How using SEO can help your school or college
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Search Engine Optimisation or SEO refers to the practice of increasing traffic to a website by organic search engine results. These can be done through a variety of ways – from the usage of keywords to figuring out page rankings. In an increasingly competitive world, Search Engine Optimisation is used to improve the visibility of a website or website page amongst a sea of rivals. Search Engine Optimisation is thus a method to get eyeballs on your content, product or service.
In this day and age, most websites use Search Engine Optimisation as a cornerstone of their marketing strategy. This is because search engine optimization is a marketing strategy that gives tangible results. The change and growth in views and rankings can be measured when search engine optimization is implemented for a website. This is what makes search engine optimization a key strategy that marketers choose to use over others for their outreach efforts.
Do educational institutions like schools and colleges need SEO marketing?
It might sound like search engine optimization becoming a key part of the marketing strategy has no relevance to the educational ecosystem. After all, why do schools even need to market themselves? But in this day and age, this would be a very outdated approach towards the needs of an educational institution, like a school or a college. Instead, one must approach the needs of the educational institution like a school or a college in a pragmatic and business-like fashion.
Part of such an approach would be to recognize that a school must be marketed. How else would its audience – potential students, their parents, and teachers seeking employment – know what they stand for? To build an educational institution that has a distinct culture and whose ethics and values are strongly defined, it is necessary to work with and serve an audience that identifies with those markers. Marketing an educational institution correctly would attract the correct audience.
Casting your net far and wide is most likely to garner you the best stakeholders to engage with your educational institution. And the best way to do this would be to use search engine optimization as part of the school’s marketing strategy. Applying data-driven techniques to improve visibility helps better convey the educational institution’s ethos to a wider population from which to draw from.
What are the advantages of Search Engine Optimisation marketing for schools?
The advantages of search engine optimization have briefly been discussed above in general. The necessity of marketing for schools and the implementation of a strategy that includes search engine optimization has also been illuminated. However, what is the direct impact of the implementation of search engine optimization as part of the school’s marketing strategy?
A few advantages of implementing a marketing strategy that includes search engine optimization are shared below:
1. Increase in the School’s Brand Awareness
Nothing improves brand awareness for a product or service than for its website to receive visibility. Search engine optimization in a marketing strategy focuses on just this – to increase brand awareness. When it comes to educational institutions, it’s this visibility that directly impacts enrollment rate. When more students and parents who would be good for your educational institution have a good understanding of what the school stands for, what the school offers, what the school culture is like, they are more likely to apply and want to become a part of the school community. Search engine optimization thus has a direct impact on brand awareness and consequently enrollment in the school itself.
2. Increasing Parental Engagement with the School
Parental engagement with the educational institutions their wards belong to is also boosted by the implementation of search engine optimization in their marketing strategy. The content of the website is relevant to their interests and the educational trends of the day, which is likely to demonstrate to parents that the educational institution stays on top of things happening in the educational ecosystem.
Websites are also likely to see more engagement in the form of page views and higher rankings in results for searches thanks to search engine optimization, putting them in front of parents on a more regular basis and consequently increasing parental engagement with the school website. This is important because the school website is the online representation of the school itself, and one more avenue through which a parent can remain involved with the school and thus their child’s academic career.
3. Improving School Website Ranking
Part of implementing search engine optimization as part of an educational institution’s marketing strategy is to list the school or college on reputable directories and websites. This adds a certain sense of credence to the website and thus the educational institution itself. Listing the school on well-regarded directories and websites also improve the quality of backlinks, which in turn positively impacts the rankings.
Increase in rankings directly results in higher visibility for the school – people are more likely to click a link on page one of search results rather than page ten or higher. A higher ranking also often signals authenticity and trustworthiness – key traits any school or college must demonstrate without fail in order to gain the trust of students and parents.
4. Building a Local Community
Local listings are also a facet of search engine optimization implementation in the marketing strategy being put out for a school. Parents and students considering which school to send their word to have geographical and logistical constraints – finding an ideal school within reasonable traveling distance is a priority for any harried parent. By using search engine optimization as part of the educational institution’s marketing strategy, including relying on local listings, it becomes easier for parents to connect with schools that are local to them to enroll their children in. This means that the school becomes a part of the local community it wishes to support thanks to the implementation of a marketing strategy that includes search engine optimization.
5. Using Keywords to Build Connect
A way to implement search engine optimization as part of an educational institution’s is through the use of keywords. What are keywords, however? Keywords are words or brief phrases that people use to find your site – or a site that is relevant to their interests. When these keywords show up multiple times on a website its ranking is pushed higher and it is likely to get more views.
This is because these keywords reflect what people are actually curious about and interested in under the domain of a specific world. It is what they actually want to read and learn about and is thus important to them. For prospective students and their parents that are interested in an educational institution, a focus on keywords relevant to them is not only likely to place the educational institution’s website in front of them, but also connect with them on the basis of mutual interest. It is a win-win for all parties – for educational institutions seeking to market themselves to the right audience and for parents and teachers and students seeking a job fit at the right school or college for them. Thus, search engine optimization is a way to build connections with potential students and their parents as part of the marketing strategy.
6. Building Mobile Friendly Websites
Implementing Search engine optimization as part of the marketing strategy for an educational institution’s website results in better loading time on mobile. Considering that most users browse the world wide web on their mobile devices, it is important to optimize websites for mobile in order to improve rankings and increase page views. Search engine optimization helps in this task, by ensuring better loading times for the website on the user’s chosen mobile device.