Hey, there, course creator. I see you, you’ve got a fantastic course, and you’re ready to help LOTS of students. And, you know, in the process, make some money too. Maybe you’ve heard people talk about SEO and wondered exactly how it would help your online course business grow. I get the question quite a bit, so I figured it was probably a good topic to discuss here on the blog. If you hang around here long, you’ll hear me say that your FAQs are excellent content topic ideas. So, here’s the online course creator SEO Starter Guide just for you, my course creator friend, from one online course creator to another.
That’s all it takes to start using SEO to drive traffic for your online courses. Now, that’s very simplified so let’s dig into each step a bit more.
You’ll want to choose a keyword that your ideal customer will use when they’re searching for information related to your course. You want to choose a keyword that your website can rank for, which is the hardest part. I teach an in-depth method for keyword research in my online course, but I’ll give you a simple overview for this post. You want to look for the keyword with the highest search volume that your website can still rank for. How do you figure out if you can rank? You won’t know for sure, but you’ll have a good idea if you go to Google and type in the keyword you are considering using.
Who shows up on the first page of Google? Are the websites very similar to you, or are they a lot bigger companies? If you see results like LinkedIn, Udemey, Lynda.com, you need to look at other keywords for your online course content because you probably won’t be able to outrank them. Keep checking until you find a keyword where the websites on page 1 are very similar to you.
SEO-friendly copy is copy that’s written for your reader but is also designed for the search engine. We achieve this by writing copy that provides value to our potential customers and includes the keyword we want to rank for on Google. We don’t write this and say we have to use X keyword six times or ten times or anything like that. That’s how we get crummy content. We write for our customers, and our keywords will be used naturally. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used my keyword yet. After the editing step, I’ll go back and review it to ensure it’s in here a few times, in a header tag or two (the bigger text that separates my sections), and then I’ll put it in all of my SEO elements.
After you’ve written and edited your copy, go back and read it out loud and take note of how many times you’ve used your keyword. Is it in the first paragraph somewhere? That’s pretty important. If not, go ahead and edit it again and find a way to add it in there. I’m going to bet it’s already there because your keyword should be closely related to the main point of your blog post or website page, so you likely used it in the first paragraph naturally.
Next, read through your headers (if you used them) and see if you’ve got your keyword in any of them. If you do, great. They’re another way that Google understands that your page is about this particular keyword. If you haven’t used your keyword in any of your header tags, you might want to see if you can add it in a way that feels natural. If you don’t have header tags, you might want to go back and add them because they help make your copy easier to read. Big blocks of copy are tough to read, and people tend to glaze over them. Adding headers can increase your engagement and time-on-site because it’s easier to read the copy.
Finally, review all the remaining copy. Have you used your keyword or very closely related terms a few more times? You want to make sure it’s in there a few more times.
Once you’re sure your copy itself is optimized and ready to go, you’ll want to optimize the page or blog post too. Use your keyword to create a Title Tag and Meta Description for the page or post. If you’re not sure what these are or how to write them, I’ve got a couple of blog posts here that will help you. Title Tags. Meta Descriptions.
The first four steps will help you get your content found in Google so that new customers can learn about your online course. If you want to take it to the next step, you can add an opt-in to your blog post or website page that addresses a pain point for your ideal customer. You can even optimize your lead magnet or opt-in landing page so that it can be found in Google too. Learn what to do here. Do you need any ideas as to how to create a lead magnet or opt-in that your ideal customer is searching for? You can use SEO tools to do that too. Learn how I do it in this post.
Let me know if you have any questions about how to use SEO to sell your online courses.
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