Someone out there is looking for a school on a search engine, whether they are moving to the area and want to know what institute to send their child to or are searching for colleges. If you want to ensure that your school shows up in the search results, doing keyword research for schools is an important step to driving traffic to your institute's website.
How important is it to show up in the search engine results?
A study conducted by Google determined that one in ten students are now searching for classes or schools online and that number continues to grow. Here are five top keyword research tips you should use to increase website traffic and gain the interest of more prospective students:
- Make a List:
The first step is making a list of topics you want your institute to rank for. Does your school offer a special class or program? What is your location? Is there a certain type of student you want to reach? Try to come up with a list of between five and ten topics that are relevant to your school, including any features or offerings that may help your institute stand out from the competition.
- Brainstorm Possible Keywords:
Now that you have an idea as to what topics you would like to rank for, it is time to think about the keywords that will help make this happen. Think about terms prospective students or parents may use to find a school. This is not a task you should have to take on alone; recruit other faculty members and colleagues to help. They may be able to lend a perspective on the keywords that you would have never considered.
- Study the Competition:
One of the best ways to get keyword ideas is by scoping out the competition. Identify which keywords are being used and how well they are ranking on the search engines to give you an idea of what topics you may want to rank well for.
- Include Both Long- and Short-Tailed Keywords:
Short-tail keywords are generic terms that have a higher number of competition, making these terms more difficult to rank for. Long-term keywords are more specific and have less competition, which will have less search traffic but it will bring a more targeted audience to your website. For example, for a college offering a Marketing program, "Marketing Schools" is a short-term keyword that would generate a large number of results from all over the world. "Marketing Degree in Minnesota," on the other hand, is more specific and will narrow down the search results, getting rid of programs outside of Minnesota. Having a good mix of both will increase your chances of getting found online.
- Check for Related Search Terms:
There may be some keywords that you never thought of before, but should try to rank well for. To do this, type a search term into Google and go to the bottom of the results page where a list of related terms will be listed.
After following these five tips, you should have an excellent list of search terms that can be incorporated into your school marketing SEO strategy.