Strategies Your Institution Could be Missing
SEO is certainly not a new concept for all colleges and universities. In fact, many higher education institutions have been implementing SEO tactics for years, and believe they have achieved a one-and-done SEO overhaul to achieve results. Despite this belief, many universities still don’t see the results they’re looking for from their SEO websites.
This doesn’t indicate that SEO doesn’t work, or even that your SEO techniques should be abandoned, it simply means that it’s not working to its full capacity. Just as search engine algorithms are constantly changing, so are the tools necessary for optimization. It’s possible that your institution’s SEO strategy is simply missing a few components that could lead to seeing significant results.
If you feel that your growth has hit a plateau, or if you are looking to operate your current SEO at maximum capacity, these are a few strategies that may be missing:
Refresh Your SEO Approach
What worked for you at the beginning of your SEO journey may not be working anymore. As mentioned, Google updates its algorithm constantly, and small tweaks to their search engine can lead to big changes in ranking. At minimum, refresh your SEO at least every six months, and more frequently if Google rolls out big changes.
Cater to the Featured Snippet
You’ve likely noticed an increase in focus on Google's featured snippets. These are the small boxes that appear at the top of a search with highlighted information, questions and answers, or other content relevant to the current search. Nearly 30% of users click on either the first SERP result or the sites that appear in the featured snippet, because the information provided indicates they are likely to find more relevant information on the website. Focus on answering common questions and queries relevant to your institution to enhance your chances at appearing in the featured snippet.
Update Your Google My Business Listing
Many institutions ignore their Google My Business listings, which is a huge mistake when you consider that you’re missing out on optimizing what’s often the first contact a user has with your institution. Google My Business is a primary feature experienced by mobile users, and any outdated information like addresses, phone numbers, links, or descriptions can lead to increases in bounce rates. You’d be surprised how many users rely on Google My Business profiles to glean basic information about your institution, read reviews, and begin contact.
Update Information for the US Department of Education
It‘s important to remember that college is a significant investment, requiring most people to save, utilize student loans for, and even get second or third jobs. This kind of investment requires thorough research to ensure that the investment sees a return. Many people turn to reputable and trustworthy sites for that information, the US Department of Education website being the most important. Make sure the Department has up to date information about your institution, as it is used to populate many other higher education ranking and rating publications. Update all third party websites your institution appears on, as well.
Hire An Agency
Hiring an SEO agency is one of the main ways you can make sure your SEO is working at maximum capacity at all times. SEO experts keep up to date on trends and changes, and can use their expertise in the field to infuse your site with tactics optimized for the current algorithm. Better yet, by hiring an agency, you’ll avoid the hassle of monitoring Google and other search engines for updates, and can trust that their efforts are working for you while you return to your other important responsibilities.