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 all over the world. However, that also means that fewer people are basing educational decisions off in-person visits and experiences. Instead, they’re using the information that’s available to them online to make their educational decisions.
But 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 obviously rose in 2020, due to the pandemic.
Online learning isn’t only for colleges and universities, either. 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 even higher for 2020.
But, whether you’re looking to grow your enrollment or even just maintain it, 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 Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
SEO is a combination of techniques used by digital marketers to increase organic web traffic — users who click on your site from a search engine’s results pages (SERPs). It’s really the process of fine-tuning and refining specific aspects, like the headers on each page, of a website so that its pages rank higher in the SERPs.
But how do SEO agencies know what to do to get pages to rank higher?
Google looks at specific criteria, called ranking factors, to determine rankings for every page for a specific search query — the words users type in their search bar. Leveraging those ranking factors to make your pages rank as high as possible in the SERPs is really the foundation of SEO.
Ideally, your pages are ranking in the top three for relevant phrases because 75 percent of Internet users will end up going with one of those three search results. Not only that, but only 5 percent of internet users even bother to view the second page of results. If getting students to enroll in your school, join your program or become a member of your organization online is one of your goals, investing in SEO is the best way to make it happen.