July 14th, 2022 Sell Online Courses

What you call your course matters. After all, not only does your course name indicate the subject matter but like any good book, titles entice the user to learn more.

As you know, online audiences have short attention spans and often make snap decisions based on a quick first impression. Most folks only stay on a web page for about 15 seconds, so if the name of your course doesn’t grab their attention, they may click elsewhere for content that seems more worth their time. 

To help you think more critically about what to call your class, we’ve gathered six reasons why we think it’s important to have this conversation about your course name. 

Your course appears more professional when branded

If you’ve named courses before, bring the title to mind: how does the name reflect on your brand? Does the phrasing, wording, imaging, and banners all show the learner what your company is about? Everyone should think of how their course reflects on their brand. By using language you would use to describe your overall company aesthetic, you’re ensuring that your course is an extension of what you offer as a whole. 

A good course name allows for specific design elements 

The more specific and focused your course name is, the more you can use it as a design framework. For example, instead of offering an “introduction to photography” course, your customers can say they enrolled in a “photography bootcamp” or “photography academy.” That sort of branding unlocks tons of potential. 

In a bootcamp, for example, you can refer to lesson elements as “stations” where learners stop and practice a new skill. Learners can run “drills” (quizzes) to test their knowledge. With a focused, tailored title, it unlocks more potential for creative, unified, and specific course design. 

SEO best practices can attract more users 

If you hope to grow traffic to your courses organically, you should be following SEO (search engine optimization) best practices. We have some specific tips for course creation SEO from Rebecca Gill that can help you sell your courses. Tools like Ahrefs help you find phrases, keywords, and search terms for a course name, along with how difficult it would be to rank each option. 

You can also run potential name ideas through Google Trends. This free service can help you identify search volume patterns as well as related search queries and topics. For example, if you search “how to vlog” in Google Trends, you’ll see the related topics are “YouTube” and “TikTok.” So, if you tailored a class especially for “how to vlog on TikTok,” you may hit a niche market where more folks will be interested in your course! 

It sets you apart from competitors 

This is one of the most important ideas behind why it’s important to think about your course title. Potential learners need to see right in the title that what you offer differs from your competitors. 

Let’s think back to the photography bootcamp example. If your course fully embraces this concept of a “bootcamp” then over time, your course may be known among competitors as an intensive crash course on the subject. Other interested folks will start to recognize that your course design is different than any other basic course model and will gravitate towards your course as having a perceived benefit over the competition. All of this begins with a name!  

A course name has to “mean” something

One big mistake in naming courses is falling into the trap of being too cute or clever. Puns, acronyms, and other turns of phrases are fun and exciting to brainstorm, but at the end of the day, they are often empty cliches that don’t mean much. Relying too much on a pun can even mislead potential learners or turn them off. Clarity should beat cleverness every time.

It sets expectations for the learners 

Similar to specificity for SEO purposes, specificity in your name should also address pain points your course is going to solve. One way to think about this is to answer the question:  “What is the value of my course?” Most often, this goes back to learning outcomes, which are the objectives you want your learners to take away from the course. 

Let’s think back to the vlogging example. “How to vlog,” doesn’t quite mean anything. “How to vlog on TikTok” is better, but what are learners really taking away? “From Beginner to Pro: How to vlog on TikTok” explains a bit more the value of your course. 

What folks are buying is a transformation. A great course name should set the expectation for how much work is ahead of them while also hinting at the benefits. How will your course make their lives better? 

With these considerations in mind, we hope you agree that it’s important to think deeply about what goes into your next course name. No matter how great your content, if the name doesn’t hint or showcase this, you might never entice folks enough to check it out.

With LearnDash, you can create impressive courses with custom-tailored course names without any restrictions. Explore the features of LearnDash now, or try out a demo to see if this solution is right for you. 

Rachel Kolman photo

About Rachel Kolman

Rachel Kolman is a Content Specialist for StellarWP. She has over 10 years of experience writing and editing for a variety of clients and brands. With two MFAs in Creative Writing, Rachel loves using language in new and surprising ways to tell a story. She is passionate about education, social change, pop culture, and video games. She lives in Seattle, WA with her husband and two cats.

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