Yoast SEO for WordPress Training Review

Yoast SEO for WordPress Training Review by Matt LaClear 6/24/17

It’s not too often I write a review post about a training course, in fact, this may be my first ever. My Yoast SEO for WordPress Training Review is one you can trust given I am not affiliated with the company in any way. I am, however, a big fan of their plugins, and courses.

If you haven’t run across the new Yoast SEO for WordPress training course yet that Yoast offers, I recommend you do. I recently took the course, and what follows is my full review of it.

Your SEO Squad logo next to Yoast badge over the text, "Yoast SEO for WordPress Training Review."

If you run a WordPress site, you most likely have the Yoast SEO for WordPress plugin installed already. You may want to bookmark this page and install it now if not.

It will help you attract more visitors from the search engines and social media sites when you do.

Once you do have the plugin installed, you must decide whether to upgrade to the premium version, or not. It’s my recommendation that for the price, and with so much for you to gain, you do upgrade. Why I feel that way is a topic for discussion for another day.

If you have upgraded already, you may have noticed Yoast offers a paid course to help you learn how to use it. Given my deep respect for Joost de Valk, I paid the $99 USD and dove straight in.

What follows is my review of the course. Given I am not affiliated with Yoast in any way, you can trust my findings.

What I Hoped to Get from Taking Yoast SEO for WordPress Training

Our agency has used the free version of the Yoast plugin on our client sites for years. We loved it, and it was always the first plugin we would install when taking over a new customer campaign.

A couple of months ago we realized that if we liked the free version of the plugin so much, we’d loved the premium more. So we upgraded our client sites and got set to start rocking.

The only problem was we were completely clueless at first on how to use the darn thing. After going through the help section, we got up to speed in short order and were off to the races.

After becoming amazed at how robust the tool was, I dug deep to find extra training on it. That’s when I found the Yoast SEO for WordPress training course.

What I hoped to get from taking it was simple. I wanted to glean as many nuggets as possible about the tool that I could put to use in our campaigns.

Did the course deliver on those expectations? Keep reading to find out.

What Specific Nuggets Did I Learn from Taking Yoast SEO for WordPress Training?

While taking the course, I had a client’s admin opened, and was making adjustments to it as I went along.

Which was satisfying, I must admit.

I liked learning how to connect Yoast SEO with Google Search Console. Combining the two tools are powerful, to say the least. The client’s site I had open had several hundred 404 errors the plugin displayed. Not only that, Joost’s plugin gave me an option to apply redirects to them.

From what I learned in Yoast SEO for WordPress training I was able to clean the mess up in a matter of minutes.

It was also nice having a guide to step me through the general settings of the plugin.

It was like having Joost de Valk peering over my shoulder and giving me directions on how to set everything up.

Talk about cool!

If you’re unfamiliar with who Joost is, I recommend you acquaint yourself with him quick like. Then pay attention to every word that comes from his mouth. He has a brain you do not want to ignore.

What he teaches on rel=prev/rel=next elements is worth the price of the course by itself. Buried content is not doing your site any good until you do something about it.

Those are just a few of the nuggets I took from the course. There were many more of course, but those were the three big takeaways for me.

Was the Course Comprehensive Enough for My Liking?

Having been the industry for more years than I care to admit, I have taken my share of training courses.

The training has 11 modules, covering everything you need to learn to become a Yoast SEO expert.

The course covered several topics I was oblivious to about on-page SEO, and this is what I do for a living.

Learning about SEO is one thing, it’s something anyone in the industry does on a constant basis. Being able to follow along a course that teaches you how to set up a powerful plugin is much different.

Was the course comprehensive enough for my $99?

You bet it was, and I’d be willing to wager it will be worth your $99 as well.

Was Yoast SEO for WordPress Training Easy to Understand?

One would expect a course on a topic as complicated as Tech & On-page SEO would be boring, or hard to comprehend. Especially when the principal instructor is someone as brilliant as Joost de Valk.

This course was anything but hard to comprehend. Joost is an excellent teacher or has great writers, or both even. Whatever the combination of skill sets, the course is easy enough for a beginner to do.

In fact several of our teenagers work for the agency over the summer, we trained them with Yoast videos.

None of the teens had a problem learning the contents of the course. As a result, they might know more about On-Page than you do at the moment.

If they can do it, so can you.

What Format is the Course Presented In?

The course was well put together and organized logically. It consisted of explainer and instructional videos, plus a quiz I needed to pass at the end of each module.

I won’t hide the fact I had to retake a few of the quizzes.  Yoast requires a 100% score before you can proceed to the next module of the course. Even getting answers wrong on an exam was a learning experience though. Yoast did a superb job explaining why the answers I chose were incorrect, and the others correct.

Did I Learn How to Use Yoast SEO for WordPress from taking the Course?

You better believe I did, and I’m applying all that knowledge to my client’s campaigns. It’s far too early to share case studies, but we see four-figure increases on KDP’s already.

Note: I will publish the case studies once more time has passed to ensure the integrity of the reviews.

Do I Recommend You Take the Course?

Whether or not you think Yoast SEO for WordPress training is worth $99 USD is definitely up to you.

I’m just telling you it was worth that and more to our agency.

When completing the training you will earn a badge just like this one to show your new found skills off to your readers! Happy Rankings, Friends!

Matt LaClear successfully completed the Yoast SEO for WordPress course!

How Persistent Should I Be With Link Prospects?

How often you follow up with your link prospects is your business of course.

Many in our industry treat candidates like sides of beef. Instead of seeing people, they see targets. Where they may see an email address, a smart link builder will see an opportunity to grow their business.

How many cold emails should you send a prospect before giving up on them?

None!

Your chances of earning a response from a big league prospect via a cold email are just about nil. So going that route to gain links makes zero sense.

That’s why we NEVER reach out to prospects cold at our agency. It doesn’t work for us. Instead, we only send our requests to hot prospects who are receptive to the idea.

How we manage to set that up is a strict secret of course. It’s locked at home in my underwear drawer, so I know it’s safe.

You can refer to Chapter 14 in Eric Ward’s Link Building Book to see where I got the idea for our outreach approach. If you haven’t bought the book yet, you should. Even though Eric wrote it a few years ago, every word in it is still one hundred percent applicable.

[Spoiler Alert – That chapter in Eric’s book (and our outreach system!) involves relationship building.]

How often should you follow up with your link prospects?

That depends on whether you read Eric’s chapter yet. If you haven’t and you’re still asking that question, I doubt you care to learn the answer to it anyways.

SEO Glossary – Updated for 2017

Welcome to our SEO Glossary!
 
If you can’t find the definition you came looking for, please contact us so we can add it.
 
Study hard, the vocabulary test is on next Friday! 😉

 

Image depicting a brain wearing glasses pointing to the following text, "SEO Glossary."

Link

A link is a shortcut to another address on the web. Most search engines consider a link to be a sign that the site receiving the link is of value.

Dofollow

All standard links are dofollow links. Which means that Google counts the link as a recommendation.

Nofollow

If for some reason, you don’t want a link to be dofollow, you would mark it with the rel=”nofollow” tag. This tells search engines to ignore this link. One common place where people use nofollow is when they’re setting up a comments section. This prevents people from using your site to build up their backlink numbers.

URL Anchor Text

The anchor text is the word or phrase that someone clicks on to follow a link.

Google Algorithm

Google Algorithm is a system for determining the order that websites show up on Google. Which takes a variety of things into consideration, including content, backlinks, and quality.

Google Penguin

An update to Google’s ranking algorithm that penalized black hat linking tactics.

Google Panda

Panda was another algorithm update that weeded out low-quality sites from search results.

Matt Cutts

The former head of the web spam team at Google. Matt Cutts was a common source of information about best practices for link building.

Eric Ward aka LinkMoses

Eric Ward started building links before Google came on the scene. He is one of the top link builders in the world.

Google Hummingbird

Another SEO algorithm, this one not only considers synonyms for words and context.

Authority Site

Authority sites have a large number of backlinks from other high-value sites. Most authority sites have high trust and PageRank, so they usually end up at the top of search results. An example of an authority site is Wikipedia.

Domain Rank

This metric attempts to determine how a domain will rank. Sometimes referred to as domain authority.

Ahrefs

A tool for checking backlinks. It also allows people to keep tabs on their competition.

Majestic

Another tool for checking backlinks. Majestic offers a suite of tools that also allows people to stay on top of their competition.

Trust Flow

The metric trust flow is used to determine how trustworthy a link from a website is. This is decided based on the quality of sites that link back to a site. In other words, the quality of sites linking to a site determines if a link out from a site is also likely to be of quality.

Citation Flow

Like trust flow, citation flow is a measure of how many sites link to a website. Unlike with trust flow, the quality of sites linking to a site isn’t involved in this metric.

Black Hat

Black Hat tactics take advantages of loopholes or vulnerabilities in a system. While they are not illegal, if found out, they will result in penalties.

White Hat

White Hat Tactics are above board and considered completely acceptable by search engines.

Gray Hat

Gray Hat Tactics are usually aboveboard but could result in site penalties down the road.

Web 2.0

The second generation of the Internet many refer to as Web 2.0. It marked the beginning of the use of social media and the transition from static to dynamic content.

Profile Link

A profile link is when you add a link to your site to any profile you have.

Forum Link

When posting on a forum, some people include a link to their domain. This can help backlink numbers, but it can backfire if done on the same site.

Internal Link

Links that are internal are links to other pages on a website, such as on a contact page or an about us page.

External Link

External links are links to pages on sites that are on a different domain.

Sitewide Link

Links that are present on every page on a website are sitewide links. They are often linked to About, Contact, or Home pages.

Contextual Link

A contextual link is a link located in the written content of a web page. The anchor text usually relates to whatever the subject of the link is about. A link to a cat food website might have a link text of “cat food for mature felines.”

Private Blog Network – Black Hat

Also referred to as PBNs, private blog networks are a black hat method of link building. The practitioner buys expired domains, and create private blogs. They then write blog posts and post backlinks on. Google is aware of this tactic, and they have been finding and penalizing sites that use it.

Guest Blog Post

When someone who is not the owner of a site has someone else, who usually runs their site, create content for a blog.

Tiered Linking

Tiered linking involves using layers of backlinks to boost a site’s reputation.

Tier 1 Link

Sites that link to your website are tier 1 links.

Tier 2 Link

Sites that link to sites that link to your site are tier 2 links.

Link Wheel – Black Hat

Creating a link wheel means generating many sites that link to each other. This increases the backlinks for each. This is usually easy for Google to detect and penalize.

Blog Comment

Comments that left at the bottom of blog pages are blog comments. Many sites use them to increase social interactions on a site and build a community.

Search Engine Optimization

Often known as SEO, this is a method of ensuring that a website shows up at the top of search engine results. The practice involves a combination of signals and is used by just about every SEO Agency in the world.

Email Outreach

A traditional method of reaching out to link prospects is email outreach.

Broken Link Campaign

Links become broken all the time as domains expire or businesses fail. A broken link campaign involves finding these broken links on sites you want a link from. Then contact the webmaster and suggest your link as an alternative.

Expired Domain – Black Hat

Many webmasters register expired domains for above-board reasons. Often though, it’s part of a black hat effort to use it as a source for backlinks.

Google Webmaster Tools

A suite of tools that allow you to keep your site running. It checks how long it takes for your page to load or if it’s mobile-friendly. Plus, you can create and submit a sitemap to Google and ensure that Google can crawl all the pages on your site.

Google Search Console

The new name for Google Webmaster Tools.

Google Analytics

A set of tools that Google offers that allows you to keep track of visitors to your site. It also tracks where traffic comes from and how long people stay on a site, among many other things.

URL Shortener

A tool that creates a much shorter version of a link, which makes it easier to share on social media.

301 Redirect Link

There are several types of redirects, and a 301 redirect is one that indicates a website or web page has moved. It passes on 90 to 99 percent of ranking power.

Throw Away Site – Black Hat

A website that someone intends to use for black hat methods without risking a penalty to their main site.

Press Release

A press release is a statement about a business issued to the public, often through a news media source.

GSA Link – Black Hat

GSA Link is an automated link building program used for black hat purposes, but Google can detect its use, and penalties are usually severe.

Keyword Phrase

Keywords often refer to a single word that someone searches for. A keyword phrase may include many words that someone is searching for.

Money Keyword

A money keyword is one that drives the best traffic to your website. The keyword needs to be one in which it draws visitors who are most likely to convert or make a sale.

LSI Keyword

Short for latent semantic indexing keywords, these are synonyms for keywords. An example of an LSI keyword for used cars would be pre-owned vehicles.

On-page Optimization

Things that you do on your website, including creating keyword content, optimizing HTML to include header tags and ALT tags and using SEO friendly naming methods, to improve your search engine ranking are on-page optimization.

Off-page Optimization

Off-page optimization includes things that you do off of your site to improve its search engine ranking. Backlinking efforts are an example of off page optimization.

Link Velocity

The speed that a page is linked to by other sites is the link velocity.

SAPE Links – Black Hat

SAPE Links is a link network that was used for black hat link building purposes. Users of the system have been penalized by Google.

Editorial Links

Links that are created to your site from another site without your requesting it are editorial links.

Social Signals

Social signals are indications of how popular an article or blog post is on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. They include likes, shares, and retweets, but the extent to which social signals affect search engine rankings is debated.

EDU Link

These links end in .edu instead of .com or .net, and they are for educational institutions. They can be used for everything from grade schools to universities.

GOV Link

Ending in .gov instead of .com or .net, GOV links are to government owned websites. They may be local, state or federal websites and organizations.

Google Disavow Tool

A tool that allows you to inform Google that you don’t want the search engine to factor a link from a site into your backlink efforts or your search engine ranking.

Disavowed Link

If a link to your site is from a site that Google considers to be low quality, you can disavow the link using a Google form to keep that backlink from having an adverse effect on your search engine ranking.

Infographic

A visual image that presents data. Most infographics include a variety of charts, graphs, and pictures to convey a substantive amount of information.

Image Link

While the majority of links are text links, where people click on text to go to another site, you can also create a link where people click on an image to visit another website.

Dwell Time

The amount of time between someone clicking on a search engine result and returning to the search engine result. In theory, a shallow dwell time means that someone did not find what they were looking for, so the link shown may not be relevant to a keyword or search term.

Bounce Rate

The percentage of people who leave your site without visiting another page on your site.

Questions to Ask the SEO Company You Are About to Hire

Hiring an SEO company to help promote your website shouldn’t require a degree in rocket science.

Picking the wrong agency might lead to disaster, which is why it’s important to ask several critical questions before you decide to hand any money over to an SEO provider.

Image of man with hands in the air, and text above his head reading, "Questions to Ask the SEO Company You Are About to Hire."How Will Your Staff Help My Website Earn Links?

Ask the agency how they plan on acquiring new backlinks to your site. If they can’t answer your question quickly, and in great detail, then politely end your meeting with them.

Seriously.

Earning new links to your site is critical to the success of your SEO efforts, any agency that sounds the least bit fuzzy regarding their tactics either does not know how to earn links or is planning black hat activities. Both of which are your cue to move on to the next agency on your list.

If they can detail their linking strategies, check them against these Link Building Best Practices put together by none other than LinkMoses himself. If not, keep your search alive until you find an agency who will meet those standards.

Who’s Responsible For Your SEO Strategy?

Some SEO firms will make decisions that move your business closer to black hat techniques, while others will follow the best practices put forth by Google.

There’s no meaningful way to gauge the risks unless you have a full appreciation of the prevailing philosophy their link building team follows.

It’s also important that the buck stop with one individual. That person better should be an excellent communicator and an even better problem solver.

If you can’t talk to this person directly, take your business elsewhere.

What Is Your Metrics for Success?

Success is IMPOSSIBLE to achieve without first having agreed upon parameters that will define the success of the agency’s efforts.

Quantifiable goals need to be in place. If you’re looking to increase active daily users, it’s important that the SEO Team’s reports track that metric and not something else.

Here are the metrics I track. If the vendor can’t hang with that, then send him or her back to their sad little cubicle.

How Will I Be Kept Informed of Site Changes?

The folks working on the SEO for your site will likely need to make changes to both content and the underlying structure of the site. It’s important that modifications being fully documented and properly authorized.

All interested parties also need to be kept in the loop. If you have a separate company handling web coding, database administration and hosting, they’re likely to want to know when and where the professionals will be poking around within their systems. They may also need to authorize admin-level access to servers.

How Will Your Keyword Research Conducted?

Knowing what your users are hunting for is critical to crafting your marketing strategy. Search engine optimization companies for small business have a broad range of tastes regarding the tools they prefer to use for researching keyword phrases.

You’ll also want to know how the agency plans on communicating keyword recommendations to you. One organization might offer dashboard access to such reports, while another may only present specific recommendations within reports sent to you. Whatever approach is employed, you’ll want an existing record of all keyword recommendations.

Are You Prepared to Make Adjustments Over Time?

The world of SEO is one of constant flux. Search engine providers are trying to stay ahead of unscrupulous tactics, while everyone else is trying to catch up.

It’s important to know that the firm in charge of your SEO campaign will be prepared to make changes, sometimes on the fly.

You’ll also want to have an agreement in place for how the agency will bill you for these adjustments and what manner of authorization will be necessary to implement them.

How Do You Stay Current With Trends?

At a bare minimum, the SEO company you hire should be encouraging its employees to read the Google Webmaster Central blog regularly. The GWC Blog is where Google itself informs the SEO industry about best practices and changes.

How Will Your SEO Company Bill Me?

Everybody in the SEO world likes to charge in different ways. Some, especially freelancers, like hourly billing, while others may favor monthly retainers or even yearly billings.

How Does User Interface Factor In What You Offer?

A capable SEO firm will take a long look at your user interface. Increasingly, the time users spend on your web pages is becoming a vital ranking factor. The SEO professionals you hire should demonstrate a willing to address these issues early on in the process.

Conclusion

Finding the right SEO company for your job means weeding out the bad ones. By asking the right questions, you can get a step closer to forming a partnership that will last for years.

What is a Golden Link Prospect?

If you are not currently building relationships between your company and the BIGGEST NAMES in your industry, you may be wondering what the difference is between a normal link prospect and what our agency calls a Golden Link Prospect (GLP).

A Golden Link Prospect will cause you to do BACKFLIPS when they link to your site.

If you’re in the personal development niche, it will be people like Tony Robbins and Tim Ferriss. In SEO, it will be Brian Dean, Rand Fishkin, Joost de Valk, and Eric Ward. In health, it would be Dr. Mercola, maybe even Dr. Oz.

 

A Golden Link Prospect’s Link to Your Site Will Help Your Business in Three Ways:

  1. You’ll receive referral traffic from their website. You’re going to get visitors from their link when his or her readers click it. Maybe even a lot of them.
  2. Your search engine rankings will improve. Which will result in even more prospects hitting your website and buying your product or service.
  3. The largest authority in your niche will get to know who you are. That’s going to give you the ability to network with this authority.

Effective networking with Golden Link Prospects is a big part of the SEO service we provide to our clients. This not only helps us earn awesome links for our clients but, also, helps facilitate them building a long-term relationship with the GLP’s.

Those long-term relationships may very well end up generating a lot of revenue for their businesses. It’s the type of backlink that could be the gift that keeps on giving, giving, and GIVING to your business.

Will Scoring a Backlink from Your Golden Link Prospect Be Worth the Effort You Spend?

Imagine two vendors with identical products, pricing, and web designs. The only difference between them being one of their sites has a link from a Golden Link Prospect, and the other doesn’t.

Who wins that revenue fight?

If I were a betting man, I would say it would be the vendor with the great link.

Not only will he receive more web traffic than the other supplier, but his conversions will also be higher because he took the time to rock out his site content to earn that backlink.

So, he will get more traffic, he’ll get more conversions, that’s why I think he would win that fight. That’s why it’s important for you to earn links from the main authorities in your industry too.

How Does Building Relationships Factor in Link Building?

If you’re building links, instead of relationships, I’d be willing to wager you’re not happy with the results those links have been producing for your business. I wouldn’t bet you the house mind you, but it would be more than a dollar.

The system we use facilitate building relationships with our clients and their best prospects is simple; we treat their candidates like people, not email addresses or telephone numbers.

How Does Building Relationships Factor in What You Do for Clients?

Most SEO agencies operate their outreach as if it’s a pure numbers game, and that’s a shame because it’s hurting their clients in several ways.

  1. They catch minnows, instead of tuna. What big league prospect responds to spam email or a cold call? Not many that I now.
  2. Some agencies have to send out THOUSANDS of emails to “EARN” a single link. Marketing with blunt instruments hurts your integrity and causes a lot of hard feelings.
  3. Given they have to cast such a wide net many of the links they pull in from it are either not relevant to your site, which means the links will be either irrelevant, meaningless, or even toxic.

The real trick to winning in SEO is Building Relationships instead of links. Anyone who tells you different is trying to sell you a link.

 

Should I Redesign My Website Before I Start Building Links?

Hung up on deciding whether to redesign your site before you start building links to it? It’s hard for me to answer that question without first knowing why you’re considering a site redesign in the first place.

If on the one hand, your current website design is stalling your brand, then I suggest holding off on building links until you get the situation rectified. The last thing you need to be doing is reaching out to people for links under those circumstances.

However, on the other hand, if you’re redesigning the site for any reason other than brand reconstruction, delaying your link building efforts will only stall what you’re trying to accomplish on your website.

That’s how I see the matter at least.

 

What Link Prospecting Targets Will Help My Business the Most?

Who should you target first in your Link Prospecting Campaign?

The answer, of course, is contingent upon what you’re looking to accomplish with the links you’re building. If you want to generate referral traffic and increase revenue, with the links you earn, I suggest you read the rest of this post carefully. If you follow my suggestions, it will produce links, referral traffic, and a substantial ROI for your efforts.

A quick warning is needed, however, everything you’re about to read flies in the teeth of what most knowledgeable SEO Trainers will teach you to do. Which is why it works to generate money, not everyone is doing it yet.

What Link Prospecting Targets Will Help My Business the Most?

Most SEO Agencies have an incredibly hard time with link prospecting because they target the wrong prospects. As a result, they spend energy and your budget barking up the wrong trees.

Sure, some of them have gotten pretty good at finding guest post opportunities, and EDU links, but will those types of links generate income for your business?

They might if Googe likes the links they build enough. But for how long? Google’s algorithm is always changing, and search engine rankings are never permanent.

That’s why I like targeting buyer prospects as the first link placement opportunities in our client’s B2B campaigns.  They’re the guys and gals buying our client’s products and services. Waiting for them to find our clients on Google makes zero sense when we can reach out to them direct via link prospecting.

Of course, we always need to create a resource those buyer prospects will want to link to, but the same goes for any link building campaign. If you have to create a resource, create it for your buyer prospects, not the search engines.

We make soft touches with these prospects and either earn their link or their business.

How Long Will It Take to See Results from My New Links?

How long does it take to see results from link building?

It depends on the type of links you’re building, and what you’re hoping to accomplish with them.

Most agencies will state that ‘SEO Takes Time,’ and to their credit, they’re correct. But how long is too long to wait? My answer to that question may surprise you; it also may upset a lot of agency owners.

If Your Links Are Not Generating Revenue From Referral  Traffic, Build Better Links

The best way top judge the effectiveness of your links is to track the revenue each link produces for your business from referral traffic. Any link that isn’t generating revenue for your business is a link you wasted either your time or your money building.

Too many smart business owners judge the success of their SEO efforts by the amount of money their website brings in from their search rankings. Which is the precise reason why so many business owners operate under the assumption that ‘SEO Takes Time.’

If you’re going to reach out to other companies for links, it might as well be the ones who can deliver the highest levels of profitable traffic. It will generate revenue for you the quickest, plus be the precise type of links the search engines will reward you for having in your link profile.

Seek New Revenue Sources For Your Business, Not Link Opportunities

If a link you build does not immediately begin generating referral traffic to your site, quit building anymore like it. You’ll save your company a boatload of time, money, and effort (and sanity!) if you do.

Anyone that tells you link building takes time before it produces results is apparently creating the wrong type of links.