Do you know how important keywords are for your school?
The keywords you choose and apply to your website are the catalysts for attracting school enrollment prospects. At the heart of any successful inbound marketing strategy are relevant, well-thought-out keywords. These are what your website visitors type into search engines to find your school and get more information about it.
The more keywords you choose that your prospects are using on search engines, the more traffic you’ll get on your website. And the more traffic, the better the chances are of conversions.
Do you know if your school is coming out on top in search results? To get your school's website to rank at the top of the search results list, you need to know how to select the most effective keywords. This process of researching, analyzing, and selecting the best keywords is called Keyword Optimization (also known as Keyword Research).
Keyword optimization is such a decisive process that doing it correctly at the beginning of any of your school’s digital marketing campaigns can determine their overall success. If you don’t do it properly, all of your other ensuing efforts may fail.
Therefore it is important to make a concerted effort to choose the right keywords.
Why Keywords Are Critical To Your Strategy
Why are keywords so significant for your inbound marketing strategies?
- Keywords make it easier for people to find your website online. If you want your prospects to easily locate your school’s website, then your keywords should match what they type on search engines
- Web visitors will spend more time engaging with your content once they see that it contains the keywords that are valuable to them.
- Search engines also need to be able to match their user’s keywords with the content that can be found on your website. Once they determine the relevance of your content, they will then return the results to the user.
- If you are running paid advertisements, they have a higher chance of appearing in searches.
Keywords, the cornerstone of a sound SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy, ensure that both your prospects and search engines will receive the right information they are looking for within your website’s pages.
We will discuss SEO in more detail in another blog post.
Keyword optimization is not only needed, it is also quite beneficial.
The Benefits of Keyword Optimization
Not only does keyword optimization drive traffic to your school website, but it also gives you the means to:
- Gauge the number of school enrollment prospects by analyzing the popularity of your keywords.
- Interpret the needs of your prospects by studying what keywords they use in their searches.
- Create compelling content by using optimized keywords in your website content.
Keyword optimization plays a vital role in your Inbound marketing efforts. It affects search engine marketing through organic searches, social media marketing, link building, and email marketing, just to name a few. The knowledge you derive from these keyword search results can also be used in developing your content strategy as well.
Given these many areas to work on, where do you start?
Start Your Keyword Research
You can follow this process to develop an inbound marketing strategy around your keywords:
1. Come Up With Your List Of Keywords
Begin by brainstorming to identify your keywords. Involve your staff and discuss what keywords represent your school, both as an institution and as a business.
Christian education + (your school’s specific location)
Private education + (your school’s specific location)
You will most likely come up with broad keywords which are popular and highly competitive. This means that having a keyword like "private school" will yield so many results.
Note that there are different kinds of keywords:
Single-term keywords which are your first, general keywords. For example, “private school”. It’s difficult to compete with a lot of the other pages that choose the same keyword, especially if your school (and your website) is just starting out.
A combination of “less important” keywords that are combined semantically or by a union with other keywords.
Basically, secondary keywords are detailed descriptions of the main keywords that you chose.
For example, if your main keywords are:
Private Christian school Dallas Texas
Then here are your possible secondary keywords:
Dallas Christian school
private schools in Dallas
best private elementary schools in Dallas
Dallas private school teaching jobs
non religious private schools Dallas
LSI (Latent Semantic Index) keywords are keywords that are related to your main and secondary keywords.
These will also be useful to prevent your website from getting penalized by Google for keyword stuffing. LSI keywords will also increase your website’s organic traffic since you’ll make it easier for your target audience to find your content, such as blog posts, even through a Google search.
How do you find your LSI keywords? Go to a search engine and type in your main keyword or secondary keyword. The list of keyword suggestions that appears at the bottom is your list of LSI keywords.
For example, if you search for "Private Christian education", you will see these keyword suggestions at the bottom of the page:
benefits of Christian school
private Christian school vs public school
how to afford Christian school
Christian schools near me
Christian school vs public school statistics
private schools near me
list of Christian schools
how to pay for private Christian school
These LSI keywords support the primary keywords for its marketing. Since there are so many variables and combinations, expect fewer searches. It will be easier for you to position yourself with secondary keywords as compared to primary keywords.
c. Long Tail
Long tail keywords are comprised of three to four keyword phrases which are very specific. Whenever users type-in a highly specific search phrase on a search engine, this means that they already know what they want.
From your school’s perspective, as you become more precise in defining your long tail keywords, you will be presented with fewer searches. You will then have less competition in terms of results.
For example, the phrase "private schools near me" has more searches than "private high schools near me". Meanwhile, searches for "christian school" outnumber "christian academy".
The addition or omission of a single word can greatly impact the results. This makes a huge difference in determining popular keywords and phrases.
You can create long-tail keywords by mixing at least three to four keywords relevant to your school. Include your location to further narrow down search results. You can also create variations of your long tail keywords under one theme.
2. Form Ideas For Your Content
Create content to give solutions to meet your prospects’ need for information by using their keyword searches as your basis. Include these keywords for the content that you have on your website. Don’t overdo it, though, as overusing your keywords can net you penalties due to “keyword stuffing”.
Create content that your visitors will appreciate.
3. Produce A Link-Building Strategy
Use your keywords as the anchor text for your links. Type-in your anchor text and insert the link of the page. The anchor text that you use gives credibility to the page that you are linking to.
Also known as the link label or the link title, anchor text can help the page linked to it to rank for those keywords in search engines.
4. Assess Your Keywords
Determine which ones bring in the most traffic. Remember that developing keywords is not a one-time activity, but a continuous process if you want your efforts to remain effective. Adjustments need to be made to your target keywords on a regular basis.
5. Create Your SEO Strategy
Keyword optimization takes center-stage in your SEO strategy. The success of your school’s organic search results relies on your search engine keywords.
Proper placement of these keywords is essential in making sure that every page on your website contains your keywords.
These are the essential areas for each of your website pages that follow your SEO strategy:
a. Title Tag
e. Meta Description
g. Site Structure
We will discuss all of these in detail in another blog post.
Also, don’t forget to give your prospects and website visitors a good experience. Keyword optimization may sound too technical, but the focus should be on providing a pleasant search experience. Keep your priorities aimed at helping people first and improving search engines a close second.
There are a number of online tools that you can use to check your keywords.
Tools For Keyword Suggestions
Once you’ve created your list of keywords, What makes keyword optimization more effective is the use of online tools. As you enter keywords from your list, you can use tools to assist you in giving suggestions based on popular searches. Expect none other than the big search engine companies to create free tools that their users can use for keyword optimization.
Just for an example, we’ll look at these applications from Google:
1. Google Trends
You can use this tool to check for popular, or trending, keywords and topics. It lets you see an increase or decrease in interest over a certain period of time. This enables you to determine which keywords are gaining popularity so that you can select those which have real value.
2. Google Keyword Planner
This free tool was created to help with keyword evaluation for the Google AdWords program. It can assist you by providing the following information about your selected keywords:
- Search volume (average monthly searches)
- Competition level (Low, Medium High)
Ultimately, you want to select keywords that have a significant volume of searches but a low rate of competition.
Keyword optimization plays a key role in a school’s inbound marketing efforts. Its practice in the introductory phases of your campaigns as well as during designated times throughout the year is vital for the overall effectiveness of your website and marketing campaigns.
By devoting time and resources to carefully select your keywords, your school website will rank higher in searches because of better content and you’ll receive more leads.
If you haven’t done so already, it may be time for you and your team to revisit the keywords you’ve selected and consider optimization.
On our next blog, we’ll discuss SEO strategies in more detail.