6 SEO Certifications & Courses to Level Up Your Agency
As you start your SEO agency or freelance business, you may ask, "What can I do to give my SEO skills a boost?"
An SEO certification and course will likely come up on your radar.
In today's world, you can learn anything you want from the comfort of your own home. There are 100s of SEO courses available to you! Many of them give a certification once completed.
But which course do you start with? Should you even bother with an SEO certification?
In this article, we'll be diving into both those questions. As well as listing the top 6 SEO certificates and courses available.
But first, let's start with the basics: What even is an SEO certification?
What is an SEO Certification?
SEO certifications are provided by educational platforms or brands. Typically you take a course, then complete an assessment. At the end, you'll receive a certification to show that you completed the course.
Let's be clear about one thing - Google does not offer an SEO certification.
In fact, Google has announced they'll likely never provide any SEO certification for a variety of reasons.
Be skeptical of anyone claiming to be a "Google Certified SEO Expert." There's no such thing. SEO certificates are coming from third party platforms.
Google does offer certifications for Google Ads, Display, AdSense, Google Analytics, and a list of other courses. (Some of which you should do as an SEO, but we'll discuss those more later.)
Should you get an SEO Certification?
The short answer here is: it depends.
You can be a successful SEO agency with or without a certification.
If you're already an established agency, an SEO certification isn't necessary. There's other ways to boost your credibility.
Results and experience will speak much more to a potential client than a certificate badge on your site. As an experienced agency, focus on writing client case studies that highlight your experience and skills.
However, if you're just starting your SEO career, courses and education are a must.
You need to master the skills and tactics in order to deliver results to your clients.
These 6 courses will help you level-up your SEO skills. Plus, a few even include a certificate to help boost your agency's credibility. Let's dive in.
6 Best SEO Courses and Certificates:
There are a lot of SEO courses and content available online - completely free.
Some courses can cost $100s (or $1000s!) But for those of you getting started, these free courses are all you need to master the essentials of SEO.
Many of these courses will come with an assessment and certification once completed, so you can list it as one of your agency's credentials.
1. Moz's Free SEO Course for Beginners
Moz compiled and uploaded Rand Fishkin's famous whiteboard Friday's into one easy-to-follow course - available for free on Udemy.
The course is a total of 3.5 hours of video content, and breaks down the essentials of SEO. He goes into specific tactics, from link building to on-page optimization, as well as what the day-to-day of an SEO looks like.
If you're looking to understand the basics of SEO, start here.
2. Hubspot SEO Academy
Matthew Barby, Director of Acquisition at Hubspot, hosts a mini-SEO course. While this one is a lot shorter, you'll still learn the essentials to building your organic traffic.
What's great about this course is it dives into establishing a strategy for your SEO.
In the first module, you'll learn how to find the right SEO strategy for your business. SEO isn't a "one-size fits all" strategy. You need to figure out what will work best for your business type.
BONUS COURSE: While signing up for Hubspot's Academy, look at Hubspot's Inbound Marketing Course too. This course comes with a certification at the end that you can list on your LinkedIn page or website.
While it's not directly SEO related, it covers crucial skills every digital marketer should master.
SEO is more than tactics like link building and keyword research. You also need to define who your audience is. What's your funnel? What's your end goal?
The Inbound Marketing Course helps you establish these fundamentals.
3.Backlinko's Advanced SEO Strategies and Case Studies
While this isn't necessarily a "course", you should watch Brian Dean's videos on SEO.
Brian Dean of Backlinko is a well-known SEO expert. His Youtube channel has some of the best video content for learning SEO.
He launches a paid course each year, but his free content is also packed with value-bombs for learning SEO.
Specifically, I recommend watching his full playlist on Advanced SEO Strategies and Case Studies. He'll walk you through keyword research techniques and backlink building, all while including data from his own SEO campaigns.
4. Google Analytics Academy
As I mentioned above, Google doesn't provide an SEO certificate, but they do provide a number of other courses.
One certification every SEO should have is the Google Analytics Certification.
As an SEO, you need to know how to track and measure your results.
Google Analytics is one of the tools you'll use daily to track your website performance, and thus, one you should master.
The Google Analytics Academy is a series of videos that ends with the Google Analytics IQ exam. Once you pass the exam, you'll receive your Google Analytics Certification, which includes a badge you can place on your website.
If you're also offering paid advertising services, the Google's Academy for Ads is another must. They also offer a Google Ads exam, which is one of the requirements to be a Google Partner.
5. ClickMinded SEO Course
The ClickMinded SEO Course is led by the founder, Tommy Griffith. He's the previous SEO Manager of Airbnb and Paypal, and he knows SEO!
This course is for those looking to take your SEO to the next level, beyond a beginner introduction. However, it is the only course listed here that isn't free. The complete SEO course costs $497.
Get started with a sample of the course by signing up for the free mini-intro course to see if it's the right fit for you.
6. Agency Academy [Coming Soon]
Running a successful SEO agency requires more than mastering SEO tactics.
You also need to know how to market your agency, onboard clients, build systems, report on SEO, and much more.
Here at AgencyAnalytics, we're thrilled to announce that we'll be launching Agency Academy next month. You'll find free ebooks and video content to help you learn how to grow your agency.
We'll be covering topics such as how to create beautiful SEO dashboards, perform site audits, and interpret your SEO analytics.
Want to be among the first to get complete access to the Agency Academy?
Sign up for the Launch
We'll send you our free courses and resources!
While an SEO certificate isn't necessary for your agency's success, you do need to master the skills needed to deliver results. These courses will give you the fundamentals needed to run a great agency.
You'll master everything you need, from strategy to individual tactics to managing clients.
Written by Rebecca Bowden
Marketing Director at AgencyAnalytics. Rebecca is based in Fort Collins, CO. When she's not focused on marketing, you'll find her skiing or hiking in the Rockies.