We have some good news for time-strapped search engine optimization professionals and certification junkies: I did Moz’s latest and greatest Technical SEO Certification Course, took the final exam, and boiled down what you need to know to finish the course and pass all in one workday.
As part of this year’s MozCon Virtual, Moz offered a bundle including the conference ticket plus a certification course of your choice. The Moz Academy had a good number of courses to choose from, from SEO essentials and fundamentals to client prospecting and pitching.
I chose the technical SEO course, watched all the lessons, and passed the exam in about eight work hours, and here’s how it went.
What Was Covered In the Course
The course included the following sections:
- Part 1: Explore the Fundamentals of Technical SEO. The first part in the course was centered around understanding the guiding principals of technical SEO, with an overview of some fundamental concepts and definitions.
- Part 2: Design for Crawlability. This part covered how to ensure that your website can be found, accessed, and understood by crawlers.
- Part 3: Build for Indexation. This part was specifically focused on how to build and develop a website and content that gets ranked well and consistently delivered in search engine results pages (or SERPs).
- Part 4: Prioritize Accessibility & Site Performance. This was my favorite part of the course, and it included lessons on how to improve the usability and functionality of your website from planning and launch to troubleshooting and ongoing maintenance.
- Part 5: Conclusion & Final Exam. This part was essentially a 50-question final exam without much review material beforehand.
What Are The Lessons Like?
The course is made up of video lessons, with easy-to-read slides and subtitles, all narrated and taught by Moz’s SEO Manager Kavi Kardos. Each part had between six and 10 video lessons, of between five and eight minutes in length. The videos were concise, informative, and pretty fun to watch. There were also task breaks between video lessons to get hands-on practice with the techniques covered in the video, with guided tips and tricks for how to use tools and manipulate data to find what you’re looking for. Each part of the course also concluded with a roundup of all the resources and tasks covered in each lesson, along with an eight-question quiz to test your knowledge.
Is the Exam Difficult?
The exam wasn’t as difficult as some other certification exams I’ve taken (looking at you, Google), but it’s an intermediate course so it did cover more material and knowledge than was covered in the lessons. It’s best to have a really solid grasp of basic SEO and digital marketing before attempting the exam or the lessons for that matter. Though I passed on the first try, there were a few questions where I had to do some research and rewatch lessons to try to find the right answer.
There’s no time limit for the exam, so you have plenty of time to look back at notes and lessons, if needed. You can close out of the exam and pick up where you left off, and you can move back and forth between questions in the exam to double-check your responses, which Google doesn’t allow. You get three tries to pass the exam, and after the exam, you’ll be able to see what questions you missed.
Once you pass the exam, your credentials don’t expire, and you also get a badge to post to your LinkedIn page, where it lives under the “Licenses & Certifications” section.
As mentioned above, there are short, eight-question quizzes after each part of the course to test your knowledge along the way. I found the quizzes to be very easy, which I think weren’t quite representative of the final exam. That being said, be sure to review the missed quiz answers closely and go back to review the related lessons before the exam.
What I Loved About the Course
This was honestly a great course for someone with an intermediate level of technical SEO knowledge, and it covered a lot of concepts that I often overlook or hadn’t thought about in a long time. They spent a few lessons revisiting crawl budget, directives for crawlers, and how to create a leaner sitemap for crawlers by eliminating pages duplicated by tracking parameters, pagination, or filters.
My favorite lesson in the course was around accessibility and site performance, which got pretty in-depth for how to make sure your site is being properly crawled and indexed, how to diagnose and troubleshoot SEO issues that arise using tools like a log file analysis, and how to maintain good SEO health on sites of any size, industry, or scope.
The course was also taught by an SEO Manager who started out more in the content strategy realm of digital marketing before getting into technical SEO. This made it much more relevant for my background and daily project work, both of which are rooted in content strategy.
I loved, too, that there were also subtitles on each video and the ability to control playback speed, which I found very helpful for more complicated lessons where I wanted to take more notes and screenshots.
What I Didn’t Love About the Course
Overall, I really liked this course and exam. The only thing I didn’t love was the rather unexpected difficulty of the exam. Some of the questions felt random, or out of left field, and required some research, rewatching lessons, or checking my notes and screenshots. The quizzes were almost laughably easy, so I was expecting to breeze through the exam in 15 minutes. This was not the case, so be sure to leave yourself plenty of time for the final.
This was an awesome course for an intermediate level SEO or content strategist, and the bundle with MozCon virtual was a great perk. I highly recommend taking a work day to do the course and exam. Even at the standard cost of $250, I’d say it’s worth the price. The course materials are also available even after you finish and pass the final, and I can see myself returning to these lessons and resources often for future SEO projects and audits.
For more of our certification course and exam guides and for our digital strategy insights, you can browse our blog. We update our Google certification guides yearly, so be sure to check in often, and we’ll see you for the next exam guide!