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Overview

Hi there, this video is all about naming your course. Kind of sounds simple, and it is, but we need to go through this process, because you want to give your course the best shot at life. And this is probably its main ingredient, or at least its first step at kind of, its being all it can be. And you're going to need three names. One's just a short name you use for files. Another one is going to be a search engine name, and the other one's going to be kind of a human name. The way we use it to describe to people. So I'll go through just a real quick overview of them, then I'll get into a bit more detail for the people that are interested. 

So the first one, the short name. It's just what you name your files, right? It's pretty easy. This video that I'm recording here, I'm going to name and put on my computer. There's going to be a folder it's going to go into. I've got a checklist that I use to follow. It's a short name, so that-- let's say it's a Photoshop course that I've made. I'll call it 'Photoshop Advanced August 2019'. So it just means, later on, in a year from now, when a course needs to be updated, or somebody needs a file from something, I can go and easily find it. So that's the short name; super easy. 

The search engine name is, not more complicated but it's probably, for me, the most important part of naming, and it's-- there's methods that I'll go through in a second, on how to work out what to name it in terms of, because you don't want to call it, like say my Photoshop course, I don't want to call it 'Super amazing designs in Photoshop', because that's not what people are going to be searching for. Even though that might be the content. You want to make sure that it has a bunch of words there that are going to at least, when people are looking for it, it's going to appear, and kind of battle it out with the other ones potentially, but you don't want to be having an obscure name. 

So we'll work out the techniques to make sure it's search engine rich, both for Google and some of the market places. So we'll do that, then there will be a human name. And a human name is, it's what I call-- there are times when the search engine name is appropriate, and there's times when, say on social media, if I post my course, I'm not going to call it that ugly search engine name. I'm going to call it something else. I'm going to use it to describe the course in a bit more meaningful, like features, who's it for, and you can be a lot more, like it's more like marketing material, or sales material, than it is search engine friendly terms. So that side also, the human side also has a--

We'll go through my method for kind of working that human name out. But it really helps you get clarity about what your course is for. So let's say the human name will help describe who it's for, what the features are in that course, and the benefits to the user. And at this stage it's really handy to know that, so that when you're doing your outline next, like what's going to be in the course, you can exclude things and include things based on that kind of human name, that kind of area where you've-- you know, like outline who it's for, and your target audience. Otherwise you can end up with courses-- like me, my first ones, just tried to be too many things to too many people. And just ended up with complaints, but yeah, few complaints. But just not clear about what I was doing, so it wasn't in the title, wasn't in the marketing material, just like, here's everything for this bit of software, and it just didn't work. So that kind of human name is really important now. So that I can go, it's for this, not talking to these people, talking to these people. 

All right, short name, search engine name, human name. Let's work out on the computer now, my kind of methodolody, that's not a word, methodology, for working out how to do each of them. So the first name is the easiest one. It's just that name that you're going to give it to use kind of internally, for things like file names. You can see some of the files that I've got here. And that's in Dropbox as well, where I back up my files. So let's say I've got a new course coming out, and I'm going to call this one, say 'After Effects'. And this one's going to be called 'Essentials'. And put the date at the end. 

It doesn't really matter if you-- well I find the date really useful, because I end up updating these courses. Even if it's your first course, you will end up updating it. Say, successful, and you need to go back and make a new version, or update it. I find these dates are super helpful. Some of the early courses, I didn't, and I regret it. And in this folder here, is where I'm going to stick all the recordings. Anything that I'm going to use, class materials, everything goes in there. You can see it over here, some of the other courses that I've made. I put video in the front of it, just so they group together in my Dropbox, because Dropbox has got lots of stuff in here, random stuff, but I put all my videos together by just putting 'video' at the front. 

You don't have to, you can see, some of them have dates. Like my Illustrator Essentials, made in early January. My Photoshop courses that I just finished. So April, June, just finished a while ago now. They're all in just nice little folders there. I also use it for my instructorHQ checklist. So there's instructorHQ, just to kind of track where I'm up to. You can create a checklist for producing courses. I can give it a name, I can call this one, 'After Effects Essentials'. This one is going to be 'Jan-19'. I pick a template, kind of, for the step-by-step process, and I hit 'Save'. I'm not going to, because it's not a real one. 

I'll show you an existing one, so in the check lists here, say Photoshop Advanced, you can see, just an easy way that this checklist, with all the steps that need to go through. I connected to the same name that is in here, that is in Dropbox. It makes it easier to work with when you're working with others, and you're emailing them about it. Sometimes the search engine name and the human name can be quite long and may be a bit confusing or complicated. Let's jump into the search engine name. 

The next name you're looking at is the search engine name. It's the ugly name that has all the right keywords in it. There are kind of like three main places where these are going to be used. You want people to find you in just a traditional Google search, plus another one is on YouTube. We're making video courses, so YouTube is a really big player in this. And it works really well for me. That's one and two. The other search is within, say a market place, like in Udemy here, when people search, what are they searching for? And the same here in say something like Skillshare. These two are the big players for online courses. So you want your course to appear when people type it into, Google, YouTube, or any of these market places. 

How do we do it? The quick and dirty, easy way, is let's say, like this video course that I'm making right now, is like how to kind of sell online courses, or make online courses. You can use Google's predictive text, so if I do 'how to,' because I want to kind of, I guess, not make pancakes or slime. I want to get into the 'How to' videos. And I'm just going to type in 'online course', like pretty-- like terrible search term, if you know what I mean, but it's going to hopefully predict what I want. You can see in here, how to teach online courses? How to create an online course? These words here are words that, I guess I'm getting an understanding for, I'm kind of putting them into a list-- like how can I string this into one long sentence? And to cut to the chase, what I did before this course, is I did all this, and I ended up calling this entire kind of series of videos, 'how to create, sell, and market online courses', because it had all the right keywords that we're looking in here. 

So 'create', I found 'sell' to be quite popular. And same with 'market your course'. So this is an easy one, just type in the basics. So 'how to', or maybe 'After Effects'. We're using before, just see what appears. Templates tutorials will be a good one. ‘Course’, I find ‘tutorials’ is a bad one, unless it's free. People looking 'tutorials', they mean I want After Effects free, and 'course' is, I wouldn't be surprised if I had to pay for it. But that word 'cc' is quite useful as well. So I always call it 'cc' or the 'version number', because it adds another little keyword into my little extra list. Something else that I potentially might rank for. 

So just use Google predictive text to do a real rough check. Do the exact same thing in YouTube, because YouTube is full of 'how to' videos, so if I type in 'online course', we're going to see, online course is free, with certificates, creation. So you go, it's a good word. 'Design' might be a good one. Online course master, that's Phil Ebiner, he's awesome. Let's follow on with 'creation', and just see what else, 'creation tools'. Let's type in 'how to'. I just kind of throw things at this, and see how it works. So 'how to', 'online course work', 'how to register', 'how to apply', no, 'how to sell an online course'. That kind of influence my naming of my course, 'how to launch'. So, can I add, 'how to sell, launch' by marketplace? Like I excluded launch just because it ended up having poor search terms. Well, with a tool I'll show you in a second, Google keyword tool, but yeah, unfortunately it's not very sexy, but you're going to have to put this in your name, if you want to be searched, and found. If you're going direct to your audience, you might not worry about this stuff, but do it at your peril. I logged in, I logged out of my account, so you wouldn't see, what it's up to on YouTube, what I end up watching. I'm not sure this is much better, this default YouTube results, anyway. 

Let's look at other methods. So it's really quick and easy to go to something like YouTube and Skillshare. Just type in what you're looking for, so 'online course'. And they've got a bit of predictive, it's probably not as good as, say YouTube or Google. They've got a lot more complicated search algorithm stuff, but it will give you an idea. 'Online marketing business', just keywords in terms you might use for your course. This might really, "Ah, yeah." Because sometimes, weirdly, say 'tutorial', 'course', or 'training', they can all fight it out for what they should be in there, and you might be able to stitch all three of them in. I'm going to type in 'creation', hit 'Search', and just see what other people are doing. 

So you go, you can see their names, get ideas, you can see, that's Phil Ebiner, I mentioned before. He's a great dude to go and follow. And all sorts of stuff in here. Let's look at say Skillshare, let's look at say InDesign. So a course that I teach. And I'm just getting ideas of like, yeah, course names, what could go into it, here's me, here's me. But just look at other people’s, what they've used, to get ideas for names. So that's kind of like a general, gives you some terms to start working with. To look at some more specifics, maybe some more hard facts. And if you are not already, go to udemy.com, and sign up as an instructor or a teacher. And you end up with this Instructor Dashboard. And the cool thing about it is this thing here, Marketplace Insights. Super helpful, we looked at this in an earlier video, but let's have a look at this one here. 

Let's say I want to make a course for InDesign. What I'm looking to do here is I'm going to use good old Udemy to give me an idea of what they consider that word. So can you see here, top search keywords for InDesign is InDesign, InDesign CC. This is a little bit less. But I could write the word 'InDesign', and add the word 'InDesign CC'. No problem, like I wouldn't destroy the title. And you see the word Adobe InDesign, just a little less. So I could make a course saying 'Adobe InDesign CC', and all those keywords, there they are there. Thought you've already thought of that. But that keyword appears perfect, which is the top one. I've included 'CC', which is there, Adobe, which is there. And cs6 I wouldn't, because this is an older version. 

Other things to check out, over here, you can see, there's other kind of topics of interest. And sometimes you're like, "Oh, actually that's a better name for it." So mine's quite specific here, InDesign. Let's say you want to search-- don't search up there, close down this weirdly. And then go, say it's 'online course', 'creation course'. You can see here, it's got some ideas, which is cool. And if I click on this one, it's going to tell me, Udemy, online course creations, kind of low. Create online courses, a term that I might not have considered. We were just getting ideas of what to call this thing here, and Udemy can actually tell you like, Bingo, you should call it this, because these are all the top search terms, like a different InDesign. 

So go through, type in a bunch into here, and just see what appears. We're getting to get more nerdy, nerdier and nerdier. So we're going to use this thing called moz.com. So Moz helps mainly with Google results, remember, we looked at Google a second ago. And here, just your traditional results. In this one here, you're looking for the '/explorer', it's called the keyword explorer. Now if you're not a paid member, I think you can only do-- there it is there. You can sign up for a free Moz account and get 10 free queries a month. So I'm going to log in to my account, and be back in a sec. So I've come back here, I'm going to search not with New Zealand, I'm going to the United States, because that's where most of my courses get sold. If you're doing it in a different language, obviously put in your, kind of country there. Is there a 'global' I think it picks-- you have to pick a country. Anyway, US, so 'online course creation'. 

And what we're looking for here, there's loads of interesting stuff, but this keyword suggestions is really what we want. See your suggestions, or click on this. What we're looking for is just other interesting keywords that I might use. And monthly volume. So what I'm looking for is something that has high monthly volume, which would be awesome. Doesn't have to be like-- this is, I guess a tool to help you pick the name, but if you know, like this is new and niche, and nobody searching for, I'm going to be the first, do that. If you are doing something that exists, there's lots of other courses, you just want to really make sure, you get this kind of search engine keyword working perfect. And out of this list, this one seems to do the most, course platforms. So that's not going to work for me, this one here, create and sell online courses, perfect. That's how I ended up with my, you know, term. Not just because of this, but I looked a few other ways. So this, this, and marketing, I felt was a good one to get in there as well. How to create, sell, and market online courses. Still feels natural enough, but it has some good keywords in there. Work your way through and just get some ideas. You can export them and start doing some nerdy stuff in Excel. Type in a few at the top, remember, you've only got 10 a month. 

Let's get into the last tool that kind of helps you work out keywords. It's very similar to this tool. It's under-- it's through Google AdWords. So I'll leave this to last because you need an AdWords account. Signing up for Moz is super quick and easy. Signing up for Google AdWords is slightly harder, not super hard. And I'll ask you to create an ad, and create a campaign. Just ignore all of that until you end up kind of at the home screen. Then go up to 'Tools' on the top here, and go to-- you're looking for 'Keyword Planner'. Now they change this interface every, like two months. So if it's not under this big spanner here, saying Keyword Planner, it will be somewhere, they call it Keyword Planner. Look through your settings, look for the options. They like to move, I think they wait till I release the course, then they go and move it around. 

So Keyword Planner, you end up here. Just find Keyword, let's type in 'online course creation'. Get started. You can put in a few there, I just put in one, you can put in a comma. And just keep typing other things. So 'sell online courses', I put a comma there, and you can just keep doing that, get results. And this thing goes on forever. So it's really like the Moz Explorer, just a little bit more complicated to get into, and use. They really want to make you sell ads. So the Moz one might be perfect. Same kind of results in data, but what you're looking for is good keywords with high search volume that you can use in your course name. 

Once you've done all of that, you got a kind of an idea what you're going to call it. Go ahead and write down your tippy-top, best search engine name for your course. Like this kind of entire course, how to create, sell, and market your online courses. And say some of my Adobe courses, they are, Adobe Photoshop CC advanced training course. Why? Because training did well, course did well, and it's kind of still natural enough. Photoshop training course is a-- I can get both words in there. But that, it feel like I've kind of keywords stuffed, jam them all in there. You know it's exactly what I've done.

 Let's move on to the last of the name, the human name. The last name that you need to come up with, there's more of a kind of a sentence or a phrase to describe your course. You need to do at the beginning for a couple of reasons. It's the name that you'll use when you are describing it in more kind of like sales and marketing materials. So you're not going to post on Facebook, I've got an Adobe Photoshop CC 2018 advanced training course tutorial. Like the search engine one. Because that's useful for search engines, but not when it's actually face to face with somebody, when it actually appears. So in the graphics, and the tag lines, in any descriptions, also when you're talking to people and describing your course, you need to give it kind of a human element. Plus it's good for a few other things. 

Let's talk about how to kind of structure it. Now I totally borrowed this idea from Aaron Morton, at Thinkific. Gave some structure to when I was thinking about this or creating this kind of name. And there's the template at the top that you can follow. It's really served me well, and you just fill in the blanks. So you put in your course topic, your target audience, the outcomes that they're going to get, and their benefits. You can see down the bottom, that's my version of it. So my training on online course creation helps new instructors learn how to create and sell their first online course. So that they can get maximum return for their efforts. Now I changed training for course, mainly because it's just really hard, like I'm going an online course about online courses. So my online course is about online course creation. Should I change that to training? Anyway, you get the idea, right, so use this. 

My course on Adobe InDesign helps beginners learn how to create fliers, so that they can benefit. Get better jobs, get paid more, be recognized at work. That's off the cuff, but you get the idea, right? Fill in the blanks, write it down before you get started, because it's going to do a few things. It's going to help you talk about it, which we discussed at the beginning, but it's also really going to help you figure out your outline. 

So, say I'm making a course now for InDesign. It's a better software, you might not know it, but it's Indesign, it's for Desk Top Publishing. If I don't write down this kind of humanized name, I never work out my target audience, and I end up, like say, the outline, so I'm deciding what goes into the course. And if I'm a bit vague about it, like if it's for beginners or for advanced people, when I don't write that, I don't get clear about at the beginning, I find it very hard to write an outline, like should this go in, should this not go in, should this be part of it, should this not? If you have a clear target audience, makes it really easy to kind of decide, "Okay, now that should wait for a different video, or not in this course," or, "Maybe that's a bit too advanced, or that's perfect for this." So that will help with the outline. It will also really help you build your intro video. 

The intro videos, for me, they're the most important video you make of the whole course. I make it at the end, rather than the beginning. And it allows me to kind of basically say this out loud. Like, it's how I introduce the course, I don't say, "Hey, welcome to my, keyword rich stuff, for the search engine version of the name.” I say, "Hi, my name is Dan, and this training is on online course creation to help new instructors to learn how to create and sell their first online course." It helps that-- I guess that makes it clear for the person who's buying the course, what this is about. And you should be clear way at the beginning here, not at the end when you're making your intro video, and you're like, "Who should this be," it's a bit late for that. 

The other thing I found really helpful for me is, before this kind of technique or humanized name, I would start a course, and I wasn't clear, back to the target audience really, I wasn't clear who this is for, and what the outcomes were going to be. So I didn't know who I was talking to. So I was doing these kind of voice-overs. Like for me now, talking on this video right this second, I know it's for people who are brand new to making online courses. There will be people who have made courses before, that will benefit from it, but I'm not targeting them because if I try to do, people that have already made courses, and people that haven't before, I find it too hard to explain myself. Giving a kind of an intro version, plus a medium version, plus advanced, what if advanced people are watching it, I want to give them all the benefits. And it means that I get confused, so I don't do it well for anybody. 

So I know, during this video series, that I am going to be talking exactly to the people who are brand new, never done it before. I'm going to keep it step-by-step right at the beginning, and sure, there's going to be other people who watch it, but it's not aimed at them. I didn't tell them it was aimed at them, they can get benefit from it, and they'll watch it, and they'll be okay with it, because they knew it's for beginners. Now I'm not sure why I go on a bit too much about that. I know what it is, because I know that my first courses, I was really awkward about talking about, you know, how to describe it, or describe it two ways, one for the intro person, or the advanced person, or the person's used it before, has never used before, and it just made my life hard, I was sweating and stressing. Even though that is a video course, I'm like, "Man, have I done that right, is that the right thing?" 

Now that I have a very clear target audience, and I know what the outcomes are, and the benefits are, it's real easy to kind of talk to that during the course. So that is going to be it for how to choose a course name. This is my methods. We have a short name for internal use. We have the search engine friendly keyword. Not stuffed, it's keyword rich, it's a better word. And we'll look at the human name here, where we identify things like the target audience, benefits, and outcomes. I hope you found it useful. Let's get on to the next video.