Is your language website missing these 4 important SEO features?

Promoting language courses online often starts with a good website. If you spend time and money creating and maintaining an attractive website, you’ll want to make sure that you are getting a lot of visitors to the site.

There are several ways of getting more visitors, such as e-mail blasts, paid advertising or using social media networks to spread the word. Perhaps one of the simplest ways of generating quality traffic to your language site is by optimising the content you have to get your site noticed and ranked well by search engines, such as Google, Yahoo or Bing. This practice of optimising your content so it’s relevant to the search terms people are looking for is known as SEO (search engine optimization) and you don’t need to be a web guru to do it. Just start with these four tips and watch your numbers soar!

 1.     Optimise your website URL

Let’s say the URL for your language site’s home page is www.yourwebsite.web. When creating new pages within your site, make sure that they contain keywords and also hint towards what the page is about.

Avoid URLs such as www.yourwebsite.web/product764, but instead use www.yourwebsite.web/general-spanish-seniors

This not only helps your users understand the page’s content, but also it helps search engine robots understand your content better, and therefore rank your page appropriately within search results.

2.     Optimise your metadata

Metadata is the non-visible information that is stored in your website’s code that helps tell search engine robots what your language site is about. If you edit your site’s code yourself, you’ll see the title and meta description code in the php file. If you use a CMS like WordPress, there will usually be a field for this information when you are editing your page. Or you may choose to install a free plugin such as Yoast that takes care of this optimisation for you.

Metadata consists of a title, description and keywords.

Page titles are best kept under 70 characters. Do not use the same page title throughout your website, the choice of words needs to be relevant to each page as it’s the first thing that appear in a search result.

The meta description appears under your page title in search results. Keep it under 150 characters and tell what the page is about. Bonus tip: throw a call to action in your description to really inspire users to take action!

There’s a lot of controversy of whether or not search engines take into account your meta keywords, but it can’t hurt to add them. Just make sure that you are using long-tailed, specific keywords like “Spanish classes in Argentina” rather than “classes”, and not repeating the same keywords on every page.

3.     Optimise your content

The H tags are heading tags: H1, H2, etc. They tell search engines in which order to read and prioritise content. So make sure that the text included within the heading tags is relevant and important. For instance, instead of writing <H1>Welcome to Language Study</H1>, write <H1>Learn Spanish in Argentina with Language Study</H1>.

Also make sure that you’ve included keywords within your page’s content, but don’t go overboard! Remember that although we want the robots to read our sites, we also have real people reading it too and there’s nothing more boring that reading content that is over-stuffed with keywords.

Be aware that content that is copied and pasted from other websites has no value and can be penalised by search engines. Make sure your content is unique and original.

4.     Optimise your website

Your website is like a shop window and your brochure combined. First impressions are often memorable, so make sure the look and feel of your pages does your organisation justice: you want to look trustworthy.

Improving your navigation by interlinking to other pages within your site will encourage visitors to browse longer through your website and will reduce your bounce rate (number of visitors who leave after seeing one page only) and also helps search engine robots navigate your site better as well. Including a sitemap also helps both robots and real people navigate through your language site.

 

With these four tips, you may find that boost in traffic you needed. Just remember that while you are optimising your sites so search engine robots can find and rank you better, you also want to create a fantastic experience for the language learner interested in your services. Keeping those two things in mind will help you create a fantastic SEO-optimized language website. Good luck!

 

Article written by Kelly Pointdexter (BridgeEnglish) and AK la Combe (IALC).

About this blog

Members of IALC share their insights on the language travel industry. Contributors are owners, directors, managers, teachers or administrative staff of IALC-accredited language schools worldwide.

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