As a Forever Affiliate student, I was extremely excited when I heard about The Rankings Institute! It’s an 8 week coaching program by Andrew Hansen and Alex Miller, focusing on post-Panda and Penguin SEO techniques to increase rankings, traffic, and conversions.
What Kind Of Results Can We Get With The Rankings Institute?
To see the kind of results that can be obtained using the techniques Andrew and Alex teach in this program, I recommend watching this webinar replay. It’s almost 2 hours long though, so here are the highlights and where to find them in the video:
- Why there is such a big opportunity for free traffic in Google right now: at 9 mins 59 secs
- The site that went 0 to $8,833.99 in 60 days: at 18 mins 45 secs
- The technique to use to rank each piece of content for 30-50 targeted keywords: at 20 mins 38 secs.
- The site that pulled $3.5k from free traffic out of thin air within 2 weeks: at 32 mins 56 secs.
- Why 90% of sites are making at least 1 of 5 crucial errors with their site structure that Google is using to hold back their traffic: at 34 mins 50 secs.
- The site that added $100k new revenue in 8 weeks: at 45 mins.
- What it would take to add $50k/year to your business with free traffic: at 1 hour 40 secs.
Andrew also recorded a short 4 minute video inside his Google Analytics and affiliate accounts for one of his test sites, so we could see proof of his stats and earnings – you can watch that here. And here is another short video about one of his students that made over $2500 in January 2014 using these techniques.
What Qualifies These Guys To Teach SEO?
SEO is a difficult skill to master, and Google is becoming more and more strict. One wrong move could make your site disappear from the rankings completely, so I’m wary of following just anybody’s advice on this subject. Let’s take a look at what makes these guys qualified to teach us SEO.
Who Is Andrew Hansen?
Andrew is a 27 year old Super Affiliate who began working online 8 years ago. He started out as a poor student, living with his parents while trying to earn an income online. Like most of us, he bought expensive courses, got scammed by “gurus”, and after the first year had lost more money than he had made.
When things finally “clicked” for him, he built his business to 7 figures a year within 5 years. He also coached others to 5 figures a month using only free traffic methods.
Andrew has a great reputation in the internet marketing industry, and is known for producing high quality products. His latest course (before The Rankings Institute) was Forever Affiliate, which I bought and reviewed on this blog. I was so impressed with that course, and learnt so much from it, that I was very eager to find out what more I could learn from him.
Who Is Alex Miller?
For the Rankings Institute training program, Andrew is partnering with Alex Miller – an SEO expert and consultant to SEO agencies. That means he teaches professionals what they’re doing wrong – he’s basically the Sherlock Holmes of SEO
Alex has helped his clients generate literally millions of dollars from free search engine traffic in the last 3 years. He has also created and promoted more than 400 of his own websites in some of the most competitive markets in the world – like credit cards, weight loss, etc. – markets where the rest of us wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of ranking.
Alex has also fixed hundreds of sites that were penalized by the Panda and Penguin updates, and in this coaching program he will teach us how to do the same – and also what to do so that we don’t get penalized in the first place!
What Is Included In The Rankings Institute?
So what is included in this training program? First of all, there are no upsells, so everyone who joins will get everything listed below.
- An 8 week coaching program with almost 100 step-by-step training videos.
- Live weekly coaching calls: We’ll get 2-3 hours each week to show Andrew and Alex our sites, ask them questions, and get instant feedback. They’ll watch our progress and push us through each step so we can’t fail. It’s a small group so privacy is high.
- Direct access to Andrew and Alex via personal email (instead of just a support desk), where they will reply to us on ANY matter.
- High powered, fast acting link building package worth over $120 – FREE for each member.
- Access to Andrew and Alex’s personal outsource staff who can complete any part of the process we don’t want to do.
- An exclusive forum & Facebook group where we can meet other internet marketers and share ideas, insights, and tips
- Our own private “Inner Circle“: a small group of 10 people at the same level as us that we can join, so we can network, motivate each other, keep accountable and succeed together.
- Ongoing support until we’re earning $1000 new dollars per month from search traffic.
- Lifetime access to the center, member’s club, and community.
- 30 day money back guarantee
I think the coaching and community are really going to help me a lot – I never spring for coaching when it’s available, and then I tend to run out of steam partway through the courses I do. This time if I want to join I don’t have a choice, and for me it’s a good thing – direct access to Andrew and Alex will get me any help I need before any questions I have turn into obstacles that impede my progress, and the community will keep me motivated and focused on my goals.
Andrew kindly gave me early access to the first 3 modules of the Rankings Institute so that I could review them for you. However, that’s not going to affect what I write here – if you’ve read any of my previous reviews, you know I don’t keep quiet if I find something I don’t like!
I will also include differences between Forever Affiliate and The Rankings Institute, for those of you who – like me – already bought the previous course and are wondering if the new one is different enough to justify the purchase. Let’s begin!
Module 1 – Killer Keyword Research
Module 1 is the “Keyword/Profitability Audit”. The goal of this module is to identify the most profitable keyphrases in your market that you can feasibly rank for in Google. This module has 12 videos and is over 3.5 hours long.
Conversion Over Traffic
The first way this training differs from Forever Affiliate (FA from now on) is that it assumes you have already chosen a niche and jumps straight into finding related keywords.
The second way it differs is that the minimum amount of traffic necessary for each keyword is much less. This is because Alex focuses much more on conversion than he does on traffic. For example, Alex set up a niche site with a high-ticket item that only gets about 3-5 visitors each day, but it made over $10,000 in a 3 month period thanks to the high conversions (and high price).
Click here to watch the webinar replay and find out more info about this site, and about a few other sites Andrew showed us that were able to achieve crazy increases in sales thanks to these methods.
Hundreds of Keywords Your Competitors Don’t Know About
Alex shows us his method for finding keywords that you won’t normally find in Google Planner (or tools like Market Samurai that get their keywords form there). His method is actually kind of similar to how I do it, but he has one or two extra steps that give him hundreds more keywords than I’ve been getting!
This method can be done with either free or paid tools – for this part you really don’t need the paid software because the free method is just as quick.
Alex says the free method is slower because you need to select all the keywords manually, and if that were true it would indeed take days or weeks (and maybe give you carpal tunnel syndrome in the process) but luckily there’s a “select all keywords” button. Unfortunately it’s kind of camouflaged and only appears after the search, which is probably why Alex didn’t see it. I let him know, so it’s possible the video will be updated before launch.
Hidden Keywords You Wouldn’t Have Thought Of
There is also a video for learning how to get hidden keywords from your competitors. This method uses a paid tool that is a bit expensive if you’re on a small budget, but you can sign up for a free 2 week trial (I posted the link in the member’s forum) – even if you’re working on multiple sites at once I don’t think you’ll need it for more than a day.
In the video Alex used this method to find keywords that I would never have thought of – which could then be used with the previous keyword research methods to get even more related terms from those keywords. Don’t skip this step or you might miss out on some great opportunities!
The Cream of the Crop
Using these techniques, you end up with a ton of keywords, so Alex teaches us how to narrow down our list by finding the best terms, and identifying which ones we have a chance of ranking for.
The assessment of the competition level is similar to the FA method, and can be done with a free tool or with paid software. But even though I usually prefer using free methods as much as possible, the Rankings Institute keyword research method generates hundreds more keywords than the FA method, so in my opinion the paid software is the only way to go this time.
If you choose the free method you have to manually check 10 sites for each of your hundreds of keywords – each site will have multiple factors to evaluate, and then you have to make a final decision for each keyword, taking all those factors for all 10 sites into account. This would take weeks or even months. I definitely don’t have the time or the patience for that, especially not when the paid software will do all that work for me in about 30 minutes!
At first you won’t need to buy the software though – instead you can get a 3-day trial for $7, and that should be more than enough time to do the keyword research for a whole bunch of sites.
Divide and Conquer
Even after you have narrowed down your list to include only the best keywords, there will still be a lot of them. So next Alex teaches us how to group and target them, so that we don’t get overwhelmed by the sheer number of keywords to go after.
In the last video we learn how to write effective, compelling articles that target a whole group of terms, so that each piece of content can rank for 30-50 keywords! The video also includes examples of good and bad articles, which is very helpful.
Module 2 – Creating Sites That Google Loves
Module 2 has 11 videos and is over 3 hours long – it covers on-site SEO which you can apply to new sites as well as existing sites.
There’s a lot of technical stuff, but Alex shows us how to do everything step-by-step in the videos. He has fixed 200-300+ sites penalized by Panda and helped them rank at the top of the SERPS again, so he really knows his stuff.
The goal of this module is to optimize your site so that it’s clean, efficient, and free of errors. Having only high quality pages in Google’s index will minimize Panda penalties, which will also increase rankings and boost the power of any links pointing to your sites.
Alex says 99% of our competitors will not be applying these techniques, and that even the biggest agencies are not doing this correctly. And we only need free tools to do it!
As I was going through this module, I used the techniques I was learning on this blog – and discovered I actually have a lot of low quality pages indexed in Google! This was a bit shocking, because all my content is original and I didn’t know I actually had any low quality pages on this site. But a lot of these pages are automatically generated by WordPress, so even if all your posts are original you might still have a low quality score.
I also used these techniques on one of my websites that disappeared from the rankings awhile ago, and found out that Google thinks it’s a scraper site, even though it was all original content! No wonder traffic to that site dropped to almost zero!
Alex shows us 2 ways to fix these problems – one is quick and easy, and the other will take time (or money if you outsource it). But it will save you time and money in the long run, because you won’t be building links to a site that can’t benefit from them because of Panda penalties you didn’t even know you had!
Module 3 – Turning Your Site Into A Conversion Monster
Module 3 has 8 videos that are about 1hour 45mins long in total, and teaches what modifications to make on our sites to increase our conversions, and how to get visitors to buy more from our sites.
In the first video Alex shows us a free tool we can use to identify certain problems on our websites that can indirectly affect our conversions. I would have liked if he had also showed us how to fix those problems, but he says he just gives the list to his developers.
That’s not very helpful for those of us who don’t have developers, but it’s probably safer that way. We can find out how to fix some of these things with a simple Google search, but others sound more complicated and I’d be worried about messing something up if I tried to fix them on my own.
The course does include access to outsource staff, so I’ll probably give the more difficult things to them to fix.
The next technique Alex teaches us is easy and quick, and uses a free plugin. I’m actually already using this plugin on some of my sites, though I installed it for a completely different reason. Good to know that using it also increases my quality score, and could save me a loss of earnings thanks to the automatic warning it will send me if this happens again in the future! From now on I’ll be installing it on all my sites.
The third technique is something I’m already doing on all my sites, but if you’re not you should definitely start immediately. I’m using a different plugin for this, but I think I’ll switch over to the one Alex uses here.
Next is something I’ve known I was supposed to do for a long time, but I’m lazy and don’t do it very often. And it turns out then even when I did do it, I’ve been doing it wrong! There’s also a very good tip in this video that I’ve never come across before.
The last video in this module contains 6 crucial conversion techniques. I’m doing one or two of them already, but I need to start doing the others ASAP. In this video Alex actually revealed 2 of his old sites to show us examples of how to increase conversions.
Module 4 – Fast Traffic Techniques
- How to start generating free targeted visitors in under a week.
- How to own page 1 of your most profitable keywords by ranking multiple pages.
- How to do all backlinking and promotion from one convenient location.
- How to diversify your free traffic so you have visitors coming from many sources at once and don’t just rely on one.
- The web 2.0 sites most people don’t know about, that can rank in days.
Module 5 – New School, High Powered Link Building
- Philosophy of dominant link building: How to rank for more keyphrases with less work.
- How to get traffic with a small number of backlinks.
- How to do link building and promote many sites totally hands off.
- Step by step link building plan to make any site rank: Copy these 5 steps.
- How to build links that Google loves.
- How to get private high powered backlinks that most people will never have access to.
Module 6 – Ongoing Hands Off Link Building
- How to analyze and proceed link building based only on where profit is coming from.
- Step by step strategy for putting ongoing link building on auto-pilot.
- How to build 3 kinds of “super links” your competitors won’t even bother with.
- How to use data to uncover “hidden” keywords that are bringing you traffic, to scale up and keep profiting.
- How to easily link to multiple websites and grow multiple profit streams at once – without all the hassle.
Module 7 – How To Scale Search & Keep Growing
- How to expand traffic in your most profitable keyword segments.
- How to take over keyword areas that your competitors currently own.
- How to boost sales without even getting new visitors.
- Underground techniques for knowing exactly which keywords are bringing you sales, and ramping up your traffic for them.
- How to keep finding and capitalizing on new keyword segments before your competitors do.
Module 8 – Ninja Module
- We can’t even talk about what happens in Module 8…
Lol, I literally laughed out loud at the last one! Can’t wait to find out what’s in there!
So, how much does The Rankings Institute cost? The price is a one-time payment of $997, or 4 monthly payments of $297. If that is a bit out of your budget, there is also the option of 13 monthly payments of $97 – but note that the longer your payment plan, the more you pay in the end. I chose the one-time payment since it’s over $260 cheaper than the monthly option.
It’s more than I’ve ever paid for a course before, and at first I wasn’t sure if I would join. But I took the leap and invested in it because SEO and backlinking are skills I really need to improve, and I trust Andrew to release top quality training. But the coaching with 2 experts, ongoing support, lifetime access, and 30 day guarantee certainly didn’t hurt either
If you also think this training program is just what you need, then go ahead and join below – I look forward to seeing you on the inside!
If not, then I recommend you watch the webinar replay anyway for the free tips. Andrew shared a ton of great info, and even gave away a few techniques from the course.