Product Review

SEO From Scratch Review

SEO From Scratch is a new video course from Ben Hunt. He is a book author (check my reviews of Save the Pixel and Convert! for more information) and he has a very nice Web Design/SEO course that I took last year and really liked.

SEO from Scratch is mostly targeted at beginners, that shows you the basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and goes up to somewhat advanced techniques.

The course right now has 4 videos, currently totaling about 3 hours (186 minutes), as well as a spreadsheet with tools and a short PDF manual.

1. Introduction, covers the very basics of SEO, and the general process – Keyword Research, Content Creation and Content Promotion. It also covers the awareness ladder, which is covered in more complete form in Convert! (and if you decide not to pick up this course or the complete Web Design I really recommend reading Convert!).

2. Keyword Research covers Ben's method of find good keywords – that is, keywords that get traffic and at the same time are possible to rank for in the top 10. There are a number of programs and services that do this right now, but I'm not aware of any that gets numbers as good as Ben's system (except possibly SEOMoz, from which a lot of the data used in the process comes).

This is the best part of the course, and can't be found anywhere (except on Ben's Web Design/SEO course ).

The big problem with the process is that it is VERY manual. So, while you could easily scan dozens or hundreds of keywords with a tool such as Market Samurai or Rank Tracker (part of SEO PowerSuite), in the same time you'll cover only a few, and have much more work doing it. Is the data you get better? Quite possibly. As far as I can see, the data source – SEOMoz –  is simply better than what others use.

There was some talk in the course forums about an automatic service, but I don't think it is available yet. I might eventually get around to doing that myself :-).

3. Content . Once you get your keywords, you will want to create or optimize your content, to get visits and links to your site . This video shows you several ideas on how to do that. I also recommend The Web Content Recipe Book for ideas and great guidelines on how to do it.

4. Promotion . Once you got your content out, there are many ways to get it out there. This covers a few of them, such as social sites, link building and e-mail lists.

It also covers the spreadsheet system for getting rank tracking. Rank Tracking is useful so that you can see what is working and where you should spend more time to maximize your return. The method described here is free, but I think Rank Tracker – part of SEO PowerSuite – is a better tool, specially now that it can show you expected visits as well as pull data from your actual visits from Google Analytics.

Overall, the course is pretty good, specially for beginners. You also get updates for an year. Since the course had many videos offered over time, I expect to see a few. I'll update this article as I watch them.

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Update (19/Apr/2013): This link doesn't work right now. I think the course is only part of the Web Design course now. The course is pretty good, but might be overkill if all you want to learn is SEO. If you are still interested, check my review on Ben's Web Design/SEO course .

Site Reviews

Ben Hunt’s Web Design Course Review

This year I took Ben Hunt's Pro Web Design Course. I learned a lot from it – and was able to raise my websites' ranking for several keywords, and got some extra traffic too.

The main reason I took the course was after reading Ben's books Save the Pixel, Convert! and seeing his videos on

There are a lot of good ideas on those books and videos, and good SEO analysis of both a page factors and potential competition for keywords is very important.

The course consists mostly of videos, although there are some downloadable page examples and resources. The videos are downloadable, which is nice for a couple of reasons – first, you can keep them after you are done with the course, and second, you can download and watch them with a player such as GOMPlayer, which allows you to view them at a fast speed. I used 1.2x most of the time, and on subjects I already mostly knew, I'd use 1.5x. That can save quite a bit of your time.

The explanations on the videos are quite clear. The main objective of the course is teaching Web Design as a profession. But if you make your own website (as I do), you can still use almost everything.

The classes range from basic HTML, designing on PhotoShop – pages, buttons and other elements, basic Javascript and PHP, a lot on WordPress – specially designing themes, and a very important and under represented theme, good SEO on page design, keyword research and landing pages. In my opinion, this is one of the strongest areas in the course.

One interesting thing is that the course is constantly receiving small updates. In SEO, which changes all the time, this is really important.

The only thing I really thing is missing in the course are transcripts from the videos.

If you actually want to become a professional Web Designer you also get many useful lessons on the specifics of the business, such as specialization, handling your clients and business strategies. And I believe the SEO training is invaluable – too many web designers make pages that rank miserably because they don't grasp more than the basics (and sometimes not even them).

Overall, I can really recommend this course for both Web Designers and people with sites that they want to improve.

Check out Ben Hunt's Pro Web Design Course

Update (25/June/2013): All videos from were added to the course! These are the reason I got on the course in the first place. They consist of SEO, copy and design analysis of sites, and are full of great information and ideas . Some Marketing MasterClass webinars and other were added too. But please note that if you get the monthly version of the course, these are only available after 6 months!