In 2019 I purchased Robbie Richard’s SEO Playbook as I wanted to level up my organic rankings on this blog and several other websites.
Since 2011 I have been producing content with little to no results, until 2018 when I started to really ‘pounce’ in my production. I learned as much as I possibly could online through various paid courses and YouTube tutorials.
I found fellow Australian Robbie Richards through his popular review of Ahrefs. Perhaps you read it too?
I enjoy supporting other affiliate marketers who know how to rank whitehat style. I read 3% of the review as I simply wanted to use whoever was ranking #1 in the SERPS and at the time, Robbie was ahead of popular blogger marketing Matt Woodward from the UK.
With almost a decade of trying stuff online failing, I knew I didn’t want just another SEO course. I was tired of basic “this is how you rank stuff” type of content. I wanted something deep which required technical thinking and an analytical approach to content production.
Well, I certainly got more than I was asking…
The SEO Playbook Review
Included in Robbie Richards SEO Playbook are 3 courses which are very well connected. These are:
- Quick Wins Playbook (ideal for the newer content creators)
- Keyword Research Playbook (for those building out long content)
- Content Audit Playbook (suited for those with large content mills)
Robbie is a fellow Australian who doesn’t market like a guru. In fact, it’s very much a closed house where he only opens the doors every few months for new students.
I was very keen to purchase this course especially as Tim Soulo provided a recommendation. Any recommendation from Tim is near impossible to come by unless you know your craft extremely well.
When the course opened, I skipped the entire email and simply signed up without realizing there is a discount code on the course. I have a serious case of TL;DR but luckily Robbie did do a partial refund for my enrolment into the course.
Quick Wins Playbook
Module 1 – Introduction
As common with all courses, this is an introductory module and is also where you’ll find all the tools, templates and scripts.
Module 2 – Pull (and Map) Existing Keyword Data
Module 3 – Identify & Prioritize Your Keyword Shortlist
This is the start of deep water swimming. Instead of shot-gunning your way to success, Robbie chooses a sniper approach with keyword shortlisting.
Module 4 – Content Relaunch Strategies
Many students inside The SEO Playbook have large content sites or manage larger clients. Content that has been written years ago can be relaunched strategically through what you’ll learn in this module.
Module 5 – Measuring Campaign Success
There are just 2 training videos in this module for both tracking and measuring performance.
Keyword Research Playbook
Module 1 – Introduction
This training is self-explanatory with tools, templates and docs.
Module 2 – Identify (& Grade) Your Organic Competitors
Looking to dominate your competition? This is your module.
Module 3 – Build Your Seed Keyword List
This is a 3-part series for finding seed keywords through brainstorming, analyzing competitors, using Amazon and top pages reports.
Module 4 – Identify Your Existing Keyword Opportunities
This module is dedicated to looking for keyword opportunities for your niche.
Module 5 – Perform Competitor Keyword Research
My favourite module is here. I’m forever spying on my competitors in Ahrefs and got some insights on exactly how Robbie does this to find keywords and gaps in content.
Module 6 – Expand Your Keyword Set
This is where I started to get lost in the content. However, over time I intend to revisit this module.
Module 7 – Organize Your Master Keyword List
This module feels like you’re a commander going to war on the internet with your keyword list.
Module 8 – Qualify Your Keyword List
In this module, you’re slaughtering the ponies in favour of the stallions. (Alright, a little violent. You’re merely reducing the clutter so you’re left with a clean keyword list).
Module 9 – Build Your Keyword Map
Right…another module that I got lost. At least my army is ready!
Module 10 – Build Your Content Calendar (& Measure Performance)
In this short finale, Robbie focuses on content product scheduling and tracking rankings.
Content Audit Playbook
Module 1 – Introduction to the Content Audit Playbook
This is (no surprise) an intro with tools and templates to get you started.
Module 2 – Audit Goals & Penalty Assessment
This module is actually just a single video. For many SEOs, it’s very helpful on assessing penalty risk and assigning content audit goals.
Module 3 – Collecting All Your Indexable Content
Unless you’re well experienced with SEO, you might get overwhelmed here like me.
Module 4 – Mapping Page-Level Performance Metrics.
I got excited at the word ‘metrics’! 😃 Given these are short videos, I was mostly able to keep up in Module 4.
Module 5 – Assigning Action Items and Strategies
Robbie is clearly a fan of continuous improvement through processes. This module is well worth watching even for its business concepts.
Module 6 – Finding “Existing” Keyword Opportunities and Content Gaps
While a great module, I’ve noticed that Module 6 actually has some repetitive videos from other Playbooks in his series.
Module 7 – Measurement & Reporting
While late in this module, it’s an easy one to digest on building content audit reports and measuring performance accurately.
Module 8 – Bonus Audit Tracks
If you’re looking to reclaim lost link equity, then this is for you.
Straight up – I have learned that there is a deeper element to SEO that most other courses teach. It’s not their fault; it’s their audience. They merely serve beginners to intermediates and the educators themselves haven’t gone that deep, despite earning a good income online.
When you dive deeper, you’ll find what really moves the needle with SEO. And yes, it’s still a mixture of quality content and backlinks. But what’s most important is keyword planning.
With effective planning, you’ll have saved the time you would have otherwise spent writing content that doesn’t convert.
To say it another way, there is little value in simply blogging for the sake of blogging. You need to be strategic. Robbie goes ultra strategic.
You need to focus on the two main reasons to produce content:
- Serve your existing audience with engaging content
- Create content that has strong elements of SEO
The best marketers in the world do both and they do both extremely well because they planned for it. Every piece of content should have commercial intent with a strong CTA.
And again – that starts with the planning. That’s essentially the core of this course, and from there, test and measure over the long term.
The ideal student
This is not a beginner-friendly SEO course. It’s too technical for green thumbs to the industry.
If you haven’t purchased an SEO course before, then don’t buy Robbie Richard’s course. Period. He even places a disclaimer on the checkout page.
If you buy this as your first SEO course then you’ll simply be lost in the abyss. While I’m a learner and practitioner since 2011, I personally was overwhelmed in some sections and lost interest.
I’m a metrics-driven type of individual, yet I routinely found myself lost in some of the modules.
However, as time goes on, I’ll be referring back to the content where it will feel more like “Aha! I needed that!” instead of “Yeah….okaayyyy…I’m a little confused here…” as it is the case personally at times.
In short, this is certainly an advanced SEO course that doesn’t disappoint.
Now, don’t get me wrong. 65% of the content I could contend with and grasp very well. That other 35% will take some time to digest.
What would I recommend for those looking for something more tangible and easy to swallow? You’re smart enough to know that the following is an affiliate link where I may earn a commission and continue makin’ millions online. 😜
In all seriousness, Gael and Mark at Authority Hacker (of which Robbie is good friends) have a solid course for both intermediate and advanced marketers. I recommend their premium AHPro training which has the best content, and it’s actually through Robbie’s Slack group that I found out about Authority Hacker.
Their SEO course is the best for authority and niche sites in my experience, but not so good for eCom or SaaS businesses.
I purchased this course knowing that I was heading into the deeper ocean of SEO. Perhaps this was too deep for me to swim just yet and you may have the same experience, or a completely different experience.
Either way, the course is rock-solid if you’re looking for advanced SEO content. The sound quality is very good and the training videos make it easy to follow along. Robbie does away with the guru superman-style videos and comes across as simply authoritative, and most importantly, human.
Over time, I do hope to derive more value out of this course as I continue to hone my organic ranking skills. So far, it was certainly worth the $1,000 and much more.
Would I recommend it? For the right person, sure! It’s genuinely for those with at least a year or two of SEO experience, more than just playing around with a simple blog and have derived some solid traffic that converts. If you have SaaS clients then this is a solid go-to course.
Is there an affiliate program for Robbie’s course? Not to the best of my knowledge. Given Robbie’s reputation, he doesn’t need an affiliate program, and yet I’ve written a review detailing my experiences as a paid student. There is no business or personal relationship between us apart from group chatter in the Slack group.
Robbie Richards is a prime example of building a raving fan base through content and authenticity. In my experience, you can learn a lot not just of SEO, but for online business ethics.
The Slack Group is a treasure-trove of good content from whitehat SEO superstars, including Robbie. I look forward to seeing you in there real soon. 🙂
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