Pre-Publish Merchandising, SEO for Traffic - Teacher Handbook - Skillshare

Pre-Publish Merchandising

SEO for Traffic

You’ve produced a great class, now how do you make sure people find it? Using the right keywords, word count, and framing in your title and description will help your content appear higher in Google and Skillshare search results, increasing traffic to your class. Read on for some simple tips and best practices to improve your class’ SEO profile. 

Class Titles
The top three best practices for great, SEO-friendly titles:

  1. Clearly describe what your class is about. This is the most important element of a class title.
  2. Stick to the 60-character limit. Google typically cuts off search results after 60 characters. Limiting your title to 60 characters or fewer will ensure the full title shows up. 
  3. Find one primary keyword that describes what your class is about and be sure to include it in the title (more on finding your keyword, below). Ideally, the primary keyword would appear in the first few words of the title, but this is less important than the title’s authenticity. The title should feel natural. Never “keyword stuff” your title


Finding Your Keywords
Start by brainstorming a list of keywords. Consider topic (e.g. hand lettering), skills or techniques (e.g. digitizing, blending, animating), tools (e.g. Photoshop, Excel, DSLR camera), project (e.g. watercolor florals, HTML website), or takeaways (e.g. build your brand, improve productivity, develop your style).

Once you have a few keywords to work with, the quickest and easiest way to pick your favorites is to type the beginning of your search term into Google and see what auto populates. This will tell you the most popular searches people are conducting around your keyword category. 

SEO_google_results.png

Writing Your Title
Once you have at least one strong keyword, there are a few different approaches for developing the full title of your class. 

  1. Ask yourself: What’s the one question or problem that I’m addressing with this class? Then, use your title to answer that question or address that problem. A great example of this is Liz Kohler Brown’s class on designing a digital planner in Procreate.
    SEO_digitalplanner.png
    Think of it this way: If your class title addresses your prospective student’s question better than other search results, your class will get their click. That said, this class title could be stronger if it was a little shorter.  As you can see, the title gets cut off at the end. 

  2. Go broad with the beginning of your title to position it well for very popular, high-volume search terms. A great example of this is Fraser Davidson’s Character Animation class
    SEO_characteranimation.pngFraser included the main keyword in the beginning of the title (“animation”) and kept it short. He also added a word to specify the level of the class (“simple”) — another key strategy for improving click-through rates. One thing to consider if you go broad with the beginning of your title, is to include a short subtitle with more specificity. This way your class won’t just rank on Google, but will also stand out in Skillshare’s class catalogue. 


Writing Your Class Description

Best practices for great, SEO-friendly descriptions:

  1. Your description should be at least 500 words and should include your primary keyword. Again, remember that it’s important that the keyword appear organically. Never include it randomly or out-of-context.
  2. Always begin your description with a 1-2 sentence intro summary statement of your class. Google will probably pull this out for the description in your search result.For example:

    For example:
    In this class you'll learn how to design and create a digital planner or bullet journal. I’ll cover how I use the app Procreate to plan and draw my planner template, and how I create buttons that link to various sections in my planner.
     


Linking Best Practices
Google looks at links to help inform its algorithm. It also uses links to decide what pages are “authorities” in a category. Therefore, we recommend you add the following links to your class description.

    • A link to your personal or business website, if it’s relevant to the class
    • Links to your other classes on Skillshare
    • A link back to the primary category page associated with your class topic.  For example: skillshare.com/browse/art or skillshare.com/browse/photography
    • Note: You do not need to link back to your Skillshare profile since it’s already included on the class page.

If you follow all of these steps, your class will be in a great position to attract as much traffic as possible from both Google and Skillshare search. Happy search engine optimizing!