What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. SEOmoz (an influential SEO site) defines it as ‘the process of taking a page built by humans and making it easily consumable for both other humans and for search engines.’
For most, Google is the first, and sometimes only, place we go to find companies, products, information etc. If your website is not available to search engines like Google then how do you expect to be found online? We find that most schools that are well optimised receive between 70 – 80% traffic from search engines.
We categorise visitors into three types of people:
- Those who want to find your school - “ABC Independent School”
- Those who are looking for a school but not one in particular – “independent school in Kent”
- Those who are looking for something on your website – “term dates for ABC School”
SEO to find your school name
Most search traffic are from ‘branded searches’ which are searches containing your specific brand name. These visitors may be existing parents/pupils or they may be prospects searching for more about your school.
SEO to find a school
These visitors are high value traffic as they will most likely be prospect parents looking for a school but have not made a decision. By being high up on Google you will not only receive a high amount of traffic but you will also build reputation. Searchers innately trust Google’s results and being #1 acts as an endorsement by Google.
SEO to find specific pages in a website
Parents, pupils and prospects want the easiest route to information. To find out information about your school they will almost always use Google to instantly seek that out. If they want your address or telephone number Google will tell them within a second.
Your website is an online building
Think of your website as the online version of your school building; it has a structure, a design, an address etc. Would you refuse to give someone looking for your school the name of the street you are on? No, you would most likely give detailed directions to the building. The same applies to your online building, your website. You want to give detailed instructions to search engines not just for the overall building but your rooms – the pages. The content needs to be visible, easily read and well optimised. This is not just good for search engines but for user experience – after all, search engines want users to receive the best experience possible.