When it came to marketing courses and generating new business, SEO (search engine and PPC (pay per click ads) were surprisingly low on the agenda for training companies our industry benchmark report showed.
This post focuses on how SEO can be leveraged to increase your course bookings and grow your training business.
What is SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) includes the technical and creative aspects that help promote website and webpage ranking for search engines. Improving your rankings for search engine results pages (SERPs) is of high importance for any training company looking to drive traffic and increase brand awareness.
Over the years there have been many changes made to the algorithms that decide how pages rank, mainly these changes have been bought about to combat black hat techniques like keyword stuffing and promote a more equal playing field for those looking to rank highly.
Individually each aspect of SEO contributes a small amount of improvement, each needing to be nurtured to create a holistic SEO campaign destined to succeed.
Content is King
One of the first things to think about when it comes to SEO is the content you are producing. The content you publish on your website acts as the foundation for customer interaction with your website.
The content you create has the potential to entice new customers and keep hold of your existing ones. Therefore, content that is relevant to the industry, evergreen and trustworthy goes a long way towards improving the perception of your business and ensuring high visibility online.
Originality is something of significant importance when it comes to SEO. Content that is copy and pasted will be easily recognised by the algorithms and subsequently penalised. This encourages content creators to spend time with their blog and make sure that content is new, original and well-researched.
The subjects covered in the content section will show potential customers what it is your company has knowledge of. Covering topics that are popular but irrelevant to the purpose of the business are unlikely to draw in new customers.
Different content should be created based on the different customers you are targeting. Once you have a good idea as to who it is you’re targeting you can create content that appeals to them specifically and increase the chances of them wanting to find out more.
For training companies, it is important to stay on top of the industry news, so you can create relevant content that entices customers and demonstrates your up to date knowledge in the field.
To learn more about content marketing, download The Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing for Training Companies right here.
Ranking for the right keywords can make or break your SEO campaign. To catch customers searching for a term that is highly relevant to your company you need to ensure you’ve carried out adequate keyword research.
Using keyword research tools, you can find out vital information about the search volume of any specific term, how competitive it is and how difficult it would be to rank highly for that word. Ideally, you’d like to be aiming for 3-5 primary keywords and have a list up to twenty, with the remainder made up by secondary keywords and phrases.
Long-tail keywords are phrases of 3+ words, this type of keyword can be very beneficial as there is usually much less competition to rank for them and they also target people who are looking for solutions to specific questions.
This means you can lure in customers looking for something specific that your website has to offer, making them more likely to stay on the page as you have the relevant information they require. Long-tail phrases should always be a part of the list of keywords you have created, here is some ways to you can find relevant phrases for your company.
To rank well for your chosen keywords, you’ll need to integrate them into your website and content. This will let the search engine algorithms see that your company has relevant content to the words you are targeting. Using keywords in this way is what is known as on-page SEO which we will look into in the next section.
On-page SEO refers to techniques you can use to boost optimisation on individual pages as oppose to your entire site. The actual content you produce acts as the foundation for on-age SEO and the basic idea is to use keywords and synonyms in a way that is relevant and cogent within your content.
Examples of on-page SEO factors are using keywords in the title, meta-description, webpage URL as well as image file names and alt-tags. What this does is inform the web crawlers that your page is highly relevant to the keywords you are aiming for and that you have the users are searching for on that topic.
The title for any given page should be short, enticing and relevant.
If you are creating content that has little to do with the keywords you are aiming to rank for don’t try and force them in as this is misguiding for users looking for relevant content.
You want your page to be the one stop shop for information about the topic you are covering as this will ensure that users are satisfied by clicking on your page and likely to return again or enquire about your offerings.
Off-page SEO refers to the actions taken outside of your website improve search engine and user perception of your site’s popularity. The idea is to build up domain authority which correlates to how well your site will rank in the search engine results page. A good domain authority score is attained by having other websites link to yours. A link from another website acts as a ‘vote’ for yours and signifies you as a trustworthy source of information.
These votes of confidence increase the chances of ranking highly on the search engine results page. So how do you go about getting these links? One way is to include links in your content for websites you deem to contain trustworthy information.
Once you have published your content you can then notify that company that you have included them in your post. More often than not they will be happy to share out this post, therefore creating a backlink to your site. You should aim to try and get links from sources that have a high domain authority themselves as the more trustworthy the source that links to your website is, the more trustworthy your page becomes.
By taking all of these factors into account you can create an SEO campaign that will ensure you are visible online to the right people.
To learn more about including digital marketing in your growth strategy download The Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing for Training Companies right here.
About Dave Evans
Managing Director at accessplanit, a market-leading software house dedicated to the development and support of learning and training management solutions. Using web-based technology, our products are designed to streamline business resources, provide system integration, increase control and visibility and significantly reduce administration time and cost.
accessplanit offer a unique service – it’s not an off-the-shelf product, but a solution. Customers only pay for the functionality they need, and we guarantee cost savings, with a fast ROI.
Since joining the company in 2007 I have worked with colleagues to develop the product, strengthen customer support and recruit a team of highly qualified and experienced individuals who each bring value to the company.
Find out more at www.accessplanit.com