Best SEO Courses Online – Free & Paid Options

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Written by Loren Baker –

Earning a degree is valuable for many professions.

After all, you wouldn’t want a dentist who learned his trade via YouTube videos giving you a root canal, would you?

Of course not.

But for other professions, you can learn just as much, if not more, than a college curriculum’s worth online for a fraction of the cost. Search engine optimization is one of those professions.

That’s not to say there’s no value in an SEO specialist earning a degree – any education is a good thing, particularly if it’s in a related field like computer science, marketing, or communications.

Like many industries, the SEO field is in a constant state of flux – and it’s more than just competitors tweaking their strategies to jump ahead of you; it’s also regular and sometimes major changes to Google’s search algorithm.

There are free and paid courses; some come with certifications. Depending on your goals, some types of SEO certifications can be worth your time and money, but you should choose carefully.

If you aren’t sure where to start, check out our SEO beginner’s guide that introduces the basics of SEO and use it as a jumping-off point.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best online SEO courses available so you can find exactly what you’re looking for and master your craft.

Free SEO Courses

SEO Certification Course (HubSpot)

As a marketing and sales software development tool, HubSpot always thinks of marketers’ needs – and that includes its SEO Certification Course.

It covers the basics of SEO, including evaluating your current site, building backlinks, and performing keyword research to improve search performance.

  • Length: Under four hours for six total lessons.

SEO Training Course: Learn How To Get Organic Traffic From Search (Ahrefs)

Another SEO software tools provider, Ahrefs, offers a free course for SEO beginners.

This program starts from scratch, explaining why SEO is important and guiding participants through the basics of keyword research, page optimization, and beginning technical SEO to rank higher in search engines.

  • Length: 14 lessons over 2 hours.

Free SEO Training: SEO For Beginners (Yoast)

The makers of the popular SEO plugin for WordPress want to help you learn more about SEO with a free online course.

Yoast’s program is designed to quickly equip you with the basic knowledge of SEO, as well as tips on how to positively impact your site’s ranking as quickly as possible.

SEO Training For Beginners (Shopify)

When it comes to ecommerce, Shopify is one of the top players in the market. To help online retailers maximize their impact and revenue, Shopify offers free SEO training for beginners.

With its focus on digital shopping, this course is ideal for ecommerce entrepreneurs looking to optimize their Shopify store.

  • Length: Just over one hour.

Navigating On-Page And Technical SEO (Semrush)

The makers of the keyword research and analytics tool, Semrush, offer a course for intermediate SEO professionals covering on-page and technical SEO.

The course includes how to optimize web elements for higher rankings, as well as identifying and resolving issues that could have a negative impact on search engine visibility.

Upon completion of this, you can test for certification.

  • Length: Eight lessons in one hour.

Intro To Search Engine Optimization (WordPress)

Popular blogging platform WordPress offers an entry-level course to introduce you to the fundamentals and foundation of SEO.

Content is available on-demand, and you will receive a certificate of completion.

  • Length: Around one hour plus additional activities.

A Beginner’s Guide To Local SEO (BrightLocal)

Local SEO puts your business in front of customers when they’re actively looking for you – which means it’s really important.

This course from BrightLocal Academy will equip you with the knowledge and skills to start showing up on those searches conducted in your neighborhood.

  • Length: Eight lessons + certification in one and a half hours.

Google SEO Fundamentals (Coursera/University Of California, Davis)

This course, designed by UC Davis, will help you quickly get up to speed on the basics of search engine optimization.

It includes modules for on-page, off-page, and technical SEO, as well as keyword theory and how to conduct keyword research for improved rankings.

  • Length: 4 modules, 29 hours to complete.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialization (Coursera/University Of California, Davis)

More in-depth than the previous one, this program will teach you how to perform competitive analysis, develop influencer relationships, and create reports on your findings and recommendations to a client.

The course has a flexible schedule to learn at your own pace.

  • Length: 5 courses, taking 3 months at 10 hours a week.

Paid SEO Courses

Free is always a great thing, but if you’re looking for more in-depth and focused learning, it might be worth your time to invest in a paid course.

Here are some of the best ones we’ve compiled:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Training Course (Simplilearn)

Simplilearn is an online “boot camp” educator. Its Advanced SEO Course is intended to prepare you for a role as a full-stack SEO professional.

This in-depth program focuses on everything from the basics of the search field to advanced skills like off-page optimization, developing a content marketing strategy, and managing analytics.

  • Length: Self-paced or instructor-led.

Technical SEO Certification (Moz)

Looking to lean into technical SEO a bit more?

This on-demand course is designed to equip you with the skills you need to take your technical SEO expertise from beginner to intermediate.

You’ll learn about crawlability, indexability, accessibility, and site performance.

  • Length: Three hours of instructor-led content, with an additional final exam.
  • Price: $395.

SEO Competitive Analysis Certification (Moz)

Yet another Moz Academy course intended for intermediate to advanced SEO professionals, this on-demand program will teach you how to identify and analyze your competitors’ SEO on-page and off-page activity, conduct audits, and evaluate your rivals’ social media presence.

  • Length: Three hours of instructor-led content, with an additional final exam.
  • Price: $395.

SEO Certification (ClickMinded)

An online continuing education platform for marketing professionals, ClickMinded offers an SEO certification course designed with busy professionals in mind.

It will teach you the basics of search engine optimization, and upon passing the final exam, you’ll be awarded certification. It also includes lifetime access to five mini-SEO courses.

  • Length: Three to six hours.
  • Price: Single courses from $999, with the complete course library for $1,999.

Advanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Certification Training (Market Motive/Simplilearn)

This in-depth SEO course goes far beyond the fundamentals, helping you take your skills to the next level.

A bigger time investment than some courses on this list, it is intended to be a comprehensive course on all things SEO. Users have access to the course for a full year.

  • Length: 30+ hours of self-paced video with exam and certification.
  • Price: Self-paced learning for $899.

SEO Training (Bruce Clay)

Bruce Clay programmed the world’s first webpage analysis tool.

Now, he’s sharing his expertise in search engine optimization via

This exhaustive course is learn-at-your-own-pace and features everything from beginning SEO training to advanced tactics.

  • Length: 15+ hours over 48 videos.
  • Price: $1,495 for a one-year membership.

SEO Basics (SERanking)

This structured online course is designed to walk you through every aspect of SEO and show you how to make it work for your business.

SERanking also offers a course on Content SEO to further expand your knowledge.

  • Length: 41 lessons over 6 hours.
  • Price: Basic subscription starting at $44/month, 14-day free trial.

The (Non-Techie) Marketer’s Guide To SEO (MarketingProfs)

This program is designed for people who don’t have degrees in computer science or related fields.

It breaks down how search engines work and gives you specific steps to help you maximize your ranking without needing to learn a coding language.

  • Length: 7 lessons, 60-90 minutes each.
  • Price: $279 annual subscription.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) And Marketing (University Of California, San Diego)

Learn the basics of SEO and how to structure your website in this online course from UC San Diego.

You’ll gain practical experience performing the duties of an SEO specialist while learning to use various online tools.

  • Length: Three credit hours.
  • Price: $695.

Search Engine Optimization (University Of Phoenix)

Learn to perform competitive analysis, create a keyword strategy, and develop a crawler-friendly site architecture in this online course.

This program will provide you with a solid understanding of SEO concepts, as well as how to develop a content and social media strategy that enhances a website’s visibility across the web.

  • Length: Three credit hours, five weeks.
  • Prices: $1,194.

Search Engine Optimization (University Of Cape Town)

This online short course will equip you with work-ready skills to allow you to take on an SEO role with confidence.

Once enrolled in the course, you’ll get live experience working on an ecommerce WordPress site to master various SEO tactics.

In addition to a practical understanding of best practices, you’ll also receive an industry-recognized certificate from Africa’s top university.

  • Length: 10 weeks with 10 hours per week.

Foundations Of Search Engine Optimization (University Of Toronto)

Learn to perform competitive research and develop SEO strategies in this micro-course.

You’ll gain a thorough understanding of how Google works, identify keywords your audience actually uses in search, and learn best practices to help you climb the rankings.

After successfully completing the course, you’ll receive a micro-credential that can be shared across social media, embedded in your website, or downloaded as a PDF.

  • Length: 15 hours.
  • Price: $559 Canadian.

Other Resources

Aside from the fun of optimizing websites for search engines, the internet continues to be a wealth of information.

Below are a few other resources you can use to learn more about search engine optimization:

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn is more than a professional networking site – it’s also a great place to learn.

Originally launched in 2016, LinkedIn Learning has skyrocketed in popularity across organizations.

As of right now, there are currently 29 different courses related to Search Engine Optimization and 931 total results, including videos, audio, and more.

LinkedIn Learning is currently priced based on the volume of user seats needed.

  • Price: For teams of 2 to 20 users, the price starts at $379.88 per seat, per year.


Online tech learning platform Pluralsight is a great way to learn new skills – including digital marketing and SEO.

At the time of writing, there are 83 different courses to master the art of search engine optimization.

A great place to earn tech certifications, you can even use it to learn to code if you want to add that to your growing set of web skills.

  • Price: A free trial is available, and then plans start at $299 per year.


Another learning platform dedicated to helping you level up your skillset, Udemy has a number of SEO videos.

Each video lesson is sold separately, but this gives you the benefit of choosing exactly which aspect of SEO you want to learn more about.

  • Price: Courses start at $14.99 each and have a 30-day money-back guarantee. Personal plans are also available with a monthly subscription price starting at $16.58 per month, with a 7-day free trial.

Skillshare SEO Courses

Skillshare offers a wide range of original videos on a variety of creative and tech topics, including, you guessed it: SEO.

It’s a great place to brush up on the fundamentals or focus on a specific area for improvement.

  • Price: Prices start at $159 per year, per seat for teams.

A Great SEO Pro Never Stops Learning

No two days are ever alike when working in SEO. That’s part of the beauty of the industry – a little bit of the unknown every single day.

And as long as Google keeps tinkering away with its algorithm, trying to fine-tune search results, there will always be a need for a skilled professional to help websites climb the rankings on search results pages.

The courses discussed run the gamut from free courses for absolute beginners to detailed classes on one specific aspect of SEO.

Once you’ve got a good grasp of the basics, it’s time to delve into deeper topics such as technical SEO or on-page SEO.

Just remember, no matter how long you’ve been practicing SEO or how good your skillsets are, your education is never done.

Just as Google’s algorithms continue to change, so must our education to keep up or be left in the dust.

Keep learning – it’s the only way to ensure your website gets the ranking it deserves.

More resources:

Featured Image: GaudiLab/Shutterstock

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