Alright y’all, I’m not going to lie.
When I recently signed up for a 3-hour “Advanced SEO Masterclass” training, I had very high expectations.
So when the speaker started with, “let’s talk about how Google works,” I was not a happy camper. Shouldn’t we be beyond that?
The rebellious teenager side of me was grumbling, “I don’t WANT to start at the beginning. Get to the good stuff!!!”
I wanted to be enlightened. I wanted to learn all the newest tips and “a-ha’s” that would give me all the secrets I didn’t know, translating to immediate ranking boosts for my clients and training students. I wanted to be wowed, so that I could get my money’s worth and justify the time spent (ahem, 3 hours).
Either my expectations were too high, or I was especially cranky that day. Probably both.
Gaining Perspective on the Goal of SEO Training
During the training, I kept thinking this was more “SEO fundamentals” than “Advanced SEO.” However, after stepping back, I can think about this experience with more perspective. In reviewing my notes to write this article, I was reminded of a few things:
- Advanced SEO really is not about learning brand new insights. At this level, chances are I’ve probably at least heard of the concepts discussed. I concluded that the training would be a success if there would be one big takeaway I could immediately put into action. In that spirit, I directly emailed one of my client’s developers and got a meeting scheduled to review some on-page technical issues that had been bothering me.
- Because we had 3 hours, we had a chance to dive deep into some areas, particularly technical SEO. And because we touched on all areas that matter to good SEO – technical, on-page, backlinks – the training reaffirmed the direction I was going into with some clients, while sprinkling in new ideas to keep my SEO strategy fresh.
- The speaker had amazing experience and worked with some well-known brands. Occasionally she glossed over a learning lesson from a big-name client, and those immediately piqued my interest. Thinking back, I would’ve liked more case studies, and more stories for sure, to bring the examples to life and into real world usage. As an SEO speaker and trainer myself, I love using real examples in my trainings, and being on the other end as a student made me realize how important this is.
Tactical Advanced SEO Session Notes
In case you’d like a few specifics, here are a few of the advanced tactics the presenter shared, along with a few of my own observations:
- One main keyword per page. Honestly it doesn’t get simpler than that. One keyword focus family per page. With SEO, specificity wins out.
- It is critical to keep an eye on your inbound links to make sure your backlink profile is healthy. Disavow as needed.
- It is essential to reclaim and resolve broken internal links – the surest way is through 301 redirects. Prioritize by pages that have the most inbound links, and move down from there; you can find this information in a tool, like SEMRush (*this is my partner link; if you would like to try the tool, or if you have the tool and want to know where to find this report, then email me and I can point you in the right direction.).
- Core web vitals give important insight into performance – loading, interaction, UX/usability. If you haven’t explored this yet, read my article here. You can’t have great SEO while you have glaring technical issues on your site #sorrynotsorry.
- Analyze where you have a leaky funnel; if you have opt-ins, are searchers able to find these resources in Google and access them directly? Have you noindexed them appropriately?
- Plug your priority, individual pages into tools to get a list of needed technical fixes:
- Webpagetest.org – look at the waterfall option, and the green line; a lot of legacy stuff from past redesigns gets added that’s not necessary. Examine what can be removed. Cache, cache, cache. Remove or resize large resources.
- Developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ – tests from the page level, and you can look at performance on desktop or mobile.
So what do you think? When you think of advanced training and content, do you anticipate learning things you’ve never learned before? Or just diving deeper into the details? What makes you feel like you’ve gotten a return on your investment and time?
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