Searching online is becoming an increasingly popular way for individuals to find the right school. So how can schools market themselves online so that these candidates find their institution’s website? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not just for ecommerce sites. SEO is especially important for private schools, boarding schools, colleges and universities because applicants and parents of applicants may look for the school website in order to formulate a first impression as part of their search for the right school. Consider the following elements as the building blocks for increasing the visibility of your school’s website.
1. Extend Reach with Optimized Content
Your school website might be the first impression for prospective students and the go-to resource for current students, staff and faculty. Polished content that is keyword optimized will help ensure that everyone you are targeting (including search engines) finds what they are looking for on your website. Use accurate and compelling title elements, meta descriptions and H1s for all of your website pages. This may be difficult on a large school website which is maintained by multiple staff and faculty members, but a little training on the appropriate way to write for the web can go a long way.
2. Keep Information Relevant
Your website is a representation of your school, and therefore, it should reflect all of the latest news and information for your visitors. Search engines, just like humans, like to see that the content on a website is fresh and up to date. Keeping your news and events current is a win-win. Make sure activity calendars and team schedules are easy to find on your site and include all of the latest happenings. This will also keep visitors coming back to your site on a regular basis for agendas, scores and more.
3. Promote Research and Professional Pages
Your website is a great place to showcase the professional faculty at your school. Giving teachers or professors their own page or section of the website where they can post the course syllabus, the latest homework assignment and information on class projects is an excellent way for educators to communicate with students and parents. In addition, published material and other resources written by faculty members is good link bait as well as a great way to capture more keyword searches ultimately driving additional visitors to your school website.
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