SEO FOR SCHOOLS WEBSITE AND MARKETING
Why SEO and marketing is a must for your school business
If you are reading this, chances are you are a school owner or a school head and will like to:
- Increase enrolment figure
- Generate more lead with organic content and data
- Rank higher on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo
- Be more competitive locally and internationally
- Improve website performance and offer better user experience
- Increase traffic to your website, which can convert to enrolment
- Increase foot traffic to your physical school building
- Make your school service listings accessible and findable online
- You want to stand out from the to much noise of Crowded school business.
The truth is we demand more from our private schools than we do from any other institution (with the possible exception of marriage).
The secret to growing your school business is to get a handle on where your business is right now as regards understanding your customers’ priorities and proceeding from that point effectively and purposefully.
Competition is being redefined, and so is work. We live in turbulent times, and to compensate, we cling to the past and grab for the familiar. But our new age dictates a renaissance in education as well. Schools must accommodate the change in our society.
They must become sensitive to marketplace force — tailored to customer needs and future focused. The changes ahead will redefine our concept of school. They will also give us promise for an even better system of private and public education.
We are often reminded that many small businesses fail within the first few years. From my experience the two main reasons are:
- a lack of initial capital (not enough money)
- and a lack of marketing ability.
The people running these school businesses work very hard, generally have excellent products and often are completely dedicated to making their school business a success, but they just don’t know how to find new students for enrolment or keep existing ones.
SEO for school website and marketing – A revolution in marketing
What we are witnessing is nothing short of a marketing revolution. Instead of indiscriminately shouting sterile corporate marketing messages at people who may or may not be interested in your school product or service, today you can find people who are already interested in what you have to offer, by tapping into online communities of interest.
In today’s competitive marketplace you need to be findable. You need to go where your customers are and engage them.
What do you need to know to get started with SEO tips for your school website when implementing SEO for school website and marketing?
This post is designed to give you a broad overview of marketing your school business using Search engine Optimisation. It will provide the answers to many of the commonly asked questions regarding SEO for schools website and marketing business and it will provide these answers in a simple, easy to understand format.
Examine these five questions you need to ask yourself before you start promoting your school:
- What are my marketing aims and objectives? Like any form of marketing, this is the starting point—not the marketing tool itself.
- Who is my target market? Know your audience. What is your niche? What unique value can you offer that sets you apart from other schools?
- Where can I find them? Where does your market hang out? Use online tools to find your community of interest and tap into it.
- Which tools are most appropriate to use? Which tools will both reach your market and be possible for you to manage realistically?
- How will I measure my results?
SEO tools you can use for your school marketing when implementing SEO for schools website and marketing
1. Keyword Tool.io
. 2. Buzzsumo
How will you know if you are successful? What metrics will you use for your school SEO keywords when implementing SEO for schools website and marketing?
Note that the choice of tool comes way down the list. It pays to think strategically about how you choose and use tools.
SEO MISTAKE MOST SCHOOL OWNERS MAKE WITH THEIR SCHOOL WEBSITE
Most school owners set up a website and that is it. They never make sure these websites are optimised for Seach Engines(SEO) and also determining your Unique Keyword Search Phrase. Since this is mostly the first call of school owners, I mean to have a website built for their school. I will be concentrating on SEO in this post.
The fact is, you having a website built for your school business without proper search engine optimization techniques is like having a pin in a hay stack, who sees that, the truth is no one because it is just too tiny to be noticed. Without SEO, your school’s website is “lost in the internet world”. You need to make prospect see your business online because most parents who are searching for school’s for their wards are going online to check the school out.
What is search engine optimisation?
Search engines, such as Google and Bing, use mathematical algorithms or formulae to analyse a user’s question or search query in order to provide web pages that attempt to most closely answer the question or relate to the search term.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) ensures that your website is constructed in such a way that your webpages are returned first (or on the first results page) for any relevant search, since most users rarely look much beyond the first page of search results.
SEO seeks to understand the search engines’ algorithms (which change constantly) and to meet their criteria. In this way, an optimised website achieves ‘naturally high’ search responses and therefore has less need for paid advertising to bring traffic to it. For example, the EducraftMedia website contains relevant links and, as a result, generates high search results ranking and thus significant traffic.
Unless your website is regularly listed within the first page of search results for relevant search terms / keywords, its search engine ‘ranking’ probably needs to be improved. Follow the guidelines in the checklist on the next page.
You will also find guidance from the search engines at the site below:
- Bing Webmaster Tools: http://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmasters.
If you decide to use an SEO consultant for your school SEO services when implementing SEO for schools website and marketing
- Ask for references from his / her previous clients and check them out.
- Recognise that you will need to commit to working with them for six to 12 months, as SEO takes time.
- Agree a budget and target results before you start.
You need to ask yourself the following questions about your school’s website SEO when implementing SEO for schools website and marketing
If your school is located in Magodo, Lagos, and a prospective parent typed in “Primary school in Magodo, Lagos” or “private secondary school near me”, the questions are:
- Does your school’s website show up on the first page of Google’s SERP,
- Does it even show up on the second page?
- Are you sure you currently update your website with new post to make it friendly with Search Spiders?
How Search Engines Rank Websites, and Important Ranking Factors
Search engines use web crawler algorithms to craw all information placed on the internet and create an index.
Then, when users use search engines to search for information, search engine spiders take the keyword, match it to information on their index, and return the most relevant information within a matter of seconds.
Important Google Ranking Factors to consider when implementing SEO for schools website and marketing
According to backlinko.com, one of the most proficient SEO websites, Google uses over 200 ranking factors; some of these factors hold more weight over others. In this subsection, we shall outline the most relevant ranking factors Google, and other search engines use to rank websites in 2016 and in the near future.
To make this list easier to follow, and to build up on how to rank first on Google aspects we shall look at later, we shall categorize these factors into three:
- on page factors
- off-page factors,
- and site wide factors
The basics of SEO are straightforward. You can learn them and start seeing increased visits to your website within FEW MONTHS or even FEW WEEKS. The first step is to understand that the goal of search engines is to keep users coming back by consistently delivering useful search results.
They do that by investing millions every year in developing algorithms to predict as accurately as possible which content users will find most useful in search results.
Everything they do revolves around that objective. Once you understand that, you know the golden rule of getting traffic to your school’s website – whether from search engines, social media or content marketing:
- Create content real people love – on subjects they’re searching for – and search engine traffic will follow.
Follow that rule and you’ll attract visitors who will:
- Stay on your site longer
- Look at more pages
- Come back to your site again and again
- Tweet, Like, and share your content
These actions are signals that Google and other search engines look for as quality indicators when deciding how high sites and pages should rank. The more users you have on your site taking one or more of these actions, the higher you will appear in search results.
What is search engine marketing and why is SEO important for school marketing?
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is not Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is also known as search engine advertising.
On sites like Google AdWords and Microsoft AdCenter, you bid for your preferred keywords against other advertisers. When these words appear in users’ search queries, your ad appears alongside the search results – usually labelled as ‘sponsored links’ or ‘sponsored results’.
Most SEM is on a ‘pay per click’ (PPC) basis, under which you only pay when a user clicks through from an ad to your website. Thus SEM is very cost-effective, since the ad is only triggered by relevant search terms and you only pay for actual traffic delivered to your site.
Google Adwords and Microsoft AdCenter both provide some online advice in choosing keywords and managing SEM campaigns.
Just as for SEO, if you decide to use a SEM consultant for your school SEM services when implementing SEO for schools website and marketing:
- Ask for references from his / her previous clients and check them out.
- Recognise that you will need to commit to working with them for several months.
- Agree a budget and target results before you start.
Why are search engine rankings important for your school website? A thought to consider when considering SEO for schools website and marketing?
Just as you probably do yourself, customers and potential parents use the internet to:
- Gather information about your school’s product and services before they make up their mind
- Review comments made by other parents
- Help them make product purchasing decisions (e.g, eBay rating scales).
- Add their own feedback about products and services.
They start by typing your school name, brand, product / service category or location and service type (for example,, Cambridge secondary school in Ikeja) into a search engine, such as Google, Yahoo!, Bing or Dmoz.
These search engines search across the millions of websites on the WWW based on the search terms and present back the results, in an order they believe most closely meets the searcher’s needs.
Most people look no further than the first page or two of search results before deciding they have all the information they need, or they search again. Websites that are ‘optimised’ have a greater chance of being found in the first page or two of search results, which increases the likelihood of websurfers clicking through to them and thus the potential for sales.
A study in August 2019 by the National E-learning Laboratory showed that prospective parents or users who use Google to search only pay attention to the first THREE results and that many users preferred to use Google Search to navigate to another site rather than type the site’s URL in the address bar.
Sites like Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Guide explain how search engines operate and how you can optimise your website to improve your search engine ‘ranking’.
Each of the following search engines provides online advice on submitting your site to them:
- Google: http://www.google.com/addurl.
- Bing: http://www.bing.com/docs/submit.aspx.
- Yahoo!: http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/submit.
- Dmoz: http://www.dmoz.org/add.html.
You have to consider how search engines work when implementing SEO for schools website and marketing
There are three main steps search engines take to decide which content should be promoted to the top of search results.
- They visit your site to create an index of the content to understand what individual pages are about, as well as the overall subject of your site.
- They count links from other sites and blogs as “votes” on the quality of the content.
- They count social shares – likes, tweets, etc. – as more “votes” for your content.
Although search engine algorithms are a complex mix of hundreds of ranking factors, most aspects of search engine optimization fit in to one of these areas.
Best of all, by using free tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console (previously called Google Webmaster Tools), you’ll be able to see the success you’re having in bringing in extra visitors and ranking for more keywords.
“White-hat” SEO vs. “Black-hat” SEO, which to consider when implementing SEO for schools website and marketing
There are two types of SEO.
- White hat SEO
- Black hat SEO
This post is about White-hat SEO. It uses the honest tips and techniques I’ve used to increase the rankings of my sites andthose of my clients over the last ten years.
Black-hat SEO, on the other hand, uses tricks and loopholes to try to game the system and trick search engines into ranking a site as high as possible, regardless of the quality of the content. Don’t ever get involve in Black-hat SEO when implementing SEO for schools website and marketing.
I’m sure you’ve seen ads promising a shortcut to page one of Google. Just buy Product A, adjust a few settings and wait a few days for a torrent of traffic. At worst, products like those are scams. At best, they’re software that exploits a loophole.
The problem with loopholes is that sooner or later, Google closes the loophole. Not so long ago, an easy way to improve rankings was to write a single article and then use software called an “article spinner” to create and submit slight variations of it to hundreds of different article directories.
Within the content of the articles would be links back to the authors site – generating hundred of backlinks in a short time, leading to better rankings.
Just one problem with SEO if you make use of Black-Hat SEO for your school’s website when implementing SEO for schools website and marketing
Overnight Google changed its algorithm. Not only did it downgrade almost all article directories to junk status, it kicked sites using the article spinning trick out of its search results.
This meant improved search results for users, but a lot of black-hat SEO “engineers” having to undo years of work in an attempt to repair their rankings. That’s why I recommend sticking to white-hat SEO techniques. They work and they’re a safe, reliable long-term strategy.
How do we get higher or better search rankings for your school’s website when considering SEO for schools website and marketing?
To get higher or better search rankings in search engines when implementing SEO for schools website and marketing requires some effort! There are several factors to consider, including:
- Title Tags: Page titles should be descriptive; sometimes home pages are called ‘home pages’ – this is a waste. The page title should say something immediately descriptive about the company: ‘Primary school in Isheri’ or ‘Montessori school in Ago palace way.’
- Keywords: As the name suggests, these are important words. A cookery school might include keywords such as: learn to cook, cook classes, baking lessons, chef training.
- Key Phrases: Having keywords in the website is great, but a website also needs to re-use the key phrases, in proper sentences, throughout the website.
- Sitemap: Search engines like a map to see what’s connected and where.
- Links: Your website needs to contain relevant links to other sites and other sites need to link to your website.
- Submit to Search Engines: Don’t forget that websites must be submitted to Google, MSN / Bing and Yahoo! – they are unlikely to find you otherwise.
How do we choose keywords or keyphrases for our school website when implementing SEO for schools website and marketing?
Keywords are words that businesses use on their website or blog to describe their brand, products or services and which search engines use to conduct searches. A keyphrase is a group of keywords.
If you are operating a Montessori school in Ejigbo, your keywords may include: ‘Montessori school’, ‘Montessori’, and your keyphrases may be: ‘Montessori school in Ejigbo’ or ‘Top Montessori school for age 3 to 8’. Most people use more than one word when searching online, which is why key phrases are important.
Also, if I am looking for a Cambridge secondary school for my son, I am likely to type into Google: ‘Cambridge secondary school in Ikeja’. So, if you are a school owner, you may want to include your location in your keywords.
Your keywords / keyphrases should be repeated in:
- Links to and from your website.
- Headings and sub-headings.
- The body text on the page.
- Any images used.
- The TITLE of your web page.
- Any testimonials from clients.
To find popular keywords, you can search:
- Google Trends, which analyses search results to identify the world’s interest in various topics.
- Twitter #hashtags.
Google trend consideration when implementing SEO for schools website and marketing
You can create good keywords by:
- Looking at keywords or keyphrases on your competitors’ sites.
- Using the Google Keyword Tool.
Choosing the Right School Keywords for your website SEO when implementing SEO for schools website and marketing
Great content is essential for a successful school website, but if you write posts on subjects nobody searches for, you’ll never get any real search engine traffic. That’s why a smart search engine optimization strategy begins with choosing the best keywords. There’s no point being on page one for a search term nobody uses.
The best keyword phrases have two essential qualities:
- Significant number of monthly searches. Meaning there are plenty of potential search engine visitors.
- Low competition. Indicating there aren’t so many existing results that it will be difficult or impossible to rank highly for the term.
Many people struggle with getting traffic to their site because they haven’t researched their keywords correctly. Instead, they just guess. But here’s an example of how guessing can lead you astray. Take these four keyword phrases:
- Primary school in Lagos
- Best primary school in Lagos
- Best secondary school in Lagos
- Secondary school in Nigeria
All are popular search terms, but the one with the largest search volume has over sixteen times more people using it each month than the next most popular.
Which one is it?
I don’t know about you, but my guess would be
That’s why it’s important to spend time researching keywords. It’s often hard to guess what the most popular search terms are. Guessing incorrectly means you waste time and energy targeting keywords that have low search volume and so never bring you many visitors, even if you rank highly for them.
Your secret keyword tool for your school‘s website SEO when implementing SEO for schools website
There are a number of keyword research tools, but the most accurate and easy to use is the Google Keyword Planner.
Important: You may have seen out-of-date guides recommend a different tool called the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. The Keyword Planner replaces the AdWords Tool, which is no longer available.
The Keyword Planner is a free tool designed to help advertisers choose keywords when buying ads on AdSense, Google’s advertising network. You can use the same information to discover the best keywords to target in your niche.
Not just keywords you think people use, but the ones they really do. You’ll find the Keyword Planner at: http://adwords.google.com/keywordplanner
Because the Keyword Planner is only available to logged in users, you’ll need to create an AdWords account to use it.
It’s free and you can use the same account as the one you may already have for other Google services likes Gmail and AdSense. You don’t have to actually have to spend money on an ad campaign to use the planner.
Note: In some countries, Google now has two types of AdWords accounts: AdWords and AdWords Express. The keyword planner is only available with a full AdWords account, it’s not accessible from an AdWords Express account.
If you need help with creating an AdWords account take a look at this link:
Alternatively, if you prefer not to use the Google Keyword Planner, try the Keyword Tool from Ahref. It’s not identical to Google’s keyword tool, but it’s very similar.
Creating a list of the most profitable keywords in your niche when implementing SEO for schools website and marketing
For each potential keyword, we need to know three things:
- Are there enough people searching for the phrase to generate a worthwhile amount of traffic?
- How easy will it be to compete with the pages already being listed in search results for that keyword?
- Is it a “money” keyword
Imagine you have a blog about arts and crafts and you’re looking for post ideas about scrapbooking. It’s a popular subject, but how popular? Running the keyword through the Keyword Planner gives you the search volume but you also need to know how many pages Google already has listed for that term.
The fewer there are, the easier it will be for your school’s website page to appear near the top of Google results for that phrase.
The Keyword Planner doesn’t include this information, so you’ll need to do a Google search and note the number of results listed at the top of the page.
Below is the combined information from Keyword Planner and Google search results for Montessori School. Include is the Suggested bid, a guide to how much AdWords advertisers need to pay for their ads to appear for that term.
Avg. monthly searches: 165,000
Suggested bid: $0.41
Google Results: 44,800,000
Avg. monthly searches: 14,800
Suggested bid: $0.88
Google Results: 33,400,000
Avg. monthly searches: 14,800
Suggested bid: $0.61
Google Results: 13,200,000
How Search Volume translates visitor numbers
As a rough guide, the top result on page one for any search query will get monthly visits equal to around 40% of the search volume listed in the Keyword Planner, while the tenth result on page one will get around 2% of the volume.
Targeting Long Tail Keywords for Increased Traffic when considering SEO for schools website and marketing
A long tail keyword is a phrase of three or more words which is related to your main keywords but has less traffic associated with it.
Why would you want to target phrases with less traffic when implementing SEO for schools website and marketing?
Most content creators go for the big, obvious one and two keyword phrases and ignore these longer search phrases. Thankfully, less competition means fewer pages in the results, making it easier for you to rank highly.
Take a look at the Google Keyword Planner and you’ll see that many long tail keywords attract a good amount of traffic.
For example, at the time of writing, photography has 450,000 monthly searches with over one and a half billion search results, making it an impossibly difficult keyword to target successfully.
However, the long tail phrase tilt shift photography has a respectable 10,000 searches a month but only three million pages in the results. That means a good, in-depth post on the subject with only a handful of links to it should rank well for that term.
When considering your overall keyword strategy, don’t forget long-tail keywords. For many established websites (including the sites I run) the combined number of visits from long-tail keywords is greater than those generated by the main keywords.
That’s not surprising, given that long tail keywords account for 70% of all search engine queries. But there’s another benefit to creating content with the long tail in mind; those queries tend to be used by people about to buy.
Someone searching for phones is just browsing, while someone searching for Apple iPhone best price probably has their credit card out already. That means for your school enrolment marketing strategy, you should definitely be targeting long tail keywords.
If you’re generating revenue with AdSense, you’ll often find visitors who find your site via long tail searches are more likely to click ads as they continue searching for the best deal.
Even if you’re not monetizing your site in this way, the long tail can provide your site with a lot of targeted, motivated readers – the kind that share your links and sign up for your email updates.
Internal Links, Outbound Links, and Keywords in URL
Internal links are links that point back to a page or piece of content on your website. While their ranking power is debatable, interlinking pages can increase your ranking. Outbound links are links pointing to external sites.
If you include links pointing to authoritative sites, Goggle takes this to mean your aim is to provide users with more information about a subject and uses this as a trust signal.
Outbound Link Tip: Avoid too many outbound links because too many of them will make your page appear as a bridge site, which will negatively affect your ranking.
Keyword in URLs is another ranking factor you want to pay special attention to; Keywords in URL here means for instance, if your site is topmostprimaryschoolikeja.com, titling your blog post something reflective of your keyword. For example, the title of your blog post could look some like topmostprimaryschoolikeja.com/top-primary-school-to-enrol-your-child
The above are relevant on-page ranking factors. As indicated earlier, Google has over 200 ranking factors.
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Johnson Omoregie is an SEO specialist/Website Developer/ SEO Copywriter/Content Developer. He eats and sleeps Search Engine Optimization (SEO)/Digital Marketing. And help business generate leads and conversions through Organic Traffic. He is the author of Business Profit Blueprint: Million Dollar Tips To Promote Your Business And Increase Profit.