EM360 Digital Blog

27 Dec 2016
Image of two students discussing their options for higher education

Increase Your Higher Education Enrolment Numbers Through SEO

Although most uni­ver­si­ties and schools have a well-estab­lished phys­i­cal pres­ence, most are not opti­mized online and local­ly. This is rather aston­ish­ing when we con­sid­er that 67 per­cent of prospec­tive stu­dents head to the inter­net first to find out about high­er edu­ca­tion. In ini­tial search­es, nine in 10 stu­dents do not know where they want to attend. 

These are two gap­ing win­dows that should not only be addressed at uni­ver­si­ties but of which should be tak­en advan­tage.

Edu­ca­tion web­site nav­i­ga­tion is espe­cial­ly engag­ing. Unlike ser­vice sites that quick­ly pro­vide the infor­ma­tion a con­sumer needs, prospec­tive stu­dents thor­ough­ly inves­ti­gate each ele­ment of a uni­ver­si­ty web­site. They want and need to know about finan­cial aid, cam­pus liv­ing, schools and majors, cours­es and fac­ul­ty.

The deci­sion that sits at the end of the high­er edu­ca­tion research is life chang­ing. It is much more com­plex than mak­ing a pur­chase and rea­son­ably so, con­sumers spend abun­dant time on these sites.

A recent study showed that only twen­ty per­cent of edu­ca­tion search queries con­vert into poten­tial stu­dents. This means that there is a lot of time going in on behalf of both the stu­dent seek­ing and the uni­ver­si­ty pro­vid­ing infor­ma­tion that essen­tial­ly is wast­ed.

Search engine opti­miza­tion (SEO) pro­vides a remark­able oppor­tu­ni­ty for uni­ver­si­ties to pair them­selves with stu­dents who would ben­e­fit from their pro­grams and enrich the school’s aca­d­e­m­ic expe­ri­ence.

What is SEO?

SEO opti­miza­tion, as most of you know, is the process by which search engines fil­ter results based on web­site com­pat­i­bil­i­ty with user queries. Many fac­tors go into the fil­ter­ing. Although engines can mon­i­tor the specifics of sites, the process is sped up by web­sites includ­ing a range of basic SEO ele­ments. These include meta key­words, tags, key­word phras­es, user-friend­ly lay­outs and qual­i­ty con­tent.

It is com­mon in most indus­tries to take advan­tage of the ben­e­fits of local SEO in order to rank high­er on search engines and get more con­sumers buy­ing prod­ucts, using ser­vices or engag­ing with con­tent. SEO is a con­stant chal­lenge, but it is also a con­tin­u­al march for­ward. Opti­miz­ing sites to match your ser­vices is smart. The con­sumer does not waste time click­ing through ran­dom pages of answer abyss and brands- when prop­er­ly matched search queries- achieve sales. 

Uni­ver­si­ties can very specif­i­cal­ly tar­get the stu­dent they are look­ing to attract. Imag­ine if every uni­ver­si­ty opti­mized their site for their ide­al stu­dent. The end­less sift­ing through edu­ca­tion oppor­tu­ni­ties on the stu­dents’ behalves would shrink expo­nen­tial­ly. They would final­ly be able to search the type of edu­ca­tion they want­ed, majors of inter­est and oppor­tu­ni­ties for finan­cial aid and be shown pre­cise­ly fea­si­ble options. Like­wise, uni­ver­si­ties and high­er edu­ca­tion insti­tu­tions could seam­less grab the atten­tion, appli­ca­tion and hope­ful admis­sion of the stu­dent body they wish to edu­cate and prompt for­ward in life.

Mar­ket­ing bud­gets can be daunt­ing; they don’t have to be. As pre­vi­ous­ly men­tioned, near­ly 70 per­cent of edu­ca­tion search­es are con­duct­ed online. This pro­vides boun­teous space for your uni­ver­si­ty to reach out to stu­dents and let them know your insti­tu­tion is the edu­ca­tion solu­tion with just one dig­i­tal tran­si­tion: search opti­miza­tion.

EM360, Detroit’s local SEO experts, can be espe­cial­ly help­ful in attract­ing prospec­tive stu­dents for uni­ver­si­ties and schools. We are a full-ser­vice dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing firm and spe­cial­ize in bring­ing small busi­ness and brands to the top of search rank­ings. We are well-versed in SEO and well-prac­ticed in all the ele­ments nec­es­sary to prompt an opti­miza­tion strat­e­gy into suc­cess. Get in touch with our team to learn more about how we can make the inves­ti­ga­tion, appli­ca­tion and admis­sion process more effi­cient and reward­ing for both you and your future stu­dents. Sub­scribe to our blog and get the lat­est SEO updates right in your inbox! 

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