SEO Certifications: What you need to know before enrolling

Now, more than ever, anything can be learned on the internet, including search engine optimization (SEO).


You see it on SEO sites often: “SEO is not an exact science.”


We like to add, “It’s not rocket science either.” 


While all the necessary information to build a spacecraft probably exists online, it would take a great deal of effort, time, and intelligence to figure that out on your own. 


SEO best practices, in truth, can be learned in a matter of hours. That’s why, if you have the time, you shouldn’t pay for costly SEO services. Of course, mastery takes real-world reps and experience.


But if SEO’s pretty easy to learn and a wealth of free online resources are available, why go through  SEO certification program? 


What is SEO certification worth?


Regardless if you’re a site owner looking to increase their traffic or an individual looking to start a career in digital marketing, we’ll help you weigh the benefits and value of SEO certifications, as well as list some of the best options out there for you to consider.

Get prepared now! Check out our article on building your free ‘suite’ of SEO tools. You’ll need them to perform an SEO audit. Theories alone can’t get you where you want to be. Make sure you’re getting as much practice as you can.      

Table of Contents

  1. The Benefits of Earning an SEO Certification
  2. The Questionable Value of an SEO Certification
  3. Our Top SEO Certification Programs
  4. Final thoughts

The Benefits of Earning an SEO Certification

First, let’s go through some of the benefits of earning SEO Certifications.  


The certification itself, obviously 

Learning for learning’s sake is commendable and worthwhile.


Nevertheless, having something concrete to show for your commitment to self-improvement and growth can only help.    


Once you pass the test, you can immediately add that certification to your CV. Ideally, potential clients and/or employers notice and acknowledge the extra effort you’re putting into your profession.  


Higher-than-average baseline of knowledge 

To receive the certificate, you need to pass a test (for most SEO certification programs, at least).

For site owners simply looking to receive more traffic, the knowledge alone will be helpful for you to start optimizing your web pages for search engines. 


For individuals looking to get into digital marketing, successful completion indicates to potential clients and/or employers that, while you don’t have the extensive experience others may have, you do have a guaranteed baseline of SEO best practices. 

NOTEExperience, of course, trumps all, especially if you’ve got a stellar track record. But if you can optimize your own website and couple that with an SEO certification, you’ve at least got some good credentials and experience to show off. 


Some of us need structure to learn effectively. Plus, when it comes to self-education, there’s no better (or worse) place to get lost than the internet. 


SEO certification programs simplify the learning process, providing you with clear steps to follow. You don’t have to figure out what you should educate yourself about next, or worry about how all the components of SEO fit together. One after the next, you can conveniently go through the courses, without having to sift through multiple resources on the same topic.  


If anything, that’s time saved.


Taught by SEO experts

For all of the internet’s perks, misinformation is one unavoidable consequence.


Especially for the many of you just getting your start in digital marketing, you obviously won’t be able to distinguish between good and bad SEO advice. You will, without a doubt, pick up a lot of great information learning about SEO on your own, but you’ll likely glean some inaccurate information from a random forum that could come back to harm you later on. 


SEO certification programs have vetted their instructors, so there’s no concern that you’re getting current and reliable information on best practices.   

Most of SEO is pretty easy. Building backlinks, however, is time-consuming and difficult to do. 


In short, backlinks are ‘upvotes’ from other site owners. The more you have, the higher search engines will rank your web pages. 


Combine the new skills you learn from SEO certifications program with our link building services, and your web pages will be ranking rapidly. 


Let’s get your website seen. 


The Questionable Value of SEO Certifications

Now, let’s talk about the questionable value of SEO certifications.  


Says something, but far from everything

The fact that you earned an SEO certification does suggest positive things about you. As we discussed above, you took the time to improve yourself and gained decent working knowledge about SEO.


But when we talk about acquiring clients or finding a job in digital marketing, the experience will be valued more than your certificate. 

Just think about it: would you rather hire someone who has earned an SEO certification or someone who has managed to get their clients’ pages ranking number 1 in search? 


Education ≠ experience

You can theorize all you want. That doesn’t mean, when it comes time to put those theories into practice, you can actually perform well. 


Experience gives you the knowledge you just can’t get from the classroom. Theories or approaches, when it comes to the real world, need to be tweaked or outright reworked for them to be successful.


Believing that one method will work as a catch-all to every client will set you up for failure. This is a major reason why SEO certifications alone probably won’t get you many jobs. Along with your lack of proven success, of course. 


Many of these SEO certification programs aren’t going to give you the practical experience you need. The knowledge they do provide is valuable, but it’s just not enough to have great value in and of itself. 


Then what? It depends on your goals, of course. 


If you’re a business owner looking to optimize your online storefront’s SEO, you can practice on your own website. 


If you’re looking to get into digital marketing, practice on your own website and offer your services to site owners for free.  

Name value? Prestige? 

Maybe this goes without saying, but we’ll state it anyway: there’s no Ivy League of SEO certification programs. 


On one hand, you don’t need to be concerned about SATs or rejection letters. On the other hand, you can’t really expect prestige or name value from any particular SEO certification.


Admittedly, some SEO certifications are offered by well known digital marketing outlets. Perhaps there’s some minimal name value in that. All we’re saying is: don’t expect your SEO certification to get you your dream job.


The knowledge will be valuable, and if that’s enough for you, we encourage you to consider enrolling in an SEO certification program.  


Looking to get started on your own? 

Check out our article on how to use backlink checkers.

Our Top SEO Certification Programs

Instead of making you sift through a long list of all the SEO certification programs we could find, we decided to pare the options down to our top five. This should save you time, and get you on track ASAP.


Google Digital Garage’s Search Optimization Fundamentals

Gdigitalgarage- seo certification

Price: Free


Time Commitment: 13 hours


In partnership with the University of California, Davis, the top search engine Google offers a free course on SEO fundamentals. 13 hours’ worth of instruction means you’ll be getting more education than most SEO certification programs provide.


The instructor will always be vetted by the university, ensuring you receive a high-quality education. The UC Davis and Google associations could mean that this certificate carries the name recognition other programs won’t likely have.    


Moz Academyy’s SEO Essentials Certificate

moz SEO Certification Programs

Price: $595 


Time commitment: 8 hours


Moz, famous for its SEO toolset, offers an SEO Essentials Certificate. 6 courses over 8 hours, this program is efficient and effective. Sometimes spending extra hours in the classroom can be a waste of time to some. If you want to quickly learn the fundamentals of SEO, seriously consider Moz’s offering.


Keep in mind that you won’t be learning much about technical SEO (site architecture, for example). 


You can actually check out ~4 hours worth of Moz’s program here. You won’t be eligible for the certification, obviously.  


Hubspot Academy’s SEO Training Course

hubspot certificaition programPrice: Free 


Time commitment: 1 hour 35 min 


HubSpot is the creator of popular customer relationship management software (CRM). The company has free and paid courses offered on its website. Luckily for you, the SEO training course is free. 


You won’t receive a certificate for finishing, but HubSpot provides other offerings so you can get complete marketing instruction. If you’re looking for a comprehensive education in one place, HubSpot should meet your needs.  


Yoast’s Online SEO training

Yoast seo certification programPrice: Free-$499


Time commitment: Varies


Yoast is one of the top on-page WordPress SEO tools out there, and it’s free! Check out our guide on how to use Yoast if you’re interested. They offer a free option, however, you won’t have access to all of their SEO training courses. 


Yoast has two intermediate plans ($299) that separately teach you SEO content creation and technical SEO. The premium option ($499) gives you both. 


Yoast distinguishes itself by emphasizing practical experience. This focus distinguishes their program from others on this list. 

Final thoughts

With the wealth of resources on the internet, you should never feel obligated to pay for comprehensive SEO services. Going through a certification program will definitely give you fundamental knowledge on SEO, but that won’t ever replace experience. 

Let us do the hard part of SEO for you

Interested to enroll in an SEO certification program? Any program you’d like to recommend? Let us know!


Regardless of experience level, link building is the hard and time-consuming part of SEO. Building connections and writing cold emails to site owners can be tough, even when you’ve got great content. is here to help out.

We developed artificial intelligence to take the burden of link building off of your shoulders.  Our automated, 24/7 search finds the exact keyword phrases that will bring you the most organic traffic. 


Plus, we can keep our prices down because, obviously, AI’s don’t get paid salaries.

Bad BacklinksQuality Backlinks
Pages with a list of links and no contentGuest Posts with exact keyword phrase and rich content
From irrelevant and unreliable sourcesFrom relevant and reliable domain authorities 
Potential ranking penalties for violating Google’s Webmaster GuidelinesNo risk of penalties

Moreover, our backlinks are reliable and trustworthy because we tap into our growing community of site owners. We do not dump a bunch of links in an aggregator site just to satisfy a quota.


Investing in our service will bring your pages quality backlinks for effective, long-term growth. We provide regular maintenance, so our backlinks consistently deliver organic traffic for years to come.