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The 7 Best SEO Certifications And Courses: Are They Even Worth It?

Best SEO Certifications And Courses Header
Best SEO Certifications And Courses Header

An SEO certificate isn’t going to make or break a deal with a client.

Unlike some industries, external qualifications are not an outright requirement to progress with your career.

But they can help you level up your agency’s expertise.

They can give you a more well-rounded understanding of SEO and show potential clients that you are committed to improving your skillset.

In this guide, we’re going to reveal some of the best SEO certifications available today.

What Is An SEO Certification?

An SEO certification is a formal acknowledgment that you’ve completed a search engine optimization (SEO) course. Educational platforms, SEO tool providers, and industry experts offer these certifications.

Most online SEO courses follow a similar format. You watch on-demand video lessons to learn at your own speed. There’s usually a quiz or mini-assignment at the end of each module.

Once you’ve completed the course, you must pass an exam to earn the SEO certification.

So, Are SEO Certifications Worth It?

If SEO certifications aren’t needed, and the SEO landscape moves so fast, can they possibly be worth it?

The short answer is yes.

But it depends on your goals and where you are in your SEO career.

If you’re relatively new to SEO, online courses can give you a solid understanding of the fundamentals. They can even fill in knowledge gaps for experienced SEO professionals.

In both cases they help build your confidence, which can only be a good thing when you’re talking to prospective clients and are winning them over.

An SEO certification can also help you attract clients.

Potential clients want to know they’re working with someone knowledgeable. And a certification can give them that confidence.

Remember, many many end users still aren’t familiar with SEO, and may even mistrust it. A nice shiny badge or certification shows that you’ve invested time and effort into learning the craft and that you’ve put work into legitimizing the knowledge you have.

However, with all that said, you don’t need qualifications and exams to succeed with SEO.

SEO is a very hands-on and dynamic industry, and practical experience will often win out over certifications when it comes to actually getting results.

A healthy portfolio and history of success will do just as much, if not more, to reassure a potential client.

The great thing about SEO is that it’s easy to set up your own test sites and see what really works.

7 Best SEO Certifications and Courses

Still keen on building your SEO knowledge and getting those courses in? Awesome!

Here are 7 of the best SEO certifications to boost your confidence and credibility.

UC Davis: Google SEO Fundamentals

UC Davis SEO Fundamentals screenshot

The Google SEO Fundamentals course by UC Davis on Coursera is an excellent introduction to SEO. Although some of the information is a little dated, it still gives you a solid understanding of the main concepts and practical advice.

Course Details:

The course is taught by Rebekah May, an industry-recognized SEO expert. It takes around 30 hours to complete and is broken down into four main lessons:

Introduction to On-Page SEO

Learn the basics of on-page SEO, including how to optimize title tags, meta descriptions, and other elements.

Introduction to Off-Page SEO

This lesson focuses on building website authority through off-page SEO strategies.

Introduction to Technical SEO

The basics of technical SEO. You’ll learn about sitemaps, redirects, robot.txt files, and managing site errors.

Keyword Theory & Research

The course wraps up with the importance of keyword research and how to use SEO tools to find high-value keywords.

Pricing:

Enrolling is free, but you must have a paid Coursera plan to qualify for an SEO certification. Coursera starts at $49 per month.

Hubspot: SEO Certification Course

Hubspot SEO certification screenshot

The HubSpot SEO Certification Course is a comprehensive free alternative to the UC Davis certification. The course is designed to give you foundational knowledge in different aspects of SEO. There’s even an SEO reporting module to help you create actionable SEO reports.

Course Details:

The course starts with the basics of SEO before moving into more advanced topics.

SEO Basics

You’ll learn how search engines work and the key elements of an effective SEO strategy.

On-Page and Technical SEO

Exploration of on-page SEO techniques and technical SEO aspects like site speed and mobile optimization.

Keyword Research for SEO

This module teaches you how to identify the right keywords to target using SEO tools.

Link Building for SEO: Scaling Your Backlink Strategy

The importance of backlinks and the different link building techniques you can use.

Optimizing Your Website for Rich Results

How to implement structured data and optimize your content for featured snippets in Google.

SEO Reporting

A module on measuring SEO performance and making data-driven decisions to improve your strategy.

Pricing:

The HubSpot SEO Certification Course is completely free.

CXL: Link Building

CXL Link building screenshot

CXL’s Link Building course is a good option if you’re looking to level up your off-page SEO skills. The course focuses on advanced link-building strategies that you can use to build website authority and boost search engine rankings.

Course Details:

The CXL Link Building course is designed to give you a deep understanding of how to build high-quality backlinks.

Introduction to Link Building

Gain an understanding of what link building is and why it’s crucial for SEO.

How to Set Up a Successful Link Building Campaign

This module dives into the practical steps of setting up a link-building campaign. You’ll learn how to:

  • Set Goals
  • Create Content
  • Prospect
  • Outreach
  • Track & Measure

Link Building Tactics

This is where you’ll explore strategies to earn backlinks, including:

  • Unlinked Brand Mentions
  • Content Contributions
  • Upcycling Content
  • Creating Free Tools
  • Using Directories
  • Listicles

Pricing:

CXL pricing starts at $289.00 per month. This gives you access to all courses on the CXL platform.

Semrush Academy: Backlink Management

SEMRush Academy Backlink Management

The Semrush Backlink Management Course with Greg Gifford is an excellent free alternative if the CXL course is beyond your budget. It teaches you how to build high-quality backlinks and manage your link profile.

Semrush provides a ton of free SEO certifications. You’ll find courses on everything from pitching media outlets to AI marketing. It’s worth checking out the Semrush Academy to see for yourself.

Course Details:

The course covers all the essential aspects of backlink management.

Backlink Management Basics

Learn what backlinks are and how they impact your SEO efforts.

Types of Links

Explanation of the different types of backlinks and which ones are most valuable for SEO.

Link Research

The tools and techniques to find high-quality backlink opportunities.

Competitive Analysis

Learn how to analyze where your competitors are getting their backlinks.

Penalty Recovery

Identify harmful backlinks and use the Google Disavow Tool to clean up your backlink profile.

Link Building Strategies

Practical strategies you can use to build high-quality backlinks.

Link Building Campaign

Put everything you’ve learned together into a comprehensive link building campaign.

Pricing:

The Semrush Academy Backlink Management course is free.

Moz Academy: Technical SEO Certification

Moz Academy Technical Certification

If you want to learn more about the technical side of SEO, the Moz Academy Technical SEO Certification is the best course on the market. It focuses on the technical aspects needed to perform well in search results. By the end of the course, you’ll have the skills to fix technical issues.

Course Details:

The Moz Academy Technical SEO course covers everything you need to know about technical SEO.

Fundamentals of Technical SEO

What technical SEO is and how it differs from on-page and off-page SEO.

Crawlability

Learn techniques to make your site more accessible to search engine bots.

Indexation

Best practices for making sure your content is included in search engine results.

Accessibility & Site Performance

A deep dive into the technical aspects that impact user experience and search ranking.

Pricing:

The course costs $595 as a one-time fee.

BrightLocal: A Beginner’s Guide to Local SEO

Bright Local beginner's guide

Are you looking to get better results for local SEO clients?

The BrightLocal Beginner’s Guide to Local SEO is exactly what you need. The course gives you a good overview of the different aspects of local SEO and how to optimize for local search.

Course Details:

BrightLocal’s course provides good background informational and practical tactics you can use in client campaigns.

What is Local SEO?

Learn what local SEO is and why it’s crucial for businesses that operate in specific geographic areas.

Local Ranking Factors

Discover the key factors that influence local search rankings.

On-Page Signals

Learn how to optimize your content, meta tags, and URLs to target local keywords.

Local Links

Strategies for building high-quality local backlinks.

Citations

What citations are and how to ensure NAP consistency across all platforms.

Reviews and How to Get Them

How to manage your online reputation and encourage customers to leave positive reviews.

Google Business Profile

A module on how to set up and manage your Google Business Profile.

Other Signals

How to use social media, local content marketing strategies, and other tactics to boost visibility in search results.

Pricing:

The BrightLocal Complete Guide to Local SEO course is free.

Google Analytics Certification

Google Analytics certification

Google Analytics is an essential digital marketing tool. It provides detailed insights into audience behavior, conversions, and technical issues.

If you need some guidance to get the most out of the tool, the Google Analytics Certification is a must-have. This certification will equip you with the skills to analyze website data and make informed decisions about your strategy.

Course Details:

The Google Analytics Certification course is made up of six modules.

Google Analytics for Beginners

Set up a Google Analytics account, implement tracking codes on your website, and navigate the interface.

Advanced Google Analytics

Learn to set up event tracking, segment data, and create custom reports.

Google Analytics for Power Users

How to analyze traffic sources, identify top content, and improve ecommerce performance.

Getting Started with Google Analytics 360

This module focuses on the enterprise-level features that come with Google Analytics 360.

Introduction to Data Studio

Learn how to create visually appealing reports using Google Data Studio.

Google Tag Manager Fundamentals

How to implement and manage tags using Google Tag Manager.

Pricing:

The Google Analytics Certification is free.

Boost Your Agency’s Expertise with SEO Certifications

You don’t need certifications to run a successful SEO agency.

Practical experience goes a long way and, ultimately, what matters to clients is results.

However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t helpful for your agency. SEO training and certifications can be a great way to boost your agency’s skillset and build confidence in both your clients and your staff.

That, in turn, can help you achieve better results for your clients.

Daniel Trick
Daniel Trick

Head of Content

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