SEO is the need of the hour with the internet connecting businesses with a large target audience. Every business looking to establish itself in the digital space needs to specialize in internet marketing. As such, Search engine optimization (SEO) within internet marketing is crucial to the company’s overall growth.
Additionally, it is important to note that Google has several acclaimed certification courses, such as Google AdSense, Google Ads certification, and Google Analytics. But concerning Google SEO certification, the go-to strategy has been third-party sources.
But, this reliance on third-party sources could change with the recent inclusion of SEO certification directly by Google.
This guide will explore the ins and outs of the SEO certification process. If you have sat wondering how to become Google SEO certified, look no further than this guide. Read on ahead!
What is SEO Certification?
In a nutshell, SEO certification encompasses different educational learning resources and some form of evaluation. The certification programs cover several facets of search optimization. Additionally, different certification programs take different approaches to what it entails.
Some certification programs take a tiered approach with certifications ranging from beginner’s SEO to advanced SEO. At the same time, other SEO courses have only one all-inclusive search engine optimization course.
So, the SEO training that you receive through the course gets validated through the certification exam. And depending on the program, the value of the SEO certificate also changes.
Hence, simply put, a good SEO certification program will help you learn, grow, and effectively become a strong SEO expert.
But all SEO certifications aren’t built the same. Some are more for a promotional basis than actually making a difference. So, with most SEO certificate programs blending different SEO strategies and aspects, it is essential to be selective.
The cost and worth of SEO certifications
You can acquire either a free or a paid SEO certification. It entirely depends on the outcome you are looking to gain from the SEO certification course.
To elaborate, the cost and worth of the certification are dependent on the stage in your SEO career. Hence, if you are new to SEO, certifications are a great way to learn and acquire skills.
It also greatly helps if you are looking to start utilizing SEO for your website.
Additionally, hiring an SEO agency is a viable option if you are a business owner looking to maximize the SEO outcome. But, if you are already practicing SEO for your business or as an expert, the SEO certification isn’t going to give you an added edge.
Furthermore, some believe that the SEO certification is unnecessary due to the immense amount of freely available resources. It is thus reasonable to explore the motivation behind acquiring the certification.
With that being said, getting the SEO certification does have its perks.
Search engine optimization is an evolving field, with Google and other search engines constantly upgrading their algorithm. So, getting a certification enables you to acquire new skills and strategies.
Hence, the cost and worth of SEO certification are heavily dependent on your motivations.
For beginners, transitioning from beginner’s SEO to advanced SEO is a good strategy. For business owners, time and cost analysis can enable you to understand whether it is worth it. And finally, for advanced SEO users, the certification is more of an element of validation than an avenue to enhance career prospects.
Engine optimization expert
There are many ways in which you can build your SEO expertise. Remember that certification is mostly theoretical-based. The certification alone will not establish your expertise and needs to be viewed as a gateway.
So, think of SEO certification as a step in the right direction. Following certification, there are several building blocks that one can explore to establish their credentials further. As such, taking a structured approach to becoming an SEO expert is a reasonable approach.
Here is an overarching big picture approach to help you on your SEO journey:
Learn the basics
Building a solid foundational base for SEO is essential. You must hence look to develop this through the help of the certification courses.
It is hence not surprising that over 69% of digital marketing executives invested in SEO in 2021.
Keeping this statistic in mind, start with the basics of keyword research, Google ads, and how search engines function. Slowly transition to learning more about Google Analytics, technical SEO, and website optimization.
Lay the groundwork needed to explore facets such as content marketing and digital marketing trends and strategies.
Pro Tip: Look to join an online SEO community or an online SEO training BootCamp. These types of cohorts will help you connect and understand the inner workings of SEO. They are also great for deducing how an SEO specialist approaches SEO techniques.
Eventually, your foundational understanding of SEO will enable you to specialize in link building, meta tags, on-page SEO, and mobile SEO.
Tools for research
There are different ways to learn and understand SEO tools. However, look to utilize tools in your research work.
The other option is to utilize online training as a possible avenue to explore the different facets of the tool. However, using the tools for research helps you take a much more adaptive approach.
Moreover, one research project to explore is to see how you can develop a Google-friendly website. To do this take a structured approach to the process and validate the outcomes with web analytics.
In addition, look to explore different Google courses and how that might add value to your project website. It is also an excellent way to acquire essential certificates that marketing professionals promote. SEO specialists earmark specific courses and certificates that can propel your website and digital marketing executive career as a whole.
So, check which SEO certification courses add the most value to your skill-set.
Lastly, also note that an application-based approach also gives you the freedom to see how the SEO industry functions. Ranging from organic search results, and local SEO, to designing advertising campaigns and technical optimization.
Implementation and practice
The difference between knowing what Google Analytics is and being well versed in Google Analytics is the amount of practice one has. Even the best SEO certification will not help you get the most out of SEO without consistent implementation and practice.
As such, online courses and online training sessions on SEO are important as they provide you with a solid start to search optimization. You must also keep in mind that the secret sauce to becoming a great digital marketer or SEO specialist is simple.
It is to learn and practice the different SEO techniques constantly.
The SEO industry, unlike other sectors, is constantly changing and adapting to user needs. This demands constant engagement with SEO regardless of whether you fall under the category of marketing beginners or marketing managers.
So, most digital marketing and SEO professionals will tell you that the essential requirement for solid SEO is knowing where, when, why, and what SEO strategy is implemented.
That know-how comes from a blend of SEO training courses, Google certifications, and consistent practice.
Pro Tip: An excellent strategy is to start an SEO campaign covering different search engine optimization facets. For example, you can practice link building and technical SEO or explore the Google search console in your campaign.
Not only will a campaign help you practice and implement these strategies. But a successful campaign significantly increases recognition from digital marketing agencies and SMEs.
Create a portfolio
A stumbling block that many SEO professionals encounter is the lack of a portfolio. One of the first queries that an SME or digital marketing agency will have is to see your portfolio.
Taking a research and application-based approach enables you to have a robust portfolio from the get-go. To add to that you must implement a competitive analysis of yourself and identify the crucial gaps between you and other SEO specialists.
So, plug this gap by taking up minor projects even before your certification exam. The portfolio’s focus is to see whether you have the skills needed to perform at the highest level.
Additionally, an SEO certification on your LinkedIn profile gets you outside the metaphorical door. In contrast, a portfolio enables you to make a strong case for yourself.
The reasoning behind this is that a critical difference arises between theory and practical usage. There is a distinct contrast between theory and practical application.
For example, there is a huge difference between understanding keyword research from SEO courses and its implementation. Keyword research in website optimization is a part of the bread and butter of SEO. And becomes your asset only through practice and practical application.
Pro Tip: Take a practical project-based approach to all your certification courses. Let’s say you are looking to become Google AdWords certified. Along with completing the course elements, run a live project on your website or as an extension of your services.
The project-based approach helps you gain critical insights from the course instructor on any obstacles you encounter. By doing so, finally this project can become a part of your portfolio.
Seek a mentorship
Try exploring the option of mentorship with your first-layer network. A mentorship is among the most understated difference-makers in the field of SEO.
Remember that your competition is also doing the same SEO certifications and SEO courses.
Additionally, most of these SEO courses and certifications are done through a digital medium. There is a high likelihood that these courses are entirely digital with pre-recorded seminars and workshops. Thus, the lack of human element in these SEO courses is a problem that very few address.
Hence, this unorthodox approach to SEO training can be of great benefit to you.
The approach enables you to be a part of live projects that you otherwise have no access to. It also helps you understand how SEO specialists handle aspects such as:
- Stakeholder management
- Inbound marketing
- Creative content marketing
- Holistic digital marketing
An experienced mentor can also show you when and where link building works and explain why local SEO was more than enough for a particular client. It can also help you learn some best-kept secrets around inbound marketing.
Furthermore, the constant influx of changes around SEO can lead one to think that SEO courses are a fool-proof system for cracking into the SEO industry. However, thousands of individuals are taking up SEO certifications for similar reasons.
Mentorship doesn’t undermine the importance of SEO certifications. It only elevates the importance of learning from experience and a practical standpoint.
A Hubspot inbound marketing certification is vital for your professional growth in the SEO industry. But so is the potential knowledge bank that an SEO specialist taps into to implement inbound marketing.
Best Google SEO certification courses
By now, you should have a clear understanding of why and what SEO certifications entail. It is now essential to cover how to become Google SEO certified.
As such, several different companies provide SEO certifications. However, it is imperative to be selective about which avenue you choose to become a Google certified SEO expert.
To help you with this, the following is a list of companies that have immense credentials in the field of SEO training, inbound marketing, Google certification, digital marketing, and content marketing.
(Note: The list is not in any particular order. Different situations require different SEO training courses. The list is only an in-depth insight into the companies and how to become Google SEO certified.)
SemRush is one of the light-bearers of the SEO industry. The SaaS platform and its services are in-demand across the world.
The courses on SemRush Academy are free and reduce entry barriers for fledgling SEO professionals. Some of the fundamental courses offered by the academy include:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising
- Social Media Marketing
Additionally, different courses are available depending on the level and difficulty on the SemRush Academy platform. The courses are easy to understand with short video modules and quizzes for evaluation.
And not to forget, upon completing a particular SEO certification course, the certificate can be uploaded to the user’s LinkedIn profile.
The Beginner’s Guide to SEO by Moz
For beginners looking to explore the SEO sector through a step-by-step process, Moz is the place to be. The popular SEO software platform provides a comprehensive understanding of SEO through a well-built hierarchical model.
The pyramid structure helps SEO professionals take a detail-oriented approach to learning and become certified for $595. In addition, the SEO course for beginners is free of cost and can significantly help budding marketing professionals.
Moreover, the significant advantage of using Moz to learn about SEO is the platform’s learning structure. But, unlike SemRush, certification comes at a hefty price and can deter newcomers and advanced SEO users.
HubSpot functions in several areas, including marketing, sales, customer service, and CRM. The platform is a rich SEO resource for beginners and advanced SEO users. But the academy is a relatively new venture from HubSpot.
Nevertheless, it successfully focuses on both free courses and certifications that are detailed and extensive. The programs require the completion of an exam and practical projects to gain the certificate.
The HubSpot Academy also has one vital advantage over the rest of the SEO online training academies: inclusivity. Individuals are given access to the company’s free software and resource bank. In addition, the HubSpot academy is available in 5 different languages and provides the users with options to personalize and customize.
SEO, Google Analytics, AdSense, and more on learning platforms
Several learning platforms such as Udemy, Coursera, and Udacity provide SEO certification. These learning platforms provide SEO marketing professionals with the SEO course of their choosing,
Due to these platforms having other courses, you might think they aren’t among the best SEO certification platforms. However, they provide users with the ability to filter through courses easily. And provide vital qualitative insights into the course through the user feedback system.
Regardless of the type of course, the plethora of options also help you structure your SEO journey as you see fit.
So, whether its website promotion or understanding backlinks, a course is available on these established learning platforms.
Is Google going to offer an SEO Course?
The search engine provides users with the option of picking up different Google certification courses such as Google AdSense, Google Analytics, Google Adwords, etc. However, the one fundamental certification course missing was the SEO certification course.
Historically, Google hasn’t offered a Search Engine Optimization course. However, that has changed as of May 3rd, 2022. Still, in its nascent stages, the course could potentially become a gamechanger in the field of SEO.
To elaborate, Google, as the search engine giant, works on building the most user-friendly search algorithm. Hence, a well-made SEO course from Google would essentially be a glimpse into the inner workings of its primary service.
More to Google than what meets the eye
In and of itself, Google provides users with the ability to stand out from the rest. Among the different facets of Google, it is essential to focus on Google Partner Badge and Google Digital Garage.
Google Partner Batch
The Google Partner Badge is essential for digital marketing agencies and individual SEO experts. The badge is a mark of accomplishment for being up to date with Google Ads certification. Those with the badge also become a part of the directory, making them discoverable by companies and advertisers.
Google Digital Garage
The badge, the certification courses, and training all come at a cost in some way, shape, or form. For example, even though Moz provides users with a free learning guide, its certification costs more than $500.
Additionally, SemRush and HubSpot Academy provide users with state-of-the-art certification courses. However, access to certification and career development isn’t viable for many.
But the Google Digital Garage, a non-profit program from Google, looks to add this missing value. The non-profit is particularly valuable for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals from underprivileged backgrounds.
Moreover, the credentials of the search engine giant are higher than the SaaS companies. Thus, Google certification as a whole is a far more valuable proposition. This value of Google certification is highlighted by the fact that 82% of Google certificate holders have accounted for positive career results within 6 months.
In addition, the certificates are accredited by premier organizations and universities. For example, the digital marketing certificate from Google is accredited by The Open University and the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe.
The bottom line
There are different paths to reaching SEO expertise. You can look to take a step-by-step approach to learn SEO by starting with the basics. If so, utilizing the beginner’s guide from Moz might make the most sense.
Additionally, you could look to gain certifications from SemRush and HubSpot academies and run minor projects on the side. Such an approach will enable you to get the credentials and help build your portfolio.
You can also explore a mentorship under a much more experienced SEO expert or tap into the Google learning network to gain the most out of Google certifications.
But regardless of what you pick, remember that SEO is a long-term proposition and requires both constant learning and application. The guide here acts as a holistic take on how to become Google SEO certified. The approach is up to you, but the benefits of SEO are as clear as day.
You should now be able to chalk your path on how to become Google SEO certified. It is now time to explore answers to how much you can make with SEO.