11 Top Tips to Optimize Your LMS Site for SEO (2023)

Updated on July 25, 2023

If you want people to find your online courses organically, you need to follow the best search engine optimization (SEO) practices. 

This is especially true if you’re not an established online course business, as people need to learn who you are and what you do. They’ll only find your courses online by searching for relevant topics on a search engine. And that’s where SEO comes in. 

SEO covers a massive range of practices including using the right keywords, making sure your site performs well on all devices, having authoritative content, and more – but ultimately it’s all about making your website more visible to search engines.

This article will explore 11 tips to help you optimize your LMS (learning management system) site and courses for better search engine rankings.  

Choose an SEO-Friendly LMS Platform 

The first step to building an SEO-friendly LMS website is choosing the right platform. WordPress is a great platform you may want to use, and here’s why:  

With WordPress, you can easily publish content and segment it into relevant categories and tags, thus giving search engines more context about your posts and pages.   

What’s more, you can design your website using any WordPress theme you want. They’ll allow you to have a great uniform design across all devices, and you can customize them to create clear site navigation, which can help you rank on search results pages.  

Reign, an example of WordPress theme that’s a great option for courses

WordPress allows you to add plugins to help you keep up with the best SEO practices. For example, you can add SEO-specific plugins like Yoast and Rank Math. These two plugins will let you optimize your pages and posts by adding metadata, focus keywords, and so on. They’ll also allow you to see how each page or post ranks from an SEO perspective and what you can do to improve it. 

You can also add other plugins to help you improve other ranking factors you might not have thought are essential for SEO. For example, Jetpack enables you to optimize your site speed. It also provides security to your site and improves performance, potentially leading to better search rankings.  

However, WordPress doesn’t support LMS functionality out of the box, so you’ll need an SEO LMS plugin like Sensei LMS. Sensei is a WordPress LMS that enables users to quickly create engaging online courses, lessons, and quizzes on their WordPress website.  

Sensei has excellent features that enable your site to stand out. It has interactive Sensei Blocks, including Quizzes, Flashcards, Tasklists, Interactive Videos, and Image Hotspots. It also has a content drip which allows you to decide when to make content available. Moreover, Sensei is fully compatible with Gutenberg and if you want to sell your courses, get Sensei Pro, which integrates with WooCommerce.  

Add Lots of Content to Your LMS SEO Site 

WordPress dashboard showing how to add a new post

If you want your LMS to rank, you need to create lots of high-quality content in addition to your course material. 

Note that your most important content should be visible by default. Pages such as your course list (or course overview if you only offer one course), your pricing page, and your About page should be in the top nav and accessible in one click.  

All your content should also include relevant keywords – in other words, search queries that users would use when searching for a particular topic. For example, if you offer a course about scriptwriting, then you would presumably use terms like ‘best online scriptwriting course’ and ‘best scriptwriting for beginners.’

Google notes that your content should also be authoritative and provide genuine value to readers. So when working on a piece of content, always ask yourself, ‘Does this help my users?’. If you misexplain topics or sneak in keywords that don’t fit the context, you hurt your chances of ranking. 

As a course creator, you need to generate search leads and establish yourself as an authority in your subject. To help with this, aim to do the following two things: 

  • Have a landing page for each course, with information about how your course helps people, details about the curriculum, fees, etc. Science of People is a fantastic example of how this can be done. Their course pages, such as Lie Detection and Presentation Skills, use a mix of text, icons, images, and videos to showcase what the course entails, who will be teaching it, and what the benefits of taking the course are.  
  • Secondly, create a blog and share relevant blog posts about your courses and topics surrounding your courses. This will signal to Google that you know what you’re talking about and consistently publish reliable and relevant information.  

Take Care of Your On-Page SEO Elements 

Always use user-friendly and search-engine-friendly URLs for your courses and blog posts. For example, https://yoast.com/academy/technical-seo-training/ reads better than https://yoast.com/academy/course-1-2022.  

The second URL doesn’t quite highlight what the page is about. By just looking at it, we know it’s a page about a course, but what course is it? 

The first URL, on the other hand, clearly explains what the page is about. It has a keyword that helps search engines understand the page’s relevancy. Therefore, search engines are able to rank such a page appropriately on the search engine results page (SERP).

Additionally, always use descriptive titles for your courses, lessons, and blog posts. Descriptive titles help add weight to the authority of your pages. They give context about your content, which helps search engines understand what your web pages are about. It can also increase your click-through rate since searchers will know what to expect when they click on your page. 

Ensure that you use relevant keywords that users are likely to search for to find your course. Aim to have your keyword in the meta description, titles, subheadings, and throughout the content wherever it makes sense. However, don’t overstuff your page with keywords, as you will likely be penalized. 

Furthermore, if you want to maximize the visibility and effectiveness of your website, considering professional SEO services can greatly enhance your on-page optimization efforts. An SEO outsourcing partner can provide valuable insights and strategies to improve your website’s organic rankings, drive targeted traffic, and ultimately boost your online presence.

Build Backlinks to Your LMS SEO Site 

Backlinks are one of the biggest off-page SEO factors. This is the practice of building hyperlinks to your site on external pages. This tells search engines that your pages have authority because other sources are linking to them. 

To help you build backlinks professionally, do this: 

  • Write compelling content that other sites in your field would like to link to. Do the heavy lifting by delving deep into the topics you write about. This way, you’ll seem like an expert, and other sites will naturally link your content.  
  • Reach out to high authority sites in your industry and request a guest post. You can also do digital marketing through an outreach campaign if you have content you think other high domains in your site would find helpful and want to link to. 
  •  Last but not least, list your website in course directories. Most directories will be happy to give a backlink if you use their platform. Also, remember to go for directories in the eLearning industry.

Generate Positive Traction Around Your LMS SEO Site 

Positive mentions about your brand or website from other sources serve as signs of trust and credibility. This feeds into both customers and backlinks but extends to more scenarios too. For example, your brand could get mentioned in a blog post. And when you have a decent amount of brand mentions, it will reflect in your rankings (even if they don’t directly impact them). Positive mentions are a great way to tell Google that your site and courses are legit and people love them.  

A great way to get some positive traction is to get featured on high-authority websites in your industry. This will portray your course as credible and relevant.  

Work on Generating More Reviews 

Reviews can help improve your local ranking on Google search results. This is because they increase your social appearance, relevancy, and authority. So actively ask your students and experts in your field to review your courses.

You should also respond to reviews (even those left on your social media channels) to show that you value your students and their feedback. More positive reviews from your students will also improve your course visibility and increase the likelihood of more people wanting to join.  

Optimize your LMS’s User Experience 

Your site needs to have a great user experience. This involves everything that the end-user interacts with. It includes the company and the products or services offered.  

To ensure your students have a great UX, you’ll need to create engaging courses. Sensei can help you with this. Sensei has many course creation tools you can use to create an engaging and easy-to-follow course.  

You can use Sensei LMS Blocks to create beautiful, interactive lessons. With these blocks, you can do so much to improve course engagement. The blocks will give you access to the following: 

Image Hotspots Block: Sensei’s Image Hotspots feature lets you embed additional into your content, such as text and video. Adding images to your lessons makes for a more visual learning experience, and adding hotspots to them encourages content retention. 

Adding a hotspot to an image using Sensei's Image Hotspot block

Interactive Videos Block: Sensei also has an Interactive Videos block. With this block, you can create highly interactive videos for your courses. The block lets you pause a video and launch a quiz, a form, or a link to a product, among other features. This feature is ideal for keeping your user engaged and helping them absorb information quickly through various forms of content. 

The best part about this video block is that you can upload a video already on your computer or directly from VideoPress, YouTube, or Vimeo

Sensei's Interactive Videos block

Tasklist Block: You also get access to Sensei’s Tasklists feature. With this block feature, you can create a list that allows users to check off list items as they go. This feature is quite ideal for recipes, training, tutorials, lessons, documentation, and more. 

Sensei's Tasklists Block

Question Block: Sensei’s eLearning system also comes with a quiz feature that lets you add new questions and customize existing questions. With this block, you can categorize queries and remove any question you want to delete anytime. The feature also allows you to show feedback depending on if the question is answered correctly or not.

Flashcard Block: Content with more interaction is more likely to be read and remembered. And that’s why many course creators use elements such as flashcards to help maximize the student’s chances of remembering content learned in the class. And while the traditional use of flashcards is to help memorize, Sensei’s Flashcard blocks also contribute to keeping the student engaged during a lesson, course, or even a post. 

The best part is you can add anything to these flashcards, from audio to images to videos.  

Did Jimi Hendrix write ‘All Along the Watchtower?’

No! That was Bob Dylan

Work on Your Site Structure

Your eLearning site should be easy to navigate at all stages. Not only does this make it easier for your users to find your pages and the relevant information that they’re looking for, but it also helps Google understand your site. 

This will help you lessen the number of clicks needed to get to the key areas of your LMS site. SEO experts recommend you have a “flat architecture.” This means ideally fewer than four clicks

This extends to your courses – your users should understand your course layout and know exactly where they need to go in a few clicks. Sensei has a great default course layout that works great for this.

The default layout in Sensei LMS

You should aim to have a well-structured site with good interlinking. Having internal links helps give search engines an idea of your website’s structure. Establish hierarchy by giving your most valuable pages more link value than others. Good internal linking is essential for both SEO and usability. It allows Google bots to easily find and index your site’s pages. It also ensures that your site visitors navigate easily and have a great user experience. 

Optimize Your LMS SEO Site for Mobile-Friendliness 

Mobile-friendliness is an SEO factor, and Google uses it when ranking websites. So ensure that your LMS website is responsive, i.e., it fits well on most mobile screens.  

If you’re not sure if your site is mobile-friendly, take Google’s mobile-friendly test or try taking up your own course on your phone and see what your mobile experience is like.  

Optimize Your LMS Site for Speed 

Speed is another well-known SEO factor. If you go with a WordPress-based LMS solution, there are many things you can do to speed up your website. For example, you can use speed optimization plugins, as we mentioned earlier, like Jetpack.  

You should also aim to implement best website speed practices, such as using the latest version of PHP, using a light theme, using optimized images, and deleting unused plugins. You should also choose a solid web host for your LMS site, such as Pressable

Perform Technical SEO  

Technical SEO helps make your site easy to navigate and free of issues that can prevent search engines from understanding your site. Here are some of the best technical SEO practices that you should follow:

  • Help search engines crawl your site by adding a sitemap. Sitemaps tell search engines the relationship between your pages. If you’re using WordPress, you can use plugins such as Jetpack to create a sitemap and then submit it to Google Search Console.  
  • Fix broken links. They mess up your site’s user experience and can impact your rankings. Weed them out, and in case you delete a page that already has backlinks, create a redirect to a similar page. You can use tools such as Ahrefs to check which pages or posts need attention. 
  • Remove duplicate content. It’s unlikely that your LMS site has duplicate content, but you should check your site for potential issues. 
  • Add SSL to your LMS site so that you offer a secure learning experience. Having it shows visitors proof of safety from hackers, making them feel safe. SSL is also an SEO factor, thus can improve your site’s search visibility.  
  • Take care of technicalities like hreflang flags if you’re creating a multilingual LMS. Hreflang flags allow you to reach potential students in different regions. They also enable you to provide a good user experience by presenting your content to students based on their preferred language. In addition, hreflang flags also help you build strong international SEO signals for your site. 

Start Optimizing Your SEO LMS Site 

To create an SEO-friendly website and course, it’s paramount that you use the best LMS platform. Because WordPress is so customizable, it’s very possible to create an SEO-friendly site by following the tips we explain above.

You’ll also need a way to create courses on WordPress, and that’s where Sensei LMS comes in. Sensei inherits a WordPress interface allowing you to adapt to the best SEO practices, thus enabling you to rank high on search results pages and attract more organic traffic. 

Check out Sensei’s plans to get started. Choose the plan that has everything you need to create an LMS site that ranks well and attracts potential learners to your course. 

Keep the conversation going…

Join the community
Sensei P2

Follow us on Twitter

Stay up to date
Join our mailing List

Choose Your WordPress LMS

We know you’re a genius. Now let us help you share your brilliance with the world.

Host Anywhere

Download our free plugin to use on any WordPress site, and upgrade to Sensei Pro at any time.

  • Open-source and extendable
  • Works with any WordPress theme
  • Integrates with 100s of WordPress plugins
  • Choose any web host

Host With Us

Get blazing-fast hosting, Sensei Pro, backups, and security all in one discounted package.

  • Sensei Pro courses, and quizzes
  • WooCommerce payments
  • Jetpack security and marketing
  • WordPress.com scalable hosting