June 15, 2018
Common School Website SEO Mistakes
I’m not here to pick on your site — we’re all friends here! My goal is to get you more students enrolled, and in order for that to happen, I’m going to give you a few pointers about SEO and your website.
Name It And Claim It
What city is your school located in? I know you know this, but what about the people who land on your website who aren’t current parents? One of the most common things I see on school websites is that the only page that mentions the location is the contact page — and this needs to change. It’s critical to understand that searchers will search by city name. If your website isn’t telling the world what city you’re in, you may not be in the search results, which means that your competitor school gets a new student.
If your school website homepage simply shows a myriad of announcements, school updates, and lunch menus, you might have an SEO problem. Google and your website visitors (who aren’t parents) need to know a little bit about you and your school before they dive in. An introductory paragraph or two welcoming new website visitors and introducing your school will dramatically help your SEO rankings.
Another common issue — particularly if your website was built on Microsoft Front Page in 1992 by a tech-savvy PE coach — is that some sites don’t work well on a smartphone. If it doesn’t look great and provide a good user experience, Google doesn’t want to shower your website with high rankings. In today’s world, it’s critical that your site works on all devices. Your target demographic lives on their phones; they have no time for sloppy websites.
Content, Content, Content
There, I said it — 3 times in fact. Content. It’s vital that you add ongoing content to your website. This works best on a blog. Start by creating an editorial calendar about the happenings around your school and craft content that informs parents. Add photos of students, shower a teacher with praise, and highlight a recent, successful graduate. Write a piece spotlighting the band director who used to play trumpet in the Navy Band.
This content doesn’t have to be super academic! Your goal is to write good stuff about good people who do good things around your school. Google loves to see that your website is alive, and your users will feel the love.
By the way, you’re reading this piece of content because you probably Googled something similar to school website SEO — magic.
Let’s talk about your bloating. It’s not a fun topic, but older websites tend to have excessive code behind the scenes. Excessive code can bog down Google bots when they go to crawl your website. Google has no time for this code bloat. Sometimes a new shiny website is just what the doctor ordered. (Call me!).
Nobody has any time for a slow loading website. Especially Google, and me. If your website is running slower than molasses, Google may be penalizing you in the search engine results. Google wants to make certain that your website offers a great experience for users, if it’s slow, it’s NOT a great experience. Consider moving hosts or speaking to your host about speed. It really does make a big difference.
Well, you made it. I could go on, and, on and, on, but I won’t do that to you today. I’ve pointed out some of the most common things I see daily on school websites, but there are, of course, more. If I can lend a hand or give you a few more pointers, please feel free to reach out: 407-830-4550 xt. 100 or fill out the nifty contact form here and one of my team members will be in touch for a free site review.
School Sprout Marketing, a division of On Target Digital Marketing, is an Orlando-based Digital Marketing Agency that partners with independent & faith-based schools to showcase their unique qualities and fill their classrooms. Through marketing-driven web design, SEO, digital advertising, content creation, and social media, we help get your school found when it matters most. When your school needs results, it’s time to talk to School Sprout. Schedule a free digital marketing review today by call 866-998-6886 or visit our contact form.