Fall is known to the admission and marketing world as a bustling time of year, filled with college tours, applications, and hard pushes at driving both that foot traffic to campus and online traffic to your website. But let’s not forget those newly admitted students buzzing about campus, because they can act as one of your best online marketing tools in the box. It’s easier than ever for your students to serve as online ambassadors for your institution. Their experiences serve as a substantial source of blogging, testimonials, and videos that can go viral instantaneously through social media. Who is more equipped to sell your school online than those experiencing it? By boasting their positive experiences through content marketing, students can help push your search rankings to the top and do wonders for your school’s online visibility.
Search Engine Optimization is based on many factors. From site structure to meta title tag descriptions, there are a plethora of things to evaluate when trying to increase your website’s organic search rankings. But one thing is generally uncontested as the sole drive for SEO: good content. After all, without good content, there is nothing to optimize. You want your content to rise to the top, ethically and organically. And your graduating classes from 2014 through 2017 can be a powerhouse for getting good content on your site so that it’s visible, shared, and valuable to those considering where to attend school next year.
Blogging continues to be a primary way colleges can improve their content marketing efforts. A student’s testimonial about their academic or extracurricular experience is a powerful way to reach prospective applicants. Blogs directly posted to your website with links to videos or other social media content can jump-start a dialogue, which increases link building and results in shares, likes, re-tweets, and so forth. Recent alumni who scored paying gigs that pertain to their field of study or were accepted to a competitive graduate school can also be great contributors to your marketing content. Keep the blogs fresh, unique, and filled with keyword-rich content to help maintain visibility.
Once you’re regularly updating your site with this top-notch content, you can easily track the effect it has through your analytics. Stay on top of the keywords and postings that are generating the most peaks and valleys in your traffic, and make improvements accordingly. And best of all, new technology has made executing and merging your social media efforts together easier than ever. You can post a blog and share it via other social media platforms for optimal exposure and link building in a matter of minutes.
To prioritize online content marketing as a SEO best practice, work with an agency that specializes in higher education. They can help you brainstorm content based on industry experience, while measuring and building upon the success it’s having on your website traffic and search rankings. While there are several online strategies to implement this fall, quality content marketing involving student-generated content will put you on top of this competitive college marketplace!
Angie can be found on Twitter @AngieMayWard