I am back, hopefully you liked my last post on SEO for travel agency. However, this time the topic is again entirely different, it’s SEO for schools and colleges. Here we begin:
Despite the growing penetration of SEO in every sector, few still keep themselves aloof from it. One such branch is schools and colleges. One of the reasons of such a distant is because schools/colleges are not seen as an industry but as a center of learning. Yes, this is true, but another truth is the immersing competition in the field of schools/ colleges. In fact, they are the most competitive ones due to the extreme value they hold.
70 % of Parents now just not focused on studies, but seek for a complete development for their fellows. To search this, they rely heavily on the internet. Thus, no matter how good the infrastructure, Qualified professors, training programs, advanced course or sports coach you have, if it’s not making its mark on the first page of Google, it doesn’t exist for them. Thus it’s not enough to have a “web presence” but a “strong web presence”, which will make your school or college stand on the very first page of search engines.
Now if you are new to this, let me introduce you with another fact. It’s the working of search engine. I am sure as a school or college you must be updating pictures of your science lab, sports ground or toppers profile to your website. But can you assure that your content is readable by the search engine robots?
Can you assure that your great science lab or your expert faculty or your high examination results are reaching to your targeted audience?
Well, if you’re thinking “of course it is “, then you should read this long article patiently before you fall into the trap of search engines’.
The fact is, search engine robots crawl your entire website and rank them on two factors- relevance and popularity. But the catch here is that search engine robots fail to understand content like humans do. This means, what seems relevant to you or your readers might not be important for Robots. Many websites despite good content, images, text and many other things, fail to make to top of the search engines. This is the game of optimization. And you need to optimize your site in order to reach to a larger number of parents and students. Here are a few tips to optimize your website.
Knowledgeable and impressive website – is a vital part and should not be underestimated. It’s important to understand that your website is viewed differently by different people and should successfully cater its audience. For example, prospective students will eagerly want to see your campus area, while parents will be keener to know about the process of paying tuition fees, and enrolled students would be interested to know about their semester results. If your website is not optimized for all of them, then it’s not a great website. Moreover, your website shouldn’t carry content in flash files and non-text form. As robots fail to understand this format and will think your site as irrelevant, despite great content.
Keyword selection is the most important part of any SEO strategy. You can’t afford to go wrong while selecting suitable keyword for your school or college. Your keyword should be relevant to the prospective student query. For example a student who is looking for engineering college will not find your site with “best engineering XYZ College”. There will be plethora of sites with this keyword. But something likes “college for chemical engineering + location”, “mechanical engineering + location”, or “campus placement engineering colleges + location”, will work effectively. Similarly, when it comes to schools, mere school name + city will fail rather it should focus on your expertises. For example “schools with best science faculty” or “schools best for humanities” will help you rank better.
But remember; don’t stick with few Keywords as they might not work for your website always. One of the rules of SEO is to consistently re-adjust your keywords list. It’s important that you continuously measure your keywords success and create new strategies if required.
Build a content strategy- creating content is highly important, especially for schools and colleges. Your content should have the potential to hold the parents and prospective students. One such way is through adding new site pages and an engaging blog. However, I am surprised to see that not many school and college websites maintain blog sections and even if they do, it’s not consistent. One of the reasons is that they often underestimate the value of blogs for educational institutions. And they disacknowledge the fact that it’s not only the percentage or achievements which parents and students entirely crave. Rather an informative blog is always in great search.
Moreover, having a blog is an effective way of inbound marketing and successfully brings targeted seekers on to your website. Thus, it’s highly recommended from SEO point of view as well. Try to incorporate “Keywords driven blogs”. For example, your keyword is “alternative education schools”, your potential blog topic could be “how alternative curriculum model helps in your child growth”.
Now such strategy will render two benefits, firstly it will reflect your ample knowledge in your domain and secondly Google will rank you better when searcher will type any query related to “alternative education”. Plus, considering the fact that not many schools take part in regular blogging, the opportunity is massive.
Meta Tags include title tags, description tags and other bits of information from your site. They are highly important as these are the first few things a visitor will read. Your tags should be relevant to your targeted audiences. For example, if you are searching for “girls’ school in Delhi” and first two results came are with title tag “best all girls school in Delhi” and “XYZ school: An independent preparatory school”, respectively. Both are girls’ school and probably latter is better than the former. But which one you are likely to click first?
Similarly, one needs to be specific with description tags; it should not be more than 50 characters. For example, for an MBA College it should be something like “Rgyns MBA program helps you develop a strong mindset. The Rgyns MBA program is a two year, full time, residential program…”.In short, it should immediately attract searchers’ attention.
Backlinks are perhaps one of the most important factors in ranking. They are basically the links from other websites to your site. Remember backlinks are in any way hard to get but in schools and colleges it’s even harder. A credible backlink to your educational institution will effectively translate your institution image to search engines’’. Thus, instead of getting too many low credible links, it should be few but impactful backlinks.
For example a good way is to reach out to coaching centers; many renowned ones are really impactful. You can reach out to the coaching centers’ of your high merit students and persuade them to add a backlink of your school/college to their website. This will increase their website user experience. Such backlinks are really powerful and it will impress search engine robots. Don’t forget, Google observes such links very keenly, to decide your rank.
Let’s wrap it up quickly
The importance of SEO is undoubtedly important and has the potential to do wonders for your educational institution. It’s high time that educational institutions start taking SEO seriously to reflect a robust web presence and your expertises. These are the essential elements, which parents and the prospective student’s looks before enrolling. Moreover, considering the fact that many schools and colleges have failed to understand SEO for their institutions the opportunities are incredible.