10 minutesReading time
Updated October 2018
We’ve produced a Market Performance Report for the Online Educational Platforms market, 2018.
Our report aims to help industry leaders and professionals gain an overview of their market to understand their successes and shortcomings compared to their competitors. It’s an excellent way to benchmark digital performance with that of your peers in the Online Educational Platforms sector.
We look at year-on-year performance across technical and creative metrics, giving our data a qualitative score to compare the top brands in the industry.
You’ll see an analysis of areas such as SEO visibility, Brand Reach, Link Authority and social scores.
We only discuss data about the top performing sites within the market in our reports, but our data is sourced across the whole industry. That means even if you can’t see your name featured here, you can still get in touch and ask for us to provide your insights directly.
We don’t just source the data and put it into neat little charts. We also analyse the market by doing the research, checking out the Google results for ourselves and delving into your sites to see why some brands are performing well and others are treading water. Here are the things that stood out to us the most – it reads best alongside the report.
Organic visibility is usually the top of everyone’s list when it comes to performance improvements that they want to make.
Search Metrics helps us to track large keyword sets to map the historical online performance of a brand. This gives us the insight into the SEO winners and losers of the sector.
It’s been an incredibly successful year for the Online Educational Platform market.
Coursera has remained the market leader and achieved an 8% increase in visibility.
Khan Academy has remained in second place after a 35% visibility improvement.
But Lynda has lost a significant 23% of visibility this year.
EDX is in fourth place this year, jumping up from eighth after an enormous increase of 149%.
In fifth place is Future Learn who lost 28% of their visibility YOY.
It’s been a successful year for almost all of the remaining top ten:
Envato (tutsplus.com) lost 25% of their visibility and landed themselves in eighth place.
With this being a solely online market, ranking highly for competitive keywords is extremely important. We’ve identified the top 15 high competition keywords and 15 which pose the best opportunities (chart available in the report).
A lot of the keywords are tailored towards coding or web development courses, proving that this is a popular area of study for online education.
Well done to Codecademy who is ranking in position one for the highest competition keyword ‘learn to code’. They are also ranking highly for ‘online coding courses’ and ‘learn code online’.
This certainly isn’t a one-horse race, though.
EDX and Alison are also ranking highly for terms related to web courses.
We have to say a massive congratulations to Learn To Code With Me who has appeared in a featured snippet for the keyword ‘learn code online’ with their article ’71 Of The Best Places To Learn Code For Free’.
Despite ranking in the bottom five of our visibility chart, this insightful article has brought them to the top of the SERPs for one of the highest competition keywords.
QA is ranking three times on page one for the keyword ‘leadership training’, including a featured snippet for their Leadership & Management page.
This page has a lot of information and links to the relevant course pages which are likely the reason for their featured snippet.
Google says they aim to serve the user intent best and have previously expressed that sites should do this by focusing on ‘producing great content’.
Learn To Code With Me and QA have both used content to reach those top spots on Google.
This is something all brands should be looking to achieve.
The best way of attracting high-quality links is by having a strong content marketing campaign. The key word in this sentence is ‘quality’, which is much more valuable than quantity. Links are still one of Google’s primary ranking factors, so a strong link building strategy is crucial.
Memrise is topping the links chart which is unsurprising given that they are an internationally successful brand.
Most of the site’s links are going to course pages and images on the site.
However, their blog also gains some strong links from sites with high domain authorities.
Their blog 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.
Moz founder Rand Fishkin also claims that moving a subdomain to a subfolder almost always increases search traffic.
The same applies to Coursera who is taking the second-place spot for links.
One of their blog posts has gained over 1.7K links, and they have the highest average link quality of all the brands.
However, their blog also exists on a subdomain.
We liked Future Learn’s blog which covers general advice for those completing home learning courses as well as blogs more specific to certain sectors.
They also have articles written by influencers and course leaders which gain links from University sites and related publications.
While a lot of the content we’ve seen is informative and useful, there isn’t much in the way of creativity which is surprising considering the vast topics to be explored in this market.
We would urge brands to get out of their comfort zone and create bigger, brighter and bolder content to gain them more coverage.
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 is number one on the social chart. They have the highest owned social score by far.
Here are some things we like about their social feeds:
Memrise is second in our chart and has the highest number of brand searches.
Their social content is also fantastic. We especially love their videos which discuss common problems people often have when learning to speak another language.
These consistently gain thousands of views, with some having over 130K views.
They regularly tweet links to their blog posts and ask questions to encourage engagement.
Their Instagram feed is more personalised, with images from head office and branded illustrations.
Instagram is the platform of the future, with 1 billion monthly active users – 13% of the world’s population at your fingertips is an opportunity not to miss!
If you’re struggling in one specific area or want to find out how you can perform like these brands, challenge us today.