Writing aside, my favourite part of blogging is SEO.
Forget Pinterest, Instagram, and email marketing.
I love getting deep into the nitty gritty of what makes Google tick, and sussing out what it takes to get on that all-important first page of the search results.
I’ve been to countless talks on SEO, attended virtual SEO conferences, bought SEO e-books and almost every single person I follow on Twitter is from the SEO world.
In other words, I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to this stuff.
However, with the Google algorithm constantly evolving and updating, you can never learn too much, and so when Nina Clapperton, SEO specialist and fellow travel blogger, reached out and asked me if I wanted to try out her SEO course for bloggers, I jumped at the chance.
As our arrangement only entitled me to a 30-day free trial, I spent the last month squirrelled away at home working through the huge amount of course materials included in SEO Roadmap, and now that I’ve had a chance to pause for breath, I wanted to share my thoughts with you.
Before we get into it, you should know that I was allowed to access this course for free in exchange for an honest review. If you decide to purchase this course after reading what I have to say, I will receive a commission, but you can rest assured that I would not recommend something on this blog that I would not pay for myself.
SO, with that disclaimer out of the way, let’s get into my review of Nina Clapperton’s SEO Roadmap.
Is This the BEST SEO Course for Bloggers? (SEO Roadmap Review)
What is SEO?
Before I go any further, I want to outline just what SEO is, to ensure we all have a clear understanding.
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimisation, and it refers to the practice of creating content that will get featured in people’s Google search results (or any search engine’s results, for that matter!).
SEO is all about creating organic traffic, meaning your posts appear on the first page without you paying for them to be there.
When your posts appear at the top of the search results, you will get more eyes on your writing, more subscribers to your email list, and more customers buying your products.
You will also be protected in the case of a social media app losing popularity or ceasing to exist (remember Vine, anyone?), because while social media trends are constantly changing, Google is here to stay.
Paid vs Free SEO courses
There are countless SEO agencies and consultants out there who violate Google’s Terms of Service, risk the safety of your website, and charge thousands of dollars for the privilege.
These people will happily take your money and in exchange, fill your site with spammy backlinks, keyword-stuffed articles and thin content that is never going to rank.
On the flip side, much of the free SEO courses for bloggers you’ll find online are just full of fluff content designed to lure you into a sales funnel for a paid course, and while they’re fine for the basics, they simply aren’t enough to transform your blog into a money-making machine.
If you’re serious about making money from your blog, you need to invest in a paid course at some point.
SEO Roadmap for Travel Bloggers Review
What is SEO Roadmap, and is it only for travel bloggers?!
Just like so many other bloggers, Nina has titled her blogging course in a way that suggests it is only for travel bloggers.
But is it?
While Nina herself is a travel blogger, and while she certainly gives a lot of examples using travel-related blog posts on her site, you can apply this knowledge to pretty much any niche.
SEO Roadmap is definitely tailored towards blogs rather than other types of websites, but trust me when I say that your blog does not need to be about travel for you to benefit from this course.
My side-project at the moment is a website about multi-level marketing and other online scams, and it is that website where I will be putting into practice the things I learnt with SEO Roadmap.
Just like Jessie Festa’s Travel Blog Prosperity, SEO Roadmap for Travel Bloggers is not only for travel bloggers, and I think it’s a shame it’s being sold as though it is!
What it is, is a complete roadmap (see what I did there?), to creating a website that ranks, with easy-to-implement strategies and a module on pretty much every area of SEO you can think of.
What SEO Roadmap covers
SEO Roadmap is broken down into the following sections:
- Page Speed
- Keyword Research Strategy
- Competitor Analysis
- On-Page SEO
- Writing SEO Content
- Establishing Your Authority
- Intentional Internal Linking
- Backlink Strategy
- Content Audits
- Bonus Material
Each section is then organised into individual modules which take you through the course step by step.
The lessons are in video format, with Nina both talking to the camera and sharing her screen to show exactly how to do certain things.
I should mention at this point that Nina is so sweet and bubbly that I genuinely enjoyed watching her videos (unlike a lot of the SEO ‘bros’ I could mention).
The way that I used SEO Roadmap was to watch each video armed with a paper and pen to write notes, then go back when it was time to implement the strategy and watch the video on a higher speed. If there was anything I missed, I would skim read the transcript (although this was autogenerated, so there were a few mistakes in it).
Some of the modules that I found the most helpful on Nina’s course include:
- Zero search volume keyword strategy
- Competitor analysis
- How to organise your keyword analysis
- Schema mark ups
- Skyscraper and EAT strategies
- Internal linking strategy
- Reverse engineering backlinks
- Wikipedia backlinks
- Finding hidden keyword opportunities
- Intro to content audits & how to evaluate existing blog posts
- How SEO can increase affiliate income
- SEO spreadsheets & trackers
Things I liked about SEO Roadmap
Although I only had access to SEO Roadmap for a month, if you decide to purchase it, you will have lifetime access to all the course materials.
This is super helpful, especially if you want to go back and check a specific thing, or work through the sections slowly, one at a time.
I mean seriously – you could spend a whole month just conducting competitor analysis or coming up with a solid keyword strategy!
There are also no recurring fees that you have to worry about – once you pay, you’re in and you never have to think about it again.
Of course, anyone can create a spreadsheet, but Nina’s bonus SEO spreadsheets are so in-depth and helpful!
They were purposely made to complement her videos, and so you can be sure that you are not only implementing her strategies, but also keeping track of your success.
I’m ashamed to admit that I never bothered with SEO spreadsheets until taking this course, and not only have they been instrumental in showing me which posts I need to update/check back on in a few months, but they’re also a great time saver and organiser of my thoughts (because as bloggers, don’t we all have 257 post ideas swimming around our brains at any given time?).
It may be cheesy to say, but Nina’s friendliness and down to earth style of teaching really makes a complex topic accessible and interesting.
I love the way that Nina openly shares the keywords that she is targeting on her own blog, and how in one module she even creates a whole blog post (with competitor analysis) and talks us through every step of the process.
It is quite rare to see that kind of transparency in these types of courses.
The huge variety of topics
As I’m already quite advanced in my SEO journey, I was already familiar with a lot of the material in the course, and I knew that would be the case going in.
With that being said, some of the most simple strategies are things I’ve just never thought of, such as Nina’s commitment to getting backlinks from Wikipedia, her intentional internal linking strategy (which was a game changer for me) and even her lessons on site navigation.
I also loved her lessons on content auditing and organising keywords, both of which involved the spreadsheets included, and both have saved me a tonne of time and worked wonders for my productivity.
Things I didn’t like about SEO Roadmap
Autogenerated video transcriptions
Unpopular opinion I know, but I personally love to learn from written content as well as only video.
While I absolutely think that this course works best in video form, being able to read a proper transcript would have really helped me, and while the autogenerated transcripts were fine for double checking things, some of the mistakes just made absolutely no sense – perhaps Nina’s Canadian accent confused the AI?
The cost of SEO Roadmap is 697 USD, and there’s no denying it – that ain’t cheap.
That being said, if you can afford it (and only if you can afford it), I do think that it is worth the money.
There are hours upon hours of video content and enough tips to keep you busy for the next decade, and SEO Roadmap is specifically designed to get you hitting that 50,000 sessions mark needed to be accepted into Mediavine, which is where you’ll start making big money.
Plus, you get lifetime access, which is a big deal considering that if you paid for Travel Blog Prosperity every month for 12 months, it would cost you more than lifetime access to SEO Roadmap.
Who is SEO Roadmap for?
SEO Roadmap is for bloggers from all niches, ideally of the beginner/intermediate level (although if you are a beginner, prepare to hit the ground running!).
With that said, I do think that bloggers who are already quite advanced with SEO will benefit from this course (just perhaps not professional SEOs!).
One thing that I will say is that this course isn’t designed for people just thinking about starting a blog.
In order to fully work through the course, you should already have a blog because many of the tasks involve updating old content and existing pages.
Do I recommend SEO Roadmap? | Final Thoughts
Look, $697 is a lot of money to fork out for something, and before I took the course, I was sceptical about whether it would really be worth that much money (which of course is subjective but hear me out).
In my personal opinion, if you are serious about blogging and willing to really put in the time and effort needed, SEO Roadmap is worth the money.
With that being said, only spend the money if you can actually afford it.
While I am the biggest advocate for investing in your business, SEO is a long game and it can (and will!) take months to see any results, so if you’re thinking about spending your rent money on this course, stop being silly.
I hope that you found this review helpful, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to me in the comments section below if you have any questions and I will be happy to answer them!
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