This post is a contribution from the SEO consultants at InflowLabs, a digital marketing agency specializing in content marketing, conversion rate optimization, and web design.
After hours of work, you are finally ready to launch your online course. You might be tempted to think your job is done and now it’s your turn to lay back and collect your earnings. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Unless you already have a massive following of students ready to enroll in your course, developing a marketing strategy for your course should be the top priority.
Yet, marketing your online course is a difficult task. You have to do it in such a way that people not only find your course but find it engaging and valuable enough to enroll. But how?
First, you have to make sure that your website adheres to all the basic SEO best practices. This will help you rank for relevant keywords and bring more traffic to your site. Second, you have to make sure that the content on your website is eye-catching, interesting, and optimized for your target audience. If people are interested in what you offer, they are more likely to enroll in your course.
In this article, we will show you how to make your eLearning site search engine-friendly and how you can use content marketing to attract more students to your online course.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a technique that helps your site rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). SEO can be done on your own, by enlisting the help of SEO professionals or by using SEO tools and software.
One key element in SEO is a content marketing strategy and keyword research. Keyword research involves investigating what keywords people are using when they search for similar products or services, then choosing a relevant set of keywords with low competition and high traffic potential to optimize your content around. By targeting the right set of keywords, you’ll make it far more likely for your potential students to find your online course and eLearning website.
Why is SEO important for marketing online courses?
SEO is important for marketing online courses because it can help the course gain more visibility on search engines. By making your course more accessible to users looking to learn about what you are teaching on search engines, you’ll increase the number of people who know about your course and as a result, have more people willing to enroll.
Choose an SEO-friendly LMS
The Learning Management System (LMS) is the backbone of any online course. It provides a platform for learners to access the course content, interact with each other, and get feedback from instructors. Choosing an LMS is a critical decision for any business that offers online courses. While course creators often base their LMS decision on the availability of features such as course creation tools and monetization capabilities, SEO friendliness is also important.
An SEO-friendly LMS provides you with the right set of tools to optimize both your content and the technical aspects of your site.
Optimize your eLearning site’s technical SEO
Technical SEO is a subset of SEO that includes a set of techniques that help search engines to crawl, index, and rank a website. You can include the following are the best practices to improve the technical SEO of your eLearning site:
- Ensure that your site has proper crawlable links. This way, search engine crawlers will be able to access all the pages on your website and index them accordingly.
- Make sure your site is secure by using an SSL certificate and HTTPS on your website.
- Check for duplicate content issues and fix them as soon as you notice them. Duplicate content can cause problems for both users and search engines by creating confusion about what’s original content on your site and what’s not.
- Use schema markup to tell Google about the types of information on your website such as reviews, events, products, etc.
- Avoid affecting your rankings because of poor quality backlinks. If you are contributing content or guest posts to another site, make sure these are high-quality sites. Spam backlinking practices like directory submissions should be avoided.
- Optimize your site for mobile devices in order to offer a positive mobile experience for your online students.
- Optimize your website’s performance to maintain a fast page load speed and avoid losing traffic due to a slow site.
Add a blog to your site
One easy way to bring more visibility to your online courses and gain credibility as an online educator is to add a blog to your eLearning site. You can easily build an effective content marketing strategy by frequently posting on your blog. SEO professionals can assist you in selecting the most profitable keywords to create content around and even build a content calendar for you.
Furthermore, you can use your blog as a space where you connect with your audience and share valuable insights on your area of expertise, helping build up your authority. By reading your blog posts, your prospective students can also get a feel of the quality and type of information they will gain access to through your courses.
To make your blog posts even more effective we recommend the following:
- Break down your articles into small paragraphs;
- Use keyword optimized headings;
- Include images and videos as research shows that readers prefer blog posts with multimedia;
- Keep your blog up to date by revisiting old articles and refreshing their content.
Optimize your course content around hand-picked keywords
Keywords are important to SEO because they tell search engines what your page is about. If a page has a keyword in its title, description, or URL then it’s more likely to be found by someone searching for that keyword. Keywords also help people find pages that have information relevant to their interests.
The key to a good content strategy is performing good keyword research. It helps you understand what people are looking for online and how they search for it. This can help you tailor your content to best suit your students’ needs and increase the chances of them clicking on your site. Once on your site, it will be easier to direct them from your blog to your course’s landing pages and your other offerings.
Tips for improving your eLearning SEO content
Content marketing is the practice of developing content to attract and retain customers, which in this case are your students. It is a way to get your business in front of your target audience. These tips will help you provide your prospective students with high-quality content, drawing their interest in your course offering:
Use questions as content hooks
Questions are great for creating interactive content that keeps readers engaged and coming back for more. Especially in eLearning, where your target audience is looking to learn about specific subjects, using content to answer important questions is a good way to start building trust and connections.
Share content about yourself
In most cases, your students will be interested in who you are as an educator and why you are qualified to teach a course to them. Sharing your story or adding an “about me” page to your eLearning portal is a great way to get started and let your students get to know you.
Use reviews and testimonials
Whether you share a case study or student testimonial on your blog, a separate web page, or directly on your course page, offering social proof is a great way to add strength and credibility to your content. Additionally, if you collect Google Reviews for your eLearning business, you’ll be glad to know that they can positively boost your SEO rankings.
Create clear and easy-to-digest pieces
If you want to engage your readers, you should make sure you use simple and clear language in the content you create. When possible use short sentences and avoid overcomplicating your text with difficult words. Breaking down your article with headings and bullet points also improves readability, which ultimately, helps you improve SEO.
The more students that enroll in your course, the more successful your online program will be. The first step to acquiring more students is to increase traffic to your eLearning site. As your online courses gain visibility and reach a wider audience, it’ll become easier for you to increase your conversions and make more course sales.
As such, SEO is an invaluable tool for course creators, allowing more people to find their online courses online and facilitating the process of reaching their target audience. Taking a few simple steps to optimize your eLearning site can have a massive impact on your website traffic and your overall course sales.