Yoast’s mission is SEO for everyone, and one way we work towards that is by providing knowledge on all aspects of SEO to everyone. Our blog has a wealth of knowledge, but it can be quite overwhelming: where to start? To help people easily learn all about a particular aspect of SEO, we also offer several SEO courses. These provide a full package of videos, selected reading materials and questions at the end of each lesson. Today, we’ve taken the first step in our ambitious plans for the future of the Yoast Academy.

New to SEO? Learn the Basics of SEO in our Basic SEO course »

Basic SEO training Info

The first step we take is migrating to another learning management system (LMS), but also improving many aspects of the learning environment. We’re thrilled with how this turned out and would love to share a sneak peek with you! So, in this post, Academy lead Jesse and developer Diede, two of the brains behind all this, discuss the changes and improvements to the front- and backend of the Academy. But first, let’s go back to where it all started!

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Origins of the Yoast Academy

The Yoast Academy was founded by Marieke some two years ago, to give people who wanted to up their SEO skills an alternative to reading through loads of posts and eBooks. Each course provides students with everything they need to master a specific aspect of SEO, for example, SEO copywriting, technical SEO or site structure. The tailor-made courses soon proved to be a success. The number of courses steadily grew, to a total of six today.

In the early days, it was mostly Marieke who spent much of her time on the academy; now we have two more people dedicating their time to improving and creating SEO courses.

The response of our students to our courses has been overwhelmingly positive:

“Getting through the #yoastacademy and LOVING it. Need sleep now. My brain is full for today. @yoast no more exercises today!” -Fiona Smallwood

“[…] as an entrepreneur it is also important for me to stay on top of the latest SEO developments for my presence. This is where Yoast Academy comes into play. They provide great knowledge transfer at fair prices. I’m really happy with what these guys have created with the Yoast Academy.” – Matthias Wilhelm

All these happy reactions have inspired us to invest more and more time in our courses, to make becoming an SEO expert on all aspects an attainable goal for everyone.

What’s changed with this update?

Of course, we’ve been pleased with our courses from the start, but this update has further improved them in some key areas. The most significant change is found in the learning environment. Jesse explains: “We simplified the course structure, so the lesson page is simpler than it was. We took out as much as we could, so the user has time to focus on the content itself.”

Besides removing distractions, the team added course navigation to the lesson pages. Jesse: “Users can now navigate through the course more easily, and will also have an idea of where they are in the course. So, this is a much more intuitive way to see what role the lesson plays in the course as a whole.”

new yoast academy flow

Another change is that courses in the Yoast Academy are now accessible through MyYoast. This means that you can access your courses directly, no separate login is required. We have also added an interesting new feature in MyYoast. You can now manage your courses in MyYoast. This is especially interesting if you are buying a course as a company. If you buy ten courses, for example, you can assign ten employees to each course. Because of that, buying courses and managing courses for a large number of employees has become much easier.

Also, this migration has made Yoast Academy part of the yoast.com multisite environment. Diede explains what that means for the developers at Yoast: “I’m delighted that Yoast Academy will now be part of the yoast.com multisite. It won’t be a big change for users, but for us, as developers, it’ll be so much easier to work on the Academy. And besides that, it’s just very cool that we can now start using the Academy pages in MyYoast!”

New and improved questions

One final, crucial change that Academy students will notice when finishing a lesson: new and improved questions in four courses. The questions at the end of a lesson are now more interactive in our Basic SEO, Copywriting, Technical SEO and Structured data courses. Jesse explains why this is so important: “Learndash is an LMS that offers several different question types. This allows us, in turn, to have users practice what they should do, and they can test whether they can apply their knowledge, rather than just being told what they should do. So now students can actually practice SEO themselves in the course environment. If you just hear what the theory is, learning retention is much worse, so you simply don’t remember as much as when you practice yourself.” So changing the questions has been an essential step towards an even more meaningful learning experience.

One of these new question types is the ‘gap-fill exercise.’ In the screenshot below, you can see that this type of question not only requires the student to remember what they’ve learned but also to understand how to apply it.

Another new type of question, the sorting question, allows students to check whether they fully understand the steps required to do something. They can easily drag and drop each block in the right order.

Of course, switching to another LMS always takes some work. Diede reveals: “The biggest challenge in all this was to get to know this new plugin, inside and out, in such a short time.” However, having these new possibilities for our courses has been worth the effort.

Learn how to write awesome and SEO friendly articles in our SEO Copywriting training »

SEO copywriting training Info

Future plans

We’re nowhere near done yet, in fact, we have some ambitious plans for the Academy. Jesse explains: “This migration was quite a big step, I think when you look at it in a vacuum. But we want to do so much more, so in that regard, this was just a preparation that will enable us to achieve much more in the future. We’re going to do more research among our users, to make sure that we know what they want in an academy and what they want to have improved. We’re going to combine that with our ideas of efficient learning to make sure that we make the best academy possible for our users. So in 2018, we’re going to take another big step!”

Check out Yoast Academy

In short, it’s been a great process so far, and you can expect to see a lot more about the Yoast Academy in 2018. We have big plans, and we look forward to carrying them out together. In the meantime, why don’t you check out our courses and explore the new and improved Yoast Academy?

Read more: ‘Yoast Academy: Teach yourself SEO’ »

The post Welcome to the new Yoast Academy appeared first on Yoast.

It’s a common misconception that the internet is the ultimate learning environment. Yes, you can find everything you need, for free, but the information you end up with is not always trustworthy. It’s scattered, often outdated and sometimes contradictory. So if you want to learn all about a particular subject, you might be better off signing up for an online course. Yoast offers all kinds of SEO courses in its Academy, with great success. Marieke, who is responsible for most of the courses, explains how Yoast Academy came about.

New to SEO? Learn the Basics of SEO in our Basic SEO course »

Basic SEO training Info

All SEO courses in the Yoast Academy are on sale. Get your favorite course and save 11%! »

“We first had the idea for the Academy when Yoast reached its fifth birthday. We had already successfully published an ebook called ‘Optimizing your WordPress site’  – now called SEO for WordPress – and a second one was in the works. But we wanted to combine our knowledge in a new way, something more engaging and hands-on because not everyone wants to read a book or a hundred blog posts to get to the bottom of a subject. That’s when our courses were born,” Marieke explains.


Yoast Academy is the go-to place if you want to teach yourself SEO. So far, we’ve written eBooks on SEO for WordPress, UX & conversion, content SEO, and shop SEO. On top of that, you can find a selection of in-depth courses on site structure, SEO copywriting, Yoast SEO for WordPress, basic SEO and technical SEO. The latest course added to the academy is Structured data and there are several currently in development, and this is only the beginning.

According to Marieke, the Academy is an excellent addition to Yoast’s line of products: “Yoast Academy fits perfectly within our company mission. At Yoast, we want to make it possible for everyone to build a findable website and by sharing our knowledge we can help people to do that. It’s also one of the reasons we make our content available in different formats. Besides, we are great proponents of open source and give away a good deal of what we know for free. A lot of what we teach is freely available on our site, but also expanded and republished in the form of a course or an eBook.”

Efficient, complete and of great quality

One of the first things people will say when given the option to pay for an eBook or course on SEO or whatever other subject, is that you can find everything you want online, for free. Marieke: “Sure, that’s true. If you have enough time and perseverance, you can indeed find everything you want. But we’ve found that a course package is much more efficient, to the point and complete. If you just read posts on yoast.com, the information is fairly focused. But if you surf the web looking for answers, you’ll quickly get outdated and sometimes contradictory advice. Our courses are exhaustive, up to date and well-thought-out. They offer a great mix of practice and theory. Also, the quizzes let you test your new-found knowledge and make sure it sticks.”

The SEO courses in the Yoast Academy have been well-received. Matt LeClear, one of the first participants in the Structured data training, found that Google rewarded his site with rich snippets within a day after applying the knowledge he gathered from the training:

“As a result of what I learned from the Structured data training, my agency is now running Schema audits on our clients’ sites. We’re finding big time opportunities to increase their traffic levels. Those are opportunities I would have missed without Yoast Structured Data Training. If you run an agency yourself, I recommend you take the course. Period.”

Developing material

A course that takes several hours to complete is a different animal compared to a blog post or even an eBook. A good course is well-structured, in-depth and engaging. It has to be an enjoyable experience, and it shouldn’t be too hard or too easy. This is quite a challenge, acknowledges Marieke: “It’s not hard to come up with subjects and material, but it’s the structure and activities that make it a challenging product to build.”

Marieke draws upon past experience to make sure the courses are top-notch: “In the past, I developed a lot of educational material while working at a university. I created several courses and studied different theories on how to produce quality educational material. At Yoast, Joost and I create every course. It’s a complicated and tough process. Jesse, our Academy lead, helps us find the perfect subjects, structure, tone and supporting materials. That way, we know for certain that the course achieves what we set out to do.”

“That’s not to say we think our courses are perfect. They aren’t and probably never will be. But, we are working on them and using customer feedback to improve them. Jesse has lots of experience developing new courses. Plus, he’s an excellent English teacher. Jesse will dive deeper into the theory behind our courses. He’ll make sure that the foundations of our courses are solid and will improve where necessary,” Marieke says.

Keeping things on track

In general, if there is one thing almost all online courses have to cope with, it’s the high drop-off rate. It’s something Marieke noticed as well: “Yeah, it’s hard to keep students on track in online courses. It’s always disappointing to see that a certain percentage of customers never finish the course.”

The missing link could well be the human touch, says Marieke: “I think it would help if we could give our courses a more personal feeling. Take our SEO copywriting course for example. During the course, our students need to send in two assignments. These assignments are hand-checked by our SEO experts, and students get a tailored reply with valuable feedback. This works great; students love to hear from us. Although expensive to produce, this is something we might expand in the future. Another thing I’m contemplating is an SEO copywriting course with a personal coach for one-on-one support. Another helpful tool to enhance the personal aspect of our Academy would be a place for Yoast Academy students to get together, like a private Facebook group so that people can help each other.”

Want rich snippets for your site? Try our Structured data training »

Structured data training Info

Much more to come

Yoast Academy is growing fast; it is the fastest-growing product group in Yoast’s portfolio. Marieke and her team are making progress with new courses and improving and updating current courses. But, it doesn’t stop there, says Marieke: “The current courses touch on a wide range of SEO-related subjects. In the future, we will expand our offerings, but we’re also thinking about a different model. If possible, I’d want to work with a more modular approach. There has to be a way to tailor a course to the specific requirements of a student. Not everyone starts at the same level and with the same knowledge and I’d like a system that adapts where you can pick and choose from suggested subjects.”

Keep an eye on Yoast Academy! Our most recent course on structured data was a big success and we’re actively working on the next one: multi-lingual SEO. Why don’t you try one and see what all the fuss is about!

Read more: ‘Learning didactics Yoast Academy’ »

The post Yoast Academy: Teach yourself SEO appeared first on Yoast.

Do you want to make sure your site outranks your competition? Then you should learn the ins and outs of SEO and become an SEO expert yourself. Setting up a successful SEO strategy can be quite hard. Investing in your skills will definitely pay off though. After all, you yourself are the very best expert on your brand, your site, and your niche. So, how do you become an SEO expert?

All SEO courses in the Yoast Academy are on sale. Get your favorite course now and save 11%! »

Dive into SEO

Learn how to optimize on all aspects in our All-in-one training bundle!

All-in-one training bundle Info
Start reading. A lot. All the information you need is out there. We recommend reading our Yoast.com blog of course ;-). But also check out Moz and Search Engine Land. These are must reads if you want to become an SEO expert. Also, make sure to follow these SEO specialists on Twitter. There are many interesting SEO discussions on Twitter. Try to follow both companies, as well as individual SEOs to gain different perspectives. And join some Facebook groups on SEO. That’ll give you lots of information too.

If you want to know more about what Google is up to, you should read SEO by the Sea. Bill Slawski checks out all the software patents of Google. This is a great tactic to learn more about the mysteries of the Google algorithm. Search Engine Roundtable is another great source if you want to know the ins and outs of what Google is up to. Search Engine Roundtable writes about every single test Google does. You won’t miss a thing!

Too daunting? Check out a training

Learning SEO by reading all these (awesome) SEO blogs can be rather difficult and time-consuming. The information is mostly written for people who already know quite a lot about SEO. At Yoast, we also offer SEO basics, posts written specifically for people who just started out in SEO. Moz and Search Engine Land also have guides for people who just started out.

For those of you who want to learn SEO with a bit more help, Yoast developed several online SEO courses. We have courses that teach you:

We’ll teach you how to tackle different aspects of SEO, step by step with lots of training videos, reading material and many challenging questions.

Two types of SEO experts

There are basically two types of SEO experts. The developers who learned marketing and the marketers that learned code. SEO has both technical aspects and marketing aspects. The technical aspects have to do with the indexing and crawlability of your website. The marketing aspects include content, site structure, and linking structure.

In order to be an all-around SEO expert, you’ll need to know both sides of SEO. And these two sides are rather different. Marketing doesn’t come naturally to most developers. That’s a whole new ball game. And, for some marketers, the technical stuff can be terrifying. But don’t despair: our technical SEO course and our structured data training are great tools to get your technical skills up to scratch.

In short

Becoming an expert at something is never easy. But if you put in the time and effort, you’ll be well on your way to SEO expertise. As we have seen, there are many ways to master SEO, and in the end, it’ll pay off. So, think about the best way for you to learn SEO, and go for it!

Read more: ‘Yoast Must Reads’ »

The post How to become an SEO expert appeared first on Yoast.

Do you want to increase chances people click on your page in the search results? Want to learn how to get those awesome rich snippets? Next week, we’ll launch our Structured data training. In this new training, you’ll learn how structured data can influence the appearance of your pages in the search results. After completing this course, you’ll be able to add structured data yourself, so Google can show a rich snippet.

Why take our structured data training?

A normal snippet of a recipe looks like this:

You see a title, a URL and a description of a page. If you add structured data to your page, Google (or another search engine) can transform your snippet into this:

So the structured data you add can show up in the snippet. For recipes you can add ratings and reviews, cooking time, calories and an awesome picture. Not only for recipes, but also for books, movies, articles, products etc. structured data exists.

Rich snippets let your page stand out from the other search results in Google. And if your page stands out in the search results, chances are much higher people will click on it.

Is adding structured data hard?

Adding structured data is not very hard, but you do need to know what you’re doing. After some training, everyone should be able to add structured data and get rewarded with those desired rich snippets!

We’ve created a very practical online training in which we take you through all the steps of adding structured data to a site. We’ll first explain the theory and then we’ll show you screencasts that will guide you through the steps you need to take. We’ll discuss multiple strategies you can use to add structured data to a website. Some strategies are more advanced (and more daunting) than others. At the end of the course, you’ll be able to add structured data in multiple ways. Just choose which strategy fits you best and start working on those awesome rich snippets yourself!

Want to buy our course?

The structured data training will be available as of June 29. You can purchase the course for the introductory price of $119 until July 2. You’ll get access to over 75 minutes of training videos, lots and lots of reading material and challenging quiz questions. If you finish our course, you’ll receive a certificate and a badge to put on your site. If you buy one of our courses, you’ll also get access to the Yoast Updates. These updates keep you in the loop about new trends in SEO and WordPress every 3 months.

Want to know more?

Check out the Structured data training and make sure you won’t miss the launch by subscribing to our newsletter!

Not the right training for you? We offer lots of other SEO courses. See which one fits your needs best!

Keyword research is the very first – and most important- step in any content SEO strategy. It’s also the one thing we can’t automate or execute for you. On top of that, it’s super hard. What we can do, is give tips and feedback on how to execute proper keyword research. That’s why we launch the Yoast Keyword research training today.

The Yoast Keyword research training is part of the SEO copywriting training as well. We decided to sell it as a separate course to serve those of you that know how to write properly, but could use some help with their keyword research. 

Learn how to set up a keyword strategy for your site in our Keyword research training »

Keyword research training$ 99 - Buy now » Info

Yoast Keyword research training

The Yoast Keyword research training is a small course. It contains 3 modules (Introduction to keyword research; Executing keyword research; Beyond keyword research) and costs $99. You’ll receive 4 training videos, lots of accompanying texts, and challenging questions to make sure you understand everything.

In one of our training videos, Joost de Valk explains step by step how to execute your keyword research and how to prioritize the keywords you would like to tackle first. After this video, we’ll ask you to do an assignment. You’ll receive feedback of one of our Yoast team members.

After finishing the Yoast Keyword research training you’ll be totally able to execute your own keyword research.

Certificate and badge

If you finish the Keyword research training successfully, you’ll receive a certificate and a badge to put on your site.

Read more: ‘Keyword research training’ »

As of today, you’ll be able to buy our SEO copywriting training! Everyone who wants to learn how to write quality and SEO-friendly content should definitely look into our online training. Through video tutorials, instructional videos and lots of challenging questions we’ll teach you everything you need to know about SEO copywriting. If you start our training now, you’ll receive a $50 discount and pay only $249.

What will you learn?

Our SEO copywriting training will take you through all the steps of the copywriting process. We’ll start by executing keyword research. After that, we’ll teach you how to prepare a blog post and give lots of tips on how to make your text nice and easy to read. Finally, we’ll help you to optimize your text for the search engines.

The SEO copywriting training contains 6 modules with lots of training videos, texts, quizzes, and assignments. You’ll have to do your own keyword research and write a genuine blog post. On both of these assignments you’ll receive feedback from a member of the Yoast team.

Read more: ‘Our SEO copywriting training’ »

Writing quality content is of great importance for your SEO strategy. At Yoast, we’re strong believers in the importance of nicely written and easy-to-read articles. Such content, however, requires strong writing skills. In order to help you write quality content, we’ve set up a SEO copywriting training.

As of June 7, you’ll be able to purchase our SEO copywriting training. It will available at an introductory price of $249 (later on, it will cost $299). The SEO copywriting training contains six modules with lots of training videos and some screencasts. On top of that, you’ll get tons of challenging questions and exercises in which we’ll test your (knowledge about) writing skills.

Assignments and feedback

As this is a course in which we’ll teach you how to write, you’ll have to do some genuine writing yourself. You’ll receive feedback on your writing assignment from one of the members of the Yoast team. The course also contains an assignment in which we ask you to set up your own keyword research. Again, you’ll receive feedback on your work from one of the members of the Yoast team.

What do you learn in the SEO copywriting training?

In this course, we’ll take you through the entire process of SEO copywriting. We’ll start by doing keyword research and teach you how to prepare your text. You’ll receive many tips to improve your actual writing and we’ll help you to correct and optimize your text. Finally, we’ll teach you all about publishing the article. Our course will follow the same steps that we take in SEO copywriting: the ultimate guide.

About the SEO copywriting training

The SEO copywriting training contains 6 modules, 13 training video’s and 13 texts. You’ll have to answer lots of challenging questions and do three assignments. You’ll also receive a PDF of our Blog SEO eBook. If you finish the course, you’ll get a certificate and a badge to put on your site.

The course is developed by a team of experts. Joost de Valk, SEO expert, and Marieke van de Rakt, expert on copywriting, teamed up with Jaro Ekstijn, our educational specialist here at Yoast. Jaro is responsible for the many questions, exercises, assignments and the didactics of this course. For this specific writing course, we also had help from our linguist, Irene Strikkers. Irene’s expertise in the field of linguistics really contributed in developing this course. Her expertise was especially important for the module about readability.

Read more: ‘SEO copywriting: the ultimate guide’ »

As of today it’s possible to become a certified Yoast SEO for WordPress expert! The Yoast SEO for WordPress training is available! In this course, you’ll learn all the ins and outs of our Yoast SEO plugin. Through video tutorials, instructional videos and lots of challenging questions we’ll teach you everything you need to know about the Yoast SEO for WordPress plugin. If you buy our Yoast SEO for WordPress training now, it only costs $99 for the first year! After April 6 the price will be $129.

Read more about our Yoast SEO for WordPress training or watch the video in which Joost and Jaro explain all about this great course:

Basic SEO Training

If you want to know more about SEO in general, you should definitely check out our other SEO training. Basic SEO teaches you everything you need to know to optimize your website. And with the launch of our Yoast SEO for WordPress training, we decided to lower the price of our Basic SEO training. For only $199 you will learn all the basics of SEO!

Do you encounter any difficulties configuring your Yoast SEO plugin? Want to know more about all features and settings of the Yoast SEO plugin? We have great news for you! Joost has made a series of Yoast SEO plugin tutorials for every tab on every page of the Yoast SEO configuration pages. A playlist of a total of 33 screencasts is available for free for all of our users!

In these video tutorials, Joost de Valk will explain all the settings of the Yoast SEO plugin in detail. He’ll talk you through all the possibilities the plugin has and explain why you should configure your plugin in a certain way. With every update of Yoast SEO, new screencasts will be released. Check out our extensive playlist! And, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you won’t miss any updates!

Yoast SEO plugin training for WordPress

Yoast SEO for WordPress training

For those of you who want to dive in all the possibilities our plugin has, we have developed a Yoast SEO plugin training. This training will be released on Wednesday the 30th of March. This training consists of these same 33 Yoast SEO plugin tutorials and of 8 in-depth instruction videos in which Joost de Valk gives extra information about all the settings. On top of that, the course comes with a lot of challenging questions, to test whether or not you truly understand the Yoast SEO plugin.

Once you have completed the Yoast SEO plugin training, you’ll receive a badge and a certificate to put on your site. The badge and certificate are a Yoast seal of approval. If you have completed our course, you’re qualified and able to set up and properly configure our plugin.

Want to become a Yoast SEO plugin expert? The plugin training will be available next week! The Yoast SEO for WordPress training will cost $129 for the first year and $69 in the following years. The first week you can even get it for $99! The videos and the questions will be updated after every major release of Yoast SEO, making sure you’ll remain a real Yoast SEO plugin Expert!

Read more: ‘Next week: Yoast SEO for WordPress training’ »



Next week, on March 30, we’ll release our Yoast SEO for WordPress training. After our Basic SEO training, this will be the second course we offer at Yoast Academy!

Yoast SEO for WordPress training

Videos for all features of Yoast SEO

The Yoast SEO for WordPress training consists of many training videos and even more screencasts. Joost de Valk will teach you step by step what our Yoast SEO plugin is able to do for you. All the settings and features will be explained and discussed in the course. Also, you’ll be challenged to answer many difficult questions about our plugin. These questions will force you to really dive into the material. We’ve created this course for people using and configuring the plugin regularly. Developers or people who maintain websites can really benefit from this training. After completing the course, you’ll definitely be a Yoast SEO for WordPress expert!

Yoast SEO for WordPress training badge

badge yoast seo trainingAfter completing the course, you’ll receive a certificate with your name, gravatar and date of completion. You’ll also receive a badge, like the one on the right, that you can place on your site. This badge links to your certificate on our site, so people can verify that you’re a real Yoast SEO for WordPress expert.

Course will be updated regularly

As our plugin changes regularly, in order to keep up with the latest changes in SEO, the Yoast SEO for WordPress training will change accordingly. In order to keep your knowledge about our Yoast SEO plugin entirely up to date, we’ll renew all of the modules in the training that will need updating. That way, you’ll stay on top of everything new in Yoast SEO. In order to keep your certificate valid, you’ll need to retake the quizes of the updated modules within a month. That way, your certificate will really prove (and it will keep on proving) that you’re a Yoast SEO for WordPress expert!

Video tutorials will become available for free!

The screencasts we made for all the features of Yoast SEO will become available for free on our YouTube channel. We’re releasing them this Thursday, March 24th. The Yoast SEO for WordPress training will cost $129 for the first year and $69 in the following years. The first week after the launch you can get it at an introductory price of $99!
We understand that not everyone has the budget to take our plugin training. Perhaps you’re only interested in a few settings. That’s why the screencasts will be available for free.

Check out the very first screencast of this large series: