I’ve talked about SEO (or search engine optimization) on this blog. It’s been a part of the mix in some of my workshops and presentations. I even created an online course around the basics of the Yoast SEO plugin.
But I never proclaimed to be an expert. And no matter how much I read, learn and practice, I probably never will be. So I like to recommend people who know what the heck they are talking about. And that group is comprised of fewer than a handful of people.
Rebecca Gil and her DIY SEO Training Courses are at the top of my short list.
I’ve known Rebecca for some time— through her agency and her Genesis child themes. I But I never fully understood the depth of her expertise in search engine optimization until I dove into her new course. I have not yet gone through the entire course, but I will be returning soon to ingest and apply the strategies she shares.
The SEO Training Course – To The Top: Empower Yourself With Real-World SEO Knowledge
You can find the SEO Training Course over on DIY SEO Courses, a site Rebecca launched earlier this year and one that I imagine we’ll be seeing more good stuff from soon. In fact, she has already added her second course, Selling SEO Services.
We’re Seriously Talking Keywords Here
As I dove into the course, I found detailed, easy-to-read lessons that not only explained how to do this search engine optimization thing, but why. And the answer wasn’t just to get to number one on Google. In the beginning, she spends a good amount of time just on keywords, which I feel is often the most confusing component of SEO for people who are just starting to learn it. She is at your side as you do your keywords research, grow and clean your seed list, learn how to find your competition, analyze search volumes, and lastly, narrow and prioritize them. She rounds it out by giving you some common, but not so obvious keyword mistakes.
And she gives you fair warning:
Fight the urge to skip steps and jump ahead.
While it’s often easier to skim courses like this and pull out what you consider the “knowledge bombs,” if you follow her her step-by-step process, you’ll be less likely to miss something important.
Putting It Together
Once you have your keywords down, you’ll focus on site map creation and architecture planning. As you learn how to use your keywords, Rebecca folds in the broader area of your site’s content and gives you specific direction on how to map it. As I looked through the lessons, although we are talking about SEO, the result of implementing the strategies is a much more user-friendly site because, of course, the two should go hand in hand.
On and Off-Page Optimization
I have found that people who are new to SEO often spend way too much time on one of these or the other. They may focus completely on on-page SEO results, constantly tweaking their site. Or they ignore their site, burying themselves in working off-page SEO though social and obsessing over page ranks and backlinks. But in this course, both are broken out into in-depth lessons that share the importance of a two-faceted approach, giving you obtainable goals and strategies for each.
Lessons on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. are explained independently, as they should be, rather than put into one confusing bucket of information. Rebecca’s lesson on Getting Started with Social Media helps you ask the important questions, understand your objectives and target your efforts. It ends with tackling the specifics: who the heck is going to do this, what will you use for sharing your content, and how will you measure all of this.
The Technical SEO Stuff
We have been talking a lot about content so far, but you can’t get away from the technical stuff (no matter how much you wish you could).
Rebecca does a great job of presenting the technical pieces that can easily fly over our heads, bringing them back into the atmosphere of normal. I have always talked about the importance of the why as much as the how and this is another spot where she nails it.
Take snippets, for example. What the heck are snippets? And rich snippets? In this lesson, she not only explains what they are, but gives you some solid examples that make understanding them even easier.
And There’s Always Extra Credit
The course ends with lessons around some basics in blogging, more SEO, user reviews and analytics. By now, you will have spent some serious time with Rebecca and I’m sure your brain will be on the verge of exploding. But I would take a look through those extra credits because they just might answer some hanging questions you have.
Okay, first, I have to admit I am a bit biased, already knowing Rebecca. But here’s the thing. I have spent years working on the web and have heard enough SEO sales pitches, technical jargon, and downright bad advice to last me a lifetime. And when people come to me asking for solid and professional SEO resources, to be honest, my trusted sources are few and far between.
But I can honestly say if you want to wrap your brain around SEO and start out in the right direction, you should consider taking this course. Whether you are just into it to better understand what is behind search engine optimization or you want to actually get your hands dirty in keywords, content and all that comes with it, you cannot go wrong with DIY SEO courses.