So you’ve spent a lot of time and money structuring, recording, and building your online course.
But hold up…Why aren’t you getting many purchases? Or even views? Isn’t the key to online courses fantastic and amazing content?
If you’re like most online course creators, there’s a good chance you were so focused on building the course, you’ve forgotten the need to market your content as well. That’s why we’ll show you how you can master SEO for your online course by starting a blog.
Having a blog will boost the chances of people finding your content through a search engine by 434%. I launched my blog AdamEnfroy.com in January 2019 and now have over 150,000 monthly visitors to my blog.
In this article, you’ll first learn how to improve your technical SEO, target long-tail keywords, and produce high-quality blog content to increase traffic, leads, and sales to your online course.
Let’s get into it!
1. Improve Your Technical SEO
Technical SEO is related to SEO activities that help search engine spiders crawl and index your site more effectively.
It’s not the most exciting part of SEO, but it’s a necessity. Search engines like Google or Bing will naturally rank websites that display certain technical characteristics higher than others. That’s why you should improve your site’s technical SEO because it impacts your blog and online course’s ranking on search engines.
If you don’t know how to code, don’t worry. We’ve listed a few simple steps that anyone can do to improve their site’s technical SEO.
To boost your site’s technical SEO score, make sure you have:
An SSL Certificate. Here, SSL stands for secure sockets layer. It’s a security technology that helps keep sensitive information over the internet encrypted.
A site with SSL will have a URL that begins with ‘https://’ as opposed to ‘http://.’
If you haven’t secured your site, you can do so by installing an SSL certificate here.
A mobile-friendly site. Did you know in 2018, 52.2% of all traffic worldwide was conducted on mobiles? It’s therefore no surprise to see Google favoring the mobile version of websites to rank and index websites.
We recommend you have a responsive site design, readable fonts, proper text formatting, and optimized media display for smartphones if you want to boost your SEO ranking.
A Fast loading website. Page speed is a very important ranking factor. A slow-loading page can push your site’s rankings down in the search engines. Google generally compares your website to other competitors to make a fair assessment. To see how fast your website loads, click here.
If you want to explore other elements that can affect your technical SEO, visit BigCommerce’s essentials blog here.
2. Target Long-Tail Keywords
So you’ve optimized your technical SEO page.
Next up, let’s find long-tail keywords with high search intent.
If you’re not sure what long-tail keywords are…then don’t worry. We’ll explain everything in a lot more detail below. When it comes to keywords, websites that perform well in SEO use the same language as its potential visitors.
For example, If I wanted to research different vpn providers, there are many different ways I could find this information on a search engine like Google. I could begin by typing ‘vpn,’ ‘vpn service’, ‘vpn review’, or even ‘private internet access.’
These one or two-word phrases are known as ‘head term’ keywords. They’re very short words that have very high search volume.
It’s generally difficult and expensive to beat the top ranking posts for these ‘head term keywords.’ The term is also very broad. That’s why the first few results for ‘vpn service’ don’t necessarily match‘free vpn for mac‘ or ‘free netflix vpn.’
In short, don’t go for head terms.
You won’t get a good ROI. It’s highly competitive. And anyone who stumbles on your website via search is not necessarily a good prospect since it’s too broad and may not be relevant.
Instead, you should go for long-tail keywords. These are terms that are longer and are more relevant to the searcher’s intent.
For example going back to our example of ‘vpn service,’ long-tail keywords can include, ‘best vpn to watch netflix’, ‘best vpn to use in china’, or ‘best free vpn for android.’
Long-tail keywords are easier to compete for. They’re also cheaper and convert 2.5 times more than head words.
So how do you find long-tail keywords?
Leverage online tools: There are many tools available online, but one of our favorites is KW finder. Here you can find long-tail keywords anywhere, in any language that has low SEO difficulty.
If you’re creating a blog and targeting long-tail keywords, we also recommend you build a dedicated website with a top website builder or WordPress. Alternatively, you can create a landing page for your online course’s target markets.
Depending on your web hosting company, you could even create subdomains for each landing page you drive traffic to for each target audience. That way, you can optimize for more than just one keyword.
For example: While Housecall Pro is a SaaS that helps many service professionals from cleaners, HVAC specialists, pest control professionals, to even car detailing businesses, they’ve created a landing page specifically for plumbing professionals, as seen below:
With this landing page, they can target long-tail keywords like ‘online software for plumbing companies,’ or ‘affordable online tools for plumbing businesses’ and have a low bounce rate due to their relevant and effective content.
So if you have a course that targets many different markets, you should consider honing down on a few segments and creating personalized landing pages for each audience.
Another great example is the ones below from Bid4papers, a company that provides academic papers on a direct selling platform. As I’m sure you can imagine, they work with a variety of subjects. Would it be smart to just have one landing page for every subject they covered?
Instead, they use separate landing pages for math, physics, chemistry, and more so it fits the target audience and they can use targeted keywords for each page. In other words, they recognize that their users who are struggling in math may not have the same problems or pain points as someone who needs help with their chemistry homework.
Here’s an example of their math assignment help page:
Can you imagine trying to target (and convert) different audiences using the same language and keywords?
Our advice? Just don’t do it.
3. Produce High-Quality Blog Content
If you’re looking to make a few average blog posts, and expect traffic to roll in…think again. There are millions of blog posts published every day.
So if you’re going to start blogging for traffic, you need to make sure you’re consistently creating killer content.
So how do you achieve this?
Before we jump into the step-by-step actions, here’s something you don’t want to do. Don’t simply outsource the task to any content writing service.
We know. Blogging quality content is hard work.
But, there’s a good chance that if you pay a content writing service to churn out content, you’d be wasting your money according to at least one review.
To help you out, here are three key ingredients to creating stellar content:
Create an editorial calendar: Before you dive straight into writing a blog, it’s always best to start with a plan. If you’re not sure whether you should produce many blog posts or a few in-depth and detailed posts, always go with the latter. Quality always trumps quantity. Quality posts that longer and more informative will generate 9x more leads than shorter posts.
Your headlines determine whether someone will click on your article. So make sure you give it some thought before publishing. Need an example? Take a look at this post on the best time to visit Hawaii:
Rather than stopping at “Best time to visit Hawaii,” they include key details that searchers are looking for:
- Which island to pick
- How to save money
Now that’s a headline that grabs attention, and more importantly, clicks.
Need help crafting your own click-worthy headline? Check out this headline analyzer from CoSchedule.
Add Videos and Images: You should always add multimedia content like videos and images to your website. Why? Blog posts with images get 94% more views!
We recommend adding high-quality pictures to support your post. If you’re not too sure where to start, you can always try Canva, a drag and drop graphic design tool. With Canva, you can add appealing blog graphics like the one below from GetVOIP on their blog post about free helpdesk software for small businesses:
Thankfully, videos aren’t difficult to produce anymore either. Just point, push, and shoot something in high resolution on your phone. Then put a few finishing touches on it with something like Adobe’s Premiere Pro or one of the many free video editors available to beginners before exporting the file for any device in minutes.
Update existing content: if you have an article that’s starting to rank for valuable keywords, update it to make it the best piece of content in the world on that topic.
Mark Lindquist, marketing strategist at Mailshake, sees this as a cornerstone of his content marketing strategy:
“We wrote a piece last year on follow-up email templates that ended up on page 2 for some high-volume keywords without much promotion.” says Mark. “We added about 1,000 words to the article, and really focused on making it noticeably better than every other article on the topic. Within 2 months we were in the top 5 for our target keywords and had tripled the traffic to the article.”
“With this strategy, we can make sure we’re putting the most effort into the articles that have the best opportunity to generate traffic. It’s a good balance between ‘creating top-tier content’ and ‘getting content out the door.’”
Just be sure when updating and optimizing your content that you also use a grammar checker to make sure there’s no spelling or grammar mistakes.
As a bonus tip, we also suggest to go above and beyond and repurpose that same content into an email blast to ensure everyone on your list sees it to boost its reach further.
Go above and beyond the competition: generally speaking, it’s going to be more difficult for smaller sites (most sites) to rank for terms than it will be for large sites. This is especially true for high intent and commercially viable terms.
Therefore, when you’re ramping up, it’s likely you’ll have to pour some blood, sweat, and tears into creating what Alex Birkett calls “expensive content.” When you ramp up your website’s domain authority and readership, then you can begin to produce less expensive content that still ranks.
If you’re keen on boosting traffic, leads, and sales for your online course, then you need to work on your SEO immediately.
You can begin by setting up a blog to drive traffic. Tweak the blog’s technical SEO, target long-tail keywords, and start posting high-quality blog content.
These three simple steps can help you build an audience and following to support your online course sales overtime. We’re not going to lie. These steps take time.
But they’re, without a doubt, worthy investments that can help you gain a strong ROI from developing your online course.
What are you waiting for?
Get started today!
About the Author Adam Enfroy writes about how to scale your blog like a startup to 150,000 monthly readers at www.adamenfroy.com. He launched his blog in 2019 and started generating over $30,000/month in revenue within 9 months. He wants to teach new bloggers how to do the same.