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SEO checklist: how to optimise your online course pages

Tech focus: You've got your online course pages written so time to kick back, right? Nope! You need to optimise your content, to find your rightful audience online. No sweat. Mar will tell you how.

So you’ve got your sparkling new set of pages promoting your online courses. Here we run through an SEO checklist to make sure they are well optimised for search engines, but more importantly, for real people.

Meta data

Ensure all the new online pages have optimised page titles, meta descriptions and H1 tags.

It is recommended to map the different pages to specific keywords to ensure the main keywords targeted have been included, not only in the meta data, but also along with the page copy.

Image Optimisation

Optimising the images on your course pages will help the overall site optimisation. For the online course pages, ensure the images contain the main keywords in combination with “online”.

The different fields you can optimise are title, filename and alt-tag.

Also remember that big images will slow your site down and that’s not good!

You can read more about page speed here

Internal linking

Add internal links from the non-online (face-to-face) courses to the online courses. This will help drive people that land on the non-online pages to the online ones.

Adding internal links from other pages or sections on the site clearly also helps with the user experience, making it easier for real people find what they need.

Top tip: Review your top 10 most visited pages across your website in Google Analytics and add strategic links to the online courses you want to promote. This is basically to ensure that users that land on your site are only one or two clicks away from the online courses.

Blogging

It is always important to keep communicating and continue creating and sharing regular content. Your blog should be your best friend - now more than ever - and generating content to help your target audience will definitely help position your online courses in front of the right market.

Talk about what you are an expert at, whether that’s teaching English to young learners online, preparing students for IELTS in record time or English for yoga. We don’t much care, but whatever it is, write about it!

Paid campaigns: social, display and AdWords

Committing to paid campaigns on social media, display and AdWords are great ways to get direct business. It’s not our favourite way as we’re more organic at heart, but if you need to create market share and need to do it quickly, it’s a very good short-term option.

Keep in mind that everyone is bidding for online-related keywords so it’s important to find the right approach and ideally your business niche if you are doing a Google AdWords campaign. The more optimised your campaigns, the better the chance for return on investment. We can help you with this via our monthly support packages if you ask us to.

One way of tightening up the spending is to focus on country-based campaigns, for instance, to reduce the competition.

Paid social and display advertising are other options that are important to keep in mind.

Review your online performance

Review your Google Analytics to see how the online pages are performing and start data-led campaigns or content creation.

For example, if one of your online courses is not as popular you hoped, make writing more content your go-to knee-jerk reaction. Alternatively, if you are seeing that one course is doing very well, you may want to do some paid promotion to further amplify the message.

Google Analytics will give you lots of info about your course pages and you can use these indicators to keep improving them.

Top Tip: set up goals in Google Analytics for your online pages to see the conversions on these pages.

Email Marketing

Use email marketing to keep communicating with your old students, agents or anyone that you’ve been in touch before. If you haven’t done this yet, it is the right time to start.

Keep in mind all the GDPR guidelines and make sure you use personal data legally.

There are some useful sites out there that will guide you on email marketing and GDPR:

Google My Business

If you already have a Google My Business account, keep it up-to-date and ask old students to leave reviews.

Running an email marketing campaign supported with social media to promote old students leaving Google reviews is something that can have a positive impact. Google reviews will benefit the overall positioning for your site and will give more credibility to your business.

Update your sitemaps (XML and HTML)

Update your sitemaps and ensure these include the new online course pages. If you have an XML Sitemap, include the new pages and submit it to Google Search Console to get the pages indexed.

It is key for search engines indexing your pages to have an HTML sitemap that is up-to-date. Here is where you include all the important pages on the site.

Including your course page is a MUST and of course, you should use optimised anchor text (or keywords you are targeting on each page).

Top tip: Ensure your XML sitemap is linked from your Robots.txt file and your HTML sitemap from the footer.

Submit your new pages to Google Search Console

For a quicker indexation, submit the new pages (even new blog posts) to Google Search Console (GSC).

Good luck with your optimisation efforts!

Please get in touch if you want to know more about how to structure your site to promote your online courses.