Online courses are delivered through websites and apps, thus the components of such a website or app are crucial in making or breaking the success of your online course business.
It is a constant struggle for subject matter experts to convert their knowledge into course content suitable for the online teaching environment.
While there is no one-size-fits-all formula for developing a remarkable online course and website, some guidelines do exist that can be used as benchmarks by course creators to ensure quality is never compromised.
Why is building a remarkable online course website important for your business?
We cannot overemphasize the importance of having a website, but creating or developing a website alone won’t do much for your sales and growth. You want to ensure your website speaks the voice of your brand while speaking to your prospective students. Even the tiniest details can make a difference while establishing your online brand.
Websites that stand out whilst laying out their value proposition are recalled better than their similar counterparts.
How to create the perfect online course website?
Getting to know what goes into developing a powerful online course website is important before you put all your efforts into building one for your business.
We have curated an exhaustive list of components you should include on your online course website while building your online education estate -
1. Robust and Reliable Platform to Host Your Course
Choosing the right hosting platform suited to your needs is important before your course is even created or published. This will assist you in informing you of what elements you can and should include in your course to make it interactive and efficient, and ultimately, sell more.
2. Quality Course Content
First and foremost, the course content needs to be of top-notch quality. Nothing can replace the importance of high-quality and credible course content. Ultimately, that is what your future students are going to sign-up for. If you make it a point to create genuine and informative content, make sure you structure it in a presentable and lucid (easy to understand) way. The quality of your course content is what will ultimately make you stand out amongst your competitors. Also, do ensure to cite your sources after every module, this helps in building credibility for your course, website and your brand in general.
As is commonly said in the online marketing world -
Content is King, Context is Queen.
Why shy away from doing great work when creating an online course website gives you an opportunity to work on both?
If you succeed in providing value for money through your course content, rest assured, your course will go places as you find a loyal fanbase in your student community.
Repurposing the content of your courses such as statistical information into visuals and graphics will enhance the visual impact of your course material. It has been proven time and again that visuals are far more helpful in memory retention. You can achieve this by making use of various content formats such as audio files, video content, bar graphs, animations or charts wherever possible.
Supplying these as free downloadables within your course will boost the likelihood of getting initial and consistent traction on your website. It is a powerful tactic that always works for online course websites.
You want to be as liberal as possible while giving away valuable pieces of content in your course (in downloadable format), so as to build a positive reputation amongst your students’ community.
3. Subject Matter Experts
There needs to be a section on your website where you introduce the experts involved in bringing out the course material. It tells your audience that the courses mentioned on your learning platform are developed by authoritative subject matter experts and thought leaders in their respective niches.
4. Complete Course Outline
It is important to provide a broad but clear course outline for each course on your website. You will have to clearly outline the benefits of your course. Define all the modules and lessons clearly and write down the learning outcomes for each of your courses.
To summarize, the following pointers should be covered for each course in detail -
- Course Topic
- Course Duration
- Course Author
- Course Benefits
- Course Enrollment Fee
Here is an awesome read on how you can create an awesome and engaging content outline for your course.
Chances are you want to publish more than one online course on your website. In that case, adding a page or section called ‘course cards’ where you showcase each of your courses in detail is highly recommended.
5. UI/ UX - Designing your Online Course Website
Design is that aspect of your website which quite literally can make or break the success of your online course business. Albeit being an abstract concept, design and user experience go a long way in determining the performance metrics of your online course website.
Design is way more evolved than how it used to be 10 years ago. Now usability and efficiency are far more vital for your website, than just being aesthetically pleasing.
5 Pillars of good design as given by Nielsen have been explained below -
- Learnability: Can the user complete their assignments with minimum hassle?
- Efficiency: Are your users able to perform efficiently?
- Memorability: Is the user able to recollect how to use the website on coming back after closing the first session?
- Errors: How does the interface reduce the risk of user error? How can your user interface cope with errors and how does it let users correct their errors?
- Satisfaction: Does the user appreciate the experience of using your website?
Reviews and experiences shared by your past students are the best examples of social proof. Just a single statement put out honestly by your clients testifying your quality courses and their impact is enough to establish a sense of trust towards your course.
Testimonials are easily one of the most important placeholders on your landing page. People trust other people, and hence recommendations from past customers and in this case, students, are the best strategy to step up your trust quotient amongst the masses.
It is only fair that your students should know what to expect from your course before they decide to take it up.
7. Easy Enrollment Procedure
Enabling easy enrollment for your courses will ensure that students don’t leave mid-way while signing-up for your courses. Ideally, the flow of steps should be quick and intuitive for easy registration. Initially, students prefer self-paced courses when they are new to online learning. It is advisable to provide an option between self-paced and live classes. Providing various start dates is also a wise decision because the gist of online learning is to learn at one’s own convenience. It will increase your chances of acquiring more students and boost registrations.
8. Great Pricing
It is advisable to incorporate maximum payment options on your online course website. This will ensure that you don’t lose customers because of lacking payment functionalities.
Having the functionality of processing payments through multiple gateways is crucial for your business to thrive in the long run.
Various payment gateways are used by big and small businesses, major ones are listed here for your reference -
and many others
It is ideal to use a robust payment gateway that enables payment collection globally. Having an online course platform comes with a payment gateway enabled takes away the hassle of getting one for yourself. Additionally, the ability to take payments via various payment options creates a better user experience. Payment options such as net banking, digital wallets, debit/ credit cards, PayPal, stripe, and others are a must-have in today’s world.
9. Assessments and Live Feedback
Students feel the need to interact with the instructor and community when taking online courses. This need is met by the online tutors by fostering group activities, creating quizzes and assignments, and rewarding the best performers. This is important to make your students feel like they belong to a community and boost their morale.
After creating your online course website, you should start with marketing right away. Several course creators make the mistake of ignoring marketing and expect their sales to shoot up. Only to realize later how crucial consistent marketing is for the success of their online course website.
Here is a list of prompters to help you get started with making your marketing strategy -
- Have a content marketing plan in place to sell your online courses
- Run early bird discounts once you launch a course on your website
- Run paid online advertisements
- Have an email list to start email marketing or start building one
- Use social media to your benefit. Create innovative campaigns
- Partner with other experts to make a collaboration course or content.
A smart move is to have at least 3-months marketing activities planned in advance for your online course website.
You need to ensure that the platform on which you are going to build your online course is reliable, innovative and easy to use. Forgive the bias, but we recommend Knorish as the most competitive all-in-one platform to launch online stores to sell courses on the internet.