“SEO is not something you do anymore. It’s what happens when you do everything else right.”
— Chad Pollitt, author, international speaker & marketing professor
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the name given to an activity that looks to improve ranking on a search engine and 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 Optimization is used to improve the visibility of a website or website page among your competitors. Search Engine Optimization is thus a method to get visibility on your content, product or services.
Why do schools need SEO marketing?
It might sound like SEO 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 But in this day and age, this would be a very outdated approach towards the needs of an educational institution, like a school or a college.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.
An average school website receives 65-70% of traffic from search. 95% of that traffic comes from Google. That’s a LOT of traffic from one single source. This makes it all the more essential to understand and implement SEO in your content marketing.
How does SEO work?
Search engines, such as Google, are all about providing users with the most relevant and authoritative pages. To be ranked higher on search engines you need to optimize your content. This works in your favor as producing quality content should be a priority in your marketing!
In terms of SEO this translates this ideology:
- produce quality content on your site
- share them with your audience (i.e. on social media, in newsletters, in blogs)
- Get more people to share this content which back link to your website.
The more your content gets shared the more visibility your site gets. That improves your rankings on search engines.
Some technical considerations to ask yourself about your website:
- Does it load fast? Search engines like delivering speed – so if your site has lots of image that isn’t compressed and affects loading speed this will be flagged as a negative.
- Is your site secured? The simplest way to check this is to see if your site is https (you can see this at the start of your URL).
- Is it mobile friendly? Google has already declared that the not so far future of their search engine will be tailored for mobile. How does your site look and behave on a mobile? Is it responsive and accessible on smaller screens?
- Are you tracking your visitors and their behavior on your website? Tracking (Tools like Google Analytics) is essential to identify your users, their behaviors, source and so on.