Posted by BrianChilds
“Does Moz offer a certification?”
Educating the marketing community about SEO is one of our core values here at Moz. I worked at an agency prior to joining the team back in 2016, and much of what I learned about how to deliver SEO to our clients came from reading the Moz Blog and watching MozCon videos.
In 2016, one of Moz’s entrepreneurial product managers, Rachel Moore, launched a new catalog of SEO coursework called Moz Academy. This initiative enabled our community to learn faster through structured, interactive workshops. Since 2017, the team has taught SEO to almost 2,500 students through our various class offerings (I looked it up prior to writing this. That number made me really proud).
Across all these interactions, one question asked by our students kept surfacing:
Can I get a certificate for completing this coursework?
For agencies, the ability to show a certificate of completion is a way to differentiate themselves amongst a crowded market. I knew from my own experience how valuable having “HubSpot Inbound Certified” and “Adwords Certified” on my LinkedIn profile was — they allowed our team to show proficiency to our prospective clients. For our friends working as in-house marketers, showing a certificate of completion is a way of showing that the student made good on the investment they requested from their managers.
I’m proud to announce that Moz has put in a tremendous amount of effort to create a certificate program that meets this consistent customer demand. Today, Moz is launching the SEO Essentials Certificate through our Moz Academy platform. Check it out below:
What is an SEO Certificate?
An SEO Certificate from Moz is all about developing familiarization with Moz tools and covering some of the essential types of projects you can use to hit the ground running. Though attendees of the Moz Academy come from a variety of backgrounds, we built the certification coursework with an Agency or freelance SEO in mind. However, I believe this material is valuable for anyone interested in learning SEO.
The certificate is focused on five core competency areas:
- Fundamental SEO Concepts (Understand the Fundamentals)
- Keyword research (Develop Keyword Strategies)
- Page optimization (Apply On-Page Optimization Strategies)
- Link building essentials (Build Effective Link Strategies)
- Reporting on SEO (Create Efficient Reporting Strategies)
By completing this certificate, attendees should be able to articulate for their stakeholders where SEO fits in a digital strategy, how to find and target search engine results pages (SERPs) based on the competitive landscape, and how to approach delivering basic SEO tactics using the Moz toolset.
With this foundation, you’ll be able to jump off into more advanced topics such as technical SEO fixes, local SEO, and how to set up your agency for success.
Check out just what’s included in the coursework for the Moz SEO Essentials certificate:
1. Understand the Fundamentals
One challenge we observed in the development of SEO coursework: our users often started delivering organic traffic improvements without having a foundational understanding of where SEO tactics fit into a broader digital strategy. Often people will initiate optimization efforts without first conducting effective keyword research. Or, if keyword research was being done, it wasn’t framed within a repeatable, scalable process.
The Understand the Fundamentals course sets the stage for delivering SEO in a way that can be repeated efficiently. In addition to defining essential terminology used in the following classes, you learn how to organize keyword research in a way that produces insight about competition. This relatively simple framework can radically improve targeting of your SEO activities, especially for large enterprises that may compete in several different markets simultaneously.
2. Develop Keyword Strategies
After introducing a framework for conducting keyword research, the certificate program dives into a step-by-step process for creating large keyword clusters and identifying the keywords that will produce the best results. In the development of this coursework, we recognized that many articles and resources talk about keyword research but don’t define a repeatable, scalable process for actually doing it. So many articles about SEO promote hacks that may work for a particular use case, but lack step-by-step instructions. We developed this course to provide you with a practical process that can scale alongside your work.
You’ll learn the importance of mapping keyword clusters to the typical sales funnel customers follow as they move from exploration of solutions to purchase. I’ve presented this material in workshops to large enterprises and small companies — every marketing team that’s used this process found it valuable.
By the end of the class, you’ll be familiar with the most valuable features of Moz Keyword Explorer and how to organize lists to help you identify and target the best keywords for your stakeholders.
3. Apply On-Page Optimization Strategies
For many websites, you can find quick wins simply by optimizing page attributes that target strategic keywords. For as much as search has evolved in recent years, we still operate primarily in a world where the text on a page defines the value of that page. This course provides an overview of those attributes and their relative importance.
You’ll have a clear understanding of how to use site crawl and page optimization tools to identify, prioritize, and begin optimizing pages based on the keyword strategy they developed in the previous class. Often one of the challenges our students have discovered is that they moved too quickly into optimization without first having their strategy defined. This class will show how strategy and implementation fit together.
4. Build Effective Link Strategies
Link building is another practice that, as an agency marketer, I found difficult to scale. Many articles describe the importance of how relevant links relate to ranking, or hacks that produced a particular result for a page, but not how to create a repeatable process.
As you’ll discover in the class, link building is more about process than tools. You’ll understand how to use Moz Link Explorer to isolate the best domains to target amongst the thousands you might consider. I use this process myself whenever launching new websites and it turns a week-long project into a few hours of work. For any agency, where time is literally money, driving down the cost of link analysis with Moz tools can be a big windfall.
5. Create Efficient Reporting Strategies
Whether you’re working at an enterprise brand or providing digital marketing services, reporting on outcomes is a big part of your job. Because of the challenges inherent in reporting on attribution with SEO strategies, it’s vital to understand both how to set up your data and some common ways to tie SEO projects to broader digital marketing initiatives. This course provides a framework for reporting on SEO that you can adjust to suit your needs. You’ll learn how to use Google Analytics and Moz tools to create actionable reports you can share with your team and stakeholders.
SEO Essentials Certificate FAQs
Here are some of the common questions our community has asked us about the SEO Essentials Certificate during the development process.
How do I get SEO Certified?
Moz offers the SEO Essentials Certificate program via the Moz Academy platform. When you visit Moz Academy, you will see the SEO Essentials Certificate program listed in the catalog. All you have to do is select the course and proceed through the login process.
How long does the SEO Essentials Certificate take?
The Moz SEO Essentials coursework consists of several hours of online instruction, as well as a few quizzes and a final exam. The coursework is developed to be completed within a week of starting. Some attendees have completed the coursework in two days, but for most folks, it takes about a week.
Will I get an SEO certificate and LinkedIn badge?
Yes! We’ve developed a way for you to get both a SEO certificate you can print and a LinkedIn badge to show you’ve completed the program. When you pass the final exam, you’ll find links to both of these assets and instructions on how to generate them.
How long is the SEO Essentials Certificate valid?
The Moz SEO Essentials Certificate is valid for one year after registration. When the certificate expires, you’ll need to retake the coursework to maintain your certification. We set the expiration at one year because SEO changes a lot! (Seriously — just take a look at the Google Algorithm Change History.) We want to make sure that you have the most up-to-date information when displaying your credentials online and to stakeholders.
Find yourself with questions not addressed in this post? Drop them in the comments and we’ll do our best to get them answered.
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