Stupid Simple SEO: How I Boosted My Organic Traffic by 260%
Until the past six months, I’ve felt that SEO (search engine optimization) was a mystical and elusive creature, much like the perfect donut. We all love donuts but, but finding the perfect one is difficult if you don’t know where to look.
SEO can be the same – if you don’t know where to look for accurate and actionable information, your Google rankings are going to stink. A lot.
SEO is essential for a new blogger like me who is trying to make some extra cash with a side hustle. Gone are the days where you just posted about whatever you felt like and built an enormous following while talking about your Aunt Tillie’s favorite fudge recipe.
Now, you have to write content that you know users want to read, prove to Google that you’re an authority on the subject, and write intriguing content that Grammarly doesn’t think is absolute garbage. Oh, and make sure you get all your affiliate links in there, right?
Finding the best SEO course for bloggers can be tough. Everyone claims they’ve got the best of the bunch, but how do you know?
I’ve tried a couple of different SEO courses for beginner bloggers and didn’t hit the jackpot until my third try with Mike Pearson’s Stupid Simple SEO course. Simple name, great results. My organic traffic is up 260% from this time last year!
This traffic boost in page views is NOT from Pinterest (or other social media platforms), it’s organic traffic. As they say, the proof is in the pudding (or the donut?):
Impressive, eh? I know! How about another one, for fun?
And the beautiful thing is – the Stupid Simple SEO teachable course was easier to comprehend than anything else I’ve read and even easier to implement.
About Mike Pearson and Stupid Simple SEO
Mike Pearson has been a blogger for 5+ years and founded Stupid Simple SEO in 2018. His sites have earned an impressive $200,000+ with the Amazon Affiliate Program. He’s created various niche sites that he built up with SEO and sold for a profit as well.
Mike’s experience with different niches and sites have helped him to learn all the strategies and tactics to gain successful organic traffic through search engines like Google. While he stills runs various niche sites, including CreditTakeOff.com, he’s created this course to teach thousands of other bloggers how to do keyword research, create content that ranks, play the long-term game, and optimize that content to rank on the first page of Google.
Stupid Simple SEO works because it’s targeted SEO for bloggers, helping us learn how to research and create the content we need to rank and build blog traffic.
How Stupid Simple SEO Worked for Me
I work in the digital marketing field and have for about 15 years. However, it’s embarrassing to say that while I’m not an SEO expert at my day job, I had some outdated misconceptions about how to rank with Google.
And that showed in my results. My search traffic only picked up in November – January, when people start to think about budgeting for Christmas, and then New Year’s financial resolutions. While that was nice, I wanted that throughout the year – and any work that I’d put into it so far was not producing any measurable results, to say the least.
I knew I needed to update my SEO game, so I signed up for the Stupid Simple SEO’s masterclass webinar. (This is version 2.0 of the course, and there was an advanced section for an additional cost at the time I purchased it. Now, everything is included for one price.)
I wanted to see if the course was something I could fit into my schedule, and more importantly, was something worthwhile with actionable steps to follow.
Needless to say, Mind. Blown.
The free masterclass webinar was full of information and already gave me actionable changes that I could make to start shaping up my site for better Google search results. I couldn’t imagine what the full course could entail, but I couldn’t wait to get started!
Google’s EAT Algorithm
The most exciting piece that helped me connect the dots was Mike talking about Google’s EAT algorithm. EAT stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
Google has started focusing on promoting valid and reputable resources, which is good, right? To rank better, you need to prove that you are an expert/authority and that you’re giving trustworthy information.
These are the building blocks you need to begin to rank higher and stay there. Stupid Simple SEO helps you to create and build up that foundation. Google will only continue to give points for being reputable, so if you haven’t started beefing up your DA (domain authority) and building backlinks, now’s the time to get started with a little bit of hard work and elbow grease.
Mike explains how to build your authority by boosting your DA through backlinks and other reputable practices. With his template, I’ve had quotes I’ve submitted featured on some of the biggest financial sites, including Forbes, Mint, BankRate, ChooseFI, and more!
What does Stupid Simple SEO include?
includes a ton of video content on the Teachable platform, excel templates to download, a Trello course roadmap, a private Facebook group, and an analytics dashboard (which is new and so, so amazing!).
Once you login to the course, you’ll see there are four main phases in the teachable course with subsections, as well as bonus content:
- Welcome & Getting Started
- How to Go Through this Course
- The ABC’s of SEO
- An Hour Per Day of SEO
- How Long Does it Take to Rank?
- Your 7-Day Ahrefs Trials
- How to Track Your SEO Progress
- Trello Course Roadmap
- Private Facebook Group
- The 4-Step SEO Framework
- Blog Analytics Dashboard – NEW in June 2020!
- The Blog Analytics Dashboard
- How to Set Up the Blog Analytics Dashboard
- How to Use the Blog Analytics Dashboard
- Phase 1: Build
- How to Make Your Blog Secure
- How to Make Your Blog Mobile-Friendly
- An Introduction to Site Speed
- Tips for Improving Your Site Speed
- An Introduction to Relevance
- How to Rank Even If Your Site Is Very Broad
- How to Make Your Navigation Google Friendly
- Re-Imagining Your Category Pages
- How to Set Up Custom Category (Silo) Pages in WordPress
- How to Create an Optimal Homepage Design
- Phase 2: Design
- Your Ahrefs 7-Day Trials (Lessons to Complete)
- An Intro To Keyword Research: What Makes a Good Keyword?
- Why Competitor Research Beats Traditional Keyword Research
- Brainstorming Your Initial Competitors
- How to Find Your Competitors with Ahrefs
- Filtering Out High-DR Sites
- Finalizing Your List of Competitors
- How to Find Your Competitors’ Top Pages & Keywords
- How to Merge Your Keyword Spreadsheets
- How to Organize & Sort Your Spreadsheets
- How to Analyze Keyword Data & Develop a Content Strategy
- How to Determine Keyword Competitiveness
- How to Use Ahrefs Content Explorer For More Content Ideas
- How to Do Keyword Research for Existing Content
- Google Search Console: How to Boost Rankings for Page 1 Keywords
- How to Find New Keyword Ideas Using GSC
- How to Identify Pages Losing Traffic
- How to Identify Internal Linking Opportunities
- Phase 3: Create
- Satisfying User Intent
- Understanding User Satisfaction
- Pop-Ups, Aggressive Ads, And Bad User Experience
- Your Goal: Creating EPIC Content
- How to Research and Outline Your Content
- How to Find Long Tail & Related Keywords
- How to Create Epic Content that Ranks
- How to Set Up Your On-Page SEO
- How to Use the Yoast SEO Plugin
- An Introduction to Content Audits
- How to Do an SEO Content Audit
- E-A-T: The Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines
- Content Quality & The QRGs
- E-A-T and YMYL Pages
- Why Your “About” Page Matters
- How to Optimize Your Blog for E-A-T
- Phase 4: Promote
- What are Links and Why Are They So Important?
- The 5 Characteristics of a Great Link
- Link Building Expectations
- Getting into the Outreach Mindset
- Links You Don’t Want Any Part Of
- Understanding Your Competitors’ Backlinks
- How to Spy on Your Competitors’ Backlinks
- How to Merge Your Spreadsheets
- How to Organize and Analyze Backlink Data For Link Opportunities
- An Introduction to Help a Reporter Out
- Getting Set up with HARO
- How to Respond to HARO Requests
- An Introduction to Guest Posting
- Getting Organized for Your First Guest Post Campaign
- How to Find Guest Posting Opportunities
- Sending Your Guest Post Pitches
- Handling Replies & Writing Your Guest Post
- An Introduction to the Guest Roundup Technique
- Using Google Sheets to Get Organized
- Expert Roundup Overview & Choosing Your Question(s)
- How to Find Bloggers to Participate in Your Roundup
- How to Execute the Expert Roundup & Land Your Guest Posts
- An Introduction To Blogger Outreach & Linkable Assets
- Three Types of Linkable Assets: Infographics, Guides, and Surveys
- How to Brainstorm Ideas for Your Linkable Asset
- How to Create Your Linkable Asset
- How to Outreach to Bloggers with Linkable Assets
- An Introduction to Resource Page Link Building
- How to Find & Filter Resource Page Prospects
- How to do Resource Page Outreach
- Bonus: Six-Figure Affiliate Marketing Formula
- How to Identify User Intent in the Sales Funnel
- How to Find Affiliate Keywords
- How to Create “Best [Product]” Type Content
- How to Create “Review” Type Content
- Bonus: Mastering Mediavine Ads
- Bonus: Scale with Sponsored Posts
- Bonus: SEMRush Mini-Class
- Finding More Competitors with SEMRush
- Swiping Your Competitors’ Top Pages & Keywords
- Spying on Your Competitors’ Backlinks
- Bonus: SEO Tools on a Budget
- An Introduction to Keysearch
- How to Find Your Competitors with Keysearch
- How to Find Your Competitors’ Top Pages
- How to Use the Competitor Gap Feature
- How to get Guest Post Links with Opportunity Finder
- How to Use Rank Tracker to Track Your Rankings
- Bonus: Credit Takeoff Niche Site Explosion
- Niche Selection
- Setting Up the Site
- Monetization & Traffic Strategies
- Mapping Out a Content Strategy
- Hiring Freelance Writers
- Managing Freelance Writers
How is the Stupid Simple SEO Course Different?
The previous courses I’ve taken just focused on finding keywords to use when writing content. And while that’s great – I ended up targeting keywords that I’d NEVER rank for because my DA wasn’t high enough.
Mike’s course not only explains how to find keywords but also helps you figure out how to find them by looking at your competitors. And no – those super huge and popular sites in your niche are NOT your competition. (Again, oops.)
Stupid Simple SEO helped me focus on ranking content within my reach and within my competition.
Another piece to the SEO puzzle is domain authority (DA). DA is key to ranking higher in Google, and no other courses I’ve taken even mentioned it, much less explained how to boost yours. I love that Mike’s course not only explained it but also talks about user intent and why it matters in ranking as well.
Here’s a breakdown of the biggest game changers I’ve found with Stupid Simple SEO:
Videos With Actionable Steps
Mike’s detailed hours of video includes screen shares and real-life examples of walkthroughs with his site, CreditTakeOff.com. He’s built several niche sites with these guidelines and recently had a day where he earned $700 with ads and sales from one site. Amazing!
After each video, you’ll find yourself with a to-do checklist of items that need to be done.
Easy to Understand Explanations
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to follow what Mike’s saying – or even a digital marketer. His explanations are to the point, and I love that his videos aren’t wordy and hard to focus on what’s being said. (We all know a couple of course creators, like that, right?)
Mike’s approach makes it easy to understand what users and Google are looking for, and the exact steps needed to provide that type of content and site.
A Dedicated Facebook Group to Get Support
As the course has grown, so has the Facebook group. Thankfully, Mike’s done a great job of hiring a dedicated Facebook group manager who’s a bang whiz at SEO as well. The SSSEO’s team growth means that whenever you ask a question, there’s no sitting and waiting days for an answer, or only getting responses from other students.
Either Mike or Mark will get the question answered and quickly. As busy as Mike is, he still makes time to do Facebook videos to answer questions and has set up office hours to answer questions and attend to the group.
There’s no feeling like you’ve been ghosted once you’ve handed over your money, and I love the support of Mike and his team, as well as the other students.
Analytics Dashboard – NEW!
Holy smokes! I just set this up, and it’s incredible! This analytics dashboard uses Google Data Studio to pull data from your Google Analytics and Google Search console to make an impressive one-stop-shop for data.
With this new dashboard, I can review:
- Google vs. Pinterest traffic stats
- Top blog posts on Google & Pinterest (separately)
- Top referring pins
- Top posts from Tailwind SmartLoop and Tribes (if you use those)
- Google search console queries, clicks, and position (both current and historical data)
- Create saved queries and see how they’re ranking
The part I love most is that as I create content, I can add the keywords I’m targeting to a google doc. Those keywords are pulled into the dashboard, and I see how my rankings have gone up (or down). Then, I can implement the tips from the module that covers how to adjust ranking on existing content in the course!
The analytics dashboard helps you to see the whole SEO forest, rather than just the single trees (posts). This comprehensive look helped me connect the dots on the work I’ve done with how it’s performing and how I can make tweaks as well.
Treats Your Site Holistically
Stupid Simple SEO has taught me that ranking on Google is more than picking the perfect keyword. It’s about ramping up your site’s power holistically, which means:
- Building your domain authority
- Ramping up site speed
- Creating silos/category pages
- Optimizing homepage and interior page layouts for users
- Making sure the site is mobile-friendly (super important!)
- Ensure your website is secure with SSL
- Making navigation Google friendly
All of these things come together to create a site with expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (EAT).
Provides Templates and Trello Course Map to Work From
Also provided are the Excel spreadsheets used in the videos, so you can follow along with Mike as he parses data in his videos. I loved that I could hit pause, replicate the same steps, and then start the video again.
If you’re a big fan of Trello, there’s also a Course Roadmap you can use to track your progress. While I am not that organized or have that much focus, it’s great that it’s available to those who can use it!
Regular Courses Updates that are Actually Useful
The Stupid Simple SEO course is updated relatively often. Previously, it was updated before registration opened, which was 3 – 4 times a year.
I had about 80% of the course done, and I took a break. When I came back to it (after writing a bunch of content with my new keywords!), I’m now only 30% done. Wow! The course just keeps growing, and I love that it’s constantly updating to reflect changes in the SEO environment.
Monthly Live Q&A Calls. Get feedback from Mike once a month during a live group Q&A on your blog and SEO work.
Scale with Sponsored Posts. Blogging guru Tracie Fobes of Penny Pinchin’ Mom gives you the best tips and tricks for landing four-figure sponsored post partnerships with top brands.
Niche Site Explosion. Mike takes you through the steps of scaling his niche site (Credit Takeoff) from $0 to $5,000 per month in only 13 months. He discusses niche selection, keyword research, and how to create content.
SEO Tools on a Budget. While Ahrefs is a great tool, it’s also $99 a month. Learn how to use the budget-friendly KeySearch ($12/month) to achieve the same results in six videos.
Scaling Content Creation. At some point (hopefully soon!), you’ll need to start outsourcing. Get the details on how Mike outsources all of his content to scale his income quickly.
Pros and Cons of Stupid Simple SEO
Now that we’ve talked about the basics of Stupid Simple SEO, let’s discuss the pros and cons.
|Pros of Stupid Simple SEO||Cons of Stupid Simple SEO|
|Actionable and easy to follow steps.||The price is on the higher side – but it’s worth every penny. I have been able to make back what I spent in ads and affiliate revenue with my boosted traffic.|
|Excellent, responsive private Facebook support group.||You have to be willing to do the work. It’s a thorough course, and while not complicated, you have to dedicate yourself to doing the research, following through, and creating the content.|
|Updated often to reflect the everchanging landscape of SEO & Google Search.||SEO takes time to kick in and work. The results are not always immediate, unlike Pinterest. It can take anywhere from one to six months to see the effects of your work. Patience is key!|
|No longer need to depend on Pinterest or social media for the majority of your traffic.|
|Kick butt analytics dashboard to see how your site is progressing.|
|Awesome bonus content!|
How much does Stupid Simple SEO cost?
Stupid Simple SEO is $497 (or a 4-month payment plan of $147/month). While it’s steep, it’s worth every penny to help you build more sustainable and substantial traffic than Pinterest traffic.To try the course out before purchasing it, you can sign up for a masterclass webinar that teaches:
- The top 3 mistakes EVERY blogger makes with their SEO (and why they cost you significant traffic).
- The SECRETS to writing content that ranks highly in Google.
- Mike’s 4 step framework for scaling your Google traffic so you can get into Mediavine & double your Amazon affiliate commissions (without the overwhelm and expensive tools).
In closing, I haven’t tried any other highly touted SEO courses like Adventures in SEO (or some of the others mentioned on reddit), so I can’t tell you how it stacks up against Stupid Simple SEO. I have tried some others recommended by friends (who are bloggers). But those had an approach just felt like you were guessing at which keywords to try. It just wasn’t solid enough for me – I need an action plan with literal steps to feel like something is working for me. So if that’s you, the you should definitely check out Mike’s course.
Now that you know about the best course for SEO, let’s work on finding that perfect donut!
Have more questions? Post ’em below and I’ll answer them!
A forty-ish web designer/developer by day, a budget & financial fanatic by night. I’m a mom, wife, avid reader, and DIY enthusiast who’s tracking our journey to debt freedom. Read More