When creating an online business of any kind, you’re going to learn the phrase SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, pretty quickly. It may sound technical and it may seem intimidating, but I promise you, it’s not.
SEO, simply put, is just a way to make sure people searching for online teaching businesses like yours, find you, and find you quickly. And how do they do that? Keywords.
Dan likes to think of SEO as Search Ecosystem Optimization because, in his words, SEO should be “bridging the gap between the real world and online.”
“We’re just trying to make it easier for human beings to find stuff on the internet,” Dan says. “We’re actually also trying to make it easier for the search engine to find what we as humans have put on the internet.”
So, how do you make sure people searching for your services find you?
It’s All About the Content and Keywords
Dan says, “The essence of SEO just comes down to content.” And I couldn’t agree more. Everything the internet needs to identify you to potential customers is found in the content you put out.
Your content should be full of keywords, the words and phrases people are typing into search engines to find businesses like yours. You can streamline your keywords by identifying your niche. For example, if you sell online courses on how to play classical violin, your keywords shouldn’t just be generic phrases like “learn to play the violin.” They should be more specific to include “classical violin lessons” or “learn to play classical violin online.”
These keywords should be implemented into all your content, as well as the pages on your website. In fact, Dan says you should have pages based on keywords on your website.
Find Your Niche and Milk it
SEO becomes a lot easier when you’re able to identify your niche. There are a million online tutors out there, but how many tutors specialize in Kinesiology? Or 8th Grade Fractions? The more you can streamline your niche, and identify key factors about your business that make it unique, the easier it is to identify your transactional keywords.
Finding your niche also makes it so your business is not a dime a dozen. “You want to go where there’s less competition, and where you’re not fighting an uphill battle,” Dan says. Nailing down the things that make your services unique sets you apart from the rest.
Identifying your niche also cuts down the need for an enormous amount of keywords. “Once you’ve found your niche, you don’t have to stuff keywords into everything,” Dan says.
Having those specific keywords tailored to your unique online teaching business niche, makes each one so much more potent than if you were to sprinkle random related keywords into all your online content.
Finding your niche also makes it much easier to sell because you’re not going to be a dime a dozen. “You want to go where there’s less competition, and where you’re not fighting an uphill battle,” Dan says.
Transactional vs. Informative Content
One of the most important things to understand about online content is that it is divided into two main categories- Transactional or Money-Making Content and Informational or Informative Content.
Your transactional content is what drives all your sales. This content should be full of keywords that bring people looking to buy products or services like yours to your site specifically. If someone is looking for French lessons online, your keywords should bring them right to the page on your website that allows them to purchase your courses. To make it easy to complete the purchase, a visible “Buy Now” button should not be impossible to miss.
Informational content is more about driving traffic to your site. Maybe the visitors won’t purchase something right away, but they become aware of your website and begin to trust that they can find useful information from you when they need it.
Blogs are a fantastic way to create informative content. Blogging helps you build authenticity, which is invaluable in the online world. Once you become a well-known source of trusted information in your specific niche, selling becomes easy.
Start experimenting with informative content. It doesn’t have to be directly related to your services. In fact, branching out a bit within your niche can help bring even more traffic to your site. For example, if you sell online French language courses, blogging about French cuisine or places to visit while traveling in France can be a great way to bring free traffic to your site. These people are already hungry for information on France, it’s not a huge leap for them to want to learn the language. Being there in the back of their mind in the future is enough to help build relevance in your niche.
Get creative. Informational content gives you a bit of legroom to play around.
Once you’ve gotten a firm grasp on SEO and how to implement it into your business, you can start getting into the nitty-gritty of making it work for you. Don’t feel intimidated, every educator that’s made the leap from teaching to an online business has gone through the same process. Take it slow and remember that SEO is just one of many tools that you can use to make your dream of supplementing or replacing your income online a reality.