How Do You Get Your School Noticed Online with SEO Marketing?Senka Melisa
SEO Marketing Sydney
Let’s talk about how to get your school noticed online. An unfortunate number of schools are missing out on getting their due notice because they don’t understand SEO marketing and how it can help them get exposure.
Traditionally a parent would have had to rely on friends or phoning different schools to get information on the schools best suited for their children. But now in the digital age parents are overwhelmingly heading online to do their school comparison research.
If your school does not show up in a search engine’s results then parents aren’t going to get the information they need and they will more than likely pass you by.
What is SEO Marketing?
“SEO” stands for Search Engine Optimisation and it’s a tool for getting your school ranked higher in Google’s search results. Think about your own Google searches – how often do you go past the first page? How about the second page? Probably not very often right?
It’s the same for parents researching the kind of school they would like to place their child into. They’re not likely to consider any school showing on page two. The main way SEO marketing works for you is that it helps you “own” a percentage of the phrases a parent will enter into a search engine (usually Google).
For example a parent might try “best preschool Sydney” or “Catholic High Schools Sydney” – the more ownership your school has of a certain phrase the higher you’ll show up in the search engine’s results.
The biggest weapon in your SEO marketing arsenal will be your website’s valuable, ongoing, SEO-rich content. What we mean by “SEO-rich” is that the text on your website uses those keywords and phrases we mentioned above to bring viewers in by having your site rank high on a search engine’s results pages.
While this mainly means your website’s blog (if your site doesn’t have a blog it’s time to start one) and text, it also includes “behind the scenes” stuff like the tags put on each individual page of your site and any photos or videos you have posted.
By “valuable” we mean you offer content that is helpful to your viewers. SEO marketing that is cynically set up only to be a vehicle for an SEO phrase is likely going to fail – Google’s algorithms are designed to reward content that gives visitors what they want and to punish sites that purely try to cash in on an SEO key phrase.
So if you tried to create a blog entry that just had the words “number of students per class” over and over again without any other information Google would lock the page out from appearing in their results at all.
Plus when you continually offer fresh and interesting content it just naturally keeps people coming back. Schools are a constant source of information in both what you’re offering to the students and also in the accomplishments of the students themselves.
Did you have a student run a charity drive? Did you change the lunch menu to offer a more nutritious meal? Do you have a staff member going out of their way to give more to their students? Let the world know (and your SEO marketing will thank you for it).
The other bonus from posting valuable content is that it’s much more likely to be linked to from outside sources. For example, a proud parent is going to link a post about their daughter winning a science fair on Facebook. Their relatives and friends will relink that, Like it, or leave a comment giving the daughter a pat on the back.
All of those back-links and actions are what’s known as “off-page” SEO marketing (meaning any marketing not expressly on your website itself) and Google eats it up, giving your school more weight on the results page.
As for “ongoing” – keep it coming. Set up a schedule, even if it means you’re only posting once a week. Or maybe once a week you post about school news, and on another day of the week you post a student accomplishment, doing the same kind of post on the same day every week.
The more content you have, the more key phrases you can work on owning and the more reasons viewers have for coming back for a visit.
Make Sure Your Website Works
You can have the best SEO marketing in the world but if your website is full of broken links or if the information a visitor wants is hard to find then you’ll lose your viewers and they probably won’t come back.
You also need to make sure that your site is mobile friendly; everybody has a smartphone or tablet these days and your website needs to be set to embrace all of the internet portals it may encounter.
We mentioned above that “off-page” SEO marketing relates to anything you do outside of your website to gain internet traffic.
Online that can mean press releases, videos on Youtube, or perhaps posts on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.
It can also mean in real life – charity events, sports events, getting a mention in the local newspaper, you name it. If you can have your website address info posted somewhere, even better.
Get On The Map
Have you ever called a map of your area then typed in “pizza” and had a bunch of pizza joints show up as little place-markers? You can have your school show up the same way. Even better, once you claim the right to edit information for those place-markers you can add your website’s address and contact info.
Get Involved with Groups
Social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn have issue-oriented groups you can join. In terms of SEO marketing it’s probably not going to do you a lot of good to join groups filled with teachers or administrators – they’re not your audience.
Instead go to where the parents are. Maybe join a group where you can offer experienced tips in getting unruly pre-teens to cooperate. Or how to get a 5 year-old to enjoy reading. Or how to get any of them to eat their vegetables.
The more good tips you offer, the more you’re going to come off as an expert. The more expertise you display, the more likely parents are to check out your website for similar tips or even to consider your school.
So how do you know which SEO key phrases to compete for?
How can you be sure that you’ve set up your site for optimum SEO marketing exposure?
Honestly, it can get a little tricky. Key phrase competition can get fairly complicated – it involves analysis, metrics, and a ton of research.
If you have any questions on our latest blog post, or feel your school is missing out by not being visible in the search engines, then give us a call today at +61 2 9569 6580 or drop us a note via our contact page. We are always happy to answer any questions or provide a free consultation, click on the link here to find out more.