How to do SEO for eLearning in 3 easy steps Drew Shiel Published on April 12, 2016 Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential to successful marketing today. And effective SEO is as important to selling online courses as anything else. This article will walk you through the three main ways you can use LearnUpon’s SEO features to help you sell more online courses. It does assume you know a little about search engine optimization already. If you don’t, go take a look at the Moz Beginners Guide to SEO and brush up on the most important terms, like keywords and meta tags. To benefit from these guidelines, LearnUpon’s eCommerce features should be enabled in your portal. Contact your account manager if that’s not the case. Step 1: Create a list of keywords The first step to implementing effective SEO for eLearning is to draft a list of keywords prospective customers will use to reach your website. You can use Google’s keyword planner tool to research a list of keywords to include in your eCommerce storefront on LearnUpon and on each course page. If you offer a small number of courses, your keyword lists for different courses and pages might overlap quite a bit - but don’t worry about that. If you offer a large number of courses, there might be no overlap at all between the main portal and the individual course descriptions - and that’s fine too. Each keyword should be a word that people searching for your course would use - so avoid jargon known only to people who are already experts, and use plain language wherever you can. The higher the search volume associated with a keyword, the greater its potential to drive traffic to your store. Step 2: Configure LearnUpon’s SEO Settings There are three settings you need to configure for SEO purposes in LearnUpon: two for your overall shopfront and one for each course. Storefront settings The first setting you will be concerned with is the main description of your storefront, which looks like this: This setting defines the main content for your storefront page, so you’ll need to create a good, reader-friendly description of the courses you have available, the overall theme of your course catalogs, using plenty of keywords in all descriptions. eCommerce settings The second set of related settings in LearnUpon can be found under the eCommerce header. To configure them, go to Settings, in the top right, select “eCommerce Settings”, and then “SEO & Google Analytics”. It looks like this: The “SEO Keywords” you place here will show up in the title of your store page (where they’ll be separated by vertical bar characters) and in the keywords meta tag. The “SEO Snippet” appears in the description meta tag. These are probably the most important settings in LearnUpon when it comes to SEO. Google and other search engines pay a lot of attention to the title of a page. And the description is where you can begin to convince searchers to click through to your store. Make sure to include a Call to Action in your description. The words you use here must be persuasive to encourage readers to click through and view your content - the first steps in their path to purchase. Course settings There are opportunities for SEO optimization on the Course page as well. The relevant settings look like this: The “Course Name” will appear as the course page’s title tag, so use relevant keywords here too. The content you add to the “Description” field will appear on the course page and also in the description meta tag, so you need to draft it with both in mind. It should encourage someone reading to click through to the page but also to continue to buy. The “Keywords” appear in the keywords meta tag, but nowhere else, so they’re not as important here. And finally, the “Objectives” section acts as your main on-page content, so use relevant keywords and make sure it’s well-written. Step 3: Optimizing links Once you have the on-page content in place via the various fields above, the next most important aspect of SEO is linking. Essentially, you need as many links as possible to your storefront and to the individual course pages. These can be from your main website, from your blog, or any other website you control. After that, you can ask other people to place links on their websites for you, possibly even running referral programs which we discuss here. People who have previously completed your courses, sponsors, advertisers, suppliers, writers, and so forth are all possibilities, and the more links that exist to your storefront and courses, the higher they’ll rise in the search engine results pages. That’s the three first steps to using SEO to sell more online courses: Define a list of keywords prospective customers are most likely to use to find your courses Correctly configure SEO settings in your LearnUpon LMS Build links between your courses, online content and as many other relevant websites as possible. After that, use Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools to monitor which keywords are driving the most traffic to your website. You can also track which pages are attracting most organic traffic. Monitoring what’s performing best will help you to tweak your keyword list as you continue to create eLearning content and improve organic performance to ultimately sell more online courses.