Skilljar was designed with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind, and many of our native platform features are automatically configured to adhere to SEO best practices. In this article, we’ll provide some SEO tips and how you can optimize SEO to drive traffic to your Skilljar training site.
What is Search engine optimization?
SEO is the process of optimizing a website or online content to improve its visibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs) on search engine pages, such as Google, and is is one of the main ways in which people discover content online. Your SEO rank can be improved by using effective titles and links relevant to your content. Ranking higher in search engines can lead to an increase in traffic to your Skilljar training site.
When it comes to a learning management system (LMS), such as Skilljar, SEO is critical for a number of reasons:
- Attracting new learners: SEO can help your Skilljar training site show up higher in search engine results pages, making it easier for potential learners to find your courses and training programs. This can help you attract new learners who might not have found your site otherwise.
- Improving user experience: Good SEO practices can also help improve the user experience for learners who do find your training site. This can include things like making sure your site is mobile-friendly, ensuring that pages load quickly, and using clear, descriptive titles and meta descriptions to help users understand what each page is about.
- Establishing credibility: When your Skilljar training site shows up higher in search engine results pages, it can help establish your organization as a credible source of information and education. This can help build trust with learners and make them more likely to enroll in your courses.
- Boosting engagement and retention: By optimizing your training site for search engines, you can help ensure that learners find the content they're looking for quickly and easily. This can help boost engagement and retention rates, as learners are more likely to stick with a course or training program that meets their needs and expectations.
Overall, SEO is a critical component of any successful LMS strategy. By optimizing your Skilljar training site for search engines, you can attract more learners, improve user experience, establish credibility, and boost engagement and retention rates.
- Tip: Login-required or access code-gated domains can’t be indexed in search engines, so all steps provided in this article are with public domains in mind. There are still a few steps you can take to improve your Skilljar domain’s SEO score. When your site is made publicly available you increase the chances of customers or non-customers finding your site.
If you're not sure where to start with SEO, consider working with a digital marketing agency or SEO specialist who can help you develop a comprehensive SEO strategy that's tailored to your specific training site and target audience.
SEO and web Accessibility
Web accessibility plays a key role in SEO because it helps make the content more accessible for users (and crawlers). Accessibility allows your content to be found and understood easily by everyone.
While an LMS can be a powerful tool for delivering educational content, it's important to remember that simply having an LMS is not enough to attract and retain learners. That's where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in.
What Skilljar does automatically to increase SEO
Here are just a few things Skilljar does to increase SEO for your training site.
- Added titles and short descriptions.
- Short descriptions are hidden by default on Catalog Page tiles.
- Canonical Tags
- Skilljar has added canonical tags to all course detail/curriculum pages. Canonical tags serve as the source of truth for search engines when indexing content and improve the SEO of your courses. They're now automatically added to your courses to avoid duplication and make it even easier for your customers to find and access your content.
- Why You Should Use Canonical URLs for SEO: Canonical URLs help search engines better understand your site, which helps your site rank higher in search results. Canonical tags/URLs let search engines and users know which page the duplicate pages derive from. So it’s easier for Google to crawl your site and index it correctly.
- We also have a setting for "lazy load" of course images where not all images will load on a page until the user scrolls down.
- We have a Content Delivery Network for loading our images/SCORM/Download files securely and quickly around the world.
Cookie Management/Theming - Cookie management/Code snippets allow updates to how the page loads.
- Cookies do lots of different jobs, like letting you navigate between pages efficiently, storing your preferences, and generally improving your experience of a website. Cookies make the interaction between you and the website faster and easier.
What you can do within your Skilljar platform to increase SEO
Here are a few things you can do within your Skilljar platform to increase SEO.
Deep link your content
Skilljar supports deep linking, so you can have your marketing content or your main website link directly to:
- Your home catalog page
- Any catalog page, path, plan, or course detail page
XML Site Map
- A sitemap is a file where you provide information about the pages, videos, and other files on your site, and the relationships between them. Search engines like Google read this file to crawl your site more efficiently.
- Skilljar has a "Scanning user" tool that allows you to export and crawl every page in the training domain to input into other tools (cookie management)
- That output will include lesson-level URLs, though Google wont be able to access them directly (unless registration is disabled) since bots can’t get through our Auth page
- By uploading to the search console, Google is at least aware of the page. So doing this with the output from "Scanning User" should still be beneficial
- Cookies can help with SEO through Personalization in the SERP
- Search Engine Results Page (SERP) The page that a search engine returns after a user submits a search query.
- Cookies can help with SEO through Personalization in the SERP
Edit your Robots.txt file
You can further customize the SEO of your domain by editing your robots.txt file. This gives you the power to prevent elements of your training program from being discovered/crawled by search engines. You can also decide which crawlers can search specific pages.
Robots. txt helps you to tell search engines which pages of your website need to be crawled or indexed. The Sitemap. xml tells the search engine about the full website structure and how many pages and links are there.
Robots. txt files should also include the location of another very important file: the XML Sitemap. This provides details of every page on your website that you want search engines to discover.
To customize your robots.txt file, please reach out to your customer success manager CSM) or contact Skilljar Support.
What you can do outside your Skilljar platform to increase SEO
Use Google Search Central tools
You can claim your domain using the HTML Tag verification method by putting the meta tag from Google Search Console into the Global Head Snippet in the theme applied to your domain. This tag will be added to your domain page, letting Google know you own the domain.
You could also use Google Search Console to intentionally crawl the domain so Google will pick up the content. A web crawler will discover visible content (catalog pages, paths, plans, or courses).
SEO Best Practices
Here are a few more SEO best practices to help your training site rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Align your content with search intent.
- Write compelling title tags and meta descriptions.
- Optimize your images.
- Optimize your site’s page loading speed.
- Build an internal linking structure.
- Improve user experience.
- Make Your URLs SEO-friendly.
- Earn Authoritative Backlinks.
- Backlinks are links on one website that point to another website. They’re also known as inbound or external links. They improve ranking, boost your credibility, help search engines find new pages, and send referral traffic to your site.
When creating your content and your SEO strategy, consider the following:
Title, URL, description
Crawl accessibility so engines can read your website
Crawl accessibility, also known as crawlability, is a term used in SEO to refer to how easily search engine bots or spiders can access and crawl a website's pages. Search engine bots are automated programs that crawl the web to index pages and understand their content, so it's important to ensure that they can access and crawl your website's pages.
To make sure that search engine bots can crawl your website, you need to ensure that your website's pages are accessible and easy to navigate. This can include things like:
- Site architecture: Your website's structure should be well-organized and easy to navigate, with a clear hierarchy of pages and links. Make sure that your website's pages are linked together logically and that search engine bots can easily follow the links from page to page.
- URL structure: Your website's URLs should be descriptive and easy to understand, with clear keywords that reflect the content of each page. Avoid using complex URLs with lots of parameters or numbers, as these can be difficult for search engine bots to crawl.
- Sitemap: A sitemap is a file that lists all the pages on your website, making it easier for search engine bots to crawl and index them. Make sure that your website has a sitemap that's up-to-date and includes all the pages you want to be indexed.
- Robots.txt file: The robots.txt file is a file that tells search engine bots which pages they should and shouldn't crawl on your website. Make sure that your website's robots.txt file is up-to-date and includes any pages or directories that you don't want to be indexed.
By ensuring that your website is easily accessible and crawlable by search engine bots, you can help improve your website's visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) and make it easier for users to find your content. If you're not sure if your website is easily accessible and crawlable, consider working with an SEO specialist who can help you identify any issues and develop a strategy to improve your website's crawlability.
Compelling content that answers the searcher’s query
Compelling content that answers the searcher's query is one of the most important factors for SEO. When a user searches for something on a search engine, they are looking for content that is relevant, informative, and useful. By creating compelling content that answers the searcher's query, you can improve your website's visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) and attract more traffic to your site. Here are some tips for creating compelling content that answers the searcher's query:
- Research the search query: Before creating content, it's important to research the search query and understand what the user is looking for. Use keyword research tools to identify the most relevant and high-volume keywords related to the search query.
- Create unique and informative content: Your content should be unique, informative, and engaging. Make sure that it provides value to the user and answers their query in a clear and concise manner.
- Use descriptive titles and meta descriptions: The title and meta description of your content should accurately describe what the content is about and what the user can expect to find. Use descriptive and engaging language to entice the user to click on your content.
- Include relevant keywords: Use relevant keywords throughout your content, but avoid keyword stuffing. Your content should sound natural and not forced.
- Provide additional resources: If your content provides a solution to a problem, consider providing additional resources or links to related content. This can help increase the user's engagement and provide additional value.
Overall, creating compelling content that answers the searcher's query is a crucial factor for SEO success. By providing informative and engaging content that addresses the user's search intent, you can improve your website's visibility in search engine results pages and attract more traffic to your site.
Keyword optimized to attract searchers & engines
Keywords are an essential part of SEO as they help search engines understand the content of your website and its relevance to users. Here are some tips for optimizing keywords to attract both searchers and search engines:
- Research your keywords: Before you start optimizing your content, conduct thorough keyword research to identify the most relevant keywords for your website. Use keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, or SEMrush to find high-traffic, low-competition keywords.
- Focus on long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are more specific and have less competition than generic keywords. They can help you attract more qualified traffic to your website. For example, instead of targeting the keyword "shoes," you can target "best running shoes for women."
- Use keywords in the right places: Place your keywords in strategic places such as the page title, meta description, headers, and body of your content. But avoid overstuffing your content with keywords, which can harm your SEO efforts.
- Create high-quality content: Produce high-quality, engaging, and informative content that aligns with your keywords. This will not only attract search engines but also keep users on your website for longer.
- Optimize images and videos: Optimize your images and videos by including relevant keywords in their file names, alt text, and captions.
- Monitor your keyword performance: Regularly monitor your keyword performance using tools like Google Analytics to track your keyword rankings, traffic, and engagement. This will help you identify which keywords are driving the most traffic to your website and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Great user experience including a fast load speed and compelling user interface (UI).
- Send customers to a separate domain or page from your prospects which could be especially helpful with the mobile experience. For example, create a landing page with high-level learning vs. a heavy course curriculum with quizzes, and certifications. We can automatically send non-customers to a separate experience so at least your prospect's page speed is completely optimized and passing tests on mobile and desktop
- Ensure images are sized correctly, formatting follows best practices, and catalog pages are used vs. adding all content to the landing page.
- Apply learnings from your own site optimization to your Academy. There will be no restrictions here as Skilljar follows and is built with all best-in-class web technology.
Share-worthy content that has authoritative backlinks and deeplinks
Creating share-worthy content that has authoritative backlinks and deeplinks can help improve your website's visibility and search engine rankings. Here are some tips for creating such content:
- Conduct thorough research: Start by conducting research on your topic to ensure that your content is informative, accurate, and up-to-date. Use authoritative sources and link to them within your content.
- Create original and valuable content: Make sure your content provides unique and valuable insights on your topic. Offer a fresh perspective, provide new data, or offer unique solutions to a problem.
- Optimize your content for search engines: Use relevant keywords throughout your content, but avoid keyword stuffing. Optimize your headlines, subheadings, and meta descriptions with your target keywords.
- Use high-quality visuals: Include relevant, high-quality images, videos, infographics, and other visuals in your content. This will help make it more engaging and shareable.
- Incorporate internal and external links: Incorporate internal and external links within your content to provide more context and credibility. Use deep links to link to relevant pages within your website.
- Promote your content: Promote your content on social media, forums, and other platforms to increase its visibility and reach. Reach out to influencers and other websites in your niche to encourage them to link to your content.
- Monitor your backlinks and deeplinks: Regularly monitor your backlinks and deeplinks using tools like Ahrefs or Moz to identify which websites are linking to your content. This will help you understand which content resonates with your audience and which types of links are most valuable for your website.
By following these tips, you can create share-worthy content that has authoritative backlinks and deeplinks, which can help improve your website's search engine rankings and visibility.
Title, URL, and description to draw high click-through rates ( CTR) in the rankings
When it comes to drawing high CTR in search rankings, the title, URL, and description of your content all play an important role. Here are some tips to optimize these elements for maximum CTR:
- Optimize your title: Your title should accurately reflect the content of your page and contain your primary keyword. Make sure it's engaging and attention-grabbing, so users will want to click through to your content. Consider using numbers or power words in your title to make it more compelling.
- Make your URL readable: Your URL should be easy to read and understand, so users can quickly determine what your page is about. Use hyphens to separate words and keep your URL short and concise.
- Craft a compelling meta description: Your meta description should provide a concise summary of your content and include your primary keyword. It should be persuasive and entice users to click through to your content. Use action-oriented language and consider including a call-to-action to encourage users to take action.
- Use rich snippets: Rich snippets can enhance your search engine listing by providing additional information about your content, such as ratings, reviews, and pricing information. Use structured data markup to provide search engines with this additional information.
- Conduct A/B testing: Test different variations of your title, URL, and description to see which ones perform best in terms of CTR. Use tools like Google Optimize or Optimize.ly to conduct A/B testing and optimize your listings.
- Keep it relevant: Make sure that your title, URL, and description are relevant to the content on your page. If users click through to your content and find that it's not what they were expecting, they'll quickly bounce back to the search results, which can harm your rankings and CTR.
By following these tips, you can optimize your title, URL, and description to draw high click-through rates in the search rankings, which can help increase traffic to your website and improve your overall search engine visibility.
Snippet/schema markup to stand out in SERPs
SEO schema markup, also known as structured data markup or simply schema markup, is a type of code that website owners can add to their pages to help search engines better understand the content on their site. The schema markup uses a standardized vocabulary or "schema" to describe the different elements of a webpage and their relationships to each other.
By adding schema markup to their pages, website owners can provide search engines with more detailed information about the content on their site, which can help search engines display richer, more informative search results. For example, if a website owner adds schema markup to a recipe page, search engines can display the recipe's cooking time, ingredients, and nutritional information directly in the search results, making it easier for users to find the information they need.