Choosing a Title for Your Online Course: The Importance of Keywords

As online instructors it's not enough to create a great course and sit back and expect the students to come. If you want students to find your course through the various search engines then you have to make good use of keywords.

If you want your course to be found through searches on Google, Udemy, Fedora, wherever you have your course hosted then you have to use words, terms and phrases that people are searching for in your titles and course description.

Online educational platforms such as Udemy, Fedora, etc., are seen as rich sources of information and are ranked highly in Google and other search engines. So it's a good idea to publish your course on these sites but you still have to take on page search optimization into account.

Now sites like Udemy have their own search algorithm and rank pages differently than Google. So you have to balance the requirements of the platform with the requirements of the search engine so you can hopefully rank highly in both.

Where To Place Your Keywords

Firstly your main keywords should be placed in the URL of your course sales page. The URL doesn't have to read well and can simply be a string of keywords. For example a course on Facebook Ads could have a URL like

A keyword rich URL is important for rankings in any search engine.

Your title, subtitle and description should read well and make sense. Do not simply stuff these areas with keywords as you will be penalized by most search engines. Also keyword stuffing is off putting to most people. Nobody likes to read content that obviously targeted for search engines.

Your title should contain a well-researched long tail keyword. When I was looking for a title for my 'Creating Successful Online Courses' course, I used a tool called FreshKey to find a high ranking popular search term.

Google does reward repetition of the keyword in the title. For example - 'Weight Loss: How To Use Grapefruit To Lose Weight' would rank well as it contains the keywords 'weight loss', 'lose weight' and 'weight' while still reading well and making sense.

Your subtitle and description should read naturally. I prefer to write my content first without worrying but keywords, then go back through and work out how and where to place some keywords without affecting the flow.

One copywriter has informed me that Google will actually penalize you for overuse of keywords in your main content and keywords should make up only 1% of your content.

The best rule to follow is to “Write for humans, not for machines”.

Where Do You Find Good Keywords?

Google Keyword Planner is a great place to start. It's free and displays popular search terms and phrases.

Google Trends displays the popularity of a search term over time. If the graph is steady or rising then it's a good indication that it's a strong keyword.

I regularly use a keyword tool called FreshKey and I highly recommend it.

I also recently purchased another keyword tool called LongTailPro.

These tools are powerful and really give you the edge when you're looking for ideas for content or course creation.

So as you can see, the correct use of keywords is paramount to the success of your online course. You will not get organic traffic to your sales page if it doesn't contain the keywords that people are searching for.

Other resources mentioned in this episode

Scott Duffy's SEO for Udemy course - Highly recommended

WP-Courseware - The Best Course Management Plugin for WordPress

If you have a question about any aspect of online course delivery, from concept to market, please feel free to send me an email at I'd love to hear from you and your question would very well feature in a future podcast.

I want to deliver relevant material so keep those emails rolling in.

If you found this information useful please like, share and comment below. I would also really appreciate it if you could take a moment and pop over to iTunes and leave me a rating and review.

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