When it comes to search
engine optimization certification, it's a topic that
is becoming quite popular. To the active public and business
owner in general, there is a very real need for skilled SEO
professional people. Now Webmasters that I speak to on the phone
or in general conversation, often seem to have the feeling that
they already have good SEO skills or there is nothing else they
could possibly learn.
Many are trying to
rely on a software program or a number of SEO related
(thinking that there are tools that will do the job for
Only a few by comparison have actually ever completed a
comprehensive course of SEO study.
One of the obvious challenges to the business public is the
question of where does one go in order to find people who have a
proven track record for delivering results? But let's first talk
about why the topic of search engine optimization certification,
seems to shake some Webmasters, Web developers and Web designers
concerning the "public's awareness" of SEO training
and the value of having a certification of skills.
As the business
community becomes more and more aware that some people really
have studied search engine optimization in depth, the work
climate will begin to change for the positive. As business
owners and the public in general become more aware that there
are genuine SEO services that deliver a return on investment,
then a much clearer division will be made between the trained
SEO professional and all the others, who simply use "SEO
talk" as a gimmick to sell more Web sites. Or how about the
age old search engine submission scams.
The importance of
having a trained SEO professional, who can demonstrate proven
results and a return on investment to the client will take on a
whole new factor in importance. But watch and see if the same
standards as they become more prevalent in the future, don't
also shake up those Webmasters who just "talk the
talk" but don't actually know how to deliver the actual
results. You will recognize these voices often as those who
speak out against SEO training and proclaiming that "SEO
certification" means nothing.
The idea of SEO certification is particularly frightening to
some people out there. It's connected to a reflection of their
own fears that the public and/or general business owner will be
soon becoming much wiser and may even someday ask them about
their own education or qualifications someday.
The trained SEO professional though has no worries about higher
standards coming into play or more public awareness towards SEO
skills training, because they have their projects and success
stories to prove that they're qualified. In short, you can find
them ranked at the top for those competitive phrases.
2. Why SEO
certification will contribute to a better business climate for
business owners regarding SEO services.
How many businesses
do you know who have already been burned by some fast talking
Webmaster who promised top positions in all the major search
engines? Then once their money was taken, they realized zero
return on investment?
You can probably answer that question for sure. There are
stories from just about everywhere on the globe from Canadian
people to American people which have been at some point
taken advantage of. Made big promises and ultimately presented
with a big bill to pay but no results in the end.
I spoke to one Webmaster on the phone who told me that he had
taken a $60,000 dollar technology contract from a client for his
"so called" SEO services, but the Webmaster had no
idea how to help the client once he had taken their money. Now
he was scrambling to ask about training because he desperately
needed to learn the skills. However, he never did attend the
training because the one thing we've noticed, is that very
seldom will this type of person ever invest in building their
skills. The bottom line is that they are more focused on making
a fast buck rather than building genuine skills and building
"clients for life." Probably you have heard at least a
half a dozen stories like this yourself right? The business
owner paying for something based on "SEO talk" but
with no results following. A lot of these incidents have hurt
the industry on the whole.
But once the essence
of "search engine optimization certification" training
becomes more mainstream and the public's awareness and alert is
brought to the forefront, then it will actually benefit both the
business owner as well as the SEO professional (who has built
their reputation based on delivering genuine results) and by
producing quality content.
By all statistical accounts, everyone should be much happier by
that time, except maybe the advertiser who is still looking for
ways to trick or fool the search engines (real old thinking - or
they don't want to do any work.)
certification of the future will not JUST be about "being
certified" or "completing a study."
As we all know, the
truly successful SEO professional cannot rest on old training
completed 2 or 3 years ago. In this industry there is no single
person that can ever know it all. In this industry, things
continually change and the SEO professional absolutely needs to
keep their skills on the cutting edge.
I can see business owners requiring some system of SEO
re-certification in the future. Many of our SEO Mastery Workshop
students come back for a refresher workshop every 12 to 18
months. But watch and see if search engine re-certification does
not also become more important to people in the future too. To
those who have taken the time to develop top search engine
skills, there is certainly no shortage of work or career
Where can one
learn to build solid SEO skills based on the truth of what is
working "in the now?"
There are a variety
of options for learning SEO skills. One of the places you can
start is actually one of the very first comprehensive search
engine optimization training programs that was ever developed.
This online study course was developed by Robin Nobles back in
1998 and was the very first certification in SEO training to the
industry. Many of the top SEO
industry experts today, such as Dave Barry, SEO researcher
Ginette Degner, SEO researcher Jerry West, LSI expert Michael
Marshall among many others, all started their training as a
student of Robin Nobles at Online
Web Training. She's been updating these courses ever since.
One of the most
popular options for people who are serious about building their
SEO skills very quickly, is the Ultimate SEO Mastery Workshop
which is a live, hands-on 5-Day SEO Workshop delivered by top
industry talent. You study the full scope of search engine
skills and it includes 3 months of access to resources as well
as a 6 month mentoring program which is all included with your
Live Workshop Dates
Another option is
through our new associated educators
As we move into the
future, I expect that we'll hear more and more opinions about
the importance of SEO certification.
Many of our own SEO Workshop students express
their opinions about their workshop training on this
But with respect to
the topic of a standard SEO certification in general being
adopted and whether comments are positive or negative, will
depend on the view of the individual. You can read many people's
opinions, but at the end of it all, what really matters is
whether or not the SEO professional have had enough training to
ensure that their work on articles or page content will have two
1. Does the SEO
professional have the know-how to get ranked for those important
competitive keyword phrases relating to the ideal buying
audiences search behavior? Will their page or pages rank based
on the merit of true relevancy?
2. Does the SEO
professional understand and possess the skills to compel a
visitor to respond right now. Remember, we are not just talking
about being ranked, but also the skill of copywriting itself and
creating content that truly merits enough true value to satisfy
the reader's original search and compel a response.
Then of course there
is the topic of pay per click PPC marketing, but that is more
under the topic of paid advertising.
There are many more
entries that go into education and skills mix, but the two
things above must be there present for most online businesses to
experience any firm impact from their strategic SEO engineering.
How long will it
take for search engine optimization certification to come more
into the future public's mind?
It may come about faster than many people are expecting. As
firmer standards become more commonplace, it will only mean good
news for both the business owner who is seeking competent,
qualified SEO help, as well as to the trained SEO professional
who has built their skills wisely and are committed to keeping
their skills consistently up to date.
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About John Alexander
John Alexander is the Co-Director of
Training of Search Engine Workshops with Robin Nobles. Together,
teach 2-day beginner, 3-day advanced, and 5-day all-inclusive
"hands on" search
engine marketing workshops in locations across the globe.
John also teaches online
search engine marketing courses through http://www.onlinewebtraining.com,
and he’s a member of Wordtracker’s
official question support team.
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