In this very competitive digital marketing world, we are often tempted, as a marketer, to get a certification just to get ahead of the pack. Certainly, there are several certifications that are worth getting, such as Google AdWords Certification, or the Facebook Blueprint certification. Yet, what about SEO? Is there any SEO certification worth getting?
This guide will attempt to answer just that, and we will discuss the ins and outs of an SEO certification, what you will need to look for, as well as some reviews for the best SEO certifications out there.
Let us begin.
Does Google have official SEO certification?
There are two main things to consider: first, Google does offer Adwords and Analytics certifications among others. Yet, keep in mind that they are not directly related to SEO, and if you are looking for more proofs and credibilities for the SEO field, these are not for you.
Second, some agencies and third-party sites often call themselves official Google Partners offering SEO certifications. Almost certainly, they are fakes. ‘Google Partners’ is Google’s program for digital marketing professionals, advertising agencies, and other online consultants who are specializing in AdWords and are managing AdWords accounts. The term ‘Google Partners’ has nothing to do with organic SEO at all.
So, What Are My Options?
Since most of our SEO efforts will be focused on Google as the leading search engine, the most ideal option should be an official SEO certification from Google. Yet, since as we’ve stated, it’s not available, we would need to resort to third-party certifications.
Thankfully, although they are not official certifications by Google, there are some that are worth considering, and we will review some of them further below.
(For Those Looking For SEO Agencies) How Can We Determine The Quality of SEO Agencies, Then?
As we’ve established, unfortunately, we don’t have any official SEO certification from Google so far, and we also don’t have a standardized certification that is accepted by everyone. So, how can we determine the quality of an SEO agency?
The best way to check whether a consultant and/or a marketing agency is qualified and experienced enough in SEO is to check their results. A good agency will usually present at least one case study where they have been successful, and you can ask for information regarding their previous clients, and check the current SERP ranking.
Also, as mentioned, there are third-party certifications that can be a good benchmark. Below, we will discuss several of those third-party certifications that are considered good and relevant.
Best Third-Party SEO Certifications and Courses
Before we begin, keep in mind that this list is written not in respective order. Each course and/or certification has their own advantages and disadvantages over the others. So, if you are planning to join one, make sure to choose the one that will suit your current needs.
Moz is obviously one of the most prominent names in the SaaS and SEO industries, and their blog is widely regarded as one of the most reliable SEO resources.
With that being said, Moz does offer some pretty interesting options for SEO courses and training. There’s a 5-day boot camp worth $595, or if you want to delve into the technicals, there’s the Technical SEO Site Audit course worth $149.
If you are building a new SEO team or have any specific needs, Moz also offers a personalized training course that can be tailored according to your needs.
As with Moz, HubSpot is one of the most renowned players in the SaaS and SEO industries. Their blog, similar to Moz, is also one of the best digital marketing resources out there.
What’s really great about HubSpot’s SEO training courses is the fact they are totally FREE. While you won’t get any certifications, this can be a very viable learning option if you are short on time or budget.
This course covers three different lessons: link building, how to find an SEO strategy for your business, and a case study on how HubSpot uses blogging and SEO to rank #1.
Yoast is a very popular (and powerful) SEO plugin for WordPress, and the capability of their plugin alone have shown their incredible expertise in SEO.
Yoast’s online SEO courses are a great opportunity if you want to go deep in learning SEO mastery. There’s a free SEO course for beginners, and several other courses ranging from just $39 to $699 for the all-in-one courses bundle.
A key value of Yoast’s SEO courses is how it goes in-depth in covering all the different topics surrounding SEO. SImply one of the best choices if you are looking for SEO knowledge.
Lynda.com is a subsidiary of LinkedIn and is a great resource for many expertise inside and outside digital marketing.
A month’s membership on Lynda will cost $29.99, or $24.99 if you do a one-year subscription, and you can get unlimited learning from 6000+ lessons available on Lynda. Yet, the good thing is there’s a 30-day free trial offer, and if you are a fast learner, you can use that free month to learn a lot.
There are over 30 different courses for SEO alone, ranging from keyword research, local SEO tutorial, link building, SEO for videos, and even specific SEO strategies to market your products. Simply a great place to learn, not only for SEO but for many different topics.
Traffic Think Thank utilizes Slack, a very popular messaging and productivity app to create a super-exclusive, premium learning community for SEO. The membership is quite expensive, $119 monthly or $1,190 annually, but here you can interact and get answers from real and credible SEO professionals like Matt Barby or Nick Eubanks.
You also get access to the whole contents, videos, webinars, and even exclusive tools you won’t be able to get anywhere else. An expensive option, but is totally worth it if you can spare the extra dollars. The biggest value here is how you can interact with real pros, a value you won’t get anywhere else.
Coursera is also a popular learning platform covering many different topics. The SEO Specialization course is developed by UC Davis, which we all know as one of the best research universities in the U.S. So if you are looking for an academic credibility and certification, this one can be an excellent choice.
The SEO specialization course covers six different lessons: an introduction to SEO, the fundamentals, optimizing a website, advanced content and social tactics, advanced SEO strategies, and a practical case study.
A great place if you are looking not only to gain knowledge but a reputable certification from a top-class American university.
If you are looking for a widely acclaimed SEO certification used by 8000+ startups, agencies, and entrepreneurs, then the ClickMinded SEO Certification is for you. It is one of the best and most well-known SEO certifications in the world, and you will also get the SEO mastery along the way.
For starters, there’s a free course covering the SEO fundamentals, which is a good choice if you want to test the waters. A one-user package will cost $497, where the course will cover customer persona, sales funnel, reputation management, on and off-site optimizations, link building, social media SEO, and many more. For multiple users, you will need to contact ClickMinded directly to get a personalized quote.
This is a great choice if you are an agency looking for more credibility, as you can offer this course to all of your employees at once.
Distilled U is quite similar to Lynda, a learning platform (read: online university). Yet, while Lynda covers many different topics and expertise, Distilled U is totally about SEO. The membership costs $30 a month, or $24.75 for an annual plan. However, you have a free-trial demo for 3 free modules.
There are 28 modules in totals covering everything from on-page optimization to keyword research to link analysis, among many others. In total, the course consists of 86 hours of HD video contents and interactive modules.
A great place not only to learn but to also build connections with fellow learners and build credibility along the way.
While we don’t have an official SEO certification from Google, there are a lot of trustworthy and valuable third-party options out there, including but not limited to the 8 we have discussed above. Remember that regarding SEO, knowledge, and experience are far more valuable than some online certifications. So, if you are currently looking for an SEO certification to build your credibility, make sure to choose a good place where you can also learn something new.
If you are currently looking for SEO agencies, and are wondering about their qualifications, you can ask for a case study and check the current SERP rank of their previous clients.