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6 Best SEO Courses to Take in 2022

Here is a guide with the best FREE and paid courses and resources to learn SEO (Search Engine Optimization) from beginner to expert and rank higher on Google Search.

Searching for the best online course to learn SEO (Search Engine Optimization) might be overwhelming. So, in this article I have put together the best courses to learn SEO from scratch covering the key areas to master it: Fundamentals, On page SEO, Off page SEO, and Technical SEO. Most of the courses are free or free-to-audit.

Here are my top picks. Click on one to skip to the course details:

Course Workload In Brief
1. Google SEO Fundamentals (UC Davis) 29 hours The best SEO online course for SEO beginners
2. Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide (Google Developers) Self-paced Official starter guide for beginners
3. Ahrefs SEO Tutorials 10-11 hours Tips and tricks for all your SEO needs from experts
4. Technical SEO course with Bastian Grimm (Semrush Academy) 5 hours Best Technical SEO Course for intermediates
5. SEO Certification Course (Hubspot Academy) 2-3 hours Short course with free certificate for beginners
6. SEO Training (ClickMinded) 5-6 hours Become an expert in SEO and learn to use the best tools

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 recently experienced at Class Central: Google’s core algorithm update made us lose 40% of our traffic.

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 will go down in the drain.

Best Courses Guides Methodology

I built this ranking following the now tried-and-tested methodology used in previous Best Courses Guides (you can find them all here). It involves a three-step process:

  1. Research: I started by leveraging Class Central’s database with 80K+ online courses and 170K reviews. Then, I made a preliminary selection of 300+ SEO courses by rating, reviews, and bookmarks.
  2. Evaluate: I read through reviews on Class Central, Reddit, and course providers to understand what other learners thought about each course and combined it with my own experience as a learner.
  3. Select: Well-made courses were picked if they presented valuable and engaging content and they have to fit in a set of criteria and be ranked accordingly: comprehensive curriculum, price, release date, ratings and enrollments.

Course Ranking Statistics

Here are some aggregate stats about the ranking:

  • Together, they account for 115,143 enrollments and thousands of YouTube views.
  • SEO subject accounts for over 300 courses on Class Central catalog.
  • The most featured provider is YouTube with 4 courses.
  • 5 courses are free or free to audit, 1 course is paid.
  • All courses are in English.

1. Google SEO Fundamentals (UC Davis)

My first pick for the best SEO course is for Google SEO Fundamentals by University of California, Davis. This course is recommended by Google Digital Garage for learning Search Optimization Engine Fundamentals.

In this free-to-audit SEO beginners course, you will learn the four basic aspects in SEO: On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, Technical SEO and Keyword Research.

This course is perfect for complete beginners in SEO and content marketing. There are no requirements, although some basic understanding of HTML will be useful. Note: Although this course was recently updated, some of the recommended tools might be outdated or there may be better software available.

By the end of this course you will be able to understand and manage the key elements for creating an effective SEO strategy, including how to select keywords and perform keyword research; consumer psychology and search behavior; and how to conduct on-page SEO analysis to identify opportunities to improve a website’s search optimization.

This course on the fundamentals of Google SEO is very much useful for beginners like me. Very well structured and easy to learn. For those who are changing their profession or those who want to restart their career, this course is very much helpful. This will surely give the basic understanding that helps us a lot in our career. – said a learner from Class Central.

What You’ll Learn

Getting Started and Introduction to On-page SEO: This module will start with introducing you to key areas of SEO. Then we’ll dive into using On-page SEO techniques so that you’ll know how to optimize keywords in meta data as well as perform competitive analysis on a web page. By the end of this module, you’ll know how to identify meta-tags and use these to make recommendations for On-page SEO.

Introduction to Off-page SEO: This module will clarify what Off-page SEO is as well as help you understand building links to your site and understanding brand recognition through social media. Once you complete this module, you’ll be able to understand link analysis as well as how social media can help improve your page authority.

Introduction to Technical SEO: You will take a close look at the third leg of a solid SEO Strategy, Technical SEO. You’ll see how important structural components like sitemaps, redirects and other components lay a foundation for your content that will help your site get noticed. As you begin creating sitemaps and robot.txt files as well as planning redirects and managing site errors, you’ll learn how to employ best practices in your Technical SEO strategy.

Keyword Theory & Research: In this module, we are going to discover a variety of strategies for developing keywords for your site. This critical step is what helps direct your ideal buyer to the content that meets his or her needs. We’ll learn about keyword theory and how understanding the common behaviors of web searchers can help you hone your list of keywords. We’ll also see how you can use a variety of SEO tools to conduct an audience and use this data to develop personas of your ideal buyer. Once you’ve completed this module, you should be able to craft a list of optimal keywords that will help get your site recognized.

How You’ll Learn

In this course divided into 4 modules, you will learn by watching lectures and participating in multiple challenges through discussion prompts. The course also provides readings and additional resources to practice what you’ve learned. For paying learners, you will have access to graded quizzes and upon finishing all modules with a passing grade, you will receive a certificate of completion.

Institution University of California, Davis
Provider Coursera
Instructor(s) Rebekah May
Level Beginner
Workload 4 weeks long, 29 hours worth of material
Enrollments 114,889 students
Rating 4.8 (2,880 ratings)
Certificate Available

Fun Facts

If you’re interested in this course, you can find more information about the course and how to enroll here.

2. Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide (Google Developers)

My second pick for the best SEO course is for Google’s official documentation which is by far the most recommended resource for anyone getting started with SEO.

This guide provides an overview of the best practices for On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and technical SEO for your website. So if you are interested in diving into the intricates of Google search for your business and your clients, this guide is for you.

What You’ll Learn

You will start by learning the basics of On-page SEO with a step-by-step instruction on how to get your site on Google and help it find your content by creating a sitemap. Next, we move on to learn how Google (and users) understand your content by creating unique titles and snippets, use meta description tag, heading tags, and structured data markup. Finally, you will learn the importance of making your site interesting by using tools such as Keyword Planner and the Performance Report.

Then, you will learn Technical SEO techniques to manage your appearance in search results, organize your site hierarchy by using unique URLs per piece of content and planning your navigation, optimize your images using the right elements, and best practices to make your site mobile-friendly so that they can be indexed accurately.

To conclude, this guide also covers Off-page SEO techniques, which means promoting your website and reaching out to those in your site’s related community.

Additional Resources

On the left-side menu you will find more detailed information on Google guidelines which provide advice on how to code your site in order to be eligible to appear on Google, how to control crawling and indexing which is the ability to find and parse your content to show it in Search, change your Search appearance, optimize your page experience, and monitor your site performance.

If you’re interested, you can find more information about this resource here.

3. Ahrefs SEO Tutorials

In this free collection of tutorials, you will have the opportunity to learn from the SEO expert Sam Oh, from Ahrefs, one of the world’s leading SEO tools. You will learn advanced SEO techniques starting from the basics. If you are already familiar with the basics, you can skip to the topic you need to learn next.

Sam Oh is not only a SEO expert but also a great instructor which makes learning a pleasant experience. Ahrefs provides frequently updated and free content with actionable tutorials and articles to improve your Google Search ranking, such as The Beginner’s Guide to SEO.

Best SEO tutorial I’ve come across yet! Informative, but not overwhelming. In fact, as an educator, I am impressed how you have managed to touch in on the best learning practices: “Chunking” information by way of mini-tutorials (modules), stating learning objectives prior to beginning the lesson, repeating key terms/vocabulary, great use of text features, at closing the speaker summarizes the learning objective, and although the tutorial is targeted to those at the beginner level, but information definitely. – Kimberly Alford, learner

What You’ll Learn

I’ve selected my four favorite courses from Ahrefs to cover the basics, on- and off-page SEO, and finally, technical SEO:

  1. SEO for beginners: SEO Course for Beginners – This course was created to help you navigate search engine optimization in an easy and systematic way.
  2. On-page SEO: Keyword Research Tutorials For SEO – In this tutorial, you’ll learn a few advanced keyword research tips to find untapped keyword opportunities.
  3. Off-page SEO: Link Building Tutorials (Step-By-Step) – Learn various techniques you need to do link building for SEO. Some of these skills include: Link prospecting, Qualifying link prospects, Backlink analysis, How to execute numerous link building strategies, How to find someone’s email address, How to send effective outreach emails,  Scaling link building tactics into systems, and more.
  4. Technical SEO: Technical SEO Tutorials – Learn how to optimize your website for SEO and best practices, and how to perform a SEO audit.

How You’ll Learn

In these courses you will learn by following along with the instructor and experimenting by yourself with the provided tools for each segment. Although some of the recommended tools are paid, you can still learn by signing up for a free trial or using a free version of the software (with limited features).

Institution Ahrefs
Provider YouTube
Instructor(s) Sam Oh
Level All levels
Certificate None

Fun Facts

If you’re interested in these courses, you can find more information here.

4. Technical SEO course with Bastian Grimm (Semrush Academy)

My fourth pick is for Technical SEO course with Bastian Grimm, an expert from Semrush Academy.

In this comprehensive course with free certificate, you will have a detailed overview of technical SEO, covering a wide range of topics including internal linking, crawling and indexation, HTTP response, log files, web performance and tools for technical SEO.

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

What You’ll Learn

Internal Linking: Get introduced to internal linking within website pages, how to prioritize relevant links, using link hubs, multiple linking, and the best practices for nofollow links. This is a great module for those who wish to start learning technical SEO.

Crawling and Indexation: Best Practices for Controlling Web Crawlers: In this technical SEO module with Bastian Grimm, you’ll gain an understanding of search crawlers and how to optimally budget for them.

Advanced Crawling and Indexation: You will get a deeper understanding of how to manage crawling and indexation.

HTTP Response Codes: You will learn about HTTP header fields, which transmit the parameters and arguments important for the file transfer via HTTP protocol.

Log files: Log files contain the history of every person or crawler that has accessed your website. In this module, you will learn how to deal with log files.

International SEO: Essential for those wishing to be successful with International SEO. Learn how to help search engines easily identify your target countries and the languages you use for business.

Web Performance: You will get advice on how to optimize your website performance and implement HTTPS and HTTP/2.

Technology: This is a key module of our technical SEO course. Learn what not to overlook when it comes to structured data, AMP, JavaScript SEO, and mobile-first indexing. A technical SEO checklist can be developed here.

How You’ll Learn

After every lecture there are additional readings to further your knowledge and a suggested practical activity with Semrush tools. After completing the course, you can take the Technical SEO Exam. If you already have reasonable knowledge of technical SEO, you can bypass the educational part and put your skills to the test right away by taking the exam. Upon passing it, you’ll earn a certificate issued by Semrush confirming your technical SEO mastery.

Institution Semrush
Provider Semrush Academy
Instructor(s) Bastian Grimm
Level Beginner/Intermediate
Workload 5 hours
Certificate Free

Fun Facts

If you’re interested in this course, you can find more information about the course and how to enroll here.

5. SEO Certification Course (Hubspot Academy)

My fifth pick for the best SEO course is for SEO Certification Course from Hubspot Academy.

In this course with a free certificate, you will learn the fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization with a team of specialists from Hubspot. This course is perfect for beginners who want to learn the very basics of SEO with actionable steps, supporting materials, frameworks, and a lively community of learners. By the end of this course, you will be able to understand what SEO  is all about and have basic tools and techniques to get you started such as SEO basics, on page and technical SEO, keyword research, link building, and optimize your site for rich results.

What You’ll Learn

  • Evaluate and improve your website’s SEO
  • Build backlinks to your website at scale to increase your website’s visibility on the search engine results page
  • Use insights from keyword research and reporting to improve your search performance

How You’ll Learn

This course is divided into 6 lessons and 26 videos. Each lesson ends with a quiz to test your knowledge and you will be invited to participate in their forum throughout the course (which is optional, but highly recommended). The course also provides supporting materials to easily put what you’ve learned in practice. By the end of this course you will receive a certificate from HubSpot.

Provider Hubspot Academy
Instructor(s) Rachel Sheldon, Mathew Howells-Barby,
Level Beginner
Workload 2-3 hours
Certificate Free, upon completion.

Fun Facts

  • Hubspot Academy has also been featured on the Best Content Marketing courses.
  • HubSpot is a software company that develops tools and integrations for marketing, sales, content management, and customer service. Hubspot Academy is their official learning resource which provides a variety of free courses with certificates on marketing and sales.

If you’re interested in this course, you can find more information about the course and how to enroll here.

6. SEO Training (ClickMinded)

My sixth pick is for the Search Engine Optimization offered by ClickMinded with Tommy Griffith, SEO specialist.

This comprehensive course is perfect for leveling up your SEO game if you want to be a specialist starting from zero. They walk you through each step required and the best tools available in the market. This course is self-paced and I recommend you take your time in implementing each technique since this course is packed with actionable strategies.

What You’ll Learn

Some topics covered in this course:

Fundamentals: 

  • A simple explanation of how SEO fundamentally works;
  • How to implement the ClickMinded Search Framework to ANY search engine so you can optimize for any platform and start ranking your content;
  • How the idea of “query refinement” is one of the most important and underrated aspects of search engine optimization;
  • An in-depth explanation of the relationship between your sales funnel and searcher intent so you know which keywords belong in the top, middle, or bottom of the funnel;

On page SEO:

  • How to do keyword research;
  • 2 things that should drive your digital marketing strategy;
  • How to create a content plan based on your keyword research;
  • How to reverse-engineer your competitors to find easy ranking opportunities;
  • The most common misunderstanding when it comes to optimizing content;
  • The 8 on-page elements you need to optimize to SEO-proof all of your content;
  • Using “Link Neighborhoods” to boost your rankings by leveraging your competitor’s highest-ranking pages;
  • How to discover quick and easy traffic wins that don’t require you to create any new content process and SEO tools to find link prospects at scale;

Off page SEO:

  • How to use a “CRM for link building” to sending personalized emails that get links;
  • My 4 favorite tactics to build white-hat links;

Technical SEO:

  • Introduction to Google Search Console and how to squeeze as much data about your search traffic as possible;
  • Why “structured data” is probably where the future of SEO lies;

And much more.

How You’ll Learn

This course provides you with quizzes to test your knowledge, readings, and challenges to put in practice what you’ve learned. Upon completion of all  lectures, you will receive your certification by taking the test with a passing grade of 80%.

Institution ClickMinded
Instructor(s) Tommy Griffith
Level All levels
Workload 5-6 hours
Certificate Available

Fun Facts

  • Tommy Griffith has been doing SEO strategy for nearly 10 years and has managed search engine optimization at companies like PayPal and Airbnb.

If you’re interested in this course, you can find more information about the course and how to enroll here.

Fabio Dantas Profile Image

Fabio Dantas

I’m an ESL instructor, writer, and CC's Cohort coordinator working remotely before it was cool.

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