SEO TRAINING GOOGLE CERTIFIED

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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If you want an SEO certificate to add to your resume and LinkedIn to attract job offers, I have bad news for you: most employers don’t care about SEO certifications .

We asked 15 SEO hiring managers for the skills and requirements that they deem important when hiring an SEO specialist. 86% said that SEO certifications aren’t important, with the rest saying that they’re only somewhat important.

If I were judging these ‘certifications’ for their course content, it would be a different story.

Is there a Google SEO certification?

Each of the ‘certifications’ I took had well-produced videos, explained concepts well, and shared accurate SEO knowledge overall. Google’s SEO Fundamentals certification had annoying background music and looked a bit dated, but that’s a minor point.

Most SEO certifications aren’t worth it .

But that fact was nothing compared to the exams themselves…

2.5 hours of material, covers the four main facets of SEO (on-page, off-page, keyword research, technical), and was created by the University of California, Davis.

Here’s just one of the questions on one of the exams:

But this isn’t the only reason why SEO certifications probably aren’t worth it for most people. Here are a few more:

Google also offers the ‘SEO Fundamentals’ certification in the Digital Garage. It’s free, has.

Why SEO certifications probably aren’t worth it.

It was the exam and certification aspect that let all of these courses down, in my opinion.

After researching countless SEO certifications and taking three of them, my opinion is that there is no ‘best SEO certification .’ I can’t recommend any of the ones I completed—at least not for the certification alone.

So here’s my advice:

Shows how many different websites are linking to this piece of content. As a general rule, the more websites link to you, the higher you rank in Google.

You can see that I got the answer wrong. I’m guessing that the correct answer is “optimizing site keywords,” but I genuinely have no idea what that means. It sounds like something you’d see on Warrior Forum in 2009.

SEO certifications only teach you theory, not practical skills.

Look at the length of Google’s Digital Marketing certification above: there are 14 hours of material. That’s not a negligible amount of time to spend on SEO certification. There’s an opportunity cost here as you could spend that time building and ranking a website. As I said above, that’s probably a better use of your time if you already know the basics of SEO.

Google offers a free ‘Fundamentals of Digital Marketing’ certification through the Google Digital Garage. It includes 26 modules,

Most SEO hiring managers see certifications as unimportant when hiring SEO specialists, and I agree. I wouldn’t look for SEO certifications on resumes if I were hiring because I know that many of them are passable through a mix of trial and error and common sense.

Here’s another question, this time from Google’s SEO Fundamentals certification:

If you want to grow your SEO knowledge , find a good SEO course (here’s our free one) and then execute what you learn.

For something to qualify as an SEO certification:

A measure from 1 to 10 of how relevant your ads and landing pages are to the keywords you’re bidding on. Improving your Quality Score can help you achieve better ad positions and lower prices for clicks.

The action you want visitors to perform. Examples include e­commerce purchases, form submissions, phone calls, and video views. E.g. “My main goal is for people to book a consultation on my website, but signing up for my email newsletter would also be considered a conversion.”

A listing of web pages on your site that helps search engines understand your website. E.g. “Adding a sitemap helped search engines understand the pages on www.blakeproduce.com.”

Techniques that try to cheat their way to the top of search results, like repeating keywords, paying other sites to link to yours, or putting invisible text on the screen. This is considered bad form because truly relevant websites get buried in the results. E.g. “I received email offers to rank first in Google search results but have turned them down because the techniques used are spam.”

The specific term a user searched for before they reached your website. E.g. “The keywords “luxury romantic getaway” are performing great for my site.”

Key learnings.

A list of results appearing in a search engine in response to a user’s search query. E.g. “After I searched for ‘buy high­ gloss paint in bulk’ I noticed that the SERP had both natural listings and paid listings.”

Links from one page to another page within the same website. E.g. “Website visitors can click on internal links on the homepage to see the web pages in my fruits and vegetable gallery section.”

A group of interactions that take place on your website within a given time frame. For example, a single session can contain multiple page views and e­commerce transactions. E.g.“My website got 2,000 visits last month, but what I really care about is whether those visits resulted in sales.”

A listing’s position on a search engine results page. E.g. “With a lot of work, I’m hoping to get my website to the #1 ranking on search engines for my relevant keywords and audience.”

The number of times an advertisement is displayed; it doesn’t necessarily mean someone clicked on it. E.g. “I’m getting a lot of impressions on my Baby Photos ad, but not many people are clicking—I may need to rewrite it.”

The action you want visitors to perform. Examples include e­commerce purchases, form submissions, phone calls, and video views. E.g. “My main goal is for people to book a consultation on my website, but signing up for my email newsletter would also be considered a conversion.”

A form of advertising that allows you to bid for your advertisement to show along with search results for keywords that people are typing in. This lets businesses be seen by people at the very moment they’re searching for the things a business offers. E.g. “SEO is a long process, but using SEM helped me get a lot more website traffic really quickly.”

Often referred to as cost per acquisition (CPA), this ratio measures how much money you spend on advertising relative to the number of conversions received from the ads. For example, if you spend £100 and receive 4 conversions, your cost per conversion is £25. Your cost per conversion should be lower than the value of a conversion. For example, if a conversion is only worth £20, then a £25 cost per conversion is not profitable. E.g. “My cost per conversion was too high, so I started spending a little less on online advertising and reviewed how I could improve my ads for future campaigns.”

The first page on a website that a person usually sees—not necessarily the home page of that website. E.g. “I’m directing people who click my ad to a landing page with a discount coupon so that these visitors will be encouraged to buy.”

Results from a search engine that are not paid adverts. E.g. “The higher my website ranks in a search engine’s natural listings, the more website traffic I’ll get.”

­Your maximum cost­-per-­click (CPC), or bid price, is the highest amount that you are willing to pay for 1 click on your ad. However, you will not necessarily be charged the full Max CPC. For example, if your Max CPC is £1.25, you may only pay £1.04 for the click, depending on competitive factors. However, raising a bid might increase the likelihood of a higher ad position on the search engine results page. E.g. “I’ll bid as high as £2.25, but that’s my max CPC—I’m not made of money!”

Search engines have formulas, or algorithms, that help them order the list of results. The search engines constantly scour the web for new content and try to make sense of it.

Chances are, the same search originating from France will show different results. And, with the explosion of mobile usage, search engines now consider the devices people use when they perform a search. But just like a matchmaker who’s been in business for years gets better and better, search formulas evolve and add more and more information along the way.

The keyword or phrase a user types into a search engine in order to find what they’re looking for. E.g. “When people use the search term ‘hairdresser’ they might be looking for tips on how to do it themselves or a service to do it for them.”

The number of times people click an item of interest, like an advert, in comparison to the number of times people are exposed to that item. For example, if your ad received 100 impressions and 3 clicks, your CTR is 3%. CTR is a crucial indicator of whether your ads are relevant to the people using the search engine—think of it as the difference between the amount of people actually coming into your shop divided by the amount of people stopping outside to look through the window. While there are no specific guidelines, you should always be working toward improving CTR. E.g. “I improved my CTR quite a bit when I added pricing info to my Wedding Photos ad—that clearly made more people want to click through.”

When a person visits your site via an ad. For most SEM campaigns, you only pay when the searcher clicks your ad. E.g. “My ‘Cute Puppy Photos’ ad gets substantially more clicks than my ‘Cute Kitty Photos’ ad.”

The practice of making changes to web pages, content, and the promotion of that content to improve visibility in the organic —or unpaid—search engine results. E.g. “Investing in SEO helped my website get a higher ranking in search engine results.”

A programme designed to systematically browse content on the Internet and collect information about it to help searchers find what they’re looking for. E.g. “I’m scared of spiders, but not the ones that help my website appear in search engines.”

A form of advert found on web pages and mobile applications, available in a variety of formats (such as images, animated GIFs and rich media). E.g. “I’m using banner ads to bring new customers to my website.”

A computer programme used to navigate the Internet on computers, tablets and smartphones. Examples include Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari. E.g. “I’m not sure why my website looks different depending on the browser a person is using.”

The page being linked to from another page. E.g. “If you click the link to “Gallery,” you’ll see a destination page chock full of images of our fruits and vegetables.

An automatic forward to a different URL than the one entered by the user. E.g. “We implemented redirects when we moved the website to a new domain.”

Content that it is similar or identical to content found on another website. Search engines tend to ignore duplicate content. E.g. “We avoid duplicate content by investing in original content.”

A group of interactions that take place on your website within a given time frame. For example, a single session can contain multiple page views and e­commerce transactions. E.g.“My website got 2,000 visits last month, but what I really care about is whether those visits resulted in sales.”

An image used to represent a person, business or organisation on social media. E.g. “When I click on my avatar it brings me back to my profile.”

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