Creating and selling online courses requires investing time, money, and energy into the whole process. But this is only half of the battle. 

Just like any profitable business model, marketing and selling online courses involves a careful blend of multiple marketing efforts. 

Even if this sounds a bit intimidating, it is not actually as it seems, especially if you have the right tools and know the best practices for marketing online courses. 

Promoting online courses can be a challenging but rewarding endeavor. To be successful, it’s important to have a well-defined marketing plan that includes a range of tactics and strategies to reach and engage your target audience.

Want to boost your learning business sales to new levels? Here are the 4 key traffic sources that drive growth.

1. Organic Traffic

In an ideal world, everyone searching for a topic related to your online course would find your site naturally. However, this is not how things work. The best way to generate organic traffic is by producing plenty of keyword-saturated content on your website.

In other words, you’ve got to have a great deal of valuable, educational content available rich with keywords that your customers most often search. The goal is to convince visitors to offer up their email addresses and position themselves as an expert in your field. 

SEO strategies for online courses can be an effective way to increase the visibility of your courses in search results and attract more potential students to your website.

2. Social Media Traffic

Social media is a pillar of growth and traffic. You don’t need to be active on all platforms. Choose the ones that your audience is most likely to be active on and concentrate your efforts there.

  • Twitter—Perfect for short-message style and mostly attract young, educated, busy tech-centric people.
  • LinkedIn— Don’t underestimate this platform and assume it’s just for employment ads. It is saturated with educated, upper-income professionals, especially those interested in new industry trends that keep them on the cutting edge.
  • Facebook— With more than 1.2 billion active daily users, Facebook works great if your target is outside the U.S. It is making fast headway in developing countries and emerging markets.
  • Instagram— Now merged with Facebook, Instagram attracts younger generations and specifically women compared to Facebook. Its photo-focused format works best for storytellers who like to build scenes for a living.
  • YouTube— With people spending an average of 40 minutes watching Youtube videos – a very long period, by internet standards, makes it a great traffic source for the e-learning industry. For the tutor, Youtube increases the visibility and helps to sell videos on YouTube.
  • Pinterest— Pinterest should be on top of your list, especially if your course has anything to do with decorating, clothing, and cosmetics. 

Overall, while investing in paid social media advertising to promote online courses can be an effective way to generate leads, it’s important to approach it with a well-defined strategy and to track and optimize your campaigns over time to get the best results.

3. Inorganic Traffic

Also called paid traffic, this is when you pay to promote your business through Facebook or Google Ads. For a price per impression, view, or click, you place your ads in front of your target audience. Paid traffic requires you to go out and find your customers, whereas organic traffic has your customers coming to you on their own.

Using Google Ads to promote online courses can be an effective way to reach a large and targeted audience and drive traffic to your website.

4. Emails

You might assume that emails are a thing of the past, but they remain a huge part of our everyday lives with an ROI of 4400%. There are 74 trillion emails sent every year. If done right, it can be an easy and super-efficient way to ensure that your audience stays engaged throughout the buyer’s journey, offering little nudges and increasing touchpoints to keep them on track for a conversion.

Email marketing for online courses can be an effective way to directly reach and engage with a targeted audience of potential students.

What does this mean for my online course and my business?

Understanding where your traffic comes from reveals a lot about the status of your business and how to improve, optimize, and serve your audience better.

For example, if you discover that most of your traffic is organic and the search engines are sending your customers to your course landing page, you can better adjust this page in order to get better results and conversions. This doesn’t mean you need to apply major changes; sometimes, writing more compelling copy that gives better specifics about your course is enough, or even adding a call to action to make it easier for people to contact you.

21% Of Businesses Choose to Work With an Independent Digital Marketing Agency in the U.S.

We understand that when it comes to creating and promoting a successful online presence, there's just too much to keep up with on your own. That's why we're here! We are an Online Course Promotion Agency that helps our clients get their courses in front of key audiences and boost enrollment.

Think Orion has been helping online courses and coaches drive targeted search traffic for over a decade. We have the experience and expertise to get your website seen by the right students, increasing traffic and leads while decreasing costs.


Alternatively, if you find out that you don’t have any organic traffic and most of your sales come through a Facebook ad that you did before, then identify what worked about that ad, and plan a strategy around that information. 

Now, the ever-burning question — Is one type of traffic better than the other? 

Yes and no.

While all traffic sources are ideal for a healthy online presence and often go hand in hand, first, you need to figure out how much time and money you are willing to spend and where your business needs to go. Then you can prioritize what to focus on within that framework.

We have achieved remarkable results in providing digital marketing services for higher education, edtech marketing, online course promotion, and more! Our services are tailored to meet the specific requirements of every client and align with their business objectives.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How can search engine optimization (SEO) help drive traffic to my online course?

SEO involves optimizing your course website and content to rank higher in search engine results. By using relevant keywords, creating high-quality content, and optimizing meta tags, titles, and descriptions, you can improve your website’s visibility in search engines and attract organic traffic.

What role does social media play in driving traffic to online courses?

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram can be powerful tools for promoting your online course. By sharing engaging content, utilizing targeted advertising, and building a strong online community, you can attract potential students and drive traffic to your course website.

How effective is email marketing for generating traffic to online courses?

Email marketing can be highly effective in driving traffic to your online course. By building an email list of interested individuals, you can send regular newsletters, course updates, and promotional emails to encourage them to visit your course website. Personalized and compelling email campaigns can help generate traffic and conversions.