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For many professionals — from marketers to business owners — search engine optimization is a necessary skill. According to Bright Edge, 68% of all online experiences start with a search engine.
But keywords, landing pages, domain authority — what does it all mean? SEO is a broad, complex discipline that includes a lot of moving parts. And it’s always changing.
Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the best SEO courses online.
Best Online SEO Courses
We’ve broken our list into free courses, beginner courses, advanced courses, and SEO certification courses. Understandably, free SEO courses have much less of a barrier to entry — but if you’re looking to become a professional SEO marketer, you may need something more advanced.
Since the very first search engine, SEO has been evolving. At first, search engines just looked at links — what did other people say this site was about? Then, search engines evolved to determine whether content was readable, whether it was valuable, and whether it was formatted correctly. Now, search engine optimization is very complex, and it’s still changing all the time.
Today, when we talk about search engine optimization, we are primarily talking about Google. While Google isn’t the only player out there, it’s about 90 percent of the market. Google changes its algorithms many times throughout the year.
So, the best online SEO course of 2020 isn’t necessarily going to have the information that you need to move into 2022. We’ve created a comprehensive list of the best SEO courses for the new year.
Free SEO Courses
There are many free SEO courses available today. But you need to be careful. Anyone can post an SEO course online — and SEO changes dramatically from month to month, let alone year over year. When choosing free SEO courses, look first at how recently they’ve been updated and how reputable their publisher is.
Semrush is widely recognized as a leader within the SEO space, providing courses, certification exams, and the Semrush platform. Semrush’s SEO academy includes the Semrush SEO Toolkit Course, as well as more focused lessons like Digital Marketing for SMBs and Growing Your SEO Agency with Semrush.
Semrush’s classes are a great choice for those who want to learn specifics about SEO, whether it’s the basics or how to integrate SEO into a business plan. They provide comprehensive video lessons — but interactivity is low.
Duration: 1 Hour
Who knows Google better than Google? If you’re just starting out and need some free information, the Google SEO course is the ideal place to start. This will give you more information about the basics of Google’s Search Engine, how it works, and how Google would like you to optimize your sites.
But, of course, Google doesn’t want to give away everything. Many marketers experiment over the years to determine things that Google doesn’t really “want” them to know. So, while this is the perfect place to start, you may need deeper knowledge later.
Yoast is one of the most popular plugins for WordPress, providing everything that a marketer needs to easily search engine optimize blog posts, articles, landing pages, and more. Yoast also provides a number of courses on SEO and WordPress, which can be accessed through the Yoast SEO page.
If you want to learn more, you can pay more. For $89/year you get access to all of their SEO academy courses (not just the basic ones) and the Yoast SEO plugin.
Duration: 7 Chapters
Moz provides both free SEO tools and a beginner’s guide to SEO — seven chapters of self-paced information that you can access for free. While there are premium versions of Moz’s classes as well, this Beginner’s Guide to SEO should be everything that you need to learn about the basics. You can also start a free 30-day trial if you want access to premium content.
Duration: 8 Chapters
With eight chapters of information, Mangool’s SEO guide for beginners covers pretty much everything you need to know. This SEO guide is designed so that anyone can understand it, even if they’ve never worked with web development before. However, though this is a great introduction to SEO and its principles, it may not be as frequently updated as some others.
Duration: 4 Weeks
Dig deeper into SEO with UC Davis’ Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialization, free on Coursera. The SEO Specialization runs a total of four weeks and covers the ins and outs of SEO. You’ll take quizzes, perform interactive assignments, and discuss the course with others in the discussion forums.
While it’s a self-paced course (you can reset the timer at any time), you are linked to an online cohort for peer assignments, discussions, and help.
Beginner SEO Courses
Here’s where you need to start if you’re just getting into SEO. Some of these beginner courses are contrarily a little more advanced. Some of them will walk you through just the basics — while others will take you to the intermediate level, where you can decide the next steps. Taking a Beginner SEO Online Course and then either an Advanced SEO Course or an SEO Certification Course can be a great path to take on the way to an SEO career.
Duration: 1 Hour
Udemy offers a lot of SEO courses. This Udemy SEO course is specifically designed for beginners. While it was most recently updated in 2021, these are the new standards we are going to be using moving into 2022 — and it will undoubtedly be updated again when new standards arise.
Google doesn’t always tell marketers what changes they’ve made to their algorithm, so marketing information tends to lag behind Google’s algorithm changes somewhat. A lot of testing, research, and communication goes into figuring out what has changed in Google’s algorithm, and marketers are always hard at work trying to figure them out.
Duration: 4 Weeks
This fast-paced course covers audience development, SEO analysis, page optimization, domain authority, and more. It’s a full course designed to serve as an introduction to SEO, tailored to complete beginners who need to learn everything from scratch.
Specifically, this course is perfect for those who don’t want to become an SEO marketer — they just want to build their business. While it will give you the information that you need to become an SEO marketer, it’s really tailored to those who want to learn SEO for a specific and grounded reason.
Distilled University’s SEO 101 course covers search engine basics, on-page optimization, technical SEO, keyword research, information architecture, and more. It’s a very robust course; not only are there over 133 hours of content in the video library, but it also includes interactive modules. It’s suitable for both beginners and those with intermediate knowledge.
Because Distilled University has a monthly rather than flat fee, the entire course is self-paced. While there’s a lot of information there, you can go through it at your leisure — ideal for those who are trying to boost their SEO knowledge while still working or going to school full-time.
Advanced SEO Courses
SEO is a broad discipline. Many people can understand the basics of SEO. But it takes years to completely master. SEO is about more than just knowing current standards; it’s about knowing how to uncover changes in the algorithm and adjust. Advanced SEO courses encompass deep dives into SEO, intended to make you an expert.
Duration: 12 Weeks
This comprehensive course costs quite a bit, but it’s designed to ensure that you know everything about SEO from start to finish. Once you complete the Blueprint training course, you should know what the top agencies in the world know about search engine optimization and marketing. And this is about more than just knowing about SEO — it’s also about the ins and outs of the SEO business.
This isn’t a course to take if you don’t know anything about SEO. Most people who take this course will already have at least several years of experience in the industry. If you do know SEO, however, this can help you command a far higher salary.
Udemy’s SEO 2022 course is the perfect course for those who want to learn about modern SEO and WordPress optimization. Udemy’s SEO 2022 includes competitor analysis, keyword research, content, technical SEO, core web vitals, page speed, backlinks, UX SEO, and WordPress training.
This course has been fully updated for 2022, providing in-depth information about what tactics you need to use today. It’s one of the few courses that is updated very frequently, with updates occurring on a near monthly basis.
Similar to Coursera, LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda) provides access to a number of courses on a monthly basis. There are 26 SEO courses on LinkedIn, including “SEO Foundations,” “Become an SEO Expert,” and “Technical SEO.” Courses are organized into “Learning Paths” to make it easier to figure out what you need to know.
LinkedIn also has a number of other digital marketing courses. If you’re looking to shift your career (or grow it), your $39.99/month entry fee can gain you access to numerous learning opportunities.
SEO Certification Courses
What’s different about an SEO certification course? An SEO certification course gives you a verifiable certification at the end — a qualification that you can add to your resume. You don’t necessarily need an SEO certification course, but it can be a great way to establish your credentials, especially if you have limited experience in SEO.
Duration: 3 Hours
HubSpot provides a free certification course that, once acquired, demonstrates that you know the basics of SEO, including website optimization, link building, keyword research, competitor research, and more. It covers not only Google, but also Bing. The HubSpot academy is a trusted leader within the SEO space — and continually updates its information based on new changes to the Google and Bing algorithms.
In addition to the free certification course, you can also look through HubSpot’s other courses and documentation. HubSpot maintains a tremendously large library of SEO and digital marketing data.
This basic, free SEO certification course comes in the form of a 156 page eBook, with free course and certification. You can sign up on eMarketing’s site for more information and start learning immediately about search engine optimization fundamentals. At the end of the course, you’ll be granted eMarketing’s SEO certification.
This certification process isn’t extremely well-recognized, but it’s a great chance to test out your SEO knowledge and learn more. With the free course and certification, you can decide whether this is a good career path for you.
Online Marketing Institute has certifications in social media, Facebook marketing, digital marketing, and content marketing. These certifications vary from 6-11 classes and cover everything from SEO to general digital marketing practices. Those interested in learning more about marketing and SEO should take the Digital Fundamentals Certification.
In reality, most marketers don’t just concentrate on SEO. They know about SEO, PPC campaigns, social media marketing, and content marketing. Online Marketing Institute is great for the marketer who wants more all-around knowledge about online marketing strategies.
Duration: 25+ Hours
Cost: $599 to $999
MarketMotive’s advanced technical SEO course is offered as either a self-paced lesson plan ($599 for 180 days of access) or an online bootcamp ($999 for 90 days of access). During this advanced SEO certification course, you’ll learn more about basic SEO concepts, how to organically drive traffic to your site, how to perform basic keyword research, how to optimize pages, and how to perform detailed analytics.
Bootcamps are a great choice for those who find that they can’t learn without a lot of structure. A bootcamp will give you tangible goals to reach and firm deadlines to meet. But if you’re able to self-motivate, you can save some money with the self-paced learning package.
Cost: Free to start, then $497
You can complete ClickMinded’s basic classes for free, but to actually get the certification (and to finish the more advanced coursework), you’ll need to pay $497. ClickMinded’s SEO certification will show that you know the basic fundamentals of search engine optimization.
This certification course is targeted both to SEO marketers and companies and brands who want to perform SEO themselves. Companies who want their employees to learn more about search engine optimization can consider sending them through this certification path.
Duration: 20+ Hours (1 Year Access)
Want to become an SEO master? Bootcamp Digital’s SEO Master Certification is an industry-accredited certification course, including one-on-one office hours with an instructor, downloads such as templates and checklists, and a private Facebook group where you can discuss what you’ve learned with others.
While this course is a little more expensive than many others, it also includes a free digital strategy workshop — and you can invest in an additional SEO crash course for $388. This is the course you want to take if you want to become an SEO expert fast.
What Course is Best for SEO?
There are many courses out there. Among all of them, HubSpot’s SEO courses tend to be the most recognizable. Udemy and Coursera also have a number of SEO classes, courses, and career paths that can make it easier to learn what you need to know. Ideally, you should find a course that fits your budget, your learning style, and your timeframe. If you learn best in person, you might want to look for the best local SEO course instead.
Is SEO Still Relevant in 2021?
Search engine optimization will be relevant as long as search engines are being used to find content. But that doesn’t mean that the SEO of 2021 still applies to the SEO of 2022. SEO evolves considerably over time; strategies that worked in the past don’t necessarily work now.
Is SEO Certification Worth it?
SEO certification is primarily “worth it” for those who are new to SEO or who are pivoting into marketing from another field. You shouldn’t pay a lot for an SEO certification; it’s not something that employers need to see and there’s little material difference between many of the free certifications and many of the paid certifications.
Is SEO a Good Career?
SEO is integrated into nearly everything a business does today, because most businesses have gone digital with their marketing. As an SEO professional, you can work in a number of industries, ranging from non-profit organizations to FANG companies. SEO is a swiftly growing career and its skill set can extend to other fields, such as general digital marketing and content marketing.
Getting Started with SEO Courses
That’s a lot of courses. How can you get started with the right SEO course? It depends on your experience level and your goals.
If you know nothing about SEO, you may want to start with a free resource such as Google’s Search Engine Optimization or Semrush’s SEO Academy. This will give you a broad overview of the SEO landscape. From there, other beginner SEO courses and advanced courses can round out your knowledge.
If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur looking to learn more about SEO, it may be better to take a beginner course that’s targeted toward business owners or SMBs rather than marketers. Online Marketing Institute and LinkedIn both have numerous options. And if you’re a writer you might want to take an SEO writing course, instead.
Finally, if you’re interested in getting a career in search engine optimization, you should also take an SEO certification course. SEO certification courses prove that you have the real world, working knowledge that it takes to properly search engine optimize content. Online Marketing Institute and ClickMinded both provide comprehensive SEO certification courses.
Ready to apply your SEO knowledge? Check out our best SEO tutorials today!