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If you’re a startup, you often need to keep your spending as lean as possible. What better way to do so than to learn the basics of search engine optimisation yourself?
These 7 courses, conferences, and guides are there to point you in the direction of some of the great resources out there.
Coursera teamed up with some of the top universities and organisations to provide access to world-class education through online courses. Stanford, Princeton and Yale are just a few of the universities they’ve partnered with. Interested students have the option of taking courses absolutely for free. It’s also possible to obtain certificates when students choose to pay and finish the course, like what I did for the marketing course I completed. What’s more, Coursera also offers multi-course specialisations across a wide range of subjects.
To compare it against edX.org, Coursera has a comprehensive six-course specialisation in SEO, which is made possible through its partnership with the University of California. I’m currently taking the program, and after finishing the first course, I knew I had plenty more things to learn and I eagerly look forward to complete the rest of the courses. I highly recommend paying for the entire program, particularly if you plan on expanding your career options or you want to become a future SEO consultant.
Conferences are one of the best places to learn to improve your SEO skills and abilities. The simple fact of the matter is that SEO changes at an astoundingly fast rate and although a lot of the fundamentals stay the same, lots of other things happen, fast.
UnGagged is a conference that occurs in Las Vegas and also London during the year and I can honestly say provides, real, value marketing advice. Unlike a lot of the more idyllic minded stuff put out by many ‘gurus’, Ungagged provides those that go there, information that works and works well and is there to get more visitors to your site.
For those looking into improving their SEO, events such as UnGagged are among the best ways to do so and I’d encourage you to take a look and see when the courses are.
I teach multiple courses involving online business, self-publishing and marketing over at Udemy. It boasts of more than 10 million students and over 40 000 courses spread across 15 main subjects. The primary difference between Coursera and Udemy is that the former is more academic in nature while the latter better attracts experienced practitioners.
As of the time of writing, searching “SEO” returned 26 free courses and 256 paid courses. The following are definitely worth checking out:
- SEO For SEO Beginners (Free)
- What Is SEO? Learn SEO Basics And Optimize Your Website (Free)
- The Complete SEO Course – #1 Position on Google in 30 Days! (Paid)
- SEO Roadmap: SEO to Rank #1 & Skyrocket Sales (Paid)
Moz was founded back in 2004 and quickly built a reputation as one of the best SEO consultancy firms. It has since expanded to offer a multitude of software as a service solutions. Viewed as a global authority in their field, Moz has become synonymous to SEO. A testament to this is the two pages from Moz that appears on the first page for the keyword “what is SEO.” That’s how you walk the walk.
You can find short courses from Moz on Udemy, but their website is where you’ll find a treasure trove of learning resources. This includes webinars (Mozinars), guides, whitepapers, quizzes and more. I personally checked out these resources and they did not disappoint.
Moz is to SEO what Google is to search. The Big G takes up approximately two-thirds of the total US search market, and it’s also one of the most recognisable brands in the whole world. Millions upon millions of users prefer Google as their main search engine, beating its two main rivals Yahoo! and Bing. It’s safe to say that nearly all training resources based their content on Google’s search algorithms, updates and announcements.
While Google doesn’t really offer any training course in SEO, they provide an extremely helpful starter guide. I suggest exploring it after picking up the basics of SEO. They also provide a suite of tools which you can use for free. This includes Google Webmaster, AdWords and Analytics. All these tools are worth checking out and should definitely be in your SEO toolbox, especially as a beginner. Millions of SEO enthusiasts, including myself, use the free keyword research tool built into AdWords. I also revived my Webmaster account after being reminded of how powerful it actually is through a course I took in Coursera. Google’s products are quite simple to use, and you can find numerous training guides online for free to help you make the most out of them.
You can find a tonne of SEO plugins for WordPress, and many function extremely well. However, not knowing how to configure the settings may do harm than good. Yoast is among the most used SEO WordPress plugins. Through the Yoast academy, you can access training materials such as e-books and courses to allow you to maximise the plugin’s potential. Their YouTube channel also contains plenty of useful videos that thoroughly explain the different functionalities of the plugin.
HubSpot is an excellent place to stay updated about the world of online marketing, consistently publishing blog posts and guides about different marketing topics. However, their Inbound Certification course failed to meet my expectations as it didn’t provide any real value in terms of an SEO boost. Therefore, I decided not to complete the course and don’t recommend anyone to take it.
Feature image: Steffen Köhler via Flickr.