEO Monitoring
- Marketing Strategies
- Advanced SEO Techniques
- Social Media Optimization
- Google Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird Updates
- Membership includes quarterly training updates.
- Members receive unlimited “ask the instructor” support from peers.
- Additional memberships for the SEO Certified Company and SEO Certified Trainer are available to members.
- Members are limited to three “re-takes” in a 90-day period if they fail the exam.
- Must purchase a yearly membership.
Don’t believe anyone that says “SEO is dead.” It’s not. It’s just evolving and if you want to be good at internet marketing, knowing how to optimize search engine results for yourself or for you clients is a must have.