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 .