SEO and digital marketing are the fields that promise a lot of challenging projects, a permanent necessity to learn and develop, as well as a decent level of income. How to become a specialist in this niche? A great benefit is that one can start working in a sphere without years of studies at the university or college. Getting practical experience after attending Google SEO training courses is much more essential in this field.
Why Courses, Not a Higher Education?
At first, it may seem that becoming an SEO specialist is too easy if there is no need to obtain a higher education. It is worth mentioning that a lot of experts in this field have got diplomas in completely different niches. When it comes to SEO, higher education is not useful for the following reasons:
- Google regularly introduces new algorithms, which requires SEO specialists to adapt their promotion strategies quickly. If you need to study for at least three to five years, your knowledge will become obsolete by the time you graduate.
- The competition in the field is fierce. Therefore, the faster you begin gaining practical experience and start collecting cases for your portfolio, the better it is. There is simply no time for long-term education. The practice is much more appreciated.
Where and How to Obtain an SEO Certificate
So, if you intend to work in SEO, it is logical that you will focus on the most popular search engine, i.e., Google. The search engine itself does not offer SEO training or courses. First of all, this is because Google doesn’t want to engage in the rivalry of businesses for the positions in the search results. Besides, the search engine keeps the principles of its algorithms unrevealed.
If you are self-disciplined and ready to obtain knowledge from free resources, you can start with the following two options Google provides for owners of websites, developers, SEO people, and all the other related specialists:
- Search Optimization Starter Guide: it will come in handy to develop a Google-friendly website, understand how and when to index the site content, correctly choose a URL and structure information, work with meta tags, images, and links, etc. All the information in the guide will help improve user experience and optimize the platform, which will positively influence its ranking in the search results.
- Skillshop platform: it is a free resource from Google that provides five free courses to take (Google Ads Certification, Analytics Academy Certification, Google Marketing Platform Certification, Google My Business, and Waze).
Every course foresees a final test you will have to pass. For this, you need to score at least 80% of the total points. If you take a test successfully, you will obtain one of the certificates that will be valid for a year or two. Then, you will have to reconfirm your knowledge in the field. However, be ready that before passing a new test, you will have to check if there are some changes in the courses program.
Of course, the above are not the only possibilities for a beginner in SEO to learn and obtain new knowledge. Aside from numerous tools like Check My Links a professional specialist needs to master, it is worth remembering that Google is not the only search engine. A Microsoft counterpart, Bing, provides its own courses. The approach is similar. You need to learn the specifics of promotion in this search engine, prove your knowledge with a test, and get a certificate for one year.
Courses From leaders in the Market
The next option is to study from practicing SEO specialists, leading agencies, and experts. Here is a list of both free and paid resources/platforms/agencies that provide courses for beginner- and medium-level specialists:
- SEMrush Academy,
- SEO Classroom Training by Bruce Clay,
- Yoast Academy,
- LinkedIn Learning,
- HubSpot Academy, etc.
Final Word on Courses
In general, we recommend you begin with free courses that will help you define which exact field you are most interested in. Besides, with some basic knowledge, it will be easier for you to choose a paid course. In this way, the money you will invest in education will not be wasted. You will know what you need for sure and which resource or platform will match your expectations.
Useful Tools and Plugins for an SEO Specialist
After you get several certificates in various fields, you will understand how much knowledge you also need to become a demanded specialist. Among numerous tools, there are also useful Google Chrome plugins that will come in handy. Just think about the following. Before you launch a site, it is necessary to check all its elements:
- Page tabs,
- Links, etc.
Imagine how many tools and services you will need. For example, let’s take the check of the links. By clicking on the links, we go to new pages. Even the Buy and Order buttons in online stores or landing pages are also links. And you will have to check all the links and buttons before launching a site.
If the landing page has a lot of links that are on the entire page in the text, it is better to use automatic link-checking tools. Check My Links Chrome Plugin helps you handle automatic checking. Here are its main benefits:
- You can find out if there are redirects on the page.
- You will get to know if there are broken 404 errors.
- The Check My Links plugin needs around 10 seconds to check the entire page.
- Also, the plugin can check several pages simultaneously.
- After the check, you will know the exact error that the damaged link received (404, 500, etc.).
Do you still think that the absence of the requirement for higher education makes the field of SEO easy to enter? So, if you are ready to embark on this path, choose a course and start mastering the most useful tools. In this way, you will get on the board of SEO faster.