Aktualisiert am 18. August 2023

A key to success for any educational institution is being found by potential students. In today’s digital world, schools and universities must strengthen their online presence to remain competitive. This is the reason why search engine optimization (SEO) is so important. In this article we will look at how an educational institution can
can use SEO successfully
can.

Importance of SEO in the education sector

The days when parents and students chose educational institutions solely by word of mouth or physical visits are over.

Today, the search for the right school, the right degree program or a specific course usually begins online. Search engines play a central role here. If an educational institution is not prominently represented in the search results, it gets lost in the crowd and loses potential students, pupils or course participants.

SEO ensures that educational institutions remain visible by ranking higher in search results. This leads to an increased online presence, more website visits and ultimately a higher enrollment or registration rate.

Why educational institutions should use SEO

  1. Increased visibility: In a digital age where the majority of searches begin online, it is essential that educational institutions are prominently featured in search results.
  2. Targeted traffic: By optimizing for relevant search terms, educational institutions attract those who are actively searching for their offerings, be it a degree program, a school program or a continuing education course.
  3. Cost efficiency: Compared to paid advertising campaigns, SEO offers a sustainable and often more cost-effective way of attracting interested parties and potential students or pupils.
  4. Building credibility and trust: A high ranking in search results is often seen as a sign of trustworthiness and quality. This can influence the decision of prospective students or parents.

What is SEO and how is it different for educational institutions?

SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to the process of improving the visibility of a website in the organic search results of search engines such as Google. While the basic principles of SEO apply across all industries, there are specific aspects that are relevant to educational institutions:

  • Target group orientation: While an online store may target general keywords such as “women’s clothing”, educational institutions need to target more specific terms such as “bachelor in biotechnology Munich” or “elementary school”.
    • renzlauer Berg”.
  • Seasonal fluctuations: Demand for educational information can be seasonal, for example during enrollment periods or at the beginning of the school year.
  • Quality and authority: Educational institutions must be seen as trustworthy and authoritative sources in their field. This requires high-quality content and backlinks from renowned education portals.

The role of search engines in education marketing

Search engines play a central role in education marketing for several reasons:

  • First contact: For many prospective students, parents or those looking for further education, the search engine is the first point of contact when searching for educational opportunities.
  • Comparison options: Search engines allow users to compare different educational institutions and offers and thus make the best decision for their needs.
  • Reach: An optimized presence in search engines allows educational institutions to reach a wider audience that may not be accessible through traditional marketing methods.
  • Cost efficiency: Compared to paid advertising measures, SEO offers a sustainable way to generate visibility and traffic without having to continuously invest in advertising.

Key terms and their meaning

Certain terms and concepts are of central importance in SEO. Some of these keywords are particularly relevant for educational institutions, as they directly influence visibility and ranking in search results.

Keywords in the education sector

  • Definition: Keywords are the words and phrases that users enter into search engines to find information. In the education sector, this could be terms such as “Master’s degree program in computer science” or “tutoring in mathematics”.
  • Significance: The correct selection and integration of keywords in the content of an educational institution ensures that the institution is found by the right target groups. It is important to consider both general and specific keywords to cover a wide range of search queries.

Backlinks from educational portals and platforms

  • Definition: Backlinks are inbound links from an external website to your website. In the education sector, links from renowned education portals and platforms are particularly valuable.
  • Significance: Backlinks signal to search engines that your website is trustworthy and relevant. Links from high-quality educational portals can significantly improve the ranking of an educational institution. However, it is important to gain organic and authentic backlinks instead of creating them artificially.

Meta tags for courses and programs

  • Definition: Meta tags are short text snippets in the HTML code of a website that provide search engines with information about the content of the page. For educational institutions, this could be descriptions of courses, study programs or programs.
  • Importance: By optimizing meta tags, educational institutions can ensure that search engines (and users) quickly understand what a particular page is about. This can increase the click-through rate and help the page to rank higher in search results.

SEO strategies for educational institutions

On-page optimization

  • Course descriptions: Every course or study program offered by an educational institution should have a detailed and well-structured description. These descriptions should contain relevant keywords and provide potential students or participants with clear information about the course content, learning objectives and requirements.
  • Syllabi: A detailed syllabus can not only help students, but also increase visibility in search engines. It is important to ensure that curricula are well structured and contain relevant keywords.
  • Calendar of events: Events, seminars and workshops are important aspects of the educational program. A well-optimized event calendar can increase visibility for such specific search queries.

Off-page optimization

  • Partnerships with other educational institutions: By collaborating and exchanging links with other schools, universities or educational institutions, educational establishments can increase their online presence and credibility.
  • Alumni networks: Alumni can be strong ambassadors for educational institutions. By involving alumni in content creation or through testimonials, educational institutions can increase their credibility and visibility.

Technical SEO

  • Optimization of LMS systems (Learning Management Systems): Many educational institutions use LMS systems to provide online courses and materials. It is important to ensure that these systems are search engine friendly, have fast loading times and are well structured.
  • Mobile responsiveness: With the increase in mobile browsing, it is essential that educational institution websites work well on mobile devices. A mobile-responsive website offers users a better experience and is ranked more favorably by search engines.

The role of content in educational SEO

Content plays a central role in educational SEO. By creating high-quality, relevant and up-to-date content, educational institutions can strengthen their online presence, effectively address their target groups and perform better in search results.

It is important to pursue a balanced content strategy that takes into account both text-based and multimedia content.

Creation of high-quality educational content

  • Relevance and depth: Educational content should not only be relevant, but also in-depth and comprehensive. This ensures that they meet the needs of learners and are considered authoritative and trustworthy by search engines.
  • Target group orientation: It is important to tailor the content to the specific target group, be it pupils, students, teachers or parents. This increases relevance and user loyalty.

Importance of regular updates, e.g. in the event of price changes

  • Topicality: Search engines prefer up-to-date content. Regular updates are therefore essential, especially in the event of changes to courses or programs.
  • User loyalty: Up-to-date content ensures that users return and visit the website again. This can increase dwell time and interaction, which sends positive SEO signals.

Multimedia elements such as video lectures and their SEO benefits

  • Diverse content: Videos, infographics and other multimedia elements can enrich the user experience and increase the time spent on the website. These are positive signals for search engines.
  • Increased engagement rates: Video lectures or interactive elements can encourage user interaction with the website, which in turn improves SEO performance.
  • Expanding reach: Multimedia elements can be shared on various platforms, which can lead to additional traffic and backlinks.

Local SEO for educational institutions

Local SEO is particularly relevant for educational institutions, which often operate locally and address a specific target group. It enables schools, universities and other educational institutions to be visible and accessible in their immediate surroundings.

Importance of local SEO for schools and universities

  • Increased local visibility: Many parents and students specifically search for educational institutions in their area. Local SEO ensures that these establishments appear prominently in local search results.
  • Community connection: A strong local online presence can help educational institutions position themselves as an important and trusted part of the community.
  • Competitive advantage: In densely populated areas where several schools or universities are competing for the attention of students, local SEO can make all the difference.

Optimization for local search queries and Google My Business

  • Google My Business entry: This is the heart of local SEO. Educational institutions should ensure that they have a complete and accurate Google My Business listing, including address, phone number, opening hours and photos. Regular updates and posts can further increase visibility.
  • Collect reviews: Positive reviews on Google and other platforms can significantly improve your ranking in local search results. Educational institutions should actively request evaluations from students, parents and alumni.
  • Local keywords: The integration of local keywords in the content, such as “Grundschule Berlin Mitte” or “Universität Hamburg Fachbereich Biologie”, can increase the relevance for local search queries.
  • Local backlinks: Links from local websites, such as community websites, local news portals or partner educational institutions, can boost local SEO performance.

Challenges and solutions in educational SEO

Search engine optimization in the education sector comes with its own unique challenges. It is important to recognize these and proactively develop solutions to ensure that educational institutions remain visible and accessible online.

Dealing with seasonality (e.g. enrollment periods)

  • Challenge: Many educational institutions experience seasonal fluctuations in online demand, especially during enrollment and registration periods. This can lead to sudden spikes in website traffic and affect visibility at critical times.
  • Solution:
    • Plan ahead: Start optimizing content and campaigns several months in advance to ensure you are visible at the peak of the enrollment period.
    • Content customization: Update content regularly to align with the upcoming enrollment period and provide clear calls to action and information for prospective students.

Optimization for different target groups: pupils, students, adult education

  • Challenge: Educational institutions often serve several target groups at the same time, from young pupils and university students to adults seeking further education. Each of these groups has different needs and search behavior.
  • Solution:
    • Target group-specific landing pages: Create special landing pages for each target group that are specifically tailored to their needs and questions.
    • Personalized content: Use data and analytics tools to understand the behavior and preferences of your target audiences and customize content accordingly.
    • Segmented marketing campaigns: Run separate SEO and marketing campaigns for each target audience to ensure you’re sending the right messages to the right people.

Über den Autor

CEO at | +49 89 54195608 | alexander.sperber@unitedads.de | + posts

Alexander Sperber ist Geschäftsführer und CEO von UnitedAds.
Seit fast 20 Jahren beschäftigt er sich mit den Themen Google Ads und SEO.

How online stores save CPC on Google Shopping s

Recent Posts