SEO Certification courses

SEO Success: The Best SEO Certification Courses in 2024

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The SEO (Search Engine Optimization) industry is a dynamic and ever-evolving field that plays a crucial role in the digital landscape. At its core, SEO is optimizing websites to improve their visibility and ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).

As the SEO industry continues to evolve, it remains a competitive and rapidly changing landscape. SEO success requires technical expertise, creativity, adaptability, and a deep understanding of user intent and behavior.

 Insights From The Article

Before diving into SEO, build your knowledge base with a certification course. Choose free resources for the basics and paid ones for advanced learning, but only if they offer extra value.
SEMrush, HubSpot, Ahrefs, UC, Davis, and Google offer some of the best free courses, while Moz and Yoast offer the top paid courses. 
While digital SEO certifications can showcase proficiency, practical hands-on experience is often more valuable in navigating the rapidly evolving SEO landscape. 

Hiring an SEO agency for your website can provide access to a diverse range of expertise, covering every SEO aspect, including local, technical, international, and on-page optimization.

Since universities don’t offer degrees for professional SEO courses, your best bet to become an SEO expert is to get certified online. 

Are SEO courses worth it? And if so, which ones are worth investing your time and (sometimes) money in? Let’s find out. 

Are SEO Courses Worth it?

You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t see their value. And as a beginner, you need to strengthen the foundation of your base SEO knowledge. A certification training course can be extremely handy before you try to gain experience because it’s always great to upskill.

Exploring the Many Roles in SEO

There isn’t a certain widely recognized and approved SEO course because there are a ton of people with different skills that all contribute to an optimal SEO process.

SEO job roles.

SEO job roles.

These include developers, designers, writers, marketers, data analysts, influencers, salespeople, managers, and other professionals. Whether through coding, creativity, analysis, social influence, strategic management, or content marketing, there are many areas for you to explore and start contributing to the world of SEO.

Should You Be Paying for an SEO Certification Course?

I don’t suggest opting for a paid course for learning basic principles. However, if the course is hinting to go beyond the SEO basics and is of educational value or offers free access to a useful tool, then go for it!

SEO is a dense topic with many aspects that can’t all be grasped in one go without some amount of practical experience.

Free or paid, the basics involve the same content more or less, just the depth of topics varies, so I recommend going for the free content; if it doesn’t provide value to you, then move on to one of the paid courses mentioned in this article. 

Which Are The Best SEO Certification Courses?

Here are some of the best certifications that offer basic SEO knowledge in your learning journey. The companies offering these courses boast strong credentials, and have comprehensive, well-organized courses taught by experienced professionals.

SEO Crash Course by SEMrush (Free)

This course is best for beginners with little to no SEO knowledge. Through interactive modules, hands-on exercises, and real-world examples, learners gain practical knowledge and actionable strategies to elevate their digital marketing efforts.

Led by industry expert Brian Dean, It takes 2-2.5 hours to complete and introduces you to some SEMrush tools you’ll use in the future.

SEO Fundamentals Course by SEMrush (Free)

The SEO Fundamentals course dives deeper into SEO theories and concepts. It covers a broader range of topics in greater detail, including keyword research, on-page optimization, technical SEO, link building, and analytics.

This free course, taught by Greg Gifford, is suitable for beginners or those with limited SEO experience who want to build a strong foundation of knowledge and develop a comprehensive understanding of SEO concepts and strategies.

SEO Certification Course by HubSpot (Free)

HubSpot is a company known for its sales software and inbound marketing. The course  helps you learn SEO by diving into the history at the beginning, but picks up on technical aspects soon.

The course is very short (about 40-60 minutes) but covers all major aspects, such as evaluating a site’s SEO, on-page SEO, technical SEO, the basics of link building strategies, and reporting SEO data. 

Google SEO Fundamentals by UC Davis (Free)

The University of California, Davis provides SEO, consisting of five courses that end with a capstone project. This is a more advanced SEO course ( level: intermediate-advance) compared to the others and is the longest course so far, covering about 29-30 hours of SEO content.

Let me clarify: this isn’t an SEO certification course by Google. It’s a course created by the University of California, Davis, and powered by Coursera. The course is split into four modules and offers a certificate upon exam completion.

The course covers some interesting concepts, including marketing, SEO, how search algorithms work, competitive analysis, and creating SEO reports. 

Google Analytics 4 Certification from Google (Free)

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is used by anyone for SEO purposes to track and analyze website data. However, understanding how to navigate it is not easy.

This five-part course should help you learn how to analyze, and use data and insights in GA 4 to improve your site—and you’ll also get a certified at the end of it. This course offers more than 4 hours of video content, along with an online assessment to obtain your certification.

You can conveniently track your progress through Google, fitting the certification into your schedule as needed. By completing the course, you’ll gain expertise in using GA4 like an experienced professional.

Ahrefs Complete SEO Course For Beginners (Free)

You will not get an SEO course completion certificate by the end of this course by Ahrefs. However, since SEO certificates are not regulated, there’s no harm in checking this course out, especially because it’s entirely on YouTube.

It takes around 2 hours to complete and is easy to access even from YouTube. The course includes video tutorials hosted by experienced SEO professionals. These tutorials provide step-by-step instructions, real-world examples, and practical demonstrations to help learners understand key concepts and techniques.

So by the end of this article, you will be able to decide the value of a certification for SEO training and make informed choices on which course you finally want to go for.

As mentioned earlier, test out the free SEO courses before diving into the paid ones, especially if you have no prior SEO proficiency. However, if you decide to go for the paid courses, I’m listing down the best SEO courses that are by some of the industry leaders to help you gain maximum value.

Moz’s SEO Essentials (Paid)

Moz’s course is ideal for SEO beginners or those with limited experience. They offer one free course to help you get a feel, but the certifications for online courses like this one is going to cost you $595.

Moz’s SEO Essentials certification offers a convenient, six-part course designed to introduce you to the core principles of SEO and demonstrate how to apply these skills using Moz’s premium SEO tool, Moz Pro. It typically takes about six hours to complete and ends with a skills assessment to validate your newfound SEO knowledge.

Throughout the course, you’ll explore various SEO topics, covering concepts like keyword research, optimizing on-page content, building quality backlinks, and monitoring and reporting on SEO performance metrics. Each section includes practical tasks that provide valuable practical experience, reinforcing your understanding of the material.

Note: You don’t need a Moz subscription to access this course. 

Yoast All-Around SEO Training (Paid)

Yoast is one of the leading WordPress SEO plugins. It’s ideal for anyone seeking a solid understanding of SEO. It costs $99 annually, with free access to Yoast SEO premium plugin.

This course teaches you essential SEO skills such as keyword research, crafting content with SEO expertise, enhancing your site’s structure, and technical SEO techniques like optimizing site speed and security.

It also explores off-page SEO strategies, including effective link building, optimizing user experience (UX), leveraging email marketing, and harnessing the power of social media.

Why Getting an SEO Certification Course May Not Help You

Getting an online SEO certification can be helpful in showcasing your proficiency, especially if you lack experience. It can help demonstrate your commitment to growing and learning more.

However, most SEO experts you know, don’t have a certification. They learned it the old-fashioned way: by getting hands-on experience.

Ultimately, what you learn in SEO is much more than a certification. Also, SEO is very rapidly and constantly evolving. So don’t bother taking the leap if you aren’t ready to constantly keep up with the changing trends and learn and unlearn things that may be outdated.

SEO certification vs. SEO internship.

SEO certification vs. SEO internship.

In my opinion, diving into a hands-on experience can teach you more than any SEO training course can.

Not everything you learn needs to apply to the company you work for. For example, if you’ve learned local SEO strategies, you won’t be able to apply them if you’re working for a massive E-commerce firm.

SEO is all about demonstrating skills. The industry doesn’t care about what you’ve learnt off of Google and no amount of online SEO education can prepare you for the real-life challenges and transitions of the SEO world.

Hence, hands-on experience can be your practical knowledge teacher once you learn SEO fundamentals.

SEO Agencies vs. Certifications

If you are learning SEO to become an SEO specialist, then the above article should’ve taught you something by now. But if you want to learn SEO for improving your business or brand’s online presence, then I suggest hiring an SEO agency.

We can all agree there is a difference between the expertise levels of an SEO newbie, and an experienced SEO firm.

When you hire an SEO or digital marketing company, you’re tapping into a wealth of expertise covering various aspects of SEO, such as local, technical, international, and on-page SEO. Depending on the agency’s size, they might also boast PPC specialists, content marketers, data analysts, and project managers.

Perks of hiring an SEO company. 

Perks of hiring an SEO company. 

While getting an SEO certification can provide you with a basic understanding of different SEO types, it doesn’t match up to the depth of knowledge possessed by an experienced expert with over a decade in the field.

Unless you plan on consistently implementing SEO marketing strategies and dedicating enough time each week to keep up with SEO developments, it’s likely simpler and more efficient to pay for the services of an SEO company.

Final Thoughts

By now, you should’ve decided your next steps in your quest for SEO success. Online SEO courses offered by SEMrush, Ahrefs, HubSpot, and UC Davis are free to access and can give you significant SEO mastery that is worth your time.

Paid SEO courses by industry experts, such as Moz and Yoast, offer a more in-depth understanding of SEO metrics and come with access to certain free resources. These free and paid courses give you a peek into the fundamental SEO concepts that you are expected to have before diving deeper into this industry.


1. What is an SEO certificate?

An SEO certificate is a document you get after completing a course or training program that teaches you about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It shows that you’ve learned the basics of how to make websites more visible on search engines like Google. Having it can help you show employers that you know how to improve a website’s search engine rankings.

2. Is SEO Certification Worth It?

Deciding whether SEO certification is worth it depends on your goals and circumstances. If you’re looking to learn the fundamentals of SEO or enhance your resume, a certification can be valuable. However, if you’re already experienced in SEO or have access to other learning resources, you may not find it necessary. Ultimately, weigh the cost, time, and potential benefits to determine if it aligns with your needs.

3. Is there a Google SEO certification?

Google doesn’t offer a certification that’s directly related to SEO. However, it offers marketing courses and a course on Google Analytics 4 to help you gain insights into analyzing website performance, which can be incredibly useful for SEO purposes.

Gaby Alexander

Gaby Alexander

Gaby is a search marketing enthusiast with a passion for helping agencies improve their ROI through effective link-building strategies. With expertise in Google Campaign Manager, HubSpot Inbound Marketing, and SEMrush, Gaby provides valuable insights and guidance to optimize search marketing campaigns.

Gaby Alexander

Gaby Alexander

Gaby is a search marketing enthusiast with a passion for helping agencies improve their ROI through effective link-building strategies. With expertise in Google Campaign Manager, HubSpot Inbound Marketing, and SEMrush, Gaby provides valuable insights and guidance to optimize search marketing campaigns.

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