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How to Learn SEO: Find the Best SEO Online Courses

Jamie Akenberger - November 10, 2020

When googling something, do you tend to click on that show up at the top of the page? Most of us do. That’s search engine optimization (SEO) at work. With such a long and technical name, you might be surprised to find out that it’s actually a fairly simple practice to learn. There are many resources for SEO learning that can turn you into a professional in no time.

What Is SEO?

The first step in learning SEO is understanding what it is. Search engine optimization is a practice used to improve a website by increasing visitors via search engines. In simpler terms, SEO helps a website rank higher on a search engine organically, using keywords.

According to Zero Limit Web , “the first five organic results account for 67.60% of all the clicks and the results from 6 to 10 account for only 3.73%.”

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For example, if you have written an article on Egypt’s best travel spots, you want your article to be listed first by the search engine when someone searches “Egypt travel.”

You may not even be able to recall the last time you scrolled over to the second page of Google results. That is why SEO is crucial to success for businesses and professionals.

What Are On-page SEO and Off-page SEO?

On-page SEO is how a Google ranking factors into the page that is being optimized. Other factors include content, headlines, and page structure.

Off-page SEO includes social media networks, industry blogs, and the searcher’s personal history. Digital Marketing Entrepreneur Neil Patel defines off-page SEO as “all of the activities that you and others do away from your website to raise the ranking of a page with search engines.”

What is SEO Used For?

SEO can be used for many reasons. Below are just a few.

  • Building a brand
  • Taking advantage of free ad space
  • Creating credibility
  • Staying competitive

Types of SEO

There are different types of SEOs such as white, black, and gray. The colors refer to the morality of each, as is explained below.

White Hat SEO

White hat SEO, also referred to as ethical SEO, targets a human audience using optimization strategies. Strategies for this type of SEO include relevant content, labeled images, related links, standards-compliant HTML, different but relevant page titles, and complete sentences.

If you are looking for longevity and long-term success, you should use white hat SEO as it follows search engine rules and regulations.

Black Hat SEO

In contrast to white hat SEO, black hat SEO works to deceive the search engine results pages and disregard the human experience. People who use black hat SEO typically don’t follow search engine guidelines. Keyword stuffing, invisible text, links from sites that don’t feature relevant content, and duplicate content, are all black hat SEO strategies.

Those who use black hat SEO are looking to earn a quick buck instead of building a long-term brand. While bending the rules, black hat SEO websites can make a few thousand dollars before they are banned by a search engine.

Gray Hat SEO

Gray hat SEO combines the ethics of white hat with the manipulativeness of black hat. Those who are trying to get an advantage over their competition without directly manipulating the search engine might use this kind of SEO.

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Learning SEO

There are many ways you learn SEO, including through hands-on experience.

There are a few routes you can choose from when it comes to learning SEO. One way is to invest in SEO education. You may choose to earn a certificate, take an online course, or enroll in a tutorial.

Additionally, another option is to research online or read other published material. Then practice, practice, practice. Getting hands-on experience is invaluable when learning SEO, so don’t skip this step.

How Long Does SEO Take to Learn?

Your learning style will affect how long it takes you to learn SEO. After all, it’s a discipline that requires research and hard work for it to be effective. Researching and implementing your lessons will take varying amounts of time.

It may take anywhere from four to six months for you to notice your skills working. Competition, inbound links, and content quality are all factors that can play into how long it will take for your SEO to start working as well.

How to Learn SEO: Step-by-Step

SEO marketing can be confusing, especially if you are just getting started. Start by breaking down the process, as we have below.

  1. Identify Keywords : The first step to learning SEO is identifying keywords. To begin optimizing content, you must first identify a keyword or phrase that people are using to search for your services.

An example of this would be if you are a vegan restaurant in Denver, people might search, “vegan restaurants near me,” “vegan restaurants in Denver,” or “Denver vegan restaurants” when they are looking for your business. It’s essential to Identify which phrases are being used on search engines so that you can create content based on the most popular phrases.

You can find those popular phrases through keyword research tools, including Google Trends, which is free. Be as specific as possible with the keywords, because generic keywords are hard to compete with. For example, “vegan restaurants” is too broad.

  1. Start Writing : Now that you have learned how to identify keywords, it’s time to create content. People will click on the content they find interesting. So, how do you determine what others find intriguing?

Start by searching your chosen keyword in Google to see the top posts. Are they blogs, company profiles, or articles? Use this as a base for what kind of content you should be creating.

There are no shortcuts to SEO, especially when it comes to content writing. Google accounts for the content quality and the use of keywords, among other factors. What is SEO writing and what are the most important elements of it? See our tips below.

Create Compelling Titles and Title Tags : Ranking based on keywords is just the beginning. To get people to click on your content, you’ll need to create compelling and titles.

URLs : Keep URLs short and sweet. People are more likely to click on a link that is short and to the point rather than one with a bunch of numbers and letters.

Links and Images : Another critical and tedious task crucial in the world of SEO is identifying and optimizing images. Use tags and alt tags, or alt-text, so that Google can “understand” them.

Additionally, ensure that your content is easy for the reader to pursue. Using <h1>, <h2> and <h3> in your writing is an excellent way to keep it organized, concise, and easy to read.

Finally, add backlinks, or links to your other content. Quality backlinks can directly boost your search traffic.

  1. Stay Up to Date on SEO : The world of digital marketing is continuously changing. It’s essential to stay up to date on trends. Tactics and algorithms are also consistently evolving. To stay up-to-date, you can enroll in an SEO course online or get SEO certified.

Also be sure to keep your content fresh, monitor keywords, and frequently perform content audits.

The Best SEO Training Courses

There are many different options for SEO learning. You can learn online or in-person, and sometimes even for free. Though online SEO courses are very popular, you may also want to check out some of the in-person options below.

In-person SEO courses

Noble Desktop

  • SEO Bootcamp in NYC or Online
  • Prerequisites : None
  • Price : $650
  • Time : 12 hours

A total of 12 hours with the option to retake for free, the Noble Desktop Bootcamp gives you the option of learning live online or in-person at its New York City location. The beginner course is aimed at business owners, marketers, and front-end developers. Topics covered in the course include on-page and off-page optimization, competitor analysis tools, and writing techniques.

Tampa SEO Training Academy

  • 5-Day SEO Mastery Class in Tampa, Florida, New York City, or Online
  • Prerequisites : None
  • Price : $2,497
  • Time: 5 days

This Tampa Training Academy SEO course is designed for beginners who want to learn techniques designed for top ranking sites. The course lasts five days and covers keyword research, trend analysis, local SEO techniques, and page optimizations. You also get six months of mentorship upon completing the course, included in the cost.

Online SEO Courses

The best SEO course is one that you can take whenever and wherever you want. Online courses make it possible to learn any topic with the click of a mouse, including SEO. The SEO classes below are available online.


  • SEO 2020 Training: The Complete SEO Course for WordPress Websites
  • Prerequisites : None
  • Price : Varies

Learn about Google or Bing rankings, how to choose the right content, and understand what search engines want, in this Udemy course for beginners. You will also get full lifetime access to the materials and a certification of completion.

The SEO Playbook

  • SEO 2020 Training: The Complete SEO Course for WordPress Websites
  • Prerequisites : None
  • Price : Varies

The playbook course is designed for intermediate to advanced learners looking to increase organic traffic and leads. This advanced SEO course goes above and beyond others because it allows you to shadow course creator Robbie Richards as he implements the course’s teachings in a real business scenario.

Free SEO courses

Sometimes the best classes are the free ones. Maybe you want to learn SEO but don’t want to commit financially, and just want to get familiar with the basics. Attending a free course is the best way to start learning before you dive in.

SEMRush Academy

  • SEMrush SEO Toolkit Course

Content Marketing and SEO Fundamentals with Eric En

On-Page and Technical SEO Course

Mobile, International, and Local SEO Course

  • Prerequisites : None
  • Price : Free

SEMRush Academy has a plethora of SEO courses to choose from, for beginners and advanced SEO students. The classes range from two to 14 lessons each and cover a variety of topics.

Hubspot Academy

  • SEO Training Course: Learn How to Achieve Sustainable Organic Traffic Growth
  • Prerequisites : None
  • Price : Free

This free Hubspot Academy course is for those who are trying to decide if they should continue learning SEO. In it, you will learn the basics through training that is delivered every day to your email.

SEO Books

Books are an invaluable resource, especially when learning SEO. Take a minute to pick up one of these books below to learn more.

SEO 2020 , Adam Clarke

Learn basic steps, all about keyword searches, and how to increase organic results and user engagement with SEO 2020 by Adam Clarke. Intended for beginners, it’s a number one best-selling book on Amazon.

The Art of SEO , Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, and Jessie Stricchiola

In its third edition and over 900 pages, the Art of SEO is great if you are an advanced SEO practitioner, although it covers the basics, too. Used in university courses, it also covers more advanced techniques and underlying theories of search engines and the future of SEO.

SEO Resources

An in-demand skill like SEO is bound to have a variety of additional online resources. We have listed some below.

Google SEO Starter Guide

Learn from the best at Google about how to “ensure good search rankings.”


This plugin evaluates your content using an SEO perspective.

Screaming Frog

The free or paid site scans your onsite SEO.

Should You Study SEO?

Studying SEO allows you to grow your organic reach, whether as a business or a professional.

SEO is an excellent skill that you can apply to many careers. Among the possibilities, you could become an SEO copywriter, a content marketer, digital marketer, or business marketing consultant, or get started in search engine marketing or pay per click marketing.

Other benefits include optimizing your website and getting views organically, earning more money, and learning the inner workings of search engines. The more you know, the more you SEO.

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Jamie Akenberger

About the author: As a member of the Career Karma team, Jamie writes about technology, higher education, and web design. After graduating with her BA in Public Relations from Florida Gulf Coast University, she worked at iconic companies like Caesars Entertainment, Neiman Marcus, and Disney. Before joining Career Karma in March 2020, she worked as a freelance writer, contributing content to companies like 1-800-Flowers and CELEB.

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