Course booking websites have some fierce competition and driving more traffic to your site can be quite challenging. Whether you offer business courses, private educational courses or a combination of the two, getting people to your website and standing out from the competition can be difficult.
In this article, we look at the key strategies you can use to drive more traffic to your course booking website and convert visitors into paid bookings.
Search engine optimisation (SEO)
Organic search is the most important channel for any course booking website. Search engines are the first platforms people turn to when they’re looking to research potential courses and this is where your site needs to rank for the right keywords. Building an organic search presence takes time but it’s the most profitable long-term strategy for any business selling online.
According to data from BrightEdge, 53.3% of all traffic is driven by organic search – more than social media, PPC and all other channels combined.
A key reason for this is that most purchase decisions come at the end of a research and consideration period where people search for information across a variety of websites to help them choose the best option for their needs. Each of these searches is an opportunity for your company to capture the attention of potential buyers and influence the decision they make.
You might target queries like “best training courses for construction site managers” or “what certificates does a site manager need” and provide valuable information that helps potential future customers make purchase decisions with confidence – and let them know that you happen to provide the courses they’re looking for.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
While SEO is the most effective long-term strategy for bringing traffic to your course booking site, the big downside is that it takes time to get results. With pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, you can drive instant traffic to your website by paying for each visit (ad click) by bidding on target keywords and showing your ads at the top of the results page.
Aside from generating instant traffic, the other key benefit of PPC is that you can target “high-intent” keywords, meaning users are ready to do buy now or in the near future. SEO tends to generate traffic from users in the research and consideration stages of the consumer journey while PPC allows you to cut right to the end of the purchase process, meaning visitors are more likely to book from the first visit.
Local SEO is a branch of search engine optimisation but it’s a different strategy altogether. Instead of using content to capture leads from organic search, local SEO uses your business locations to capture interest from people looking for your services in your local area.
So, instead of generic keywords like “best training courses for construction site managers,” these users are typing things like “construction training courses London” or “construction training courses near me”.
Much like PPC advertising, local searches tend to have a higher purchase intent because these users are specifically looking for course providers in their area – ie: courses they can book and attend in their chosen location. You can use local searches to drive traffic to your course booking website but you can also use this strategy to bring visitors to your business or phone calls to secure bookings over the phone.
To take full advantage of local search, you’ll need to complete a Google My Business profile to show up in local results and Google Maps.
Social media marketing / advertising
While search engines help you connect with people who are specifically looking for training courses, social media allows you to promote your business to relevant audiences who aren’t yet looking. Organic social media (where you don’t pay for ads) gets mixed results across different platforms – for example, you’ll get very little reach on Facebook and Instagram without paying for ads while you can still get results on Twitter and LinkedIn by building an audience through organic posts.
In all cases, you’re going to get better results with paid social ads because you can use targeting settings to get your posts seen by relevant audiences, whether they follow you or not.
For example, you might create a campaign targeting business owners at specific types of companies to introduce your brand or inform them about important changes that mean their staff need new certificates or refresher courses.
Our new RNA Centre of Excellence & training academy will drive the development & manufacture of #RNAvaccines & medicines 💉
The #NorthEast is leading the world in this disruptive technology & driving the future of therapeutics.
— CPI (@ukCPI) August 31, 2021
The Covid-19 pandemic is a perfect example of how industry developments can spur new training needs that potential customers may not even be aware of. Social is the perfect channel for keeping your target audiences informed and sparking interest in your course among people who wouldn’t actively search for you without a little nudge in the right direction.
Paid remarketing campaigns
With paid search and social media, you can run something called remarketing campaigns which show visual ads to people who visited your website after they leave. So, let’s say someone clicks on one of your search ads and browses some courses on your website but doesn’t make a booking – you can show display ads to them on other websites to remind them of why they clicked through to your website in the first place.
With remarketing ads, you keep the interest alive in people who visited the most important pages of your website. People don’t visit course booking websites unless they have an interest in signing up and remarketing campaigns allow you to increase incentive among people who weren’t ready to make the full commitment on the first visit.
You can target them with ads explaining that seats are filling up fast and they should book now to avoid missing out, building up the sense of urgency and fear of missing out. You may even target previous visitors with discounts for bulk bookings or you can take a software approach and promote content in exchange for an email address so you can reach them individually, for free, through email marketing.
Email marketing allows you to send messages to individual prospects, learn about their specific needs and offer the most relevant courses to them. The more relevant your messages are, the more likely prospects are to book (and continue booking) with you – so email is a crucial channel.
It’s also the only channel you own, meaning you’re not dependent on paying for ads or optimising for algorithms controlled by other companies. you get a direct line for contacting prospects and customers on a one-to-one basis, giving them an incentive to visit your course booking website.
With email campaigns, you can reach new prospects who are yet to make a booking but you can also nurture your existing customers to keep them engaged with your brand and ready to make the next booking at the right time. You can request feedback, provide valuable content to help them get the best out of their previous courses and keep them informed about industry developments that affect their business – and could require further training.
Make sure you have an intuitive online booking system
The strategies we’ve looked at in this article will help you bring more traffic to your course booking website but you have to turn these visitors into actual bookings before your marketing strategies start to pay off. It doesn’t matter how many visitors you attract if you don’t have an intuitive online booking system on your website that makes it easy for users to browse courses and complete their bookings.
This is why we built a complete course booking system into Dante, which integrates seamlessly with your website to accept bookings around the clock. It comes with an intuitive checkout system and payment gateway integration for handling the entire booking and payment process so technical issues never get in the way of securing the next booking.
Is Dante the perfect course booking system for your business?
Contact Dante Systems to find out more about our training management system and discover how we can help you drive more revenue and business growth by increasing the productivity of your workflow. Request your free trial with no obligation or credit card details required. Telephone: 0117 405 8158. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.