Google loves universities. Their domains are some of the most trusted on the Internet due to their authority and relevance, Uni’s typically being the tops of their respective fields.
As educational institutions, there are plenty of links to their work and to relevant websites that also have good authority, which is why university links are much sought after (when link building).
So do universities need to invest in SEO to boost their rankings?
The answer is yes, universities need to manage their online presence just like any other business does. This is especially true with an increasing number of people having access to universities: with more people and more choice of courses than ever, securing high rankings is extremely important for any university.
Infact, online searches rank as the most popular method used by prospective students to discover universities, and the second most popular method used both during and after the admissions process.
Competition is increasing in the sector. With online universities and other qualification options now available, the race to rank first in Google is only going to get more intense. University SEO has to be undertaken ethically, to harness the latent power in University websites.
The advantages of SEO for Universities
Universities generally already have the excellent, organic link profile behind them so there is often no major need to focus too much on link building. Universities are also ahead of the game with content, with updates on research and topics being added regularly.
However, they still have to compete with each other and the myriad other online courses that are available to potential students all over the world. Universities are competing to draw students from all over the country and the world, so being the top of the search results is paramount.
The first way this can be achieved is by ensuring the website is compliant. It’s ok being relevant and having authority, but if your website isn’t very search engine friendly then the plus points won’t count for much. Simply by making their website compliant a university can massively increase their rankings for certain keywords.
Keyword strategy is paramount with university SEO
That’s the next thing: keywords. By ensuring that the keywords you optimise for are ones that appear often on the site – or at least can be added to content to make them, you will rank higher on Google. This is something that should occur naturally at a university where say, ‘Film and Visual Effects’ would appear hundreds of times throughout the site and the online prospectus.
If you have a great Science faculty at your University, keywords such as ‘Science degrees’, ‘university Chemistry’ and ‘Biology degree courses’ would be good ones to target. It’s surprising how many universities don’t employ simple SEO tactics or an SEO Agency to help them get to the top of the rankings for subjects as which they excel.
The advantage to already having great content and authority is that simple changes to content and optimising for keywords can really have a huge affect on where your university appears in search engine rankings.
It is possible to optimise for hundreds if not thousands of phrases, depending on the size of the University and the breadth of subjects taught, not to mention the echelons available to study at… The possibilities when approaching SEO for universities are stunning- and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Experienced in university SEO
We’ve got lots of experience in delivering SEO for universities – some of our clients are shown below:
Contact The SEO Works team below for a bespoke proposal and an insight into how we work with educational institutions.