What’s the best way to learn SEO? SEO courses and education
Are you looking to learn SEO? As you may have noticed, there are many ways to do it out there. In this blog post we’ll explore different ways of learning SEO – everything from SEO courses to higher educations and other options.
What does a good SEO education need to teach, and what should you look for? Also, do you really need to study to learn SEO? These are my thoughts on it as a digital marketing professional.
By Stefan Nordström
- Freelancing digital marketing consultant
- 8 years of in-house and freelance experience
- Expertise: SEO, copywriting, newsletters, conversion optimization, digital strategy
- LinkedIn | Mail | Instagram
Do you need to study SEO to properly learn SEO?
Does learning SEO mean that you have to study it, as part of a formal education or course? Well, not really. I wouldn’t say it’s 100 % necessary, but it definitely helps. A formal education or course can ease the way into SEO, and it can also connect you with new colleagues. Also, the CV looks a bit better with a confirmed education on there.
Even if we agree that SEO courses and formal digital marketing training is good, it’s good to be aware of the potential negatives. The biggest one, in my opinion, is that many of them teach obsolete knowledge. Search engine optimization is an ever-changing discipline, and learning material needs to be updated constantly. It’s far from traditional learning – it can be very hard for formal schools to teach in an adequate way.
Formal education, online courses or other options?
For many people looking to learn SEO, the main question is whether to enroll on a formal education or just go with an online course. Or maybe you can just find all the knowledge online?
I wouldn’t say that there’s one simple answer here. It’s more about the quality of the training than the format. And it also depends on how we are as individuals. Some people enjoy group learning and targeted courses, others enjoy surfing their way to knowledge and learning by trail and error.
If you choose to learn SEO through a course, make sure to look up the person that’s teaching it. Is this person successful in search engine optimization? Then it’s more likely to be good. An active, high-performing SEO professional in charge likely means a more updated and practically oriented course.
What should a good SEO course teach?
Some skills a good SEO course should teach are:
- Basic html and CSS
- Content marketing mindset and working in a CMS
- Site structure
- How to optimize headlines and text
- Links (external and internal)
- Meta tags
- Keyword research and competition research
- Strategy and content planning
- Google Analytics and Google Search Console
- Other important SEO tools and programs
- The development of search engine optimization over time
- Common mistakes and black hat techniques
How did I learn SEO?
For me, learning SEO was a part of my formal digital marketing education. I wasn’t really aware of it when I started, and it immediately stood as an interesting part of the discipline. In my first few jobs, I performed many organic SEO tasks and improved my skills.
Working as a web editor and content manager, I got to work with content marketing and organic SEO day in and day out in great environments. I was involved in the whole circle from planning and creating to measuring and improving SEO content. So.. I don’t have a formal SEO education except a few courses on my university; lots of it was trial and error in my early career.
The success of the companies I was working for in the heyday of content marketing really convinced me how powerful organic SEO is. It didn’t take long before I started my own two websites (this one and my music site) to drive some organic traffic of my own. After a few more years in 9-5 digital marketing, I quit my job and become a freelancer in 2019.
Some final thoughts on learning SEO
There are many ways to learn SEO, but you also have to be aware of how the discipline works. Like I said, it’s very practically oriented and changes fast. Completing an SEO course does not make you an SEO expert, even if the course is good and practically oriented.
SEO skill comes through working on many different sites and content types. You need to make expensive mistakes, run into surprises along the way and get a feel for the whole chain, from crafting content to analyzing and optimizing. That’s why having your own site is a great idea; it’s a place where you can build your SEO skills, while also building your brand and getting new leads.
Do you need SEO help, or are you about to learn SEO?
Are you looking for someone to help you out with SEO or other digital content tasks? Or are you looking to learn SEO? Either way, feel free to get in touch by adding me on LinkedIn or e-mailing at firstname.lastname@example.org.