Today I completed the Yoast Basic SEO course from Yoast Academy. Yoast is synonymous with WordPress SEO. In fact, they’ve developed the WordPress SEO plugin that’s used on every website I develop (and any WordPress site where the author cares about SEO).
Being a fan of their free and premium WordPress plugins, I was curious when they started offering training and signed up almost immediately.
Yoast Basic SEO cost me $200. Since my purchase they’ve run several specials, so subscribe to their mailing list and watch for discounts. Given the amount of content you get in this course I think $200 is a fair price to ask. It doesn’t contain any information you can’t find somewhere else, but the Yoast team has done a great job of covering all of the basics of search engine optimization in one simple, easy to follow package.
The Yoast Basic SEO course covers the basics of search engine optimization.
The course starts with a primer on keyword research. After all: how can you optimize your site until you know what keywords and key phrases you want to optimize for?
Next the Yoast team introduces you to technical SEO. The course discusses the basics of making sure that your website is crawlable, findable, and usable by search engines and, more importantly, the humans that use them.
Next the course covers SEO copywriting (popularly called Content SEO). This section explores how to write for the web in a way that’s visually and intellectually interesting while feeding search engines what they need to understand and rank your content. The Content SEO portion of the training relies heavily on the fact that Google’s goal is to give the best ranking to content that best answer’s a user’s query.
Finally Yoast Basic SEO covers UX and Conversion Optimization. This section helps you understand how users interact with the web and how you can use common design patterns to nudge visitors toward the actions you hope they’ll take. Conversion Optimization involves formulating hypotheses about how users will respond to changes in your content, and then testing those ideas to maximize your conversion rates.
I really enjoyed the Yoast Basic SEO course. I’d recommend it to folks who would like to know more about SEO and how to effectively handle the SEO necessities of their own blogs and websites.
Individuals that already have a strong foundation in SEO will find it lacking, and maybe even a little shallow. After all: Yoast’s SEO recommendations are often based on what Google tells us they’re doing, and not necessarily the reality of what can get a site ranked for a particular keyword. Yoast’s courses are built around the idea that Google rewards the content that answers a user’s query most effectively and accurately. But we’re all aware that there are professional SEO’s still effectively gaming that system.
Yoast Basic SEO provides exactly what it advertises: basic SEO knowledge. Yoast Basic SEO is the beginning of the journey and not the destination. If you need to quickly get from SEO novice to a working knowledge of the terms and ideas behind search engine optimization then this course will serve you well.