Why are people signing up for SEO online courses taught by those who cannot rank well with their own blogs/websites?
I have decided to start learning SEO techniques and as part of that I have been looking at lot of resources online that will help me.
It's natural that these search results will yield a lot of paid online courses. Let's take Udemy for example, I find highly rated courses and then I think great, there are lot of positive reviews about this one, so may be I will give this one a try. And then I look up the author and his blog/website. It has absolutely terrible statistics.
Guys like Brian Dean or Neil Patel have highly ranking blogs and following their blogs/tips about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will give a newbie like me some confidence in learning from them because at least these guys did it so they must surely know what they are saying.
I just cannot understand how so many people are signing up to those Udemy courses taught by someone who cannot rank his own website. Are these even real reviews, what am I missing?
EDIT: Just to clarify as it appears some have misunderstood the question here- I am not asking why every SEO expert/guru/teacher/author have no high-ranking blog about SEO tips.
If someone is teaching SEO and charging their students then he/she should have implemented what they are preaching in their course and also do really well on those websites before expecting people to pay to listen to their advice on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It doesn't have to be a blog on SEO, it could be in any niche.
And I don't think comparisons such as 'A science teacher doesn't have to be a Scientist' or 'A great Football coach doesn't have to be a great player' applies in our context here.
My question is really to those who are paying and signing up to these classes taught by those who couldn't do it themselves, Why?
I'm in a similar situation. I'm not looking to make SEO my career, but I do want to be able to do more than the basics for my side projects or at least make sure I'm not falling for myths…I looked at Udemy and reckon most of the folks are charlatans. Then I looked at Moz Academy and, yes, there's the benefit of the brand and a LinkedIn badge if you buy their full-on course but I've heard the material is pretty basic and it's not cheap. It's not rubbish, and I'm gutted that I arrived to late for the 'all our courses are free offer', but 600 bucks is more than I want to gamble if I find I could have got the same info from a dummies book.
I don't mind spending the money or putting in the hours, but trawling through a load of heresay anecdotal info on blogs and forums or getting ripped by folks who don't really know about what they claim has me gunshy.
Is there such a thing as a recognisable good quality intermediate SEO course? It doesn't have to be free, or even cheap, but it does have to be good. I'm new to this sub so if you don't want to share a link then by all means send me a Direct Message (DM).
And I guess there's nothing to say you can't share the ones you think we should all steer clear of.
I am just reading blog posts from Ahrefs and also from other reputable candidates such as Brian Dean and Neil Patel. Neil Patel's website has few courses for free and I did start watching those but I can clearly see that he is using these courses to sell his product Ubersuggest but I don't mind it as long as I am learning something and in the end I may or may not use his product and may be I go for more expensive SEMrush or Ahref tool but at this stage of my learning I don't really need those tools.
But as many people here on this sub say and I totally agree, the best way to learn SEO is the trial and error method by implementing the things that you already know and learn as you go and understand how Google works.
But I hear you, I am in the same place, I want to join a course just so it will be more structured and organized and will keep me accountable to actually complete it and may be, take a test that gives me a sense of accomplishment and confidence that I feel I know Search Engine Optimization (SEO) until I put all of that knowledge into reality and find how hard it is to get that first 100 visitors/day feat.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is full of scammers but just because a SEO course owner doens't have a highly ranking/well performing page doesn't mean they're charlatans.
I don't know who Brian Dean is, but Neil Patel has been in the business for an extremely long time and he's been writing about SEO for eternity.
SEO topics are extremely saturated and if Neil Patel was to start a brand new site, completely new without getting any backlinks from his pre-exisiting properties he too would struggle to get it visible in the first 200 search results. Google has trimmed down the search results to 200 instead of 1K now.
The truth is you can have an extremely competant SEO who is up to date with everything and doing SEO professionally at a top agency whose decided to create a udemy course, based on their knowledge and experience. They would have a website with no backlinks and fresh content that will take time for Google to locate.
Due to the nature of the industry, they may have some very good affiliate sites which they can't share in their course because people will just imitate it or troll it and blast it with links.
A lot of these guys seems to be around more than a few years, those courses have been created a long back and seems they update a little bit here and there every year and change the title to current year and even I who is really new to this know that 4-5 years is really good enough time to do well on your website if what you teach really works.
Neil Patel may struggle to get a new website rank without his pre-existing properties but will he still be struggling after 3-5 years? I don't think so.
I am sorry I am just not sold on the fact that someone is an extremely competent SEO and have nothing to show for. I am not saying there aren't any but I just find it hard to believe.
In Search Engine Optimization (SEO), there's a vast difference between theory and practice. Some people are great at both – and if you look deeper, you'll notice that the big names like Brian Dean, Neil Patel, Steve Toth, etc. have been doing SEO for YEARS.
A lot of courses are taught by people who learned how to do SEO themselves just a few years back. In fact, creating your own "course" is like the new dropshipping. People are creating courses for the sake of earning money from the course, not to spread genuine knowledge.
The reviews are probably real, but remember that most of the people taking these courses literally have no field experience doing SEO. They might think they truly have learned something after hearing what a meta description is, but the reality is that these basic concepts are not really "Search Engine Optimization (SEO)."
I personally think you can learn the foundation of SEO without paying for a course. As others have mentioned, read through some guides on Moz, Ahrefs , and Backlinko and you will begin to piece together what doing SEO actually entails.
I personally think you can learn the foundation of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) without paying for a course. As others have mentioned, read through some guides on Moz, Ahrefs , and Backlinko and you will begin to piece together what doing SEO actually entails.
Totally agree with that. That is what I am trying to do now.
Keep it up! And don't waste your time on those big-name flashy sites that are just there as a cash cow for the owners these days. Most of that stuff is already out there through much less expensive and even free sources.
One I like for staying on top of the changing algorithms is Gsquared interactive.
They get a lot of analysis and all the latest info when Google hits everyone with their updates.
Also, I'd suggest getting familiar with the 'raters guide' that Google uses to train the people who gauge the quality of Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) that the devs then use to refine the algorithms.
If you want to get good at SEO you need to learn all you can about how Google does what it does.
Like anything related to SEO, there are simple and moderately satisfying answers (the answer equivalent of Neil Patel) or deeper nuanced ones that hold a bit more truth and context.
A lot of these courses on Udemy will be made by people who have repurposed client presentations/material. The teachers will be using tried and tested methods. But they may not have the full armoury of skills required, and/or the time, to build and rank a functional website.
I know this because I am just starting to do exactly this inbetween doing my day job and keeping my better half happy. I work in travel and our Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has told us to "consider your Plan B" if the pandemic situation doesn't improve fast enough in coming months.
It's not easy to build and rank a site: hosting, design, User Experience (UX), analytics, copywriting, content strategy, social strategy, viable products…
And I am not a noob. I am currently getting an Icelandic company into some huge money keyword SERPs in the US Organic market. For years before that, I was agency-side delivering successful content strategies to blue chip companies in travel, events and automotive industries.
(At this point I should note that the best SEO agencies didn't always have the best SEO'd websites – the good ones had Business Development Managers who networked and found big leads – the SEO users were too busy working on client sites to give the agency ones any attention.)
And before that, I single-handedly ranked dozens of small businesses in competitive local (UK) markets, including dentistry, plumbing, windows, carpentry and automotive again.
SEO marketing for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is competitive. You're up against other SEO users. Sometimes it might just be easier to upload a bunch of repurposed slides that you made for clients to a purpose-built educational site like Udemy and then let the leads roll in.
It doesn't take long to learn the basics of SEO ie the free Moz course can show you that.
Becoming familiar with the Google Rater Guidelines will give you an idea of what Google aspires for in the quality of websites that they rank.
Then comes the hard part.
And this is where many people fall down. They expect to learn a trick that will be the Rosetta Stone of secret SEO knowledge.
It is time to get to work.
Creating high-quality content over a long period of time is not easy or glamorous but that is what it takes.
Then marketing your content and building a brand ecosystem of social media properties needs to be maintained and managed to work alongside your main site.
Then you need to get links. And that is no easy task either.
Emailing hundreds of related blogs day after day is not fun and repetative. But that's how SEO works.
Its not just the on-page technical tweaking but the marketing of quality content that gets a page ranked.
Essentially, what I'm trying to say is build a site and try and rank it. The best learning experience is to get out and do it yourself.
Brian Dean and Neil Patel only publish work about marketing to the marketing industry. The industry that you want to get results from will be completely different.
So take their tips as one example of how to rank their sites because that is all that they work on.
As an SEO you will have to work in a range of industries and many will not benefit from these types of tips and advice.
Just my own take on things. I spend a lot of time strategizing and working on client sites. And I know it looks bad, but my own personal sites are a side project. I would love to work on them more, but between my coaching clients and the writing I do, I can barely find time to work on my personal sites.
A few of my clients have been wonderfully transparent and agreed to let me use their sites as examples, but it's REALLY hard to find clients like that. Most of them would rather I not share the strategies I used on their sites and I respect that.
And yes, you do have some course creators going the "fake it til you make it" route.
I think for a lot of people, we want to be the ones to write our own content, but we're also swamped with clients. (Maybe I'm the only one who feels that way, but I'd feel kinda weird outsourcing content for my personal blog.)
(Full disclosure: I don't really have a full-blown course, just coaching and an email list that touches on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I'm highly skeptical about online courses in general, but can understand why course creators might have sites that kinda suck.)
Courses can be useful if you are trying to get a quick and comprehensive overview of something.
It's kind of like prepping for the SAT. Some people may "need" a structure class to study, others take all the official previously released tests from The Collegebaord on their own.
Generally though, SEO lends itself to scammers or people who mean well, but are offering inaccurate information.
There is nothing SEO related that you could ever need to know (short of premium software) that isn't available somewhere for free online.
Ironically though, the same people are who need the most SEO help are also the ones who have the most trouble finding this content, because they don't have any understanding of how search engines work.
This is unbiased opinion as i am not affiliated with any so called SEO courses
And biased as i run an SEO business so it can reflect,
here goes: as you may find the websites where courses are being sold to buyers, they themselves IMO have different website to provide services, most SEO their own website but since there is always someone who can outrank you and the professional don't have time to always keep working on their own site, which needs to be done on an ongoing basis, but eventually all of us neglect and goes down in ranking.
But that shouldn't be a problem just stay away from someone who has never done SEO on website on which they are promoting their stuff, since you can easily find some fake courses whose only purpose is to get you on list and your credit card number.
SEO Courses and How-tos All Over the Web Seem Very Dubious and Unfounded. Are There Any Good Evidence-Backed SEO Courses?
Any Online Courses Have Leaked the SEO Secrets (SEO Sauce), Beginners Who Paid Them Have Known the Secret Easily
The Summary of Discussion 1: You Have Seen Many Videos and Did Some Courses, but You Still Can’t Do SEO Audit? Use Tools that Already have got the Template!
SEO audit – literally what happens?
Hey guys, I'm building my career in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and I wanna know from some experienced people about what they do in a SEO audit. I'm literally asking what do you guys do? How do you proceed? I've seen many videos and did some courses, but it feels incomplete. I don't have anyone to guide or mentor in this, so any help would be great.
SEO audit is more or less like website audit.
• Do the site audit with the help of tools like woorank. It will give you on which areas you can improve your website.
• technical SEO part – This is the part where we can see HTML , java , Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) compression. Adding search console scrip, Google analytics script , Facebook pixel ( if needed) , robots.txt , site mapping of website , canonical tags stuffs like that.
• on page SEO part – optimising title tag ,H1 – H6 tags with right keywords, using slugs, structured data (if possible) , link juices , adding links of social media Handle to the footer of website. There is a lot more to do to.
• use tools like SEMrush , Backlinko to know what kinda backlinks does the website have. Suggest Ways to improve the backlinks through performing. off page activities.
Hope this helps.This is not everything bt it will give you an idea I guess.
Beautifully summarised. 👍
That's good stuff. Thanks a lot.
The easy way, that unfortunately most people do, is running an audit through websites like Ahrefs or crawling tools like screaming frog. Then they deliver their customer a report with all links with 301/404 status codes, broken links and so on.
However that's not a real SEO audit in my opinion. To provide your customer value you should show what are the crucial parts, how they can change it and why they have to change it. On top of that you should deliver a list of the items that need to be fixed in a certain order.
If you need the audit just for yourself to analyse a client's website then I would recommend the same process. After analysing lots of websites you'll get a better feeling of what's important or what needs to be fixed.
Can you describe what are those important things I should look for and how?
The results from these crawls are still important, but it's definitely not the whole picture. I will say that having the issues found in crawls cleaned up will help. Eliminating 4xx server errors, broken links, broken images, missing/duplicate meta, pagination, etc will give a site a solid foundation to move forward with link building, content marketing, etc.
• When it comes to SEO audit, the first thing you need to do is find out your competitors.
• Next check for the keywords they are ranking for and match them with yours.
• Once done you can start using them in your content.
• SEO audit also involves the analysis of on-page SEO in which you will check the Page Titles and Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, Clear Hierarchy and Keyword Placement. Even off-site SEO is important wherein you need to work on backlinks audit.
• Check for the internal and external links too.
• Site speed also plays a key role in terms of SEO Audit.
Thanks man, noted these points.
Lots of people giving (imho) bad advice in this thread. A good SEO audit should find and highlight any areas that could be improved. This includes:
Looking at your backlink profile (get a few tools for this, so you get a complete picture) and comparing it to competitor backlinks. I normally take the best- and second-best competitors for this, because it'll show you:
• How many more links you need
• What kind of sites you should look to get them from
Once you've finished up on the backlink profile, you want to start looking at on-page signals. For this, I'd advise taking one page of every type (category, product, blog etc) and looking for:
• H1/H2 tags (are they present, are they optimised?)
• Meta data (is it there, is it unique and relevant?)
• On-page copy (does it contain a good mix of natural keywords, does it tick all boxes re: E-A-Ts)
• Images (are they well optimised?)
• Is content hidden from search engines? Does everything display nicely? what are load times like?
• Is there schema mark-up and, if so, is it compliant with best practices?
• Once the on-page stuff is out the way, you can start looking at broader, structural issues;
• Is content siloed properly?
• Is the menu structure nice and transparent, top-down, easy to crawl?
• Any issues with pagination?
• Are you using breadcrumbs properly?
• What are load times like across the site (use Google's PageSpeed tool for this. It's what Google are going to use.)
Then you want to jump into SearchConsole and look for any page errors – make sure everything is indexed, check the robots.txt. file and work out why there are so many 401 errors (there are always 401 errors.)
If you're feeling generous, you can also take a broader look at the way redirects and canonical tags are being used across the site but this normally falls outside the remit of my SEO audits.
All told, you're probably looking at 4-5 hours of work here, especially if you're going to be thorough, but I think it's well worth doing. Especially if you're going to be managing the SEO going forward.
DO NOT listen to people that say SEO audits can be autogenerated using 3rd party software. These audits are not thorough – frequently miss issues, and do not evaluate every aspect of the site. Especially not quantitative factors like E-A-T compliance.
This is the best answer, that's what I was looking for. Thanks a lot. If you are ever hiring an intern, please consider me. Would love to learn more from you.
Excellent feedback. Helped me, too. Thank you!
If I only would still have my free award!!! You would deserved it! Thank you
DO NOT listen to people that say SEO audits can be autogenerated using 3rd party software.
Okay, how do you check all those parameters without 3rd party software?
… with your eyes? In Chrome and Firefox you can pick a Web page (any Web page) and view the source code that's being rendered. That's good for 90% of what's mentioned here and far more reliable than any tool.
You can also use search console to check for search errors. The only 3rd party tools I use are to scrape backlink profiles and again, I'd recommend using several to make sure you get a clear picture.
Incidentally, you'll notice that each one misses a few links. This is because most 3rd party tools are iffy at best.
The method you describe will be very time consuming. I have done this before and it caused me to forget to promote the website. Yes, I admit that his methods are very good.
Too time consuming but more reliable.
I mean yeah, but 3rd party tools often miss issues and taking the time to do this sort of work ensures that you have a strong foundation moving forwards, which is why I'm such a big advocate for paying a pro to pull together a technical audit before you start work on an SEO campaign.
This is more accurate 👍. Good job broo 🙌
Worrying number of people putting off-site before on-site in their audit workflow here. Nuts and bolts, peeps! If the tech side isn't solid, pages won't rank properly no matter what off site work has been completed.
Disclaimer: yes, you should fix your on site. It's easy and it helps, there is no reason not to have solid on site.
However, your statement is verifiably false. You can have a completely shitty site and rank solely on the strength of your backlink profile, even in competitive verticals. SEO is relative to your competitors. If your competition has bad sites with no backlinks, minimal effort will be needed to get good rankings, which means that you could feasibly ignore on site and still rank.
The number of "why does my competitor rank #1 with this sucks site" posts in this very sub are further proof.
I agree with this completely.
I start always with Technical.
You can't decorate a house with crumbling walls. Good technical SEO audits teach good housekeeping and correct site hierarchy. Spending time fixing on page content when you may have to change the site structure around, is a task that will be repeated.
Tech every time
An SEO audit is a way to find and prioritize SEO opportunities. The process typically looks like this in the agency world:
• Offer to do an SEO audit
• Use an SEO audit checklist (look online or build your own)
• Go through the checklist and note your findings and recommendations
• Present your findings and recommendations to the client
• Offer to help them fix those things
It's basically the same process as taking your car to the mechanic or going in for a dental checkup.
SEO audit is basically the process of analyzing, comparing, and finding areas of improvement to boost your ranks.
• Check the website for on-page SEO problems
• Examine your off-page SEO for potential issues and the quality of your backlinks
• Make sure that the website provides good user-experience
• Check whether the content is keyword-optimized or not
• Analyze the website for duplicate content issues
• Track the website's performance