Monday, April 16, 2012

Online SEO Certification

  • Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a hot skill in today’s online job market, whether you are designing websites, writing website copy or trying to market a product or service online. SEO writing employs techniques to maximize the chance of consumers finding a Web page through common search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. Online SEO certification programs teach you those techniques, and being certified in SEO may increase your online employ ability.


  • The purpose of online SEO certification is to train writers and Web designers in the most current search engine optimization techniques, and to provide a credential that proves to potential clients or employers that you have a certain level of search engine optimization proficiency. Be aware that some online SEO schools offer professional SEO certification programs, while others simply offer a certificate of completion for SEO courses.


  • Because SEO techniques are not standardized, the curriculum of online SEO certification programs varies. Common topics include how search engines work, SEO keyword analysis, internal and external linking, Meta description tags and organic copywriting. Some online SEO certification programs focus only on search engine optimization, while others also include information about Internet marketing, Pay-Per-Click, public relations and other related subjects.


  • Online search engine optimization certification programs may cost as little as $50, or as much as several thousand dollars. Some SEO schools require one up-front tuition payment, while others ask you to pay for each class separately. Train SEM, out of Australia, offers one of the most affordable self-study online SEO certification programs at only $175. Market Motive offers a 90-day instructor-led online SEO certification course that costs $3,500.


  • Expensive online SEO certification programs are not necessarily better. Check the content and time frame of individual programs to see if the curriculum fits what you need from a certification program. Search for reviews and endorsements of individual schools to see if they have an established reputation. The SEO Consultants Directory (see Reference section) offers a list of SEO certification programs, annotated with insider reviews that could affect your choice of SEO school.


  • Although SEO certification may give you a boost in the online job market, certification is not required, and there are other ways to learn SEO techniques. Free resources such as Ross Goldberg’s informative e-book about maximizing your website’s traffic (see Resource section) may provide you with enough SEO knowledge to get started. Online content distribution companies such as Suite 101, Remilon and Demand Studios offer SEO training for writers or have SEO techniques built into their guidelines.

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