We are living in unprecedented times. The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted business across the globe resulting in massive job cuts.
The impact of COVID-19 has forced job seekers to either switch careers or enhance their skills to increase chances of employment. With successive lockdowns imposed in several regions forcing people to stay indoors, many are utilizing this opportunity to enroll in online skill enhancement courses.
Given my interest in digital marketing and SEO, I have handpicked 5 free SEO courses, and explained why these courses outperform others.
If you are an SEO professional looking to brush up on the basics, or planning a career change, this list will come handy.
5 Free Online SEO Courses
I audited a number of courses and decided on five so that you do not have to spend time and energy navigating through the hundreds of available options.
These courses were selected because they are structured in a way which makes them useful for beginners as well as for experienced professionals. The language, instructions, and resources are direct, and the subject matter has been handled deftly.
The courses have been listed in a sequence which ensures that successive courses build on the ones before. This way you do not come across a concept that is entirely new,
No course, whether paid or free, is complete on its own. Just like you cannot learn world history from one book, you cannot master SEO by completing a single course. These courses complement one another, and it is advised that you complete all five for a better understanding.
1. Moz Academy
Otherwise priced at $49, the SEO Fundamentals course offered by Moz academy is now accessible for free. Apply code “wegotthis”, which is valid till May 31, at checkout and start learning. The instructor is Brian Childs, Moz Training Manager and host of MozPod.
The course has 18 lessons which would take approximately 68 mins to complete without breaks.
Through this course you will get an overview of how search engines work, how to profile search queries, how these can be useful when optimizing content, and learn about Google algorithm updates.
If you are new to SEO and unaware of the terms used in this domain, you can take help of Moz SEO to familiarize yourself with the technical jargon.
The instructor, Brian Childs clearly explains search intent, sales funnel, and a variety of search results based on queries.
- Where does SEO fit?
- SERPs and Search Intent
- Crawling and Indexing
- Algorithms overview
- Short videos loaded with information
- Clear instructions, easy to understand and remember
- Helps to familiarize with technical jargon used in SEO
- You won’t earn a certificate with this free course
- No transcript available for the videos, so you might have to take notes
2. HubSpot Academy
HubSpot Academy’s free SEO course sheds light on concepts that affect and influence overall site ranking. The course instructors are Matthew Howells-Barby, Senior Director of Acquisition at HubSpot and Justin Champion, Principal Content Professor for HubSpot Academy.
The total duration of the course is 1 hour 35 minutes but you can learn at your own pace if you require more time. Divided into 6 lessons and 22 videos, the course is supplemented with video transcripts, suggestions for further reading, worksheets, and related blogs.
Throughout the course, Matthew Howells-Barby analyzes how authority and relevance impact search engines to discover your pages, and how effectively you can create a strategy to boost ranking.
You will also learn how to build topical relevance, importance of blogging, and about HubSpot’s experiments that have resulted in a high-volume traffic, sales, and site ranking.
In the last chapter, Justin Champion has detailed how guest blogging helps create authority and discusses some related best practices.
- How to Find the SEO Strategy that Fits Your Business
- Link Building for SEO: Scaling Your Backlink Strategy
- How HubSpot Uses Blogging to Rank # 1 on Google
- Building a Guest Blogging Strategy Powered by SEO
- Comprehensive course structure
- Detailed explanation of website authority building, backlinks, guest blogging
- Video transcripts and other resources available
- As this is part of HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing course, you won’t earn a certificate for completing just the SEO segment of it
Instructor Tommy Griffith, former SEO manager at Paypal and Airbnb, has become a household name for SEO enthusiasts around the world. He co-founded ClickMinded, a learning platform offering various courses on digital marketing and SEO.
When you enroll for free, you unlock the mini SEO course. To ensure lifetime access to the course material, you need to finish the coursework and complete the assessment within 7 days of registration.
The course is divided into two parts which are further distributed into several videos. It will take approximately 30-40 mins to complete.
Compact and concise, the mini course walks you through major SEO challenges, best practices, and common mistakes that affect ranking.
Bonus point: You learn the exact methods Tommy applied for ranking Paypal and Airbnb. Above all, you will have the opportunity to see their actual Digital Marketing Framework worksheet which you are also encouraged to use.
- ClickMinded Digital Marketing Framework
- Implementing the Framework
- Lifetime access to course material
- Clear instructions and precise content that pinpoints the dos and don’ts
- Downloadable slides
- Necessary resource links appear below the videos along the way
- ClickMinded Digital Marketing Framework worksheet
- The free course does not come with a certification
4. SEMrush Academy
Popularly known as SEO Fundamentals Course with Greg Gifford, it has 31 lessons and takes approximately 4 hours to prepare for the exam. Candidates who secure 80% in the test, earn a certificate from this free course offered by the SEMrush Academy.
Greg Gifford, Vice President of Search at SearchLab Chicago, is the course instructor. He starts by explaining the history of the search engines and gradually unveils the fundamentals of crawling, indexing, ranking, and SERP.
In addition to the basics, you will also learn about proper canonicalization for duplicate contents, link analysis, mobile SEO, and the importance of personalization.
If you are interested in exploring local and international SEO, this course will help you understand the key points to remember when optimizing content.
- Search engine basics
- Technical SEO
- Link signals
- On-page signals
- SEO for mobile
- Other ranking signals
- International SEO
- Local SEO
- Access to the SEO basics
- Certification upon completion
- Course summary and transcript below each video
- Short tests after each video
- The course is primarily designed for beginners
5. eMarketing Institute
eMarketing Institute has put in a great effort to simplify concepts that are otherwise difficult to understand. Anyone willing to learn the foundations should enroll in this free seo course.
There are no videos and you need to download the course material. The ebook has over 150+ pages. The study material is essential to appear and clear the assessment.
It is one of the most comprehensive free SEO courses which covers technical and non-technical factors such as, leverage branding, site design and development, and link building.
You will earn a certificate upon completion.
- Introduction to Search Engine Optimization
- Understanding Search Engines
- Search Engine Friendly Site Design and Development
- Basics of Keyword Research
- Google Rankings
- Google Panda and Other Algorithm Updates
- Link Building
- Search Engine Tools and Services for Webmasters
- Steps to Optimize Your Website
- SEO Recommendations
- Search Engine Optimization Glossary
- Extensive course content, covers all the major aspects
- Earn a certificate after the course
- Lucid explanations, supported by images when necessary
- Simple sentences used to describe difficult concepts
- The course material needs to be downloaded, no videos
- No recent numbers or statistics, therefore, no recent trends or updates discussed there
The SEO courses mentioned above prioritize white hat SEO techniques and advise everyone to refrain from the short-lived unethical SEO hacks.
That said, let’s start by setting realistic goals, committing to learn more, and refreshing our knowledge since Google’s algorithms change frequently.
Have you enrolled in any SEO courses for beginners? If yes, what did you like about it? Let me know in the comments below.
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