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Best Courses Guides

Rank Higher on Google: 6 Best SEO Courses for 2023

Master Search Engine Optimization (SEO): from keyword research, to SEO audit, competitor analysis, backlink building, and more with the best online courses.

In this Best Courses Guide (BCG), we’ll explore the best online courses to learn Search Engine Optimization (SEO) from scratch covering the key areas to master it: Fundamentals, On page, Off page SEO, and Technical SEO. The r/SEO subreddit is a great place to ask questions and learn from other users. Google’s official documentation provides in-depth guides and the best practices to rank higher on Google.

If you want more structured learning, there are many great courses available online. Class Central’s catalog has over 300 SEO courses, and we’ve compiled a list of the best ones here, including offerings from popular course providers like Coursera and Udemy.

And if your digital marketing pursuits go beyond SEO, explore our BCGs on other subjects: Google Ads, Content Marketing, Instagram Marketing, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Designing with Canva.

Click on the shortcuts for more details:

Our Top Picks

Course Highlight Workload
Best SEO Fundamentals Course (UC Davis) 29 hours
Best SEO for WordPress Websites (Udemy) 7-8 hours
Best Technical SEO Course (Semrush Academy) 5 hours
Also Great: SEO Certification Course (Hubspot Academy) 2-3 hours
Best SEO Strategy Course (ClickMinded) 5-6 hours
Best YouTube Tutorials (Ahrefs) 10-11 hours
Additional Resources Various

What is SEO?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of optimizing content to be discovered by search engines through organic traffic. SEO is one of the most important methods in Digital Marketing with several major advantages such as it’s free to obtain consistent organic traffic. More importantly, SEO has the potential of helping your business reach massive audiences as Google has nearly 4 billion users worldwide.

For a SEO beginner, there are so many SEO terms to learn and so many unfamiliar SEO tools to try. But teaching yourself to become proficient in SEO is not unachievable with massive free online SEO tutorials including free online SEO courses,  SEO Youtube videos, and SEO websites or blogs. Before diving into these SEO resources, an image of “Hierarchy of SEO Needs” by Moz might be helpful to guide your SEO learning journey step by step.

SEO is a Black Box

Even when doing everything right, Google might not reward you for your efforts — or worse, it might even penalize you. This is something we experienced at Class Central in 2021: Google’s core algorithm update made us lose 40% of our traffic (we’ve recovered since then).

Google updates can be capricious: sometimes they work for you, sometimes against you — even when you do everything right. For instance, most Class Central pages are less than 500kb and very fast. We use the bare minimum number of external scripts and tracking.

In 2020, we received plenty of media coverage. Class Central was featured in The New York Times, and our founder was interviewed by Yahoo! Finance and CNBC. During the onset of the pandemic, many media publications recommended Class Central to find free, quality learning.

Since then, our SEO had been on the rise. But with the flip of a switch, Google took it all back. Some of our competitors receive 90% of their traffic from Google. We get around 60%. This hurts us, but it doesn’t kill us.

So our general advice is not to over optimize for Google. Make sure the product you are building and the content you are writing are valuable outside of Google too. Because Google can change their algorithm in an instant, and years of work could go down the drain.

Best SEO Fundamentals Course (UC Davis)

In this beginner-friendly course, Google SEO Fundamentals by UC Davis, you will learn the four basic aspects of Search Engine Optimization: On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, Technical SEO and Keyword Research.

By the end of this free-to-audit course, you will be adept at creating effective SEO strategies. The curriculum encompasses keyword selection and research techniques, insights into consumer psychology and search patterns, and practical on-page SEO analysis to identify and act on optimization opportunities.

“What sets this course apart is its balance between theory and hands-on application. I found the discussions and assignments to be valuable opportunities for interaction and practical learning.” Mohammed N, Coursera learner

Institution University of California, Davis
Provider Coursera
Part of Search Engine Optimization Specialization
Instructor Rebekah May
Level Beginner
Workload 29 hours
Enrollments 146K students
Rating 4.8 (3.3K ratings)
Certificate Paid

Best SEO for WordPress Websites (Udemy)

Joshua George, course instructor.

The Ultimate SEO Training 2023 + SEO For WordPress Websites is a well-presented course taught by Joshua George, the brains behind ClickSlice, an award winning SEO agency in the UK. This course will provide you with actionable steps to rank higher on Google. Delve into keyword research, master technical SEO nuances, and much more.

In this course, you will learn:

  • How to structure and optimize your website to rank on page 1
  • How to find the best keywords to target for your website
  • Understanding the role of content in SEO
  • Find out what your competitors are targeting
  • How to find hundreds of content ideas for your blog
  • How to build powerful backlinks

“…went through the course, applying what I learned after each lesson. It’s made a BIG difference in a short space of time, and freed me from Google limbo.” – Peter D., Udemy learner

Provider Udemy
Institution ClickSlice
Instructor Joshua George
Level Beginner
Workload 7-8 hours
Enrollments 43K students
Rating 4.7 (8.7K ratings)
Certificate Paid

Best Technical SEO Course (Semrush Academy)

Learn the ins and outs of technical SEO with Bastian Grimm in this course from Semrush Academy with a free certificate. You’ll learn about internal linking, how search engines crawl websites, HTTP responses, log files, web performance, and other essential tools.

No previous knowledge is required, but having some basic understanding of SEO and WebDev can be helpful.

Finish the course and take the Technical SEO Exam. If you feel ready, you can skip straight to the exam. Pass it and you’ll get a free certificate from Semrush.

Semrush Academy offers other SEO courses with free certificates, including Keyword Research Course with Greg Gifford, On-Page and Technical SEO Course, and Link Building Course.

Institution Semrush
Provider Semrush Academy
Instructor Bastian Grimm
Level Beginner/Intermediate
Workload 5 hours
Certificate Free, upon completion

Also Great: SEO Certification Course (Hubspot Academy)

Explore the basics of SEO with the SEO Certification Course from Hubspot Academy. This beginner-friendly course offers easy-to-follow steps, useful materials, and the chance to join a community of learners.

Led by Hubspot specialists, you’ll finish with a good grasp of SEO fundamentals like keyword research, link building, and site optimization. This course also comes with a free certificate upon completion.

Provider Hubspot Academy
Instructors Rachel Sheldon and Mathew Howells-Barby
Level Beginner
Workload 2-3 hours
Certificate Free, upon completion

Best SEO Strategy Course (ClickMinded)

Search Engine Optimization course is taught by Tommy Griffith, a SEO specialist with experience working for PayPal and Airbnb. This course is meticulously designed to elevate your SEO skills, regardless of where you’re starting. Tommy breaks down complex concepts, introducing you to the industry’s best tools and actionable strategies for your business;

From grasping the fundamentals of SEO to exploring On-Page, Off-Page, and Technical SEO, this course ensures you’re equipped to craft and execute an effective SEO plan. What sets this course apart is its emphasis on creating a personalized SEO framework—resulting in sustainable traffic growth without unnecessary complexities.

This course provides you with quizzes to test your knowledge, readings, and hands-on challenges.

Institution ClickMinded
Instructor Tommy Griffith
Level All levels
Workload 5-6 hours
Certificate Paid

Best YouTube Tutorials (Ahrefs)

Learn SEO with Sam Oh from Ahrefs through free YouTube tutorials. Starting with the basics, these lessons cover everything you need to know about SEO, with practical tips to improve your Google ranking.

Here are four recommended tutorials:

  1. SEO Course for Beginners: An easy introduction to SEO.
  2. Keyword Research Tutorials For SEO: Tips on keyword research and finding hidden opportunities.
  3. Link Building Tutorials (Step-By-Step): Learn link building techniques, from backlink analysis to sending effective outreach emails.
  4. Technical SEO Tutorials: Master website optimization and SEO audits.
Institution Ahrefs
Provider YouTube
Instructor Sam Oh
Level All levels
Certificate None

Additional Resources

On-Page SEO: The Definitive Guide (backlinko)

This post by Backlinko is a comprehensive guide to optimizing web page content for search engines and users. It covers topics such as choosing the right keywords, writing title tags and meta descriptions, optimizing content for readability, using internal links effectively, and improving website loading speed. The post also includes a free on-page SEO template that you can use to optimize your own pages.

The Beginner’s Guide to SEO (Ahrefs)

The SEO guide from Ahrefs is a seven-chapter course that covers the basics of SEO. It explains how search engines work, how to do keyword research, how to optimize your website for search engines, and how to build links to your website. The guide also includes a chapter on technical SEO and a chapter on SEO tools.

The guide is written in a clear and concise way and it is packed with useful information. It is a great resource for anyone who is new to SEO or who wants to learn more about how to improve their website’s ranking in search engines.

Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide (Google Developers)

This guide by Google Developers covers basic SEO. Learn how to make your site stand out on Google, optimize its technical aspects, and promote it effectively. Detailed Google guidelines provide extra insights on improving and monitoring your site’s performance.

Why You Should Trust Us

Class Central, a Tripadvisor for online education, has helped 60 million learners find their next course. We’ve been combing through online education for more than a decade to aggregate a catalog of over 150,000 online courses and 200,000 reviews written by our users. And we’re online learners ourselves: combined, the Class Central team has completed over 400 online courses, including online degrees.

How We Made Our Picks and Tested Them

Trying to find “the best” can be daunting, even for those of us who live and breathe online courses. Here’s how I approached this task.

First, I combed through Class Central’s Catalog and the internet to find a variety of free and paid courses.

Second, when choosing courses, I considered the following factors:

  • Renowned Institutions: I picked the most recognized institutions in Digital Marketing, SEO, and Content Marketing.
  • Instructor experience: I looked for instructors with extensive experience in SEO, Content Marketing, and Digital Marketing.
  • Course content: I looked for courses that covered a wide range of topics, from the basics to more advanced techniques.
  • Student reviews: I read student reviews (when available) to get a sense of the quality of each course.

To evaluate each course, I watched some of the course videos and read the course syllabus. I also looked at the course’s rating and reviews on Class Central.

Ultimately, I used a combination of data and my own judgment to make these picks. I’m confident these recommendations will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to create high-quality content for your blog or website to rank higher on Google Search.

Fabio Dantas Profile Image

Fabio Dantas

I'm content writer from Brazil with experience in teaching ESL to adults and a degree in Chemical Engineering. I love to bring my linguistic passion and technical knowledge together into my writing. I'm passionate about creative writing, process improvement, productivity, mindfulness, and music. Through my articles, I aim to empower learners by providing practical tips, inspiration, and a better understanding of how we learn.

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