(Originally published on Elearning Industry)
Especially in e-commerce, SEO has become a natural extension to learning as it moves online. The Internet world turns with Google searches, and SEO is the magic key to ensuring that your corner of the Internet shows up to those who are looking for it. But SEO is still a component of e-learning that’s new for a lot of companies. Some people don’t know anything. Some people know a little, theoretically. If your background is as an educator and not a marketer, sometimes it’s hard to know if you’re doing well, but one way to judge if you’re hitting some important performance indicators is to address what you could be doing wrong.
Don’t Worry About Key Words (and Do No Research!)
Selecting great key words is the foundation for all effective SEO. Key words are what your audience will type into the Google search bar when they’re looking for information to satiate their curiosity. So if they search “leadership training” you want your course to show up as the first result, right? You do that by strategically using those words throughout your content.
“Leadership training” is probably a highly competitive key word, however. I’m sure a lot of websites want to rank highly for that word. One of the most important things to research is similar key words that not only get searched a lot, but are more specific to you and less competitive. For example, you could try to rank for “online leadership training” – then it would be easier to rank, and people would be guaranteed to be looking for an e-learning course.
There are a lot of key word research tools designed to make this process easier, like KWFinder and Ahrefs and Google Analytics. These tools will help you look at the search statistics for a particular key word. This way, you can find the right balance between a specific key word and a competitive key word that gets a lot of searches.
Avoid Hyperlinks at All Costs
If google is trying to decide which page should rank higher for a key word, and they both use it plenty, they will try to decide which page is more authoritative. And they will do that by seeing how many other pages link to that page as reference. On top of that, they will judge how meaningful the link is by how authoritative the page creating the link is.
There are lots of ways to build backlinks. But the basic rules are, when you create a piece of content, be sure to link to other areas of your website and to link to other websites throughout. This bare minimum will be a cushy boost to your SEO.
Expect Everything to be Free
You could try to be high-ranking without spending a penny – but high-quality SEO costs money. The best SEO content writers will need to spend time on creating SEO-friendly web pages. Don’t rule out asking for an SEO budget.
The other thing that websites hoping to get a lot of search clicks can spend money on is a pay per click (PPC) campaign. These campaigns involve buying those paid ads that you see above the search rankings. This is a great, cost-effective way to utilize the power of search for promoting some of your most important courses.
Be an E-Learning Industry Introvert
One great way to raise awareness of your services (and build backlinks!) is to interact with other presences on the web that are relevant to your coursework. Instead of staying in your corner of the internet, reach out to blogs and websites that discuss the same topics as your coursework. Write guest posts or webpages about the topic and link readers back to your services. For example, if you create business courses, you may want to partner with a business guru who can tell her audience about them while discussing how to gain business leadership skills. Even just interacting on these websites via comments can bring your offerings some attention.
Another great way to boost SEO via interaction is to have any review websites look at your courses and give an honest review of your services. That will create links and also generate more information about your company on the web for potential customers and clients to discover.
Also be sure maintain a presence on social media – this will help you interact with your industry and build the relationships necessary for creating great SEO.
Make Your Website Difficult to Navigate
Search engines care about your website being easy to navigate. While aesthetics may seem shallow, usability is actually a big SEO factor. A well-organized website also makes it easier for the algorithm crawler to log your website and find all the links on your site. It also must be coded correctly so that the search engines can read everything properly.
When all your navigation is put together, you should test it out with google webmaster tools to make sure the crawlers can reach every corner of your website.
It can also tell if your text is user-friendly and easy to read, not just big blocks of text. A reader-friendly website is more useful to readers, so search algorithms will rank it higher. Break up text and add plenty of headers.
Good Luck with E-Learning SEO
Great SEO takes months and months to build up. But ecommerce business models will find endless benefits from it. At least you will never have the worst e-learning SEO, thanks to this guide.