The SEO Sprint Newsletter Update
A quick update on the course and the newsletter
A newsletter that provides practical advice for SEOs on how to work with product and development teams.
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It's been two months since my last newsletter and I wanted to provide a quick update.
I’ve been hard at work these last 2 months creating a course that can help provide practical advice on how to work with product and development teams.
I can confirm I am almost done with the course.
Before, I explain more about the course I want to provide some background and logic about how I got to Feb-23.
A Quick Backstory…
When I did a beta cohort for a course idea I had in the summer last year (July-22), I didn’t know what to expect.
After analysing the feedback beta course I realised I had to scrap my original “Agile Fundamentals for SEOs” course. The 4 weeks were a mix of Agile fundamentals and product skills to test what resonated with people. The feedback was clear: SEOs wanted to learn more practical “product” skills and…
…gain more confidence and understanding of how to work more effectively with product and engineering teams.
“I have a much better understanding of how dev and product teams work. It will help me speak the lingo"
"It provided a crucial insight into how these other teams work; their motivations and their processes"
The course also highlighted that SEOs appreciated:
Practical frameworks and tools
Insights from “the other side of the aisle”
Although I appreciated the positive feedback, I also wasn’t happy. The beta course made me realise that the course I had in mind wasn’t going to cut it when released. It wasn’t going to help SEOs work more with product and engineering teams BUT the “product skills” side of the course seemed to be providing value.
This feedback helped me come up with a guiding policy and problem statement for The SEO Sprint:
In Sep-22 I started to write on a weekly basis, providing more practical examples. This is what many would call a “minimum viable product” (MVP) to learn if people found value in the “practical” advice working with development teams.
In each newsletter, I always asked for feedback and for readers to rate the newsletters in a quick Google survey. As you can see the results show about 88% of people who took the survey rated the newsletters 9-10 who took the survey would recommend it to someone else.
This is not including the messages/Tweets/DMs, I get from other SEOs who are finding the practical tips I provide useful in their day-to-day work:
“Your articles helped me put together some tickets and the client loved them. Thanks for helping me be better at my job!”
“Absolutely love your newsletter. Adopting your mindset and advice has helped me get a major project prioritised.”
“I have never read about the topic of shipment to production before and has given me food for thought about how to prioritise my time.”
“A different approach to SEO. Thanks to your newsletter now I see SEO as part of a bigger process. Also it helped me to deal with devs in a productive way. Thank you!”
“As an SEO working with product teams, you have taught me new ways to think and inspired me to do better!”
So, on Dec-22 I took all this feedback, and data and started to build out a course that would do what I intended: to help SEO professionals work more effectively with product and engineering teams.
Over the last few months, I have:
Created course content
Designed course structure, and
Decided on a name for the course.
Course: Think Like an SEO Product Manager
The name of the course is going to be “Think Like an SEO Product Manager”.
The goal of the course is straightforward:
“Help SEOs learn the skills, frameworks and processes taught to product managers to effectively work with engineering and product teams to get projects executed.”
These are the same skills, frameworks and processes that I learned as a Product Manager at DeepCrawl, and are the same skills I now use as an Independent SEO PM Consultant to get SEO initiatives executed.
The course is designed to add to your toolbox.
I know from speaking to other SEOs, not all the lessons will be useful to every organisation or SEO professional in this course. However, I want to give SEOs the ability to try things out and then decide if they want to add it to their toolbox, improve on it or if it doesn’t work throw it away.
The course itself is going to be self-paced with learning materials to learn the key principles, watch them being implemented and then practice them yourself.
I called this the Principle-Examples-Practical framework.
This means as well as talking you through the fundamentals, I will also be showing you how to practically implement them.
The Course Structure
The course is structured around the SEO Product Development process.
This process is a mental model of the steps that most product and engineering teams will go through to get opportunities/bets implemented.
The course itself will be broken down into two parts:
Part 1: Discovery, Strategy and Roadmaps
Part 2: Scoping, Planning and Delivery
These two parts are spread across six weeks of intensive learning.
Each week focuses on a learning outcome that builds on top of each other throughout the SEO Development process:
Week 1: SEO PM Mindset - Learn to think like a Product Manager, shift your mindset and identify the top skills that separate Product Managers from SEO Professionals.
Week 2: SEO Discovery - Learn to use continuous discovery loops to understand a business, define a target audience and craft problem statements that put SEO opportunities in a business context.
Week 3: SEO Strategy - Learn to construct a coherent and realistic SEO strategy, roadmap and goals that connect your SEO opportunities to the wider business goals.
Week 4: SEO & Dev Partnerships - Learn how engineering teams operate and how to form lasting business partnerships with the right people to get things done.
Week 5: SEO Planning - Learn to scope, plan and own SEO initiatives in the roadmap and help guide development teams so tasks are executed to specification.
Week 6: SEO Delivery - Learn how to write tickets and manage an SEO backlog to make sure initiatives are executed while working with engineering teams.
Who is the course for?
The course is designed for SEO professionals who work a lot with product and engineering teams.
This means the course is better suited for in-house SEO teams who have a lot of contact with engineering, product and design teams.
Although, I’ve also had feedback from agencies/independent consultants saying the skills in the course have helped them get things done as well.
I’ll provide more details to help you decide if the course is right for you.
When is the course being released?
I’m so close to finalising the course content!
It is taking a little bit longer than I anticipated BUT it is because I’ve been unhappy jumping in and out of docs/slides and Miro to show SEOs practical examples in the last few weeks.
However, I finally got a “flow” that really helps combine principles, examples and practice into one lesson in a tool I’ve been using for years.
To finish the course content here is what I need to do:
Finalise the course content for the last 2 weeks
Record the sessions (I need to pick a wacky shirt?!)
Build the course landing page.
In Feb-23 (next few weeks) I hope to have a more concrete timeline for when the course is launched and when everyone can start to use the course.
What is the course going to cost?
I still need to finalise the cost of the training course but I do know there are going to be two tiers:
Tier 1 - Fundamentals: A self-paced course with videos, learning materials, templates and assignments.
Tier 2 - Professional: Everything is in the fundamental tier but you can get feedback on assignments and you can jump into scheduled office hours to get access to me.
When are you starting to write more newsletters?
The good news is that the course has given me TONS of ideas of practical advice I can provide in written newsletters.
The bad news is that I’ll get back to writing more newsletters after the course is launched.
I’m thinking about the future of the newsletter and what direction I want to take it. So, if you have any ideas then let me know!
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