It’s the question anyone responsible for a school’s online presence dreads: “Why isn’t our site on the first page of Google?”
From page headlines and site navigation to social signals and relationships with other websites, there are hundreds of factors at play in Google’s search algorithm. Getting your site to the top of search rankings and keeping it there over time can be a long, frustrating, labor-intensive effort. And even if those efforts are successful, SEO focused on keywords that are too broad, too specific or out of sync with how target families search won’t drive an increase in site traffic, inquiries or applications.
The first step to increasing online visibility in a way that contributes to your school’s enrollment goals is defining the role your website plays in your larger communication strategy. From there, optimization efforts depend on:
- Benchmarking your current site’s performance and identifying opportunities for improvement
- Understanding the online behaviors and search habits of prospective families so you can hone in on the best keywords for your site
- Following best practices for keyword use site content
- Building reciprocal relationships with trusted websites
- Establishing geographic cues that help Google place your site in the right location searches
Search engine optimization is not a one-time effort or a quick fix. It can take weeks – or even months – for search rankings to reflect your efforts. Understanding what organic search rankings can and can’t do for you in terms of site traffic and qualified inquiries can help you determine where best to invest your time and budget, and arm you to answer the inevitable, “Why isn’t our site on the first page of Google yet?” questions that are sure to follow an optimization project.
Want to know more about search ranking factors and how they impact your site traffic? Join True’s SEO experts on March 31 for a one-hour webinar. We’ll cover:
- The role search plays in the potential student families’ decision-making process
- SEO factors that do (and don’t) influence your site’s visibility in online search
- Ways to identify “low hanging fruit” – the immediate improvements you can make to improve your site’s search ranking
- How to set expectations for the time and effort needed to drive lasting improvement in your site’s online visibility