In today’s online environment, you can’t buy your way to the reach your university requires. Paid ads are not only expensive, your best prospects are most likely to be the ones who are already actively searching for programs online. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies are lower cost methods that ensure your university or program appear at the top of their search results.
Websites that are strategically aligned with student search queries, and technically calibrated to be indexed by search engines, will increase your program site’s rank in the search results, and the likelihood that your best prospects find you.
There are a few ways to boost your organic lead generation efforts using SEO best practices:
1. Create content to answer questions for prospects and set up your website so that content will be found.
Develop a content strategy based on the information prospects are searching for, such as program formats and career outcomes. Focused content themes help you maximize your page's ability to rank for key search terms in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Identify themes prospects typically focus on in their search, such as modality and program offerings. Use these themes as your foundation for developing a list of relevant keywords. Clearly define the purpose of your page by aligning your content to your on-page technical SEO elements, such as meta tags and headers (e.g. h1 and h2 tags).
2. Increase your search ranking content through link building.
One of the ways search engines rank your content is through the number and quality of links on your site. By building robust internal links across your website, you open user pathways and support prospects’ discovery on your own pages. There is plenty of room to experiment and leverage opportunities, including anchor text, messaging and position of links on the page. You can acquire external links through direct outreach, although this is often a high effort, low yield endeavor. Strategically aligning with authoritative industry publications, associations and other relevant groups is a more productive approach. You can ensure the success of your link strategy by tracking server codes, traffic volumes and page metrics on a consistent basis.
3. Broaden your reach with tagging.
Through tagging, you can expand your reach by making it easier for prospects to find your content. Tagging and meta optimizations are another way that search engines understand your site, and tags should reflect both the presumed intent of the user, as well as elements related to the specific content and keyword/query targeting. Schema structure, or the way you organize your information, helps search engines understand what your page provides to prospects and influences featured snippet results in the SERP. Tagging is an iterative process, and it is important to continuously incorporate insights that you gather from tools such as Search Query Reports.
Everspring can help you establish the resources and technology to operationalize these approaches to drive traffic and convert leads. Learn more about our marketing services and how we can help you attract and enroll the best students for your programs.
Send us a message to consult with one of our marketing experts.