Whether someone is looking to learn a new skill or a business is trying to train up their employees, digital online courses are quickly becoming the go-to platforms for education. With so many benefits, including the affordability of the courses, the ability to work through at a personal pace, and easy access to high-quality learning materials, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

However, with such an expanding online presence, the search capabilities for these learning platforms are constantly being adjusted and improved, and there’s a knack for getting your course positioned at the top of the rankings.

With estimates suggesting that workers spend around 20% of their day searching for the right content, not only is this impacting their ability to learn effectively, it’s also wasting everybody’s time.

To help eradicate this problem, today we’re going to explore some of the most need-to-know search functions on eLearning platforms to ensure everyone can find exactly what they’re looking for easily.

Use Metrics

One of the most important considerations you’ll need to be thinking about is how you’re going to analysis and report on the performance of the course you’re providing. What metrics are you going to use?

“By utilising metrics that can tell you where people are coming from to find your course, how many people are seeing the page, how long they are spending on it, and the overall conversion rate, you can see exactly where you need to tweak your SEO in order to maximize the number of people searching for your course niche” explains Michelle Willet, an eLearning educator for 1Day2Write and WriteMYX.

Are lots of people coming in from social media, but not search engines? Invest more time in your targeted ads and SEO pages, perhaps even introducing guest posting if you’re not already.

Optimize for Predictive Search

Whether you’re hosting your course yourself, or you’re hosting it on an eLearning site, such as Udemy or Skillshare, you need to consider that people are searching for your course, many of which will use utilize the predictive search features of a website in order to find the best results.

For example, if someone wants to learn about video creation, they may search something like ‘how to make video’ courses, in which Google, for example, provides the following;

  • How to make videos on Instagram
  • How to make videos for YouTube
  • How to make videos for Facebook
  • How to make videos for Twitch

This is a really basic example, but it shows how specific you need to be when writing the content for your online course.

“Most importantly, you’ll want to be thinking about your headline to match these top search results. The more you can optimize your course’s SEO, the more likely you’ll be to be found in the search engines,” shares Jo Weaver, a tech writer for Origin Writings.

Advanced Search Features

If you’re not hosting a course, but you’re instead looking for content online, it’s important to know the advanced search functions, so you can easily find exactly what you’re looking for. As we said above, the average worker spends 20% of their time searching rather than working, and this is incredibly unproductive.

Let’s say you’re using Google, learning how to narrow down and filter your results using the tools at the top, is a great way to filter through your results to find more precise matches.

Another great tip is using the “ symbols. This allows you to search for results that have to have the keyword you’re searching within these brackets. For example, if you’re looking for courses in New York, you can search ‘online courses “New York”,’ and only pages and search terms with the phrase ‘New York’ in them will show up.

Another great tip is using the ‘site:’ term helps you search through specific websites. If you’re looking for writing tips on Inc.com, you can search ‘writing tips site:inc.com,’ and only results with writing tips on the Inc.com website will be displayed.

This is a great way to help you source information when you’re building your courses, and any other time you’re using search features on the internet.

Making Your Courses Available Online/Offline

Speed is such an important factor when it comes to eLearning packages because it all comes down to the user experience. If someone is having a bad experience with your course and it’s loading really slowly, they’re simply going to go elsewhere.

The best way to resolve this is to simply break your course up into different sections, or ‘modules,’ that the user can access individually.

You can also make the modules of your course downloadable which means the user can download everything they need without having to worry about slower internet speeds or streaming problems because they can easily access the material offline.

When creating a course, it’s vital that you put your user at the core of every decision you make. If you’re able to provide the best learning experience, they’ll keep coming back for more, you’ll get higher ratings, and your course will be more successful.

Adelina Benson is a course writer and producer at AcademicBrits.com. She develops marketing guides, helps design eLearning courses, and helps others optimize their own.