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Who’s winning and losing in the online education sector?

The latest market insight for Online Education Platforms is here. Following an 8% increase in their visibility over the past year, Coursera remains top of the market, a new report has revealed.

The Online Education Platforms Insight Report, produced by digital marketing specialists Salience Marketing, ranks 56 of the leading brand websites within this competitive market according to their online performance.

The annual study reveals the successes and shortcomings of each website, highlighting where there is room for improvement.

Other stand-out results from visibility include:

  • EDX [149%] recorded the most significant increase among the top 10 followed by Open Culture [72%]
  • The top 10 saw the majority see a rise in their visibility year-on-year
  • Alison and Memrise dropped out of the top 10 and were replaced by QA and Code Academy.

Schooling in Social

Udemy leads the overall social charts, coming in second place for brand searches per month, topped by Memrise, but leading the way in owned social scores.

The top five social scorers:

  • Memrise is the top performer with 201,000 monthly searches
  • Udemy, Khan Academy, Future Learn and Plural Sight rounded out the top five for searches per month
  • Udemy leads owned social scores with Skillshare, Khan, EDX, and Creative Live making up the top five

The social score considers followers and engaged conversations on all major social platforms.

Despite recording a high brand search score of 60,500, Future Learn scored a comparatively low owned social score [564]. Similarly, Blackboard scored 22,200 for monthly searches but only 38 for owned social in what is an industry trend.

Despite leading the search month scores, it could also be said that Memrise is another brand with a lower than expected owned result of 1675.

Leading in Links

Links have always been an important ranking factor and can make all the difference to how far up a brand appears on Google. Consistently gaining new high-quality links can be great for business; however, high-link volumes without the quality could spell trouble ahead.

Memrise is topping the links chart which is unsurprising given that they are an internationally successful brand. Most links are going to course pages and images on the site; however, their blog also gains some traffic from sites with high domain authorities. It currently exists on a subdomain rather than a subfolder.

We would recommend switching this to retain the highest possible link equity for the main site. Furthermore, Moz founder, Rand Fishkin, also claims that moving a subdomain to a subfolder almost always increases search traffic.

There are several sites with ‘high-quality, low-volume’ links; these include Academy Class, Cybrary, Open 2 Study, Art Tutor and Grovo.

Conversely, there are also sites with ‘low-quality, high-volume’ links, such as Free Code Camp, Citrix, Analytics Vid Hya, Learning Tree and Code Academy. Consistently gaining a high quantity of low-authority links highlights an urgent need to address your off-site reputation.

Gemma Curtis, Inbound Content Marketer, at Inside Online, said:

“For the most part, it’s been a successful year for the Online Educational Platforms this year, with a special mention to EDX who have managed to get into the top four for visibility after a massive increase of 149%.

“Codecademy impressed us with their position one ranking for the highest competition keyword ‘learn to code’ and their high rankings for other coding terms, ‘online coding courses’ and ‘learn code online’. EDX and Alison also ranked highly for web course related keywords.

“While a lot of the blog/guide content we’ve seen in this sector is informative and useful, there isn’t much in the way of creativity, which is surprising considering the vast topics to be explored. We would urge brands to get out of their comfort zone and create bigger, brighter and bolder content to gain them more coverage and build valuable links.

“Given that this is an online market, social media must play a significant role in audience awareness, engagement and growth. Online educational platforms rely on testimonials and reviews to set them apart from the rest.

“Social channels are the perfect place to display and highlight these, as well as getting your clients involved. Udemy and Memrise stood out with their social channels, which were engaging, informative, and personalised.”

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