With thousands of colleges across the States, there is a lot of competition. Colleges are often found by students through campus tours, college fairs, and, of course, online searches.
So, whether you do or do not rank in lists for the best colleges in the US, where you rank in online search results will change how students perceive you. Colleges that get themselves into the top page results of Google will be seen as better than those that do not. So how can you make your college more visible to students?
It all comes down to marketing and SEO. Whether you hire a college marketing agency, or try to manage your own SEO campaign, we’re here to share with you several strategies you can implement to increase student enrollment.
How colleges can use SEO
SEO – Search Engine Optimization – is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic you receive through organic search. When someone searches online, they will be presented with a number of sponsored ads or links, followed by pages of organic results. To improve traffic, you need to find a way to get your website onto – at least – the first few pages of the organic search results.
To get your college into the top-ranking results that students will actually see, there are several strategies you can put in place.
1. Keyword strategy
A keyword strategy is integral in improving your SEO and increasing your student enrollment. There are a huge number of keyword research tools you can use to understand more about your target audience; their behaviors, search intent, and the questions they are looking to get answered.
By doing this research, you can then make sure your website holds keywords that relate to these enquires, along with content that answers their questions.
But as well as using content to capture these keywords, you can also use them throughout page titles and meta descriptions. This content is read by the search engine to determine whether you are a good fit for the user’s original search. If you have all the right keywords within your meta, you have more chance of being displayed to the user.
2. Content marketing
By creating relevant and informative content for your website – either through page content or blog posts – you can capture more keywords and, in turn, rank higher in searches.
If you cannot keep up with posting blogs, making sure each degree page is rich in SEO and valuable content for prospective students will do the trick.
While having content on your own site is one thing, having other sites and writers vouch for your college will do wonders for your credibility and your SEO. Google, as well as smaller search engines, see links from other websites to yours as ‘upvotes’ when it comes to relevance and authority. Backlinking strategies are tedious to implement and require a lot of content to be written for a lot of publications. But that is where a college marketing agency can help lower the workload.
By using these three strategies for SEO, as well as others you can find online, you can increase your chances of visibility. Visibility often leads to higher engagement and – for the college – increased student enrollment.