Your Path To Becoming an SEO Deity

I came across the SEOmoz Expert Quiz, testing your understanding of search engine optimization, and am happy to say that I can officially call myself an “SEO Master”. The quiz contains 75 questions and the percentage you get correct will rank you from SEO Novice all the way up to the SEO Deity status. Unfortunately, I kind of started to drift around question 50 or so (that’s my excuse for not achieving Godly status) and think the questions probably got more difficult as they went on, but I was definitely surprised at the diversity of questions and range of topics (it wasn’t your average 20 question free online quiz).

SEO Master - 82%

Are you an SEO Expert?

While I don’t believe this high distinction will send you into the realm of upper management, here are some places and resources I’ve found online and/or investigated for others that offer opportunities and certifications for learning search engine optimization and search engine marketing.

  • SEMPO provides a structured outline of coursework for folks interested in search engine optimization and search advertising (PPC). At $499 (only $249 if you are a qualified student or military personnel) you can register for the fundamental track and see if the coursework, organization and information potential is of a high enough value to move on the advanced classes. I spoke with few people, completely new to the field, and they did indicate that the classes were valuable for them and helped get them in the search marketing industry.
  • If you have a couple more dollars to spend and can afford the travel arrangements, SEOmoz does have a 1 day training seminar designed to immerse you in all things SEO. At the time of this article, you probably would spend a pretty large dollar for travel arrangements their next course (October 1st), but perhaps they’ll run another in the near future.
  • Aaron Wall’s SEObook is an e-book that you can buy for $79. It’s over 300 pages of information related to search engine marketing related and is a tremendous way to get a lot of important (and essential) information in one place. And I am not in his affiliate program promoting it.
  • For PPC, Google AdWords Professional Certification is a nice thing to have on your resume or for management, particularly if the person your interviewing with or working under delegates most of the PPC to you anyways (that’s right, I did just say that). I’m set to take the AdWords Professional certification at the end of October (time permitting) but almost everyone I work with has taken and passed it. Google does provide a series of tutorials and online training resources for certification preparation and the best part of this is that they are all free (though there is a $50 charge to take the actual certification test).
  • Pay attention to your local and regional events calendars like Upcoming.org and/or Meetup.com to find announcements for one-time or periodic training seminars and presentations by industry experts or qualified professionals. For example, that’s how I stumbled upon Brad Geddes teaching Google PPC in Boston over the past summer. If you’re in the New England Region, SEMNE provides monthly seminars which serve as both a networking event and opportunity to hear interesting speakers and individuals in the industry. You’re bound to meet someone there who can point you to a few key resources or will field a quick question or two.

Finally, there is nothing more important that rolling up your sleeves and testing search engine optimization strategies on your own websites and online material. It seems that a lot of people I meet somewhat unintentionally walked into this field a few years ago or picked up their skills testing different ideas and reading and sharing through online message boards and forums. Invest a few hours to reading a few good tutorials, learning some of the basics and fundamentals of search engine optimization, web design and development and internet marketing.

One last tip: Don’t forget to keep your social networking profiles up to date, particularly LinkedIn and/or Facebook. Given the dramatic rise in popularity in social networking websites, it’s a pretty good bet that a SEO savvy hiring manager will do a few searches online for your name and information, so you want to have your personal and professional detail as up to date and accurate as possible.


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