Learn to Use SEO to Drive Better Student Enrollment


For many students, finding your website is the first step to finding their way to your campus.


SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a term that gets thrown around the business world and e-commerce, but what does it mean to colleges and universities trying to drive student enrollment? When your website is optimized for search engines, it is easier for recruits to find you when they are looking for the kinds of programs and experiences you offer. And that’s the first step to attracting the kind of students you want. 


SEO is a chance to differentiate your institution’s online brand and make a first impression befitting of your institution. While SEO algorithms are notoriously complicated and difficult to pin down, good content that answers visitors’ questions in direct language is always a winning strategy.



Understanding SEO


When a visitor comes to your website looking for a particular program, for instance, you want that page to provide all of the information they were looking for. Search engine algorithms favor websites that thoroughly answer the questions its users are asking. 


This is where keyword research is important. When you understand what search visitors are looking for, you can create content to answer their questions. Users that find their answers easily and feel satisfied with the explanation have a better user experience. That has two benefits for your institution: 


It improves your brand’s reputation in the eyes of those searchers.
It shows Google that your site is a good answer to show for that search in the future. 

A website that is optimized for search engines should be easy to read and navigate, and it must provide some value to the visitor. It’s also a good idea to offer some sort of gated content that visitors have to enter contact information to download. These should be high-value content that gives a visitor reason to move through the marketing funnel with you. 


Optimizing your website for search is not just about offering engaging content. You also must provide a great user experience, which means a fast-loading site that is accessible to everyone. The technical, behind-the-scenes steps to optimize a website for search may be the most difficult step for non-technical recruiters and marketers, but companies such as KWALL offer the technical expertise and tools you need to gain more organic traffic.


All of the page elements of an optimized website should work together, along with your social media, to do one job: Increase enrollment numbers and gain more students. 


How SEO is used in higher education


SEO in higher education is not the wheel reinvented. Marketers in this space use SEO much the same as in other industries. The idea is to rank higher, be seen more, and increase site traffic. From there, the job of good content is to keep the visitor on the page. 


Over the last several years, 50% to 70% of website traffic to higher education websites has come from organic search. The good news is that means people are looking for what you have to offer. The job of SEO, then, is to help them find you before they find your competition. 


Your role in that is to provide the content these searchers came to find and show them your institution is their best choice. This can be done through a variety of content and different mediums, such as downloads, videos, and testimonials from people just like them. The keywords in all of these media should be similar.


Keeping a visitor on the page longer increases the chance that visitor will move farther along the marketing funnel, becoming a contact, a lead, and eventually a student.


What organic website traffic means to enrollment


Organic traffic is people that come to you searching for the programs and classes you offer. They are already thinking about higher education, and good SEO will bring you to the top of the long list of potential answers if it’s done correctly.


Organic traffic is important because those people are already interested in what you offer. They are already thinking about something your college or university can provide. It is much easier to convert a contact who is already interested than it is to market yourself to someone who may not yet know they have a need. 


When making the conversion from contact to lead is easier, nurturing that lead down the marketing funnel to become a student is also much easier. SEO is important, and having the information on your website that potential students are searching for is even more important.


All of these different facets of SEO work to bring more traffic to your institution. With up to 70% of those who land on a higher education website being directed there by a search engine, getting friendly with search engines is a big deal. KWALL helps marketers in the higher education space leverage the right keywords, titles, and link-building strategies to gain more organic, inbound traffic. That will lead to more recruits and higher enrollment for your institution. 


There is no agency on earth with more direct web experience within higher education than KWALL Spend your time on education, and KWALL will help drive traffic through the marketing funnel and increase student engagement.


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