Looking to improve your SEO knowledge?
I’ve reviewed free and paid courses, general and niche ones. No matter what industry or SEO level you’re currently at, there’s a course for you.
Here’s a run-down of why SEO matters and why you should train it (all the time) like you would any other skill.
Introduction to SEO
If you build a website but don’t tell anyone about it, will anyone find it?
The short answer is no, not unless you’re an SEO specialist. But you can become one by investing your time in an SEO course.
SEO is necessary if you want to drive organic traffic to your website.
Consumers regularly turn to Google to get their information and their products. If your website lacks the top 3 results, you miss out on valuable traffic and potential customers.
It can seem daunting to tackle the vast and ever-changing world of SEO, but no one expects you to have the answers on your own.
The Importance of SEO Training
SEO training is vital if you want to be competitive online. And what better way to learn than from experts with verified results?
SEO tactics are constantly changing. Think of SEO as a muscle you need to work out regularly to see real results. Leave it alone for too long and it gets weak, which will reflect your website traffic.
More website traffic means more customers, which ultimately means more sales. If you want real ROI from your SEO, remember that your effort will determine your results.
Learning from others is one of the best and usually easiest ways to hone your SEO skills. SEO courses teach you how search engines work and which strategies are most effective for success.
There are both free and paid SEO courses. Some of them are great—and some…not so much. Let’s dive into the best ones and how to decide between a free and paid course.
Free vs. Paid SEO Courses
Don’t knock free SEO courses until you try them. But also don’t count on them to teach you everything you need to know.
Free SEO courses are great for beginners (and experts) looking to improve their SEO knowledge. They’re a great option for those on a budget, and the top ones are still chock-full of important insights.
However, paid SEO courses tend to come with more resources. Think coaching sessions, certificates, and invites to exclusive communities.
They’re also lengthier because they get even more specific. While they are more of a commitment, the outcome is worth it.
Your budget and learning goals determine whether a free or paid course suits you. But to make that decision a little easier, we’ve compiled some of the best free and paid SEO courses available.
Top-Rated Free SEO Courses
You don’t need to shell out hundreds of dollars to improve your SEO knowledge. Here are the top 3 free SEO courses to help you start your journey today.
1. Free SEO Training Series by Nathan Gotch on Semrush YouTube
Want to be a top 1% SEO expert by watching only ten videos? The Free SEO Training Series by Nathan Gotch on the Semrush YouTube channel helps you do that.
Semrush is one of the most popular SEO tools on the market, and Nathan is an SEO expert with over a decade’s worth of experience. In this series, Nathan shows you everything from conducting SEO audits to creating SEO content that actually ranks.
This series is perfect for beginners (and pros) who want to understand SEO basics and brush up on more advanced tips.
These aren’t the generic SEO insights you can find anywhere online, so this free SEO training series tops our list.
2. Free SEO Course by Yoast
Yoast, an SEO tool plug-in for WordPress, offers a free SEO course for beginners. It provides a great SEO foundation for those just getting started. It covers both the technical and the content side of SEO.
The SEO experts at Yoast teach you how to stand out in the search results and optimize your content for keywords. Bonus: there are quizzes to test your newly learned knowledge.
And learning SEO for the first time is like learning a new language. Struggling to remember jargon like alt-text, meta tag, or black hat? The course has an SEO vocabulary cheat sheet so you can improve your fluency quickly.
Another top dog in the space, Ahrefs, shares their insights for free in an SEO training course. The course is run by Sam Oh, the VP of Marketing at Ahrefs.
After 14 lessons—less than 2 hours—you’ll know how to optimize your pages for search. Plus, some beginner-friendly link-building strategies.
Check out their intro video if you’re on the fence:
The course by Ahrefs emphasizes execution, so there are actionable takeaways you can apply to your content. This teaching style is why we’ve included it in our list of free courses.
Top-Rated Paid SEO Courses
You get what you pay for, which is why the most valuable and in-depth SEO insights from experts come at a cost. Here are our top 3 paid SEO courses.
1. Gotch SEO Academy
Gotch SEO Academy is easily the #1 SEO training program out there. Whether you’re a solo freelancer or a marketing expert at an agency, the material here is invaluable.
Nathan Gotch has taught over 3,000 entrepreneurs and digital marketers with Gotch SEO Academy. It’s much more than just a course; Gotch SEO Academy provides you with the following:
If you’re dedicated to becoming an SEO expert, this is undoubtedly the course to invest your time into.
2. SEO Specialization by Coursera
Coursera is home to some of the best online courses, and the SEO Specialization course is no exception. Eric Enge, co-author of The Art of SEO and long-time SEO professional Rebekah May, runs this course.
With almost 120 hours of material, it’s one of the most comprehensive SEO courses. It offers invaluable information on SEO fundamentals and growing relationships with clients through SEO reports.
After completing Coursera’s SEO Specialization course, you’ll earn a career certificate from the University of California, Davis (which you can add to your LinkedIn profile).
3. Advanced SEO Program by Simplilearn
Simplilearn’s Advanced SEO Program makes you an industry-ready SEO specialist with four detailed courses. You can complete the program independently, but they offer two monthly live instructor-led online classes.
We’re all about real-world applicability, and the program comes with five projects for you to apply to your business:
- Keyword analysis and research
- SEO structure planning
- Website audit documentation
- Inbound link building
- Marketing plan
After completing the program—and passing a simulation exam—you’ll receive the Advanced SEO certificate.
SEO Courses for Specific Niches
SEO can be especially useful for those in more specific niches. If you’re looking to improve your SEO game this year, these are three great courses available that cater to specific needs.
1. Local SEO Course by Udemy
Local SEO is great for businesses with a physical location serving their community, and Udemy’s Local SEO Course is a great starting point for local businesses that need to boost their visibility.
SEO expert Tyler Horvath—who’s shared his knowledge with over 40,000 students on Udemy—teaches this free course.
The course details the differences between generic SEO and local SEO requirements. It takes less than an hour to complete. By the end, you’ll be able to get 5-10x your traffic, sales, and revenue using local SEO methods.
2. SEO for E-commerce by Shopify
Who better to learn e-commerce SEO tips than Shopify, one of the leading e-commerce platforms? SEO for E-commerce walks you through how to apply SEO methods to your Shopify store.
This course provides all the tools you need to optimize your store for maximum online visibility, including writing effective product descriptions, setting up redirects, and building backlinks.
After a little over an hour—and for free!—you’ll walk away knowing how to optimize your store for your ideal customers.
The importance of SEO can’t be overstated.
And to understand SEO well, you need to refresh your knowledge constantly—even if you’re an expert.
Free courses are great for beginners who want to get an introduction to SEO fundamentals without any financial investment.
Paid courses offer more comprehensive content. They usually have access to resources such as case studies and live coaching sessions with instructors. Most come with a certification upon completion.
Even if you think you know it all, trust me, you don’t. Start getting more specific and look for SEO courses in your niche.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is SEO?
SEO, the acronym for search engine optimization, involves improving your website’s visibility on search engine result pages through certain strategies. These strategies involve optimizing content with targeted keywords, building connections to authoritative sites through links, improving page loading speeds, and more.
Why should I take an SEO course?
An SEO course can improve your knowledge of SEO, allowing you to optimize your website better and rank higher on the search engine results page. These courses are taught by field experts who share applicable strategies that have worked for them.
Are free SEO courses any good?
Yes, free SEO courses can be just as beneficial as paid ones. Free courses offer valuable information about SEO, but paid SEO courses often come with additional resources.
How much does an SEO course cost?
The price tag of an SEO course can range from nothing to thousands of dollars depending on the duration and the content offered. Pricier SEO courses usually come with additional resources, are more comprehensive and lengthier, and are taught by the most well-known experts.