In lesson 1 we’ll tell you more about who we are, we explore the true definition of SEO and how it differs from SEM, what you should avoid, and how it all comes together. You will also gain a greater perspective of how this course is run and what you can expect moving forward.
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Our SEO course is absolutely jam packed with all the fundamental information you need to know in order to optimise a website. In a day and age where online business is becoming more and more popular, having the skills to break through your competition is essential. In this course we'll teach you everything from understanding how search engines work, how to set things up in a search friendly manner, how to monitor and manage people coming to your website to topics such as mobile SEO, local SEO and we'll wrap up with resources that will keep you in the know after you've completed the course.
The course consists of 21 lessons, each lesson contains at least 20 minutes of learning, a quiz and a list to further reading and useful resources to further your knowledge. The final lesson includes a practical test whereby you will have to analyse a website we've created and write a short research paper on the problems with the website and how you would correct them. This paper is marked by an SEO specialist and if you pass you will receive a certificate stating that you have successfully passed the course.
This course is about learning how to do the work. SEO's aren't hired because they've got a piece of paper (although we'll give you a certificate!), they're hired because they have a practical understanding of what SEO is and how to do it. That's our aim, "street smart".
Lesson 2 takes you behind the scenes of a web search by explaining the way search engines work, their ever-changing algorithms and how a webpage is retrieved to show the user the most relevant search results. This technical insight explained in an easy to understand manner emphasises the importance and purpose of SEO so we are able to provide the search engine with the correct ingredients for their recipe.
In the 3rd lesson of the course we start to get our hands dirty a bit by diving into some of the technical factors you need to consider when evaluating the indexing and accessibility of your website. These two concepts, indexation and accessibility, form part of the fundamentals and vital aspects when practising SEO. We introduce you to some of the resources we make use of when crawling a website, doing “site searches”, and more. You will also be taught the basics of how to use these methods. Read through this chapter slowly and carefully to ensure you fully comprehend what is being said.
Lesson 4 introduces you to some of the most important software you will need to become comfortable with, namely Google Analytics and Google Search Console. We lay out the foundation for you on the practical usage of these extremely useful tools that each SEO needs in order to be successful. These tools help you to monitor the behaviour of users on your site which will aid you in your marketing strategy. This lesson will also help you understand the importance of data analysis in the world of SEO and digital marketing.
In lesson 5 of the course we explore the outcome that each business is after, the achievement of their goals and conversions. You will be introduced to the 4 types of goals you are able to set in Google Analytics as well as how to track them. This is an extremely important aspect of data analysis as this is how you measure whether the users on your website are making it to completing your end goal. We show you how to set up goals in your Analytics account and give you further resources from Google to explore including their very own Analytics course.
This is where you get to explore a bit more on your own, analyse the meaning of the practices and tools we have introduced you to and apply them in a practical manner. Practical 1 will cover all that you have learned from Lesson 1 to 5. Practicals will not only help you to gain a better understanding of the course, but they will help us to make sure that you are comprehending the course content.
In SEO, as in many other industries and practices, there are those who exploit black hat tactics in order to gain better results, however there is also the unsuspecting crowd that relies on outdated material sourced from the web who then find themselves in violation of Google’s Webmaster Quality guidelines. In this lesson, we will cover some of the most common tactics that you need to avoid in your quest to becoming an SEO expert.
Having delved into only some technical matters in SEO, in lesson 7, we will discuss the very material that SEO’s need in order to be able to optimise. This lesson covers the fundamentals of content and its importance. The topic of content is something that has been debated for a long time and although its definition may create an idea, we sometimes fail to realise that content is anything on a website that communicates with the audience. These days there is an art to creating content that is both user-friendly as well as designed to further enhance your content in the eyes of the search engines.
Now that we know the importance of high quality content and having it be oriented toward your human audience, we need to explore headers in a bit more detail. Lesson 8 wil demonstrate the definition and use of header tags on your webpages and is a greatly important aspect for both search engines as well as readers. Headers make your content easy to digest for readers and allows search engines to easily recognise the important topics on the page. Header tags are by no means an outdated technology. They provide us with the ability to format our websites into easily accessible and legible chunks of information.
Lesson 9 will give you an understanding of the concept of meta data, how it is implemented and it’s importance, not only from an SEO perspective, but also from an audience viewpoint. The first interaction that your website has with a potential visitor is the search result that is shown when they type in their search term. Your meta data is what ultimately influences the decision of whether the user will click on your site or not. Make sure your meta data is enticing and relevant to the page.
In our second practical of the course you get the opportunity to explore meta data by creating your own unique meta data for a fictional website. This allows you to actively think of the concept and come up with unique information to include in your meta data. You will also be covering some questions that will test your knowledge and personal understanding of the topics discussed from lesson 6 to 9.
In lesson 10 we will cover duplicate content. Although the topic may sound fairly self-explanatory, many of us may find ourselves in one of these situation at some point or another and it is of vital importance that we know how to identify duplicate content issues, and how to resolve them. Duplicate content is one of the biggest downfalls when it comes to having a highly optimised site. This is one of the most important lessons within the course, and tackles how to find duplicate content as well as how to solve it so that your site isn’t getting held back any longer.
Lesson 11 will give you a run-through of some of the basic aspects revolving around keyword rankings. In this lesson you will begin to grasp how important it is for you to check which keywords your website is ranking for and that the correct pages across your site rank for their respective keywords.
In this lesson we will cover more greatly important technical hiccups you will be confronted with when managing your website, and these are redirections and 404’s. We will explain the four different redirections that can occur on your website and introduce you to 404 status codes and how to address them with 301 redirects.
At this point, we have made you aware of some very important guidelines to get your site to the highest possible standard, however, there would be no point to all these lessons without knowing how to introduce your website to Google. In lesson 13, we explain the importance of sitemaps, how to create an XML sitemap and submit it to Google as well as some greatly helpful resources to get you started on your own sitemap.
During lesson 14, you will gain insight into the robots.txt file and just how valuable it can be, The robots.txt file grants the SEO’s power in the ability to instruct search engines. At the end of this lesson, you will be able to generate your very own robots.txt file.
Practical 3 is your chance to flaunt your newfound confidence by answering our questions based on redirection, robots.txt files , keyword rankings and duplicate content. You will be required to create a document that shows us how you would go about fixing 404 errors and duplicate content issues. This practical should take you roughly 90 minutes to complete. After completing this practical you will be more confident in your abilities and you should have the knowledge and understanding necessary to be able to fix the 404 errors by using redirects on your site.
Although it may not be inherently obvious, we need to understand that site speed does indeed play a role in how your website ranks. Not only will a fast site assist in your rankings, this also impacts user experience greatly and the few split seconds that your site is faster or slower, can mean the difference between a user enjoying their visit to your site, or simply clicking back. In lesson 15 we will show you how to identify and correct site speed issues. Zoom!
Since images form such a large portion of the web and visual communication is an essential aspect of human interaction, it is highly important that we also assist search engines in their understanding of the visual aspects of your site in order to have your website fully optimised.
Being in the thick of the mobile age, we need to heavily consider whether our websites are tailored to mobile users. According to studies, the amount of searches performed on a mobile device has surpassed that of desktop searches and this is a fact we cannot ignore when thinking about our SEO. In this lesson we will show you how to ensure that your site is mobile-friendly as well as how to go about optimising it for mobile. Should you not take mobile usability into consideration, you risk losing visibility to more than half of search engine users. Yikes!
Each search you perform is personalized and this is why local SEO is so important. Potential customers want results that are relevant to them and their location so it is imperative that your website is easily discoverable by the locals. How do we go about this? Dive into the lesson to find out!
In lesson 19, we will show you the extreme importance of links. While some regard links as the “Holy Grail” of SEO, there are many different factors you need to consider when building your link profile as links can do just as much bad as they do good. However, regardless of risks involved, we will show you the correct tactics to follow to build your link profile for maximum benefit.
Now that you are so close to the final exam (nice!), this practical will place you in a position to further put into practice what you have learned over the last four lessons. You will be tasked with a few in depth tasks to prepare you further for your final exam. You will be covering topics such as image optimisation, site speed, links, local listings and more, so make sure you have gone through all your resources once more. You are nearly there.
While as SEO’s we are constantly working toward the quality and ranking of the sites we manage, we cannot forget to stay alert of the very algorithms that dictate where we will rank. In lesson 20 we will explore Google’s algorithm updates and how to remain up to date with these changes so that your website does not get penalised.
In this lessons we’re going to look at what’s required to perform a comprehensive audit on a website to determine what needs to be fixed or evolved in order to get the most out of your SEO efforts. This will require you to use all your knowledge and skills from previous lessons. This is not an easy task, it takes a lot of time and you’ll need to spend time reviewing previous lessons, searching Google and persevering.
You have made it this far, now all you need to do is show that you were paying attention! Simple, right? Go on, prove yourself and get that certificate! You have earned it! May the force be with you, young SEO padawan.
While we attempted to make this course as practical and hands on as possible, we only scratched the surface of SEO. Bookmark this page and regularly go through our SEO resources listed in this lesson to dig deeper and keep your SEO skills razor sharp!
A massive glossary containing almost all the words and phrases that you might come across whilst doing this course and/or reading articles on the internet.