5 questions to evaluate any SEO training course

Investments in e-learning in 2022 are up, and there’s no sign of slowing. The global e-learning market will surpass $243 billion in 2022, Statista estimates. 

E-learning was already a growing segment when the pandemic fueled record numbers in online learning for corporations, people and students. In fact, Coursera reported that registrants to their courses nearly doubled from 2019 to 2020 and has only accelerated from there. 

2021 Impact Reporting findings from Coursera.
2021 Impact Report, Coursera

Online SEO training is a great way for companies to train teams on SEO. KPMG reports employees prefer online training because they don’t have to travel and they can learn at their own pace.

It also works for people needing to upskill or reskill as they change careers or look for a new job – “digital marketer” is still among the top 10 most in-demand jobs, according to LinkedIn

If you’re looking for SEO training, there is no shortage of courses out there. But what is a good SEO training course, and how do you evaluate it? 

Here are five things to look for in SEO training.

1. Who created the SEO training?

One of the most important things when evaluating SEO training is to understand who is the person or people behind the training. 

There is no “one way” to do SEO, so you also won’t find strict standards on how SEO should be taught. That’s why it’s important to get to the bottom of who is behind the information. Do they have the experience and knowledge to provide reliable guidance?

Remember, bad SEO advice can kill websites, their rankings and even entire businesses. So get to know the qualifications of the teachers you are going to learn from. 

Pro tip: When evaluating the creators of the course, do some digging into their years of experience – are they authorities in their space? Can you trust their information? Reviews can help here, too. (More on that later.)

2. What material does the SEO training cover?

SEO curriculum can go over everything from broad lessons on SEO concepts to niche topics. 

For example, some SEO courses give a general overview of SEO, while others may take a deep dive into just one area, like technical SEO or SEO copywriting.

Using my company’s online SEO training as an example, here is a sample SEO curriculum: 

  1. The Importance of SEO 
  2. SEO Concepts 
  3. Meet the Search Engines
  4. Website Anatomy 
  5. Search Now and in the Future 
  6. Content for SEO 
  7. Mobile SEO 
  8. Local Search 
  9. Linking Strategies 
  10. Siloing Concepts 
  11. Technical SEO 
  12. Best Practices 

There are many SEO training courses to choose from, and you can check out a list of independently reviewed SEO courses for 2022 to find out what they are teaching and how they compare.

Pro tip: Know ahead of time the concepts you want to learn, then evaluate your options. Also, some people really want to have something to show for their SEO training, like a certificate. So if that is important to you, you can find out which SEO courses offer some type of certificate at the end of the course.

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3. How is the information presented?

Not everyone learns in the same way. Some people like in-person classes, while others prefer videos, podcasts or even reading. Keep in mind that even within the world of online training, the way courses are presented varies.

For example, many online SEO courses have a set of static videos that you can watch at your pace, and that’s it. Others might offer more resources as a complement to those videos, for instance, a hands-on project or downloadable content. 

When we decided to take my company’s SEO training classroom online, we wanted to create an experience that was more than just passive learning. 

We decided to create an SEO training membership site to help fill in the gap of what people were missing about in-person learning (like collaboration and Q&A) and to cater to different learning styles. 

For example, our membership site gives students not only access to video lessons but also:

  • Course slides for those who like reference materials.
  • Live Q&A discussions for members only so that people can bring specific SEO problems to me directly (something people liked about our in-person training).
  • A student forum where people can connect with one another and discuss SEO challenges and solutions.
  • E-books and guides for those who like to read and for deep dives into hot SEO topics
  • SEO tools for students to use directly on their SEO projects.
  • Email support for the course and tools.
  • A growing library of ask-us-anything style videos that address specific questions about SEO.

Pro tip: Think about how you like to learn, and then evaluate how the information is presented. For example:

  • How many video lessons are in one course? 
  • How long is each video lesson?
  • Are there accompanying materials?
  • Do you get to ask questions to live people?
  • How long do you have access to the materials?

4. How fresh is the information in SEO training? 

SEO is constantly changing. Yes, we have best practices, but there is always some new algorithm update, some new discovery, and some breaking SEO news. So you don’t want to learn stale content.

That is why many of the SEO courses out there can quickly get out of date. And it is not likely that most instructors are going to update their course videos with every new change. 

Here, you want to find out how dated the SEO curriculum is and how often the material is updated. This may matter less with certain SEO topics than others, but it is still worth exploring before you sign up.

Pro tip: Look for information on when the course was created and the last time it was updated. You can even ask the course creator if it’s not obvious.

5. What kind of reviews does the SEO training get?

There’s often no better way to evaluate a course than to read reviews and testimonials. Of course, not everyone will get the same results after taking a course. But if enough people are raving about the SEO course, then you can bet it’s probably a good one.

Here, you want to look for visible signs of praise on the course webpage or website. How many stars is the course getting? How many people have enrolled? What are the testimonials saying? 

Then, take your research to Google. Type in “[course name] reviews” and see what comes up on third-party websites. 

Pro tip: Remember, not every student is going to like any given course. Be sure to read what people didn’t like about it, but balance that with the good reviews as well.

SEO training has many benefits

Taking an online SEO training course offers a ton of benefits for people in many roles. So no matter where you’re at, SEO training could help with:

  • Getting new SEO hires up to speed.
  • Helping different internal teams working on a website to get on the same page. 
  • Enabling continuing education for experienced SEOs.
  • Providing key skills for people who are looking to upskill or reskill.

Knowing how to evaluate a course can help you invest wisely in the future of your career or business. 

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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About The Author

Bruce Clay is the founder and president of Bruce Clay Inc., a global digital marketing optimization firm providing search engine optimization, PPC management, paid social media marketing, SEO-friendly site architecture, content development, and SEO tools and education.
Clay authored the book “Search Engine Optimization All-In-One For Dummies,” now in its fourth edition, and “Content Marketing Strategies for Professionals.” He wrote the first webpage-analysis tool, created the Search Engine Relationship Chart® and is credited with being the first to use the term search engine optimization. Bruce Clay’s renowned SEO training course is available online at SEOtraining.com.

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