Increase Enrollment Through Grad School SEO Tactics and Strategies

Steve DiMatteoAuthor: Steve DiMatteo
Updated on 03/06/2023

Are you in need of boosting the enrollment rates for your graduate school programs?

Incorporating higher education SEO efforts into your campaign strategies can result in new leads and traffic rolling into your site, leading toward an increased number of student enrollments.

Continue reading below to learn about the basics of SEO to help you achieve the best possible marketing results for your school!

What is the Importance of SEO for Grad Schools?

SEO: The Break Down

SEO strategies and tactics implemented during a campaign help improve the visibility of a site through search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing). The goal of any SEO campaign is to attract new searchers looking for specific products or services toward one’s site. SEO is the best channel for ROI and can take about 3-6 months to take full effect.

When starting your campaign, you’ll typically want to start with finding keywords your audience is searching for by exploring Google Trends and ensuring you are using keyword ranking software, such as our team’s favorite, SE Ranking.  Some keyword phrases to consider include for graduate schools are:

  • Grad schools for [major/focus] near me
  • Grad schools [your city/online]
  • [Your city/online] grad programs
  • Grad schools for [major/focus]

Pro-tip: You can also use blog posts to target things such as “Best MBA programs in Ohio” or whatever applies to your school’s offerings

What’s expected from SEO for graduate programs?

  • Increases in overall website strength for years to come
  • Gain more qualified leads from prospective students
  • Improve your graduate school’s overall online presence
  • Return on investment data from leads that turn into students

How To Improve Your Grad Program’s SEO Strategy:

  • Thoroughly Optimize Content
    • One of the things that SEO is dictated by the most is the content of your website. Ensure your pages are helpful and answer the things students searching for graduate programs would want to know
  • Implement Link Building Strategies
    • Link building is a way to help search engines evaluate your domain and determine its authority. When looking for links to get, be sure to factor in the relevance, authority, and page traffic of the site to consider if it is high quality or not.
  • Create Google My Business Local Profiles
    • Google maps is often overlooked by universities. Look at competitors in your search to see to what extent they’ve filled out their Google Business Profiles too. It may give you some good ideas for what categories to pick and what content to add. This ensures you are findable by potential customers in your local area or by students who are set on living in a specific city or have to move for a loved one or spouse.
  • Incorporate Student Testimonials
    • Make sure that people are leaving customer reviews on Google, this helps increase your rankings. A fast and efficient way to do this is to consider getting a QR code applied to your school program cards online and in person. Ask potential students to scan the code taking them directly to the page to leave reviews.

We provide grad schools with our search engine optimization (SEO) marketing services, focusing on gaining new traffic to your site by increasing your presence online.

“The team at Sixth City Marketing is GREAT! We went through an extensive re-branding process in our college and John and his staff were with us every step of the way. They were readily available for any questions we had. I would recommend Sixth City to any person/company, whether it’s their first time building a website and online marketing presence or if they are experienced veterans.” – Stephanie Berry, Kent State University

How We Approach Grad School SEO

Just like every business is different, we know that is the same case for college programs. Different majors, requirements, benefits, and more are all taken into consideration when we craft your unique SEO strategy by scratch.

And given we have worked with a number of different schools over the years, we have learned what tactics can really show results. Here are some of the methods we have used and can likely expect to be included in your strategy:

Blog post writing

Having detailed blog posts for your graduate programs can help you reach a whole new set of users online who are searching for topics related to your offerings. We have the ability to create a blog, and write long-form content to go after long-tail keywords related to your campaign.

Competitor research and analysis

We will examine different aspects of your competitors’ marketing efforts, from content, backlinks, to even website speed, can all of these aspects can provide valuable insights on how we can improve your site.

Content writing and optimization

One of the main ways we help is by optimizing your current program pages, as well as writing new landing pages that will target your core offerings. Our writing team incorporates the keywords we identify as most important to improving your rankings.

Conversion Optimization Changes

Having potential grad students find your website is one thing, but having them convert by filling out a contact or application form is a whole other matter. With design for conversion, we can make strategic updates to your page layouts to help facilitate a higher conversion rate.

Keyword research and analysis

As we’ve mentioned, we will incorporate keywords into site content to help increase rankings. But first, we go through a process of identifying the best terms that are worth targeting based on monthly traffic predictions, competition, and your feedback.

Link building and tracking

When more quality websites link to your pages, the more authority they can have in the eyes of search engines. And we’ve seen proven success in our clients keyword positions when we do dedicated link building.

Article Pitching and Outreach

A form of link building we have also had success with is having articles published on other sites that link back to yours. We handle every step of the process, such as pitching our ideas to publishers and writing the content, to allow you to focus on other important internal matters.

Local optimization updates

Non-online programs will have a primary focus on getting more students from their local area, which requires a local SEO strategy. To help you rank in specific cities and areas, we can apply a unique set of local tactics to help improve local rankings.

Technical analyzation and adjustments

A lot of marketers do not know that there are some things that are behind the scenes of your website that could be holding it back from success. This can be 404 pages, redundant redirects, large images, and more.

Colleges and Universities We Have Worked With

kent state
WVJC logo
ohio u

What Makes Sixth City Different?

As you research what SEO agency will be the best choice for your school, we understand you will want to get to know us a little better. Here are some things you should know:

  • We are results driven and know that getting your school more sales is the #1 priority
  • Our team has 25+ years of collective experience in digital marketing
  • All of our strategies are completely custom, no cookie-cutter approaches here
  • We pride ourselves on being an 100% in-house team of SEOs
  • Members of our SEO team have a variety of degrees in fields such as journalism, creative writing, business, marketing, and communications
  • Having a strong company culture is important to us as it helps our team produce better work
  • Since opening in 2010, we’ve helped businesses from higher education just like you, to manufacturing, dental, software, and more
  • Our experts have been quoted and featured for their expertise across the web
  • While we have our headquarters in Cleveland, we also have offices in PittsburghIndianapolis, and Columbus but are able to help your school no matter its location
“I am extremely pleased with Sixth City Marketing, the college’s website traffic has increased substantially along with a significant increase in the quality of our admission leads. Plus, within a short period of time Sixth City’s SEO efforts have catapulted our Google rankings taking us from a buried page to top listings on Google. Sixth City has made a significant difference in the business college’s rankings and admissions.” – Michelle Parrish Manning, Kent State University

Allow Our Team Help Your Grad School Thrive With Search Engine Optimization

Schedule an Introduction Today

Want to learn more on how our team can help get more students enrolled in your grad programs? Contact us today to get in touch with our team and we would be happy to schedule a call to discuss your goals!

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