SEO (search engine optimization) courses help you learn the ins and outs of ranking on the first page in Google and other search engines. The best SEO courses teach you what you need to know to boost website ranking.
When choosing a course, it’s important to find one that offers timely information as best practices for search change frequently. Here are our expert-picked best SEO courses that may be perfect for launching or upgrading your digital marketing career.
Best SEO Courses of 2021
- Best Overall: Search Engine Optimization Specialization
- Best Free Option: Semrush Academy
- Best for Beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to SEO
- Best for Advanced Training: The Blueprint Training
- Best for Digital Marketers: SEO Training Course
- Best for Developers: SEO Starter Guide
- Best for Bloggers: Yoast SEO Academy
Best Overall : Search Engine Optimization Specialization
Why We Chose It: We picked Coursera’s Search Engine Optimization Specialization from UC Davis because it is a highly rated course that takes you from beginner to expert with an in-depth course that you can audit for free.
In-depth SEO education through a university-affiliated course series
A skill-oriented course that commonly leads to new careers and pay increases
Audit the course for free with full access to the course materials
Takes five months to complete at seven hours per week
Fee or subscription required for a certificate
The Search Engine Optimization Specialization at Coursera is a four-part course taught by an instructor from the University of California, Davis. The complete experience requires courses titled Introduction to Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Optimization Fundamentals, Optimizing a Website for Search, and Advanced Content and Social Tactics to Optimize SEO.
The course is self-paced, though Coursera suggests you put aside seven hours per week for five months to finish it. The course doesn’t require a background in SEO but it is best if you have some business experience. You can audit each individual course for free or subscribe to the whole specialization for $49 per month to get your certificate of completion.
It’s tough to beat a university education, and you can get this one online from the comfort of your home or office. If you’re willing to put in the time to complete the entire specialization, you should emerge ready for the next step in an SEO career.
Best Free Option : Semrush Academy
Why We Chose It: We like Semrush Academy because it offers many free courses on various SEO topics and is run by one of the top names in the SEO industry.
Free SEO and other digital marketing courses
Multi-lesson courses with progress tracking
Run by a highly respected SEO company
Account required to take courses
Course promotes Semrush software
Semrush is a major software provider for the SEO industry. If you work in SEO, you likely use Semrush or a competitor to track search positions for the keywords that matter most to your websites. You can learn how Semrush works and a whole lot more in the free Semrush Academy.
If you click on the SEO section, you’ll see 20 different course options made up of multiple video lessons. For example, Content Marketing and SEO Fundamentals with Eric Enge is made up of eight lessons and takes about an hour to complete. Some courses are longer and shorter and cover various SEO skills with different instructors.
While Semrush Academy is somewhat promotional of the paid Semrush platform, you can take the courses for free after signing up for an account. You never have any obligation to buy anything from Semrush.
Best for Beginners : The Beginner’s Guide to SEO
Why We Chose It: We like the Beginner’s Guide to SEO from Moz because it is a free, easy-to-follow course that teaches you SEO basics and comes from one of the most recognized brands in SEO.
Free online course made just for beginners
Compact enough to complete in a single sitting
Provided by a major name in SEO education
Heavily promotes Moz Pro subscription
Course content is nearly all text
Moz is a well-known name in the SEO industry thanks to its SEO rank tracking platform and a plethora of search engine optimization resources, including a blog, videos, and other educational content.
The Beginner’s Guide to SEO is a free course from Moz that stands out as a good choice for SEO newbies. The course is made up of text and images that can quickly get you up to speed on basic SEO strategies and terminology. You won’t be an expert after finishing, but you’ll know enough to have an informed conversation about generating search traffic to your website.
Moz’s course is easy to understand and you may be able to complete the entire thing in just one or two sittings. If you like what you learned, there’s plenty of additional free SEO content to build your skills in the resources section of the Moz site, all of which are linked to from the course.
Best for Advanced Training : The Blueprint Training
Why We Chose It: We picked The Blueprint Training because it gives you in-depth knowledge on building your own SEO agency or content marketing business.
Hands-on course with videos, templates, and tools
Free options let you try before you buy
Access a network of staff and other students
Expensive price tag
Focused on building an SEO business
For those who are willing to make a major financial investment, The Blueprint Training is an SEO course that gives you the skills to do SEO for yourself and for others as a business. Whether you want to impress your employer, take on new clients, or start an SEO agency of your own, this course could be a good choice.
The Blueprint Training’s main course costs $4,999 and The Blueprint Platinum costs $14,999. Both include one-on-one coaching, video lessons, templates, and other SEO resources to use in your work and business. The more expensive Platinum version includes a ton of hands-on help around positioning, delivering consistent results, and building a pipeline of clients demanding your work. If you’re scared off by the price tag, you can book a demo call or try one of the two free courses to get an idea of what you’re signing up for.
Instructor Ryan Stewart has a good reputation and the course earns mostly positive reviews online. In the end, you’ll be the SEO master of your community and ready to go on to build traffic and take on any search-related challenge.
Best for Digital Marketers : SEO Training Course
Why We Chose It: We chose the SEO Training Course from HubSpot Academy because it’s a free course based on actual experiences building a blog that ranks #1 on Google.
A free course from digital marketing company HubSpot
Real-world examples on ranking high on Google
Concise course takes about an hour to complete
Course may contain beginner-level content for experienced digital marketers
Login required to access free content
The SEO Training Course on HubSpot Academy is a good choice for digital marketers looking for a quick and concise course on SEO. This course is made up of three main lessons that take about an hour to complete in total. You’ll watch 15 videos and take two quizzes along the way. Digital marketers will find value learning tactics for link building and creating top-ranked blog posts and pages, both of which are important to any content marketing strategy.
HubSpot’s course does a very good job, considering it’s just an hour long. That may not be enough for some professional marketers, but it’s a good primer for those new to SEO for business. If you already use HubSpot or have an account on HubSpot Academy, it’s easy to sign up and take other free courses that cover many related topics.
Within the search engine optimization category, HubSpot Academy features more than a dozen courses, many of which take under an hour to complete. This can help you cherry-pick specific SEO skills to learn without a massive time commitment. Once you’ve finished this course, you’ll have a good grasp on creating an SEO strategy, building backlinks, and creating top-ranking content.
Best for Developers : SEO Starter Guide
Why We Chose It: We like this course from Google Developers because it teaches SEO basics to those who are familiar with development and coding.
A free course from Google
Part of the Google Developers section
Includes example code snippets and best practices
Text and image-heavy course with no videos
May be too advanced for beginners
Most SEO courses are focused on helping you reach the top ranking on Google. Who better to teach you about Google’s systems than Google itself? The Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide isn’t a traditional video course, but it contains a ton of useful information and insights geared toward developers.
You can read the entire guide for free and get an inside look at how Google wants websites and data structured to show up best in search. This is particularly helpful when trying to trigger Google snippets and info boxes that contain rich details about your website or page.
The course content is dense, but if you can make it through the entire guide, you’ll have a plethora of SEO knowledge that is easily translated into well-performing website code.
Best for Bloggers : Yoast SEO Academy
Why We Chose It: We like this course because it is free, filled with useful details for blogs and other websites, and comes from the developer of one of the most popular SEO tools on the web.
From the maker of the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin
Learn SEO best practices with insights tailored to bloggers
Premium version includes a premium subscription to the Yoast plugin
Subscription required for premium access
Account required to access course content
If you use WordPress to run your blog or website, you likely know the Yoast SEO plugin, one of the platform’s most popular SEO plugins. That makes Yoast a good place to learn about SEO for blogs and other WordPress sites.
Yoast SEO Academy is free to access most course materials. If you upgrade to the $89 per year Yoast Premium subscription, you get access to all courses and premium features of the Yoast SEO plugin. The course is appropriate for beginner to advanced students looking to improve their SEO skills, notably for blogging and WordPress.
The course includes templates and references to the Yoast SEO plugin. You don’t have to use Yoast SEO to put the knowledge to good use, but it’s definitely optimized around its own SEO products, something common for providers of free courses. Once you’re signed up with an account, you’ll have access to everything you need to get search traffic to a blog.
There is no exact formula to rank number one on Google, but an SEO course can teach you the skills and strategies used to succeed in building traffic from online search results. There are plenty of free courses to round out your knowledge, but some pros may want to invest more in resources and templates.
If you’re serious about learning SEO, we recommend Coursera’s Search Engine Optimization Specialization because it will take you from beginner to expert in a series of courses that can each be audited for free.
|Best SEO Courses|
|Course Provider||Cost||Course Length||Notable Features|
|Search Engine Optimization Specialization
|$49 per month (free to audit)||Five weeks (estimated)||Free-to-audit course from U.C. Davis|
Best Free Option
|Free with Semrush account||Varies by course||Free course from a top provider of SEO software|
|The Beginner’s Guide to SEO
Best for Beginners
|Free||Self-paced||Free text-based course from Moz|
|The Blueprint Training
Best for Advanced Training
|$4,999 and $14,999||Up to 12 weeks||Advanced course for digital marketing agencies|
|SEO Training Course
Best for Digital Marketers
|Free||Three hours (estimated)||Free course from HubSpot|
|SEO Starter Guide
Best for Developers
|Free||Self-paced||Free guide created by Google|
|Yoast SEO Academy
Best for Bloggers
|Free or $89||Varies by course||Taught by the team behind a top SEO plug-in for blogs|
What Do You Learn in an SEO Course?
SEO courses teach students how to rank well on Google and other search engines. Major topics covered typically include a combination of on-page and off-page strategies to generate traffic to your website. Typical on-page SEO strategies including picking and using the right keywords, hyperlinks, images, and HTML tags. Off-page strategies including building backlinks and marketing your content.
Who Should Take an SEO Course?
SEO courses are best for business owners, managers, and marketing professionals who want to grow traffic to any website. Whether you’re an entrepreneur with your own project or a digital marketer looking to improve your career skills, an SEO course could be a good choice.
Can an SEO Course Help Me Find a Job?
While some SEO courses are focused primarily on skills and knowledge, others may include certifications that you can take to employers or add to your LinkedIn profile or resume as a way to improve your career.
According to Coursera, 50% of students who completed their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialization started a new career and 25% received a pay increase or promotion. While some courses and certifications are more respected than others, an SEO course may help you land a job as an SEO specialist in the future.
How Much Does an SEO Course Training Cost?
Many SEO training courses are completely free while others can cost five figures. Among the courses we reviewed, the prices ranged from free to $14,999.
The free courses we reviewed tend to offer general SEO advice that applies to a wide range of industries. For a higher fee, you’ll get additional resources, more specific instruction, and the potential to work with mentors or instructors in a group or one-on-one setting.
To pick the best SEO courses, we scoured the web for classes and guides from SEO software providers, course platforms, universities, and major online brands. We focused on course content, cost, and meeting specific learning outcomes when choosing winners for each category.