SEO certifications new SEOs should get

You can get degrees in things like web design or marketing, but there’s no one universally recognised SEO certification for tools and best practices.

That being said, if you’re new to optimising for search engines, an online course is a useful way to learn the basics.

Although a search engine optimisation certification doesn’t guarantee your expertise, it will demonstrate your skills and commitment to any potential employers to help them grow their business and put their website on the map – or on the screen.

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What is SEO and what are the certifications?

SEO is an acronym for search engine optimisation. This is the process of improving your website’s structure and content to increase traffic to your site – and ultimately make a company better known and more successful.

An SEO certification demonstrates your knowledge and skills around search engine optimisation. An SEO certificate is usually issued as a PDF document, so you can attach it to your CV or LinkedIn profile as a way of enhancing your employability. It’s an especially useful certification to have if you’re new to the SEO industry.

The goal of optimising your site’s content is to get as much unpaid, or organic, attention for your website as possible to get people to visit your website instead of another.

It’s all about understanding what is going to generate the best rankings for your website. This might mean linking to other sites, demonstrating your company’s expertise on a topic, or making sure your website has an accessible layout.

SEO can include things like making changes to the content on the actual website itself, known as on-page SEO. Alternatively, optimization might mean improving the website’s unpaid search engine through strategies like social media marketing or guest posting, known as off-page SEO.

Or, in what’s known as technical SEO, the process might involve making the website easier to use on a mobile device to improve user experience. All of these things contribute to driving website traffic and maximising a company’s potential outreach.

Is getting an accreditation worth it?

With an SEO certification, you can prove to companies and employers that you have a confident knowledge of SEO basics, and that you can implement the best practices to improve their website and enhance their business strategy from a digital perspective.

Although a certification won’t make you an expert, taking a course will offer you a structured learning environment.

A course will also offer you an opportunity to demonstrate that you’ve invested your time and effort in learning SEO best practices. Depending on which course you choose, it might also be useful in coaching you on how to communicate the value of SEO strategy to your company.

Embryo’s senior content manager Kara Smith says: “SEO training has taught me how to be a better content writer in so many ways. From gaining a better understanding of how Google understands and crawls websites, to seeing how different SEOs do keyword research, it’s helped me better target what both search engines and users are after when I write. SEO training has also helped me better understand how my clients are performing, and how content has an impact on that performance.”

How do you get an SEO certification?

There are several options if you’re after an SEO certification. Often you can earn a certificate through education platforms or digital marketing agencies – like Embryo – but there are also free and paid online courses you can take.

Many online courses can take as little as one hour to complete, and once you pass the exam, the SEO certification – and the corresponding credibility – is all yours. Depending on the course you choose, each module might also end with a short quiz to make sure you fully understand how to use and implement SEO. Some courses also offer video lectures and opportunities to engage directly with SEO experts.

Four great SEO certifications that are free!

If you’re more of a beginner and you’re after a quick SEO certification just to get to grips with basics, Semrush offers many options for online courses that you can complete in your lunch break for free. Sales and marketing company HubSpot also offers beginner SEO certification courses through video instruction and interactive quizzes.

However, depending on how you plan to use your new SEO certification, you might prefer a longer, more in-depth course. While Google doesn’t offer a Google-specific certification, they do highly recommend an online course called Google SEO Fundamentals. This course will take you 29 hours to complete and will teach you valuable SEO skills like audience analysis and how to create sitemaps.

As the most popular search engine in the world, a Google Analytics 4 Course might also be really useful for understanding how to track and increase the number of visitors to your website. However, this is recommended for intermediate to advanced SEO specialists and takes up to 10 hours to complete.

Two great certifications you need to pay for

It’s undeniable that good SEO practice is extremely important to a company’s marketing strategy; if your site doesn’t have good rankings, it’s unlikely to have much traffic. If your site has no traffic, it’s unlikely to do well, which means your company is unlikely to do well. In short: without people (visitors), there is no market.

It’s not always necessary to pay for an SEO certification, and many of the free courses will serve your purpose, especially if you’re just starting in SEO. One of the best pieces of advice is to pay for the educational value of the certification, rather than just the basic SEO skills.

Often, many companies offer paid certifications for a specific premium SEO tool, such as AI integration or rank tracking. If you know that you’re going to be working with a specific tool, or a certain course will teach you helpful skills, it could absolutely be worth the price tag.

If you’re looking to invest in your SEO expertise, Yoast, the most popular WordPress SEO Plugin, offers multiple courses for $99 a year. These include video clips and talks from SEO experts at Yoast. To receive your SEO certification at the end of the course, you need to score at least 80% on each quiz.

Another option is Traffic Think Tank, another well-known name in the SEO industry. With monthly payment plans starting at $99, you can open yourself up to expert-led webinars, gain access to templates and tools, and ask whatever questions you may have about SEO.

Still stuck? Get in touch

If you’re new to SEO and wondering whether it’s worth getting a certification or not, why not try an hour-long online course first?

It won’t take up much of your time and you can identify the areas you’re already comfortable with, as well as where you can improve on your knowledge to produce the most appealing website content.

At Embryo, our Organic team have several certifications between them, helping them deliver great work for our clients. To learn more about that, get in touch!

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