Get this: more than 71% of aspiring students use major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo to find, choose and apply to colleges, universities, and other higher education institutions. But, given that there are tens of thousands of institutions of higher learning in the US, students are always spoilt for choice. That’s why you need to stay on top of the SEO for your higher education website.
Can your higher education website get found online? To stand out in a sea of competition, here are 5 key tips you can use to boost SEO for your higher education website.
- Go Mobile
Today, people spend an average of 5 hours on mobile devices. In fact, recent stats show that 72% of all online activity, including searches, originates from mobile. Yes, it’s crucial that you make your higher education website mobile-friendly and responsive. However, when it comes to SEO, it pays to think about page and site load times. If your site and web pages load slowly, your customer satisfaction and conversion will suffer.
What’s more, crawlers for search engines like Google dislike slow site/page speeds. In fact, Googles states that every second your site wastes loading, your SEO ranking and conversion will plummet by up to 20%. When it comes to optimizing higher education websites for search, make sure all the text are readable by crawlers. More importantly, use alt texts and closed-captions for images, photos, videos, and other multimedia formats.
- Create Eye-catching, Unique Web Content
Google and other search engines hate plagiarized and duplicate web pages and content. That’s why higher education websites should hire companies like Edufficient SEO agency to create 100% original web copy and captivating content that will rank higher on search engine result pages (SERPs).
- Use Proper Keywords
Higher education websites need to use tailored keywords that will help them to achieve a higher search ranking. If used correctly, keywords can do wonders for both on-page and off-page SEO. Once you’ve done thorough keyword research, make sure to use keywords sparingly, making sure to sprinkle a few of them on the meta tags, meta descriptions, meta titles, and body text. Remember overuse or overstuffing of keywords can have a negative impact on search ranking.
- Optimize Links
Both internal and external links (backlinks) can make a huge difference when it comes to SEO and building a positive reputation online. Make sure that journals, scholarly work, and news pieces published by members or about the institutions are linked back to appropriate landing pages, e.g., admission, courses, extra-curriculum, etc.
- Highlight Individual Academic Programs
It’s no secret that the quality of academic programs is one of the most important factors considered by students when choosing a higher education institution. As such, you need to focus your SEO efforts on the most sought-after courses or programs that your school is best known for.