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First impressions matter a lot, especially online.

Think about it.

Whenever you search or see an ad on Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you judge the title for a few seconds and then decide whether or not you’ll move on.

We can’t help it. There’s tons of content online, and you just don’t have the time to read and click everything.

So how do you create a good first impression and attract users?

It all starts with a good title.

After all, the title is the first thing that people see when they conduct a search query. If it’s not irresistible or compelling, then people won’t click it.

But how do you create a perfect title that gets clicks?

How to Craft The Perfect Online Course Title

Below, I’ve outlined the steps you need to know about creating the perfect title. Just follow our guide to get students enrolling in your online course.

Step 1: Identify Your Target Audience

1. Describe your audience using demographic information

The demographic profile of your target audience will have an impact on how you create your online course.

Here are some guiding questions to help you identify the demographic information of your audience:

  • Where do they live?
  • What do they do?
  • Are they mostly male or female?
  • What is their marital status?
  • What’s their highest level of education attainment?
  • How old are they? Are they clustered in a specific age range?

How to Craft The Perfect Title for Your Online Course (Step-By-Step)

Let’s say you have a course on how to vlog. You described your audience with the following paragraph:

Most of my followers are located in America, so the audience for my online course may be located here. I plan to market your course to people in my network, so I think my audience is in the age range of 21 to 30, and are unmarried.

Since they’re in their 20s, I can assume that they’re fresh graduates or in pursuit of a college degree. They’re probably evenly distributed between males and females. They’re young people who want to become professional vloggers.

If you’ve already got an online following, then you can accurately describe your target audience by encouraging them to answer an online survey.

But don’t worry if you’re just getting started.

Everyone has a simple idea of who they’re marketing to—all you need to do is to put this idea into words.

2. Choose a Subsegment

Now that you’ve got a clear idea of your target audience, it’s time to identify the subsegments within your specified group.

According to Wikipedia, Market segmentation is defined as “the process of dividing a broad consumer or business market … into sub-groups of consumers based on some type of shared characteristics.”

How to Craft The Perfect Title for Your Online Course (Step-By-Step)

For example, the audience of your online course on how to vlog can have these subsegments:

  • Fresh graduates who want to make money
  • Young professionals who want the flexibility to work in remote locations
  • Young professionals who are willing to build an online following

For this example, I’ve chosen the last subsegment because I want to have an audience that’s willing to invest a lot of time and effort into building their online influence. They’re not just in it for the fame; instead, they’re willing to do what it takes to build an audience.

These are just a few examples. You can brainstorm more subsegments depending on the demographic profile of your audience.

3. Describe Your Audience Using Psychographic Information

Next, it’s time to identify the psychographic profile of your audience. This refers to their personality, values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles.

Here are a few questions you can ask to determine the psychographic profile of your target market:

  • What are they interested in?
  • What do they want to learn more about?
  • What activities do they participate in?
  • How do they feel about [topic]?

The difference between demographic and psychographic data is that the former is limited. It doesn’t convey the motivations, opinions, interests, or goals of the customer. In contrast, psychographic data identifies what influences customers, what they love, and what could influence them to buy a product.

How to Craft The Perfect Title for Your Online Course (Step-By-Step)

You can identify your audience’s psychographic information based on a short survey or by putting a little bit of yourself into the description.

For example, people who want to become professional vloggers:

  • Are active on social media
  • Want to create content
  • Are interested in taking risks
  • Love to share their life and adventures with their audience

4. Summarize Your Work

Now it’s time to combine everything you’ve learned about your target audience.

Consider both the psychographic and demographic profile of your audience, and summarize it in two to three sentences.

Here’s what it could look like:

Millennials who are interested in vlogging and social media. They’re willing to do what it takes to build an online following, and they are excited to share their experiences with an online audience.

Step 2: List Target Keywords and Phrases

1. Use keyword research tools

Option 1: Ahrefs

You can easily conduct a keyword research using Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer.

To get started with Ahrefs, create a profile and click “Keywords Explorer” at the top bar.

How to Craft The Perfect Title for Your Online Course (Step-By-Step)

Next, type the keywords that you want to rank for. In this example, I typed “how to vlog” and clicked the search icon.

Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer generates four types of keyword ideas. These are:

  1. Phrase match
  2. Having same terms
  3. Also rank for
  4. Search suggestions

I’ll discuss them in depth below.

1. Phrase Match

Phrase match refers to keywords that contain the exact seed phrase you indicated. To get the results for this, I clicked the keyword “Phrase match” under the words “Keyword ideas.”

How to Craft The Perfect Title for Your Online Course (Step-By-Step)

Since the seed keyword I used was “how to vlog,” the results included:

  • how to vlog
  • youtubers life how to vlog
  • how to vlog on youtube
  • how to vlog in youtubers life
  • how to vlog with iphone

How to Craft The Perfect Title for Your Online Course (Step-By-Step)Screen Shot 2018 02 19 at 8.35.38 PM

2. Having Same Terms

This contains your seed keywords, but the words may be arranged in any order within the results.

Let’s use the phrase “how to vlog” as the seed keyword again. Using this example, I got the results:

  • how to start a vlog
  • how to make a vlog
  • how to do a vlog
  • how to edit a vlog
  • how to make a vlog

Notice that in the examples I indicated, the words “how to vlog” aren’t next to each other.

How to Craft The Perfect Title for Your Online Course (Step-By-Step)

3. Also Rank For

This finds the top 10 ranking pages for your seed keywords and identifies the other keywords that these pages target.

After I typed “how to vlog” and clicked “Also rank for,” I got suggestions associated with blogging such as “vlog,” “how to make a youtube channel,” “how to start a youtube channel,” and “vlogging camera.”

How to Craft The Perfect Title for Your Online Course (Step-By-Step)

4. Search Suggestions

Search suggestions generate a list of keyword ideas that Google suggests via their auto-suggest feature when you type the keyword in the search query. Again, I used the keyword “how to vlog” and got results like “video blog,” “how to vlog,” and “get paid to blog” among many others.

How to Craft The Perfect Title for Your Online Course (Step-By-Step)

There are some metrics that are useful in conducting keyword research in Ahrefs. These are search volume and keyword difficulty.

Search volume. Refers to how many times people search for a keyword per month.

How to Craft The Perfect Title for Your Online Course (Step-By-Step)

Keyword difficulty. Refers to how difficult it would be to rank in the top 10 results for a keyword. Ahrefs’ keyword difficulty score ranges from 0 to 100. The higher the keyword difficulty, the harder it is to rank for the keyword.

In the image below, I’ve found that to rank in the top 10 search results for “how to vlog” I’ll need backlinks from approximately 36 websites. It’s a difficult task, but it’s not an impossible keyword to rank for.

How to Craft The Perfect Title for Your Online Course (Step-By-Step)

Option 2: Google Trends

Another tool that you can use to find target keywords is Google Insights for Search or Google Trends. This tool can help you identify search volume patterns across regions, time frames, categories, and properties.

To get started, type the topic or niche of your online course. In this example, I’ve entered the topic “how to vlog.”

How to Craft The Perfect Title for Your Online Course (Step-By-Step)

In the top panel, I filtered the search results based on location, time, category, and search type. For this search, I’ve filtered the results to searches worldwide from the past year.

How to Craft The Perfect Title for Your Online Course (Step-By-Step)

I then go to the related queries section to discover keywords associated with “how to vlog.” In this example, I found that the related queries include “how to vlog for beginners,” “how to vlog with a phone,” and “how to vlog like casey neistat” among many others. This example tells me that creating a course on how to create a vlog with a phone is a good idea.

Now I know the main keywords that aspiring vloggers are using on Google.

How to Craft The Perfect Title for Your Online Course (Step-By-Step)

Step 3: Write a Catchy, Accurate, and Benefit-Driven Title

1. State the big benefit

The first thing that you need to do is to write a benefit-driven title.

Highlight the transformation that students can get once they enroll in your online course.

Instead of saying that your course has 15 hours of content, emphasize the outcome of the course. What will students get by finishing the course and making a purchase? How will it make their lives better?

These are the core questions that you should focus on.

Here are some benefit-driven vlog titles from Casey Neistat:

How to Craft The Perfect Title for Your Online Course (Step-By-Step)How to Craft The Perfect Title for Your Online Course (Step-By-Step)

For starters, Casey Neistat is one of the most popular vloggers, with eight million followers. So a title that implies how to vlog like him is one way to send followers clicking.

The next title, “1 Trick to 2.5 Million Subscribers” is certainly compelling because it’s a big number, and Casey has achieved this milestone.

2. Add accurate information

The next step is to add a quantifiable benefit to your online course.

Here are some guiding questions that can help you get started:

  • How long will it take the student to achieve the promise of the course?
  • How many steps will it take a student to complete the lessons?
  • Can you quantify the outcome of the course?

Here’s an example of a title with an element of specificity.

How to Craft The Perfect Title for Your Online Course (Step-By-Step)

The title in the image above works because it highlights a specific benefit, which is getting $1000 a month vlogging.

3. Ask a compelling how-to question

People subscribe to online courses because of a benefit or a desired end result. Users want to fulfill their needs and improve their lives. Clearly state what your course plans to help potential customers achieve.

Here’s an example of a compelling title from Amy Schmittauer:

How to Craft The Perfect Title for Your Online Course (Step-By-Step)

4. Evoke an emotional response

Did you ever wonder why some courses are popular while similar courses fall flat?

The answer lies in the use of power words.

For the uninitiated, power words are meant to trigger an emotional response that gets customers to read, click, and buy.

Here are some power words that you can use in your online courses.

  • Power words that trigger excitement: bold, exciting, fascinating, transform
  • Power words that trigger authority: masterclass, complete, comprehensive, exclusivity, powerful, surefire, proven
  • Power words that trigger exclusivity: priceless, little-known, secret, unique, hidden

For example, take this Udemy course:

How to Craft The Perfect Title for Your Online Course (Step-By-Step)

The power word “popular” elicits the emotion of exclusivity, and it triggers the question:

“How can I become one of the top YouTube vloggers?”

5. Limit your title to 65 characters

How do you create a title that can get you to the first page of Google? There’s a lot that you need to do, but one simple trick to getting on the front page is to limit your title to not more than 65 characters.

This ensures that your title isn’t cut short on Google’s results pages. Choose your words wisely!

For example:

How to Become a Popular and Successful Online Vlogger and Gain Millions of Followers on YouTube!

This title is simply too lengthy. Google will most likely cut it off and make it appear as “How to Become a Popular and Successful Online Vlogger and Gain Mi …” So what could be a short and sweet title?

Here’s another example from Amy Schmittauer:

How to Craft The Perfect Title for Your Online Course (Step-By-Step)

It’s short, but it highlights the big benefit of becoming a problogger.

With the right title, your online course will instantly stand out

Like anything worthwhile, a good title takes a lot of effort.

But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

As long as you know your target audience, conduct keyword research, and create a catchy and benefit-driven title, you’re bound to create a title that turns heads.

Ready to get started? What’s the perfect title you’ve thought of for your online course? Let us know in the comments below.

How to Craft The Perfect Title for Your Online Course (Step-By-Step) @emilkristensen @Sleeknotecom Click To Tweet

Emil Kristensen is the CMO and co-founder of Sleeknote, a company that helps e-commerce brands engage their site visitors with targeted on-site messages.