Many think that schools do not need to market themselves. But this is in the old days. With the growing number of educational institutions, you need a pragmatic and business-like approach to attract potential parents, students, and teachers looking for employment.
Today, having a school website is a powerful online marketing tool. Creating quality content helps fuel your website so it can promote your school to your target audience, but are they reading it?
Writing engaging content is only half the battle. Getting seen and read by your ideal audience is another feat. All your efforts will be in vain if no one knows your website exists. This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in.
SEO is one of the biggest untapped marketing tools to attract new enrolments. Parents and students search on the Internet for schools and showing up on the first page of the search results can help you stand out from the competition. SEO works by improving your online visibility in search engines for a particular search phrase. When people search for a school, they want the most relevant results.
Here are some helpful tips that will help optimize your school’s website for search engine:
- Use Relevant Keywords - Use an online keyword research tool such as SEMRush, Google Keyword Planner, and Google Trends to find out keywords that are relevant to your school. It is not simply about using high-ranking keywords. Choose keywords with a high intent behind them, indicating enrolment interest and not the general traffic. Go for long-tail keywords (phrases with 3 to 4 words that relate to your school offering). Use, for example, “daycare in Newmarket, Ontario” rather than only “daycare centre”.
- Be Mobile-Friendly - With millions of people using their mobile phones to search for information on the Internet, the importance of having a robust mobile website cannot be understated. Providing your target audience with a seamless mobile experience should be a top priority to allow parents, students, and teachers to access your website using their mobile devices. Mobile-optimized websites are more likely to rank better.
- Create Engaging, Informative Content - When it comes to SEO, create content that provides clear information and solutions to your readers is essential as it helps increase your search engine ranking. Make sure to get to know your target audience and build a marketing persona that will help mould your writing efforts.
- Optimize for Local Search Engine - Focusing your marketing efforts on local SEO is an important strategy for many educational institutions. Optimizing your website for local search enables potential students either living close by or using relevant queries in your city to easily find you online. Local SEO also helps increase your opportunity of getting found in Google's 3-pack map listing.
- Optimize Your Social Media Pages - Social media networks help educational institutions connect with their students. Make sure to make your social media profiles as descriptive as possible. Use relevant keywords to describe your school and its offerings. Include your location (state/province, city, town) and links from your website (and vice versa). For example, for topclassedge.com – math tutors in Richmond Hill. In this way, you can maximize your SEO marketing efforts.
- FAQs - Choosing a school is a huge decision and there are probably a host of questions your prospective students and their parents have in mind. "What is the average class size and student-to-teacher ratio in the school?" "Do they pay for a rental bus in Toronto?" Creating an FAQ page that provides answers to the most common questions your prospects do not only offer great value to them but also increases your chances of ranking for specific keywords tremendously.
While SEO can be a complex matter as search engine algorithms are constantly changing, schools can always seek expert assistance from a reliable SEO agency.