Local SEO is extremely important in order to help businesses of all sizes rank well among people who are searching for a specific type of business in their community. Not only will local SEO help businesses thrive among their community, but is also a beneficial practice that schools should learn to incorporate into their marketing strategy. Google has also modified their search engine to include more relevant, geographically accurate information to readers in order to help them find what they are looking for in their area. By using the following techniques to boost your local search results, it will be easier for potential students and their families to find you online, while also helping to improve your enrollment numbers.
1. Link Building.
The more relevant websites you link to with high authority and page rank, the better your chances are of ranking well among your keywords. Scope out local organizations, community groups, and other local businesses and ask if you could place a link on their website. Most would be happy to do so for schools, but all you have to do is ask. Also, if any local organizations have donated to your school, consider adding their link under a Donations page on your website. They will be more accepting of your linking request if you have their link on your website.
2. Include Citations.
Including citations on other websites means including your school's name, address, phone number, and any other contact information the public would be interested in. Keep in mind that just because you have citations on other websites does not mean there will be a link associated with it. However, by having an equal amount of links and citations, you will greatly increase your local search results.
3. Add a Listing to Local Directories.
Local directories are basically phone books on the Internet; they allow readers to easily find the business they are looking for. Including a listing of your school on high-quality local directories will increase the chances of your school getting found online. Beware of low-quality, spammy directories because you will not get the quality visitors to your site that you need.
4. Attract Reviews.
There are a wide variety of school review websites available that could help pique the interest of potential students. Greatschools.org is an excellent school reviewing website that allows users to read reviews, test scores, and how the school compares to other local schools.
5. Optimize Your School Pages.
Whether your school has a Facebook page or a page on Google, Yahoo, and Bing, it is important that the profiles are completely filled out. All too often businesses will sign up for an account and get as far as putting their company's name and phone number on it. To get results, you need to include as much information as possible, including all contact information, pictures and videos, and regular updates. Also, if you have a blog or other social media accounts, make sure the profiles are completely filled out to give your audience an idea of what your school is about and why they should enroll with you.