Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is probably the most daunting topic for bloggers. We all know that it’s important, yet many of us ignore it because it seems too complicated. Once you get over your reluctance to deal with SEO, you’ll find that it isn’t as difficult as it seems. You just need a good teacher to break down the components of SEO for you in a way that is easily digestible.
That’s where Mike Pearson, creator of Stupid Simple SEO, comes in. Mike is an SEO expert with a superb ability to translate his advanced knowledge into simple language. I enrolled in Stupid Simple SEO, and it completely transformed the way I approach SEO. Now, SEO is not intimidating to me anymore, and I’m getting better Google rankings than ever before.
This post is a review of Stupid Simple SEO, the most in-depth and impactful SEO course I’ve taken to date. I’ll talk about the pros, cons, and everything in between to help you decide whether Stupid Simple SEO would be helpful to you.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links as explained in my disclosure policy
What is SEO?
SEO refers to the practices and processes used to drive organic traffic from search engines to a blog or website. Because Google is the largest search engine, SEO is primarily about increasing a website’s rankings on Google for relevant searches. The higher your website ranks on Google search results, the better your chances of attracting visitors to your website. That’s why businesses pay big money to be number one on Google search results.
As a blogger, you don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars to learn about SEO. You can learn the fundamentals of SEO and advanced SEO tactics through a course. Even if you plan to hire an SEO expert, it’s essential to have a working knowledge of SEO. That way you can know what metrics are important to track.
What is Stupid Simple SEO?
Stupid Simple SEO is an online course that teaches bloggers how to grow their traffic and income by mastering the fundamentals of SEO. It is taught by Mike Pearson, the blogger with multiple niche sites, such as Credit Takeoff. In the span of five years, Mike built a six-figure blogging empire using just SEO and affiliate marketing. He did this while working a full-time corporate job.
In Stupid Simple SEO, Mike uses videos to break down the key components of in bite-sized pieces. He starts with the ABCs of SEO and moves onto more advanced topics like user intent, relevance, and link-building. He concludes the course with bonus lessons about how to apply SEO to affiliate marketing and other ways to monetize Google traffic.
Who is Stupid Simple SEO for?
Stupid Simple SEO for bloggers who are new to SEO. It is marketed to ‘Pinterest bloggers’ who get most of their blog traffic from Pinterest. While Pinterest is a great source of traffic, it’s not as passive, reliable, or targeted as Google traffic. You have to keep creating pins to make Pinterest work. In addition, Pinterest is gradually transitioning into a pay-to-play platform, just like Google.
Maybe you already know some of the basics of SEO, like keyword research and domain authority. However, you’re not sure what specific actions you need to take to rank higher on Google. You don’t yet have a strategy to increase your domain authority or get more Google traffic in the long-term. If that sounds like you, then you would be the perfect candidate for Stupid Simple SEO.
What do you learn in Stupid Simple SEO?
Stupid Simple SEO is an intensive, in-depth course that provides a holistic training on SEO. The course starts with an introduction that gives you an overview of what to expect and how to get the most out of the course. It also introduces the basics of SEO. Then the course dives into the core lessons, which are divided into four phases that build upon each other:
Phase 1: Build
This section focuses on setting up your blog to be SEO-friendly. It covers topics like improving your site speed, setting up an SSL certificate to secure your site, and organizing your categories.
Phase 2: Design
In this section, you’ll learn about keyword research and what makes a good keyword. You will also do a series of exercises on Microsoft Excel to research keywords in your niche. For these exercises, you’ll need to sign up for a 7-day free trial of Ahrefs, a keyword research tool. It costs $7. This is the only additional expense you’ll need to complete the course.
Phase 3: Create
Next, you’ll learn about creating epic content that satisfies user intent. Topics covered include how to research and outline a post, find long-tail keywords, and optimize your post for those keywords.
Phase 4: Promote
Finally, you’ll learn about how to promote your blog to increase your domain authority, a measure of how well Google trusts your site. This section is focused on link building – what makes a good link, how to do outreach, guest posting, and more.
What’s included in Stupid Simple SEO?
In addition to the lessons, the course comes with a variety of tools and resources to help you succeed with SEO. They include:
Trello Course Roadmap – There’s a Trello template that provides a suggested schedule to complete the course and track your progress. While I didn’t use this, I think it is extremely helpful as this course contains a ton of information and steps.
Private Facebook Group – Students can connect and ask questions on a private Facebook group. It’s an active group where I have asked questions several times. I also tune in regularly for Mike Facebook lives and case studies as I always learn something new
Pre-made Excel worksheets for SEO research – Mike created pre-populated Excel sheets to collect data from all the research you’ll do throughout the course. That way, you have all that data to reference at any time.
Bonus Lessons – At the end of the core lessons, you’ll find a set of bonus lessons that cover additional relevant topics. These are the bonus lessons included:
- Six-Figure Affiliate Marketing Formula
- Mastering Mediavine Ads
- Scale with Sponsored Posts
- SEMRush Mini Class
- SEO Tools on a Budget
- Credit Takeoff Niche Site Explosion
My experience with Stupid Simple SEO
I signed up for Stupid Simple SEO in May 2019 after taking Mike Pearson’s free 5-Day SEO Bootcamp. The bootcamp gave me an introduction to Mike’s teaching style and showed me a brand new way of looking at SEO. I instantly knew that I wanted to go a step further so I joined the waitlist for Stupid Simple SEO.
At the time I was getting about 90% of my traffic from Pinterest and wanted to diversify my traffic. This is what my traffic referral sources looked like the month I signed up for Stupid Simple SEO.
Because SEO is a long-term game, I’ve decided to compare my organic traffic in the year before taking SEO to the year after. That way, we have enough time to see whether the strategies work or not.
May 2018 to May 2019
I got 47,000 sessions from Google.
May 2019 to May 2020
I got 213,000 sessions from Google.
(The niche for my first blog is travel so the global pandemic affected my traffic. I believe this number would be at least 20% higher if it wasn’t for the coronavirus.)
After implementing the strategies from Stupid Simple SEO, my organic traffic increased by about 350% in a year. I credit this increase to writing more niche content and link building. In fact, I wrote published fewer blog posts, targeting only keywords I knew I could rank for. I also did an SEO audit and found content gaps (the course explains how to do this.) It paid off in a big way.
Find out more about how Stupid Simple SEO can help you increase your blog’s traffic. Click the banner below.
What I liked most about Stupid Simple SEO
The easy-to-follow videos
I’m a visual learner so I love that Stupid Simple SEO is a video-based course. You watch over Mike’s shoulder as he walks you through slides, spreadsheets, and different websites to illustrate key points. His cadence is slow and his language is simple.
The improved approach to keyword research
When I was first introduced to SEO, the mainstream approach to keyword research that I encountered was as follows:
- Brainstorm keywords that your audience would be searching for on Google.
- Enter those keywords into a keyword research tool, like Ubersuggest, KW Finder, SEMRush, or Keysearch
- Choose a variation of the keyword that has low competition and a decent search volume.
Stupid Simple SEO goes against this mainstream approach to keyword research. As I’ve learned, it isn’t the most effective way to find keywords because it involves mainly guesswork. Instead, Mike introduces students to a more efficient and effective way to conduct keyword research – competitor keyword research. He also guides you through exercises that allow you to identify your competitors and the keywords they are ranking for. In the process, you will download spreadsheets filled with thousands of keywords in your niche that you can actually compete for.
The competitor research exercises
I had many aha moments while going through the competitor research exercises in the second phase of the course. This information was entirely new to me and differed from the conventional wisdom that SEO gurus espouse.
As I worked through the exercise, I learned so much about my niche and competitors. I noticed patterns in the keywords that my competitors were ranking for and came up with hundreds (yes, hundreds) of content ideas I would never have thought of. These exercise alone make Stupid Simple SEO worth it.
The bonus training on monetizing Google traffic
Mike goes one step further and shares some lessons about how to monetize your traffic. He makes about $100,000 in yearly affiliate income from the free traffic he drives to his blogs. Mike shares tips for choosing the best keywords to make affiliate sales, writing affiliate reviews, and ‘best of’ types of content.
What I didn’t like so much about Stupid Simple SEO
I struggled to find fault with Stupid Simple SEO. As someone who has taken 30+ paid online courses, I have truly seen it all, from life-changing courses to complete garbage. It’s rare for me to not have something critical to say. If I were to point out some negatives, they would be the following.
- You’ll need to download and sort through a ton of data on spreadsheets. Yes, the data is for your benefit, but it can be overwhelming. This is a course you will need to work through slowly.
- The course is long and intensive. There is a lot of information to consume so you have to pace yourself accordingly. This is not a fluff course at all. Only those who are serious about learning the ins and outs of SEO should purchase this course.
Is Stupid Simple SEO worth the money?
At $297, I think the Traffic Transformation Guide is reasonably priced. For the amount of value and tangible assets that Mike provides to students, he could easily charge $700+. By the time you’re done with this course, you’ll have pages of spreadsheets filled with data that will be invaluable to your SEO strategy. No other SEO course will give you that. In order to get that kind of information, you would have to pay an SEO consultant thousands of dollars. For that reason alone, Stupid Simple is a bargain.
Stupid Simple SEO is one of the best courses I’ve taken on any subject, not just SEO. I was truly impressed with the level of thought and work that Mike put into creating this course. He deserves a great deal of credit for this fantastic course.
Tips for Success
Stupid Simple SEO is long course that consists of time-intensive exercises. You should be prepared to dedicate 3-4 consecutive weeks to get through the course material and complete the exercises. The course is self-paced so you can complete the course in a shorter amount of time if you’re a fast learner. However, I think that 3-4 weeks is a good pace to get through the video lessons and also complete the various exercises. Here are some tips I would give to be successful with the course.
Create a schedule or follow the Trello roadmap – set aside time each day to watch the lessons and complete the exercises. You can either create your own schedule or follow the Trello roadmap.
Complete Phase 2 in one week or less – You need to sign up for a 7-day free trial of Ahrefs to complete exercises in phase 2. I would get this done within those 7 days. Otherwise, you’ll have to sign up with another free trial. Ahrefs won’t allow you to sign up for a free trial twice with the same email.
Join the Facebook group – Mike hosts regular Facebook lives, where he shares SEO case studies, talks about new developments in blogging, and offers encouragement. This group provides great value to students.
Stupid Simple SEO is a thoughtful, well-curated, and in-depth course. It provides a thorough explanation of the fundamentals of SEO. If you’re a blogger who wants to improve your Google rankings, this is the only course you need. I wholeheartedly recommend Stupid Simple SEO for bloggers who want to drive more traffic from Google and increase their income.
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