This course consists of 11 hours of video split across 15 chapters.
The first chapters ease you into the theory behind SEO that you can use to understand why a particular site ranks in search and what levers you can pull to improve SEO performance on your projects.
After that we jump into practical application, where John walks you through the process of planning content for an entire site from scratch and all the SEO implications involved in that. We'll also cover what you can do to improve performance of existing site content.
See the course outline below and then check out the FAQ at the bottom of this page for answers to common questions.
Chapter 1: Orientation
A quick orientation to the course so you know a little bit about my background and how to navigate the online system.
Chapter 2: "Tricks" You Can Start Using Today
Learning is a lot more fun if you can start applying what you learn right away. This lesson is to give you a few quick tips to help you start taking action and getting results right away.
Chapter 3: How Search Engines Work
Understand the basics of Google's technology, how it helped them become the dominant search engine, and how it's changed recently. Don't worry, this chapter's not as scary as it sounds. We keep it simple and only cover the minimum required background info that will really help you understand the concepts we teach in this course.
Chapter 4: Intro to SEO
What is SEO? What are the major factors that impact SEO? This is a light introduction to some basic SEO concepts that will help you later on. This chapter is a very light intro to some concepts. We won't go deep into this stuff until later. There's a lot of bad info out there, so if you know anything about SEO, this chapter is like a "reset" button to get you thinking about commonly confused topics the right way.
Chapter 5: Intent
Intent is the most important thing in SEO so this chapter is, well, important. If you understand intent, it'll open your eyes on why certain types of content rank and others don't, how to really quickly analyze the competition, and how to choose keywords for your content.
Chapter 6: E-A-T
Learn how Google thinks about "authority" and a really simple way to analyze how much authority a site has.
Chapter 7: Quality Score
In this chapter we cover the concept of quality score, which is crucial to your content's performance in search and one of the reasons you can damage search rankings by publishing low quality content or content you're not an authority on.
Chapter 8: The Competition
Everything in search is relative to the competition. How good your content has to be, how much authority your site needs to have, whether you can compete with major sites that might be ranking for your keywords.
These things are all totally dependent on the competition. And so understanding how to evaluate what the competition is doing is crucial to getting great results. In this chapter we provide a really simple, but really powerful framework for understanding the competition.
Chapter 9: Keyword Selection
Choosing the right keywords for your content will make or break your SEO results. It's the foundation for everything else you do, but it's also where we see most people go wrong. Now that you've learned the foundational stuff in the previous chapters, in this first practical application chapter, you'll learn how to actually apply that knowledge to choose the right keywords.
Chapter 10: Creating Content for Search
This chapter covers some key points that we haven't covered yet that we'll need to know for the next practical application chapters.
These topics are common ones that you'll see covered online (probably more so than any other topic we cover in this course). So we want to ensure you know what's important here and what's not.
Chapter 11: Planning Content
This is the practical application chapter on planning new content. This is the first of the 2 use cases for SEO. In this chapter, you'll learn what to do if you're coming up with new content for a site.
We'll take a real-life example project, and I'll walk you through each step of planning new content for the website. This chapter ties together everything we've learned so far.
Chapter 12: Optimizing Existing Content
Improving existing content is the 2nd use case for SEO. In this chapter you'll learn what to do if you have content that's already been planned (meaning you can't influence the topic) or it's already been created, and you want to optimize it for search.
Chapter 13: Getting Started
To most people, SEO is a black box. Because of that, sometimes the hardest parts of SEO are convincing internal stakeholders it's worth pursuing and explaining it to people who haven't taken this course 😜.
This chapter teaches you how to talk about SEO, set expectations, and answer questions. It also includes a FAQ you can use to help you answer stakeholder questions clearly and concisely.
Chapter 14: Reporting & Proving Value
Even the most successful project won't be viewed successfully if our stakeholders (clients, bosses, etc) have the wrong expectations. These lessons cover setting expectations with stakeholders and reporting on performance of the work you're doing. We close out with some Google Analytics report templates you can use in your projects.
Chapter 15: Further Resources
These lessons cover some final items such as how to know if you need backlinks or have technical issues and other miscellaneous items.
How long is the course?
11 hours of video plus quizzes. You can play the videos up to double speed so some people get through a lot faster. There are 15 chapters. Some organizations do a chapter a week, others might charge through as quickly as possible. Some people go through quickly the first time and then come back to it if they have questions on specific topics.
How long will I have access to the course?
Forever. Well, not forever. The universe will end some day.😁 Seriously though you'll have access for life so you can always come back and rewatch lessons that were sticking points or as a refresher.
What if I have questions that aren't answered in the course?
We do weekly discussion calls where we'll discuss the lessons in more detail, address sticking points, and answer questions. These calls also give us an opportunity to talk about how to apply this to your project(s).
Do I have to attend the weekly calls
Nope. The calls are optional and primarily exist to support the students.
How fast can I complete the course?
Great question! We're all busy and some people like to charge through as quickly as possible and address any sticking points on the calls. If you want to run through quickly you can watch lessons on double speed. You'll always have access and be able to reference lessons later. If you go double speed, that's 5.5 hrs plus time for quizzes.
Do you offer group discounts?
Yes. Most organizations send multiple team members through the course together. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for info on group pricing.
Who will get the most out of this course?
We designed this course to be actionable for roles OTHER than SEO. So that means in-house and agency marketing teams, content & PR teams, designers, developers, and even marketing managers.