SEO specialists are probably the most widely misunderstood marketers. Despite this, it’s an area that more and more people want to break into. To gain the right skills to succeed, many marketers choose to take dedicated SEO training.

And to be fair, there’s probably never been a better time to break into SEO.

This is because demand for SEO skills consistently outpaces supply. This means that SEO specialists have seen the highest salary growth of any digital marketers over the last few years:

Graphic shows that salary growth in this industry is incredibly high
The salary of all SEO job titles got evaluated with an average growth rate of 17%. Credit:

If you’re reading this, you’re probably considering upskilling to get into SEO too. Alternatively, you might be a business owner who is looking for SEO training for your staff.

This is also a fantastic option. Most SMEs don’t need a full-time dedicated SEO specialist. All the same, having someone within your marketing team who understands SEO is a massive asset.

SEO Training Guide

With that in mind, this article covers everything you need to know about SEO training. Let’s start with the basics.

What is SEO?

As we said already, SEO is pretty widely misunderstood. As such, it makes sense to start this guide by clearing up what SEO actually is. A lot of marketers think they are ‘doing SEO’, when in reality they’re just publishing terrible content and hoping for the best.

At its core, SEO is all about matching your content with what search engine users are looking for. This doesn’t mean using keyword stuffing or hidden text to trick them into visiting your site.

Rather, the goal is to provide content which provides value.

To support this goal, an SEO specialist is also responsible for making sure the site itself is search engine-friendly. This can include a number of features, but the most important thing is to make sure a site is fast, secure and logically structured.

With that in mind, let’s look at the key skills you can learn through SEO training.

What is SEO Training?

SEO training can actually mean a range of different things. For example, companies like Google and SEMRush offer courses aimed at earning specific SEO certifications Equally, many marketing agencies offer SEO training and mentorship for their clients.

Courses are also available both online and in-person.

In some ways, how your training is delivered isn’t the most important thing in the world. At least, the best options will vary from person to person.

What is more important is the content of your training program. Here are the key SEO skills you should look out for.

seo skills to look out for
SEO requires a combination of technical and creative skill sets. Credit:
What is SEO? | Search Engine Optimisation | Search Engine Marketing | Content Marketing | Google

Writing for SEO

SEO training is a popular way for copywriters and other marketing professionals to upskill and increase their pay-packet. Increasingly, writers are expected to have at least a basic grasp of SEO.

Writing for SEO is a skill in itself.

The challenge is that you often have to balance what your English teacher taught you about good writing with what performs well on SERPs.

Additionally, there is a lot of very bad advice out there concerning SEO copywriting. Writing for SEO is all about making informed decisions based on what works. Training is a great source of information on best practices.

Types of SEO: A Deep Dive

Within the vast world of SEO, different strategies tackle various aspects of search engine optimization. Here’s a breakdown of four crucial types of SEO you should understand:

1. On-Page SEO: This focuses on optimizing your website’s content and structure to make it search engine friendly. Imagine it as dressing your website to impress search engines.

Google BERT update onpage infographic - seo audit - SEO Checklist
On-Page SEO is much more complex than stuffing in keywords. Image credit: SEO Experts Company India

Key elements:

  • Keyword research and optimization: Identifying relevant keywords and incorporating them naturally into your content.
  • Title tags and meta descriptions: Crafting compelling titles and descriptions that entice users and search engines.
  • Content quality and relevance: Creating high-quality, informative content that resonates with your target audience and search engine algorithms.
  • Internal linking: Structuring your website with interlinked pages to distribute link juice and improve user navigation.
  • Mobile-friendliness and website speed: Ensuring your website loads quickly and functions seamlessly on all devices.

2. Off-page SEO: This dives into external factors that influence your website’s ranking. Think of it as building credibility and connections for your website in the online world.

Key elements:

  • Backlinks: Earning high-quality backlinks from other relevant websites signals trust and authority to search engines.
  • Social media engagement: Building an active social media presence can indirectly impact search rankings and brand awareness.
  • Brand mentions and online reputation: Positive mentions and reviews across the web can boost your website’s credibility.
  • Local SEO citations: If you have a local business, claiming and optimizing your listings on local directories and maps is crucial.

3. Technical SEO: This ensures your website’s technical foundation is strong and search engines can crawl and index it effectively. Think of it as the website’s internal plumbing and wiring.

Key elements:

  • Website speed and performance: Optimizing page load speed and website responsiveness for a smooth user experience.
  • Mobile-friendliness and responsiveness: Ensuring your website adapts perfectly to various devices and screen sizes.
  • Structured data markup: Providing clear instructions to search engines about your content using schema markup.
  • Robots.txt and XML sitemaps: Guiding search engine crawlers on which pages to index and how to access them efficiently.

Technical SEO is slightly trickier. One the problems here is that so many other elements of your site have either a direct or indirect impact on your SEO. These include user experience, security, performance and hosting.

Because of this, there are potentially endless new skills you can learn which could benefit your SEO. For example, it would undoubtedly be helpful to gain knowledge of server infrastructure, but it would also be useful to learn to code.

So how do you prioritise technical SEO skills?

One way is to think in terms of essential skills and bonuses. Here are the primary technical SEO skills that training should provide:

  • Metadata optimisation,
  • Linking strategies,
  • Site auditing,
  • Awareness of key design/development concepts.

An SEO professional rarely needs to know how to design or develop a website themself. However, it’s still important to understand key concepts in order to communicate effectively with web developers.

4. Local SEO: This optimizes your online presence to attract local searchers within your geographical area. Imagine making your website a local celebrity recognized by nearby customers.

Key elements:

  • Claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing: Providing accurate and complete information about your business on Google Maps and search results.
  • Local citations and directory listings: Ensuring consistency in your business NAP (Name, Address, Phone) across online directories.
  • Positive online reviews: Encouraging customers to leave positive reviews on Google, Yelp, and other relevant platforms.
  • Local content creation: Creating content that targets local keywords and addresses the needs of your local audience.

SEO Tools

Often, SEO training involves learning how to use certain tools to make your life easier. In fact, there are many tools that effective SEO would essentially be impossible without.

Here are the different tools an SEO specialist should know how to use:

  • Keyword research tools,
  • Technical auditing tools,
  • Analytics suites,
  • Content management systems.

Additionally, there are a range of tools that you can use to create better SEO content, for instance Yoast. Essentially, these analyse your writing in real time, allowing you to ensure that it is fully SEO optimised before publication.

Conquering the ever-evolving SEO landscape requires the right tools and techniques. Here’s an arsenal of resources to elevate your website’s ranking and visibility:

Keyword Research:

  • Google Keyword Planner: Unveils search volume, competition, and related keywords for your target terms. (Free, limited features with Google Ads account)
  • Ahrefs Keyword Explorer: Offers in-depth keyword research with metrics like keyword difficulty, click-through rate (CTR), and parent topics. (Paid)
  • Moz Keyword Explorer: Provides keyword suggestions, search volume data, and SERP analysis. (Paid)

On-Page Optimization:

  • Yoast SEO: A popular WordPress plugin that guides on-page optimization with keyword targeting, title tag optimization, and meta description creation. (Free and paid versions)
  • SEMrush On-Page Checker: Analyzes your web pages for on-page SEO factors like keyword usage, title tags, and meta descriptions. (Paid)
  • Screaming Frog SEO Spider: Crawls your website to identify technical SEO issues like broken links, missing meta descriptions, and mobile usability problems. (Paid)

Technical SEO:

  • Google Search Console: Provides valuable insights into your website’s indexing status, crawl errors, and mobile usability issues. (Free)
  • GTmetrix: Analyzes your website’s speed and performance, offering suggestions for improvement. (Free and paid versions)
  • Pingdom Website Speed Test: Another tool for analyzing website speed and performance, providing actionable recommendations. (Free and paid versions)

Backlink Building:

  • Ahrefs Backlink Checker: Reveals your website’s backlink profile, including referring domains, anchor text, and link quality. (Paid)
  • Moz Link Explorer: Analyzes your website’s backlinks and competitors’ backlink profiles. (Paid)
  • Buzzsumo: Discovers highly shared content relevant to your niche, offering link-building opportunities. (Paid)

Content Marketing:

  • BuzzSumo: Identifies trending content and influencers in your niche for content creation inspiration. (Paid)
  • SEMrush Content Editor: Analyzes your content for SEO relevance, readability, and target audience targeting. (Paid)
  • Canva: Creates visually appealing graphics and social media content to enhance your content marketing efforts. (Free and paid versions)

Other SEO Skills

SEO specialists also need a range of less specialised skills in order to succeed in their roles. Like most jobs, there is a lot more to SEO than simply launching sites up the SERPs.

Successful SEO professionals also need to communicate insights to colleagues and clients, as well as report on progress and create strategy briefings.

Additionally, a high level of numeracy is required in order to analyse and act on data. Because of this, most SEO specialists are also highly proficient in Excel, or other data manipulation tools.

All in all, the required skill set for SEO is at the crossroads of technical aptitude and creativity.

SEO Training: Benefits

Now that we know what skills you can gain through SEO training, it’s time to think about how these can benefit your career or your business. Let’s look at some of the tangible benefits of SEO.

For Businesses

Naturally, the ultimate goal of SEO for businesses is to acquire more customers in order to increase revenue. The classic way to achieve this is to hire a marketing agency. However, this may not be the best option for every business.

For a variety of reasons, many businesses prefer keeping their marketing functions in house. For example, if you work in a very specific niche, and you already have an in-house marketing generalist, agency SEO services might not be suitable.

In this case, the best solution is to seek out SEO training to upskill your existing staff.

This can be delivered either through an existing course, or you may wish to engage an agency to deliver training which is bespoke for your needs.

One-to-one SEO training is often the most cost effective way to upskill your staff. Credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters

For Individuals

In some ways, the benefits of SEO training for individual marketers are more obvious. As we’ve seen already, demand for SEO specialists is a major growth area. If you’re a marketer who wants to seek out new opportunities, SEO is one of your best options.

This might mean seeking a new role completely, or simply taking on new responsibilities with your existing employer.

In fact, if you can make a strong case to your employer that a higher level of SEO expertise will benefit the business as a whole, you can often convince them to pay for you to receive training.

SEO Training: Practical Matters

Of course, when considering any kind of professional training, it’s vital to think about the practical side of things.

Here are some of the details you should know about SEO training.


Requirements vary quite widely. Some courses will assume some level of SEO knowledge. Others are intended for absolute beginners.

As there are SEO courses available to suit pretty much any level of knowledge, what’s most important is doing your research and finding one which suits your ability level, as well as your goals.

For example, if you specifically want to learn more about technical SEO, a course which covers the basics of onpage content optimisation will probably be of very little use.

Time Commitment

Most off-the-shelf online SEO courses last around 2-6 weeks. However, this is typically the recommended time to complete your training, and flexibility is often built into the syllabus. Again, how much time you spend on a course will often depend on your own circumstances.

Bespoke one-to-one SEO training can be tailored for a range of schedules.

For example, it’s common for businesses to engage an agency to deliver as little as half a day of SEO training, or as much as several months. This all depends on the specific needs and budget of the business itself.


Again, there’s a wide range of costs associated with SEO training. There are even a number of amazing free courses, provided by the likes of Google. Alternatively, premium courses can cost well into the thousands.

Bespoke training courses from marketing agencies are a lot more flexible in this regard. That is, when you speak to an agency about training, chances are they’ll have a better idea of what your SEO priorities should be than you do.

Then, they can help to come up with a training plan which meets these goals, which is within your budget.

SEO Case Studies: Witnessing the Transformation

While theoretical knowledge is crucial, seeing real-world SEO success stories makes the impact tangible. Let’s delve into compelling case studies showcasing the power of effective SEO training:

1. Ecommerce Giant Rockets Sales with Targeted SEO:

  • Company: Zapier, an automation platform for connecting apps.
  • Challenge: Low organic traffic despite offering valuable solutions.
  • Solution: Invested in SEO training for their content team, resulting in:
    • 1.6 million monthly organic visits: a 1,400% increase!
    • 50% growth in organic leads: directly impacting sales.
    • Top rankings for key terms: like “automate workflows” and “connect apps.”
  • Key Learning: Targeted SEO training empowers content creators to attract relevant traffic and drive business growth.

2. Local Business Dominates Local Search:

  • Company: BrightLocal, a local SEO software company.
  • Challenge: Helping local businesses achieve top rankings in specific geographic areas.
  • Solution: Developed and offered SEO training specifically for local businesses.
  • Results:
    • Client case study: A plumbing company increased website traffic by 300% and leads by 250% within 6 months.
    • Multiple success stories: Clients across various industries experiencing significant local search visibility improvements.
  • Key Learning: Specialized SEO training tailored to local businesses can yield substantial local search dominance.

3. Content Strategy Fuels Organic Growth:

  • Company: HubSpot, a CRM and marketing platform.
  • Challenge: Attracting new users through informative and engaging content.
  • Solution: Implemented robust SEO training for their content creators.
  • Results:
    • Blog traffic grew by 800% in 5 years: attracting millions of organic visitors.
    • Top rankings for competitive keywords: like “inbound marketing” and “content marketing.”
    • Established HubSpot as a thought leader: in the marketing industry.
  • Key Learning: Comprehensive SEO training can transform content creation into a powerful organic traffic acquisition engine.

4. Startup Achieves Rapid Visibility:

  • Company: Grammarly, a grammar checking and writing assistant tool.
  • Challenge: Gaining brand awareness and user acquisition in a competitive market.
  • Solution: Invested in SEO training for their content and marketing teams.
  • Results:
    • Over 22 million monthly organic visits: a testament to successful SEO implementation.
    • Top rankings for key terms: like “grammar checker” and “writing assistant.”
    • Established as a household name: for grammar and writing improvement.
  • Key Learning: Early adoption of SEO training can give startups a significant advantage in achieving rapid online visibility.

The Future of SEO: Embracing the Evolving Landscape

The world of SEO is a dynamic one, continuously adapting to new technologies, user behaviors, and search engine algorithms. Predicting the future with certainty is tricky, but staying abreast of emerging trends can prepare you for what’s ahead:

1. Evolving Search Intent: Search engines are getting smarter, focusing on understanding user intent behind queries. Expect SEO to revolve less around specific keywords and more around providing comprehensive, relevant content that fulfills user needs.

2. Voice Search Dominance: With the rise of smart speakers and virtual assistants, voice search is poised to explode. Optimizing for conversational language, long-tail keywords, and featured snippets will be crucial.

3. Visual Search Integration: Image and video content are increasingly important. Optimizing images with relevant alt text and creating high-quality, engaging video content will be key for ranking well in visual search results.

4. Personalization and Localization: Search results will become increasingly personalized based on user history, location, and preferences. Local SEO will become even more critical for businesses targeting specific geographical areas.

5. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML): Expect AI and ML to play a bigger role in SEO automation, content creation, and competitor analysis. Staying updated on these advancements will be essential for staying ahead of the curve.

6. Focus on User Experience (UX): Search engines will prioritize websites that offer a seamless and positive user experience, with factors like website speed, mobile-friendliness, and clear navigation becoming even more important.

7. Evolving SERP Features: Search engine results pages (SERPs) are constantly evolving, incorporating new features like knowledge panels, rich snippets, and featured videos. Optimizing content for these features will be crucial for gaining maximum visibility.

8. Sustainability and Social Impact: As environmental and social consciousness grow, expect SEO to incorporate factors like sustainable website practices and socially responsible brand values.

9. Evolving Data Privacy Regulations: With changing data privacy regulations, staying compliant and ethically collecting user data will be essential for long-term SEO success.

10. Embracing Change and Experimentation: The future of SEO is likely to be characterized by constant change and innovation. The key to success will be adaptability, continuous learning, and a willingness to experiment with new strategies.

Remember: This is not an exhaustive list, and the specific direction of SEO may evolve differently than predicted. However, by understanding these potential trends and remaining curious about the evolving landscape, you can ensure your SEO strategies are future-proof.


1. What are the benefits of SEO training?

SEO training equips you with the knowledge and skills to improve your website’s organic search ranking, leading to increased website traffic, brand awareness, and potential leads and sales.

2. What types of SEO training are available?

There are various SEO training options, including online courses, workshops, certifications, and individual coaching. Choose the format that best suits your learning style and budget.

3. Is SEO training expensive?

Costs vary depending on the format and depth of training. Explore free resources, affordable online courses, or invest in more comprehensive programs for in-depth knowledge.

4. How long does it take to see results from SEO training?

Results depend on various factors like website health, competition, and ongoing SEO efforts. Be patient, implement learned strategies consistently, and track your progress.

5. Will SEO training guarantee higher rankings?

No training guarantees specific rankings. However, it equips you with the tools and knowledge to optimize your website and improve its search engine visibility, increasing your chances of ranking higher.

6. Should I hire an SEO agency instead of training myself?

Hiring an agency can be helpful for complex websites or limited time/resources. However, basic SEO knowledge empowers you to collaborate effectively with agencies, track progress, and make informed decisions.

7. Where can I find more information about SEO?

Numerous resources are available online, including industry blogs, SEO expert websites, and Google’s own Search Central guide. Utilize these resources and stay updated on industry trends.


Investing in SEO training empowers you to navigate the ever-evolving digital landscape and unlock the potential of organic search for your website or business. With the right knowledge, consistent effort, and a willingness to adapt, you can attract valuable website traffic, establish your online presence, and achieve your digital marketing goals.

Remember, SEO is a journey, not a destination. Embrace continuous learning, experimentation, and a data-driven approach to ensure your website thrives in the dynamic world of search.

How to Choose an SEO Training Course

With the surge in demand for SEO skills, there has also been a big increase in the number of training programs available. On the one hand, this is great, as it makes SEO training cheap and accessible.

On the other hand, it can make it difficult to know which courses are the best.

Here, it helps to focus on two things. First, your specific SEO needs and goals. Second, the content of individual courses. Alternatively, an increasingly popular option is to engage a marketing agency for one-to-one training, which is tailored towards your needs.

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