SEO for Schools: 5 Ways to Boost Enrollment in 2024 & Beyond

From K-12 to Grad School, All Schools Can Benefit from Search Engine Optimization

SEO on top of a graphic depicting school items

Updated on November 16, 2023

If your school is struggling to bring in more students, it can be hard to do so if your website isn’t getting search engine optimization (SEO) tactics applied to it across the board.

From your content to your links, and more, there are various areas of your site that could likely benefit from a complete SEO campaign customized for schools.

Keep on reading to learn more about the different strategies that we recommend for schools in order to enhance their online presence.

What Is SEO for Schools?

Search engine optimization is a digital marketing strategy that includes implementing a variety of tasks to help your website rank higher in popular search engines. When performing these various tactics on your school’s website, and having your site pushed up in search results, it can increase organic traffic coming to your website. From there, it should also reap benefits such as an increase in qualified prospective student inquiries, as well as an overall increase in enrollment!

With that in mind, here are some ways you can boost your school’s online presence through SEO.

Ways Schools Should Utilize SEO

Check out these techniques you should try:

Program Pages

While this applies more to higher education digital marketing campaigns, children’s schools could still take some tactics from this approach as well. Given that internet users will be looking for schools that offer specific programs, it is important that you tend to those pages on your site by applying basic SEO principles to them.

However, K-12 could also apply this to special education or other enhanced learning programs they offer that other schools may not.

Our checklist for on-page SEO can help you evaluate different areas of your program pages to give special attention to.

Blog Posts

From helpful content for students or parents, to informational articles about activities going on at your facility, a blog can open the door to help bring more traffic, and potential students, to your site.

Blogs can also help you create content with keywords that you can’t quite fit into your normal inner pages, especially long-tail keywords!

Location Pages

Whether it be you have satellite locations, or various branches of your school system, having location pages can allow you to add a variety of keywords that can help users find their site based on their searches.

Because no matter what grade range you teach, location can be a big factor in determining where students apply and enroll in. Whether it be families moving to a new area and exploring both private and public options, or a college student debating staying close to home or going out of state, location can be key.

Google Business Profile

Speaking of location, it is important that you utilize your location pages by using them in your Google Business Profiles, and you further optimize your GBP so it has a higher probability of showing up for local searches such as “schools near me” or “colleges in Columbus.” Here are the different areas of your profile you should make sure you are paying attention to:

  • Business name
  • Categories
  • Reviews
  • Review responses
  • Services
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Posts

Reviews, services, and posts are all something to keep a close eye on especially because these are 3 areas that Google will pull in information from to show as a snippet in results:

Columbus College of Art & Design Google My Business
Review snippet result shown above for “art college near me” query

Local Link Building

Does your school partner with other local businesses? Or have you been featured in local news articles? No matter the situation, there are likely a wide variety of opportunities for your school’s website to get more backlinks from other local businesses that can help strengthen your site.

Frequently Asked Questions on SEO

Here are some answers to some common questions you may have about SEO for schools:

Why Is SEO Important for My School?

Did you know that approximately 68% of all online experiences start with a search engine? With that in mind, SEO can be an incredibly important tool to help your business get noticed online, as well as help you stand out against the competition.

This is also true if your business is ranked as the first organic search result in Google, as over 25% of people click on the first result that they see, which is also 10x more likely than the 10th result. Essentially, ranking higher is guaranteed to bring in more qualified leads from people looking for your services.

When Should I Consider SEO Services for My School?

Want to know if it is finally time for your school to invest in SEO? Here are just some things to consider:

  • When searching for your school’s programs and services, you are not finding them quickly in the search results
  • Due to recent and consistent updates from Google, organic traffic and leads to your site has decreased
  • You recently launched a new website for your school and the traffic has since significantly dropped

How Long Until I See the Results For SEO?

After implementing SEO changes to your school’s website, it can take at least a couple of weeks in order for you to see the results in your rankings and traffic. This is due to the fact that search engines need time to thoroughly crawl your updated pages, index them (or make them subject to being ranked), and rank your pages accordingly.

Though the process may seem discouraging at first, the results of your SEO efforts will be the return on investment your school deserves and benefit your organization for many semesters going forward.

Should My School’s Website Have Mobile Compatibility?

100%. With 63% of organic search traffic in the United States and 58% of organic search traffic worldwide coming from a mobile device, it is now more important than ever to make sure that your website can be viewed on a smartphone.

Want to know if your website is already mobile-friendly? Check out Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to find out.

Should I Be Combining SEO with Other Digital Marketing Services?

If you have the budget and want to take your digital marketing efforts to the next level, there are plenty of other strategies that you can try for your school. Just some of the ones that we offer at Sixth City Marketing and recommend for schools include the following:

Have any additional questions on how to improve your SEO and digital marketing efforts for your school? That is where we come in to help. Contact our team today using our form, or even through the LiveChat at the bottom right-hand corner of this page.

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Sarah Blocksidge

About the Author

Sarah Blocksidge

Sarah is the Marketing Director at Sixth City Marketing and has been with the company since 2016. Her main role is to attract more B2B clients for the company. Over the years, she has been mentioned on HubSpot, Content Marketing Institute, Fast Company, Mashable, and many other notable sites.

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