SEO Class Review and Feedback

SEO Class Review and Feedback

I taught my first SEO class at Drexel in 2018. Actually, it was my first time officially teaching anything. As an SEO for Publicis Health Media, a media company in Philadelphia, teaching is a part of my day-to-day. SEO is a complex subject, especially its technical side so it’s not always easy to explain its value or how it works to an audience that doesn’t do it for a living.

How was the class structured?

The SEO section of the Digital Marketing Certificate Course consisted of 4 2-hour sessions, 1 per week. The class was broken into 7 major pillars:

  1. History of Google and SEO
  2. How Search Engines Discover and Index Content on the Web
  3. How User Intent and Personalization Impact SEO
  4. Using Technical SEO to Improve Content Relevance
  5. Improving User Experience with Technology
  6. Link Building Versus Magnetic Content
  7. Preparing for the Future of SEO

Learn more about SEO


Overall Class Review

Full transparency: only 5 students completed the evaluation. Luckily, those who did left detailed notes on how I could improve for the next class.

5 out 5 students said the following about me:

  • I displayed expert knowledge of the subject
  • I was organized and well prepared
  • I encouraged discussion and class participation
  • I effectively answered questions and/or supplied additional explanations

Overall, I received a 4.2/5.

What did the students think of the content?

  1. History of Google and SEO: 4.8/5
  2. How Search Engines Discover and Index Content on the Web: 4.8/5
  3. How User Intent and Personalization Impact SEO: 4.6/5
  4. Using Technical SEO to Improve Content Relevance: 4.6/5
  5. Improving User Experience with Technology: 4.2/5
  6. Link Building Versus Magnetic Content: 4.4/5
  7. Preparing for the Future of SEO: 4.4/5

To me, the class was a whirlwind of information and their feedback says as much. Too much, too fast. This was especially the case when things got more technical. After all, SEO without web development isn’t really SEO.

However, I need to adjust my approach to meet the needs of the audience. They’re paying to be in my class so I want to make sure they’re getting value out of it.

Student Comments

Here are few comments from the students themselves.

The information presented in this module that was most valuable to me was:

  • Understanding the language Google uses to grade a {web page}
  • The pillars of SEO and the tools available to test
  • The practical application of the website audit – everything from high-level code reading to leveraging websites/plug-ins that do the work for you!
  • It was interesting to see the “behind the scenes” of a web page. It was also interesting to learn more about how Google works.
  • What SEO really is.

If I could change one thing about this module, it would be:

  • Spread out the module. It was too much information to take on in such a short time
  • Have an extra assignment in the middle using software tools to address page
  • One additional week. I feel like we had sufficient time to cover discovery and indexation (week 1) and intent and relevance (week 2). Week 3, when it came to authority, things got more complex and there were so many ways it could go when it comes to UX and SEO, and we were only able to scratch the surface. Appreciated the complete audit walk through during class 4, and wish I would’ve brought my laptop – maybe send out a note to bring it next time?
  • Since I don’t have any experience writing code of building websites, it was hard for me to see how I could apply this content to my job. I would want to know more about writing content that that will help your website rank better in
  • The course was very technical, and I had a very low knowledge of SEO. Chris is very smart and was good at presenting content, but it is hard to know how I will apply a full SEO audit in my field. In such a short 4 week course it was like drinking out of a fire hose with all the content.

What is one key concept/skill/technique that you learned in the Search Engine Optimization Module that you are going to develop and begin using immediately? Within the next year? Why?

  • Using SEO to improve content relevance. I am seeking a position as a social/digital media coordinator, so it was important for me to understand the impact of using SEO efficiently to better promote my website
  • Blogging with context to be an authority to rank higher in
  • I think the big one is even understanding the site audit ctrl + shift + “i” feature, and then how to search the code at a high level and run through complimentary tools/plug-ins from
  • It was interesting to learn different ways in Chrome to look at the code of
  • Creating good content that is going to help a website turn up in

General Comments

By far, the best and most useful course so far. As someone who works in corporate marketing (more traditional media, less digital exposure, hence desire to take the course) I mentioned that course one was a review for me and could maybe be considered a “pre-req” as I couldn’t have earned the certificate without taking it, but didn’t really need it. The second course was better, but Chris did cover some of the same context, i.e. keywords, and it definitely made sense here. I also got the sense Chris may have been able to cover WordPress, which was my main interest in class one, but word press was just one session and we never got in the tool and had a guest instructor online from the UK. Might make sense to explore because I feel like I didn’t get what I wanted from WordPress, but Chris is a great “technical” instructor – making that really technical stuff understandable to the novice user.


I have some things to work on and will take this feedback to heart. Thank you to the students who showed up and asked great questions. That’s what great SEOs do best.

I am also grateful to Drexel and to my friend John Bertino (aka the Agency Guy) for presenting me with this unique opportunity. If you’re interested in taking this class in the future, please connect with me on LinkedIn.