An SEO Specialist course is for people who are considering building a career in Search Engine Optimization. As you may know, SEO is an important element in the digital marketing space. SEO specialists use link building and keyword research to optimize content and generate organic traffic into a website. If you think that SEO services are indispensable in any marketing team, specializing in SEO may be a good option for you.
Where and How Do You Start?
There is no single path to becoming an SEO expert. No specific degrees are required of you, as well as official and standard certifications in SEO. There are, however, a variety of ways that you can kickstart your career and start getting clients. One of the most potent ways is finding the best SEO specialist course. Here’s how.
Should You Get An SEO Course?
An SEO course is a program that will introduce you to the world of search engine optimization. It will teach you several techniques to optimize your content. Is it worth it? It depends on why you think you need to take the course. Some people take SEO courses to advance their careers and supplement their skills in a related field. Meanwhile, others take it with the intent of specializing in it and monetizing their services.
Depending on what they promise in the course description, they introduce you to the SEO industry by explaining the basic concepts. They will also teach you how to use the essential tools and resources, and help improve your skills and strategies to make money from SEO.
Whether you’re just starting or already have substantial knowledge and experience in SEO, courses and training can be beneficial. Here are three main reasons to apply for an SEO specialist course.
Skip the guesswork
These days, you can learn anything on the internet for free. Does it save you from investing money on lessons and programs? Yes. Does it save you time? Absolutely not. You’ll be surprised at how much SEO advice there is circulating on the internet.
With a highly structured program offered by SEO courses, you learn from legitimate SEO experts that have enough experience to back up any of their advice. Beginners, especially, need the guidance of experts to understand the complex set of methodologies, strategies, and techniques required to optimize and fine-tune online content.
Upgrade your skillset
Even the most seasoned experts can benefit from an SEO Specialist course because the digital landscape is as dynamic as it is confusing. Algorithms are constantly changing, so experts must keep changing their approaches and strategies to adapt to new guidelines. This course can be adjusted to cater to SEO professionals who need more advanced discussions. Even if you’re not a beginner, it can’t hurt to listen to the experts and reflect on your performance so far by assessing what you’re doing right and what you need to improve on.
Getting certified by an SEO course may not immediately make you an expert, but it will drive potential clients to have more trust in your services. In addition, a completed program will look good on your resume and add a little more credibility to your client’s eyes.
Who Offers SEO Certification?
If you’re looking for a credible course, digital marketing agencies and educational platforms are your best bets. Some highly-established SEO companies offer online self-study courses, and some offer a classroom setting.
Here are some popular choices that provide an SEO specialist course:
SEMRush: SEMRush Academy
SEMRush is a popular tool for SEO services. It also offers a full range of free courses for both experienced and aspiring SEO specialists. The main advantage here is that you get to pick which sets and modules to take, depending on your skill level. For example, the SEO Fundamentals Course will lay the groundwork of your SEO journey and have an exam to gauge how far you’ve come along. Many of its modules are highly beginner-friendly. This course is best for people who aren’t technically savvy and want to learn technical SEO.
Google Analytics Academy: Advanced Google Analytics
This course is best for SEO professionals with intermediate SEO skills and looking to supplement their knowledge on SEO basics. While Google doesn’t offer SEO certifications per se, you can work around this and take a series of analytics courses to help you with one of the most fundamental aspects of SEO: understanding search engines.
Google’s Advanced Google Analytics course is broken down into four lessons stretched out into four to six hours: data collection and processing, data configuration, advanced marketing tools, and advanced analysis tools and techniques.
The Blueprint: The Blueprint Training
The Blueprint is a platform that specializes in SEO education for both industry beginners and professionals. Courses can be bundled and customized to some degree, giving you more freedom to design your course plan based on what you want to learn. The courses deliver various topics if you wish to focus on more operational aspects like client onboarding or get the fundamentals like keyword research and technical SEO.
The good thing with Blueprint is that you can access some lessons for free and try out the learning experience first before deciding to invest in the whole training bundle. You can take great advantage of the free lessons to help you decide which SEO specialist course to take.
Google for Developers: SEO Starter Guide
If you’re already familiar with website development and coding, Google offers a free course for technical SEO. While it’s not a traditional video course and is essentially a text guide, it has a lot of helpful information and insights about SEO geared towards developers.
This course’s main advantage is that the most popular search engine teaches it. The guide will give you a look at Google’s search guidelines and how it structures websites and data in search results.
HubSpot Academy: SEO Training Course
If you’re a digital marketer looking for a crash course on SEO, HubSpot Academy might just be the one for you. The academy has several courses that can be finished quickly and let you cherry-pick which ones you want to take.
The free SEO Training Course course has three main lessons that can be finished within an hour in total, containing 15 videos and two quizzes. Digital marketers will learn about the parts of SEO that matter the most for content marketing strategies: keyword research, link building, and optimizing blog and webpage content.
Coursera: Search Engine Optimization Specialization
Coursera is an education platform that caters to several niche topics. Its four-part SEO course is taught by instructors from esteemed universities. The in-depth course covers everything from an introduction to SEO to advanced tactics to optimize SEO. The best advantage of this option is that it’s self-paced: Coursera sets aside seven hours per week for five months to finish the entire course. Each course is free, but if you want to get a certificate of completion, you’ll have to subscribe to the whole specialization for a certain amount per month.
Moz: The Beginner’s Guide to SEO
Moz offers a free, comprehensive, and easy-to-follow course for complete SEO beginners. The course will help you learn basic SEO terminology and get up to speed on basic SEO strategies. This is best for people that want to have just enough SEO knowledge to generate search traffic to their website. The best part? It’s short enough to be finished in one sitting.
What To Consider When Choosing an SEO Specialist Course?
It can range from general to specific. Some can either be for beginners or experts, while some are for specific areas of SEO. Here are the first things you should keep in mind when looking around for courses that fit your standards.
1. Determine what you want to learn
Why do you want to learn SEO? Do you want to improve your website’s traffic? Are you interested in driving up the sales of your online business? Do you want to be an SEO expert and offer your services to clients? Are you an SEO professional and looking to update your credentials and learn new skills?
Do a little digging on your own first. Read articles about how SEO can help your particular areas of interest. Then, take note of the specific skills you want to learn. You can refer to this when looking at general and personalized courses. These factors can also help you decide when choosing an SEO specialist course to take.
2. Check out the course plan
Every SEO course should have a description of what it promises the audience. Take a good look at the course plan and evaluate it based on what you need. Does it check off all the items on your list? Because SEO is, by nature, involved with several other related fields in the industry. Every SEO specialist course can have different approaches and specializations. Regardless, there are some essentials that every SEO course should have. Here are seven things that your SEO course should teach.
The importance of SEO
Some people will enroll in an SEO course to understand SEO’s extensive importance in the digital realm. So courses must cover this first and avoid assuming that learners will already know. The course should begin with the definition and importance of search engine optimization and establish how it affects everyone trying to put out content in the online world. For beginners who don’t know much about the nuances of online marketing, SEO should also be explained to let them know how different it is from other methods such as paid advertising.
The basics of SEO
An SEO course should never skip out on the basics, even if they’re targeted at experts. Learning the basics boils the subject down to its core components: user intent, how search engines function, and the tools and techniques needed to optimize content. For experienced specialists, this is where you can update your knowledge on specific subject matters. For beginners, the course should take the learner through every step, define every term, explain each part’s importance, and explain how the whole SEO ecosystem works.
What makes a competitive SEO strategy
While search engine guidelines are constantly changing, there are surefire ways to ensure a high search rank for your content. An SEO Specialist course should give you the basic formula for successful SEO. This involves determining user intent, whether it’s informational, navigational, or transactional, and whether to use local, national, or international SEO.
For example, the formula can rely on crawl accessibility, compelling content, optimized keywords, user-friendly interface, catchy snippets, and engaging titles to get users to click on them when they show in search results.
How to use tools and resources for SEO
Taking an SEO course that will not teach you how to use the necessary tools is as good as looking up SEO definitions for free. Not everyone will know how to operate SEO software and need a little more help from a course. This should also come with recommendations on which tools work best for different functions.
How to build websites
Website building and design is a core part of SEO specialist services. It’s essentially applying everything you’ve learned about SEO. Most pros will tell you that they’ve learned the most about SEO by building websites and seeing how it performs when put to the test. Building a website will require you to learn HTML coding, learning tags, and testing the content.
The course should also teach you how to test these websites by fiddling with the content and seeing where they rank in search engine results. This requires a thorough understanding of how search engine crawlers work, which should be covered in the basics portion.
How to comply to search engine guidelines
When discussing the most effective SEO strategies, a course should also discuss how to stay within the search engine’s guidelines. For example, every learner and practitioner should only engage in white hat SEO to provide more value to the content being worked on. The course should also explain which practices to avoid and the consequences of practicing black hat SEO.
What SEO specialists do
At the end of an SEO course, there should be a portion on SEO services and specialists. This will help beginners gauge what kind of services are offered for different functions and understand the effort that goes into SEO. Suppose you’re taking a course that promises to help you be an SEO specialist. In that case, there should also be a discussion on how to kickstart your career by understanding rate conversion, standard rates, work management, and network building.
3. Consider the time period
The course that you will choose should include how long it will take for you to learn SEO. Some promise months, while some promise just an hour or two. It all depends on how thorough the course is.
While I recommend that you look for courses based on your intent and skill level, it’s also important to consider other factors like your learning style and pace. For example, beginner courses tend to have step-by-step instructions. So if you don’t like fast-paced lessons, then it’s OK to take a beginner course with much experience in the field.
4. Consider the learning format
Some SEO specialist courses are offered as online courses where all the videos and materials are already provided and broken down in increments. Others offer lessons in a classroom setting where you can take them with other participants. Be aware of what type of situation works for you before investing in a paid program. If you’re more comfortable with having company while learning, then look at highly-rated programs that you can enroll in and communicate with fellow learners. If you can’t make any time for a set schedule and prefer learning at your own pace and self-studying, then there are plenty of other options for that, too.
5. Do a background check on the program
This should count as a given, but there are so many courses offered out there that it can be hard to pick out the best one. So to help narrow down your options, check out these details of the course offer:
- Instructors – They should have expert-level knowledge and a considerable amount of experience and presence within the industry to provide credibility for their lessons.
- Reviews – The course should have organic testimonials from actual people that took the course. Take a look at the average rating for the overall course and note the specific pros and cons listed in individual reviews.
- Price – Paid programs should ensure that you’re getting your subscription’s worth. If you’re paying, you should be getting a myriad of sets, modules, and bundles.
- Relevance of certification – Some agencies or websites have more credibility than others. Try looking at other SEO professionals’ credentials and see which courses are the most popular and recognized.
SEO courses and certificates are essential in kick-starting your career in SEO specialization. Aside from having seasoned experts teach you how to develop specific skills, it will also provide more credibility to your clients if you add it to your portfolio and resume.
However, while these courses certainly help you become a specialist, it doesn’t necessarily make you an expert. True expertise stems from proven experience and outstanding results, all of which courses and certificates can only supplement. If you want to establish yourself in the SEO field and make a difference as a specialist, plan out your priorities and consider the factors listed above to find the best SEO specialist course.
Hope this helps! I also recommend that you read our article about how to become a freelance SEO specialist so you can start building your career in this billion-dollar industry.