SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is the practice of ensuring that your website and other online content have been created and labelled up in such a way as to give them the very best chance of appearing high up the results pages of search engines like Google.
SEO used to be all about the spammy mention of your "keywords", and getting to the top of Google for doing so. Things have become hugely more sophisticated as Google has clamped down on poor practice, but their mission remains unchanged. Ignore SEO, and you're throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Why search engine optimisation is still relevant
Your abililty to rank highly online for relevant searches by potential customers is all about your practical ability to serve them the information they're looking for: it is a matter of customer service. Being the very best at giving clients what they need, arming them with the information they need in order to make a buying decision, is as important online as it is in person. Imagine not responding to a customer's needs in a conversation!
If your website, videos and social media do not talk specifically to what people are looking for, and mirror the terms that they're using in order to find your kind of educational offer, then you will never be found. And if you can't be found online, you might as well save all that money you were about to pay out to give your website a fresh new look, because you'll be just as invisible online as you were beforehand.
Why it's all about content
You need to understand how your clients are phrasing their online searches, and which ones are the most important for you.
If you know that, you'll be able to start creating the right kind of content on your site. That means you have to start taking content writing seriously. It's no good saying you'll do it when you get three hours free, because we all know it will never get to the top of your to-do list.
It needs a strategy, it needs a budget and it needs dedicated people to do it. You might actually have those people in your organisation. You might also start to see how you can pull in many more bookings and reach new market segments, just by giving people what they want in the digital space.
Richard Bradford is the founder Disquiet Dog a digital marketing agency and consultancy focussed exclusively on the education sector that runs the ELT Digital Marketing Bootcamp. The next bootcamp is running on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 December 2017 in Manchester.
« back to newsletter