The internet has made the world a very small place. In the case of educational institutions, people now have access to information about millions of schools around the world. They have more options than ever and are largely relying on the internet to help them make their educational decisions.
In the case of education, people aren’t just looking for information about schools online, they’re doing the actual learning online, as well. In 2018, 47 percent of college students were enrolled in online distance learning classes. That number is certainly set to go up in 2020 and beyond.
But online learning is no longer just for colleges and universities. During the 17-18 school year, nearly 300,000 K-12 students were enrolled in cyber school. Another 133,000 went to schools offering a combination of online and in-person instruction. Again, these numbers are poised to rise dramatically in 2020 and beyond.
Whether you’re looking to find new students or simply keep old ones, you need to bend to the times and invest in a digital marketing strategy with a strong emphasis on search engine optimization (SEO) for educational institutions.
What is SEO?
According to Google, SEO is, “The process of growing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine.” That’s great, but what does it really mean?
SEO is how you get users to visit your school’s website and other digital assets. This is a process of fine-tuning and refining certain aspects of your website like keywords in headings and content, backlinks, metatags, photos, and more.
When determining where search results will be displayed on the search engine results pages (SERP), Google looks at specific ranking factors. SEO seeks to exploit those ranking factors to make your website rank as high as possible on the SERP.
Achieving a high rank on the SERP is extremely important because 75 percent of internet users will do business with one of the top three search results when they query Google. Only 5 percent of internet users even bother to view the second page of results.
But as an educational institution, do you really need to rank high on the SERP? People who need you are going to find you anyway, right? Wrong.