SEO 101: What It Is & Why It Matters
The term SEO has gotten much more attention in recent years, especially in the marketing sphere. However, many find those three capital letters to be confusing and a bit ambiguous. Well have no fear, the Connect.ED team is here to set the record straight on the mysterious term and all of the potential it holds for the marketing of independent schools.
SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, can be explained in technical terms as the process of improving both the quality and the quantity of the traffic your website receives organically through search engine results. More simply put, it gets your school to the top of Google (and other search engines) organically.
Now, we know what you may be wondering: “How does Google know when to put my school at the top of the search results?” This process works through utilizing “keywords” (aka Google Search Terms) that are relevant to your institution. For instance, let’s say you are the Marketing Director at Example Private School. Example Private School located in Sampletown, CT runs grades K-12, is all-boys, and has a reputable football program. Therefore, some relevant keywords to select would be “Private School K-12 Sampletown,” “Boys Private School near Sampletown” and “Private School Football Sampletown.” That way, when your desired audience types any of your keywords into Google, we can ensure Example Private School is on display for all to see.
As you might imagine, there’s thousands of different variations and combinations of words in phrases that will get more families to find your school when searching. When working with Connect.ED, we have a full list that is ideal for schools, but also work to create a strategy based around specific goals of the institution at hand. If Sampletown Private School wanted to focus on bringing in new recruits to that successful football program of theirs, we’d have the tools to do that.
All of this leads into exactly why SEO matters: visibility. There’s a joke in the SEO world that the best place to hide something is on the second page of Google. While this may seem dramatic, there is such a truth to it. When your target market is looking for a school to fit their needs, they aren’t going to dig through pages and pages of search results. Therefore, SEO holds a great deal of power. Taking a school from position 10 to position 1 does wonders for gaining more interest from the families they yearn for. Because of this, SEO efforts step beyond traditional marketing meant to simply increase brand awareness by, instead, working to target a specific, desired audience that we already know is looking for a school.
Hopefully that provided some helpful insight into the magic and mystery of SEO! It’s truly an incredible tool that can work wonders for an independent school.