SEO Training: What’s Your Favorite Flavor?
Next week’s episode of SEM Synergy will feature a segment on search engine optimization training. Since Virginia and Susan got to square off and debate the topic on the radio show, I thought I’d give you a preview here on the blog. Mostly because I think SEO training is a pretty important topic, and also because I don’t like being left out of conversations. [That’s the understatement of the century. –Susan]
I think the importance of white hat SEO training is becoming really clear. As the industry evolves, we’re starting to see a lot of white hat/black hat, “is X technically spamming?” type conversations popping up in blogs, forums and conferences. And if you don’t know what’s what, it’s hard to make sense of it all and to know which tactics are approved and which you should stay away from. While blogs and forums can be a great place for information, these resources don’t become truly impactful until you have a solid SEO foundation to pull from.
So what are some of the different outlets for search engine optimization training?
- Online Training: Let’s be honest, most of the established SEO training courses are happening on either the West Coast or the East Coast. That’s great if you live there, but not too great if you’re landlocked or outside the United States. Online training gives search marketers a relatively inexpensive and flexible way to brush up on their SEO knowledge, without incurring travel costs. Students can go at their own pace and are often given downloadable materials that they can reuse, either as a refresher or to help train new people as they come in.
One of the best examples of a great online SEO Training course is the one offered by SEMPO. They offer both basic and advanced training to help search marketers of all knowledge levels.
- Seminar Training: I think seminar training is one of the best ways to learn about search engine optimization because it allows you to take notes, do homework, interact with an instructor and put your knowledge to use while still being supervised. You get a great wealth of knowledge poured into your brain and you get to ask questions on the topics you feel running off the sides. Seminar training is especially effective when it comes with an opportunity to try out the various techniques and tools being taught in the class. The down-side to seminar training is that you have to listen to everyone else’s questions and it often requires travel.
Bruce Clay’s SEO training course is a good example of seminar training. You come and learn with us, attend a lab where you can put your newly earned smarts to use, and then you back home and work your magic on your own site. If you prefer, we also offer on-site training for companies looking to train 20 or more employees.
- On-Site Training: If you can afford it, onsite SEO training is the most effective (and the most pricey) way to learn search engine optimization because you can teach your entire team in one sitting. If you have 20 SEOs, you don’t have to pay travel expenses on all 20 of them. Or, if you want to really be ahead of the game, you can pull together your IT people with your marketing people with your vice presidents and get everyone involved. This is a great way to teach those executives about the importance of SEO and increase your chances at getting them to sign off on projects.
- Conferences: Conferences offer attendees to learn from experts while also establishing valuable connections that may assist them in the future. Larger conferences allow you to focus in broader topics, while the niche shows will help break down highlighted verticals.
SES offers a stellar broad industry look, while SMX has really shown itself to be the conference of choice to master the verticals. Both provide ample networking opportunities and can introduce attendees to important people in the space.
Often the best way to learn about search engine optimization is through a combination of hands on experience and one or two of the methods listed above. If you’re looking for additional info, check out Virginia’s article on Search Engine Optimization Training Opportunities or tune into SEM Synergy next Wednesday at 12pm PST to hear Susan and Virginia debate the topic.
Just a reminder to our East Coast friends, if you’ve been eyeing Bruce Clay’s SEO training class but were concerned about making the trek to the West Coast, you can catch our SEO training class in New York following SMX East. Details should be up on the SMX site shortly.