How to Choose a Perfect Name for Your Online Course (Tips + Examples)
Choosing the perfect course name can feel like a monumental task. With just a few words, you should be able to convey confidence and authoritativeness for the program you offer.
Although it might feel like the stakes are high—after all, you are trying to persuade an audience that you have the expertise they are looking for—we have a solution for you.
We have a solution for you. Using the Online Course Name Generator above and these seven tips, you have everything you need to find the perfect name for your next online course.
So let’s get started.
1. Consider Your Course Type
Because there are many types of programs, the words you use for your course title can help your audience know what to expect.
For example, a signature course can benefit from a brandable and memorable name like Marie Forleo’s B-School; contrast that with a spotlight course that often articulates the one problem it solves, such as Create a WordPress Website in 24 Hours or Less Guaranteed.
Drone Launch Academy does an excellent job of differentiating the different types of courses they offer. For example:
- Drone Business Mastery is a great name for a flagship training program that includes everything.
- Drones 101 is an excellent name for an introductory course.
- FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Exam Prep Course is an excellent title for a course that prepares students for an official certification exam. This title also includes essential search keywords. (See Tip #4.)
Considering the type of course you’re creating, you may even want to include a descriptive term that helps set expectations and even predict the experience.
If you’re interested in knowing more about various course types, read this article.
2. Ensure Clarity
The best course names state what they offer in a way that eliminates confusion. Although there are exceptions, most of the time, simplicity is best.
Here are three good examples of clear course titles:
- Guitar Zero to Hero
- Piano for All
- Learn to Read Biblical Hebrew
While we could potentially improve them, they state their mission clearly.
However, simple statements of what is in a course don’t always work.
Let’s look at a few common issues that obscure clarity:
- Unfamiliar Topic: If your course introduces a new topic, a title like Web 3.0 for Artists might not be your best choice. A better option might be Preventing Copyright Infringement for Emerging Artists using Web 3.0.
- Vague and Ambiguous Meanings: Course titles suffer when the meaning of a word is vague. A course titled Writing Workshop might be better positioned as Write your Fictional Fantasy Book in Three Months.
- Clever or Made-Up Words: Don’t try to be too clever! Instead, save your creativity for audiences that understand a hidden meaning or obscure reference. For example, your course name shouldn’t include “Platform 9¾” unless you’re attracting Harry Potter fans.
Consider your course from your audience’s perspective and think about some of the clearest course titles you can come up with.
3. Communicate Emotion
When you use expressive, emotional words, you communicate to your audience that you understand their pain points and motivations.
What are some emotions your audience might want to feel?
- For car repair or programming, the feeling might be ease or simplicity.
- For doodling, the emotion might be fun.
- For science, it might be a feeling of wonder.
Consider these catchy course titles examples that evoke emotion:
- Fight Back Project: Trauma-Informed Martial Arts Coaching – This course coaches martial arts teachers who want to assist those recovering from trauma. This “fight back project” has an empowering feel.
- Disney Castle Pics Made Easy: The Complete Guide – For parents heading to Disneyland with small kids, every word hits an emotional button. “Disney Castle” reminds them of that iconic picture they need to take; “easy” is a necessary relief for the parents of little ones; and “complete guide” promises that they will not need anything else.
So, what do you want your audience to feel? Is there a way to include something in your title that communicates your empathy for them?
4. Optimize It for Search
There are a few ways to increase your course’s visibility: using organic and paid marketing and optimizing it for search engines. Including the keywords that people use when searching for your course topic positions it for passive sales in the long run.
This doesn’t mean that you need to pack your course title with keywords. That may work in some cases, but we recommend you include a broad keyword that represents your topic.
Here are a few successful examples—note that the titles are search-friendly without feeling like a search phrase.
- Learn ethical hacking: The first result for this search term is a Udemy course, Learn Ethical Hacking From Scratch.
- Learning to surf: This search pulled up the Barefoot Surf Tutorials, including several free and paid options.
- How to woodworking: While it’s a clunky search phrase, this search presented various kinds of woodworking courses at The Crucible.
While researching keywords for your course, you may find inspiration from competitors, and you will get an idea of the market for your course topic.
5. Check the Acronym
Do you know what’s not funny? Coming up with a perfect name—like Awesome Skilled Statisticians—only to realize that your acronym is A.S.S.
Don’t let that happen to you. Check the acronym.
If you look at successful and well-loved programs, you will notice that people often refer to them using an acronym. Here are a few examples:
- The Authority Site System is simply called TAS. and pronounced as a single word, making it easier to talk about.
- Digital Course Academy is commonly referred to as DCA by students and alumni.
Some course creators intentionally search for an acronym that sets the right tone for their program. You can do that, but don’t take it too far.
Here are a few dos and don’ts:
- Do look at your acronym so that you don’t create an unflattering word by accident.
- Remember that the more people talk about and love your program, the more they will want to create an insider feel for it, and acronyms can generate that feeling.
- Do consider that acronyms are perfect for programs with long names.
- Don’t force-fit your name because you love the acronym.
- Don’t use unfamiliar words so that you can create a fitting acronym; keep the meaning clear.
6. Think Beyond This Course
Most creators only consider the course they are currently developing rather than what their collection might look like after completing dozens of them. Unfortunately, this lack of foresight ends up with a series of offerings that look haphazard.
Once you have a random-looking collection, it is difficult to fix. After all, it would be a significant headache to rename all of your courses.
However, if you’re just starting, you can avoid this by creating a vision of your complete collection. Then, choose a naming convention or standard that works for this course and those in the future.
7. Check the Domain Name
For a signature or flagship course, consider the advantages of owning your program’s domain. This can help people find your products and protect you from anyone trying to imitate you.
Owning the domain isn’t crucial for all course types, but it can be part of a seamless experience for a flagship course, so you might want to check if your domain name is available.
While hundreds of extensions are available, we recommend getting a .com domain. However, if someone else has it, you have options.
- See if you can alter your course name using the last word as an extension. For example, a course on storytelling might be called Storytelling Quest, so the domain name could be storytelling.quest.
- Check to see whether the .course extension is available. For example, it might look like storytelling.course.
- Change your course name. This is critical if the .com domain leads to someone else’s website that could be confused with yours. Otherwise, you risk sending potential clients to another website.
Owning the domain name does not mean you can’t host the course on your standard domain. For example, you could keep your landing page on your main domain and purchase the new one to point to the existing landing page.
Putting It All Together
Choosing the right course name feels good, and you’ll have greater confidence when you talk about it. Plus, your ideal audience will know what to expect.
Even though there is a lot to consider, our online course name generator and the tips we shared should make things easier for you.
We have also created a checklist for you to follow while naming your online course. You can download a copy here.
We cannot wait to see what you come up with for your program! If you need feedback on potential course names, please share them with us in the comments.