Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's unpaid results. Higher education brands in the UAE can benefit greatly from SEO by increasing their visibility and reach to potential students.
Usually, the first step in SEO for colleges and universities in the UAE is to conduct keyword research. Then these keywords are incorporated into the website's content, meta tags, and URLs. However, the ideal way is to identify the keywords and phrases that potential students would be using during their student journey about their future learning options in the UAE as elaborated in the next section.
Why are SEO and Organic traffic important?
It is not uncommon for SEO and organic traffic to contribute relatively small numbers of traffic and leads to an education brand when compared to paid search and social media campaigns. However, based on our analysis of student enrolment, we see that organic sources account for over 21% of total enrollment.
Source - mkt4edu
More Leads means More Expanse - which means a larger admissions team would be needed to talk to them, understand what they need, and follow up with them, so it is very important to focus on high-quality leads, and that is where an SEO strategy can contribute to the success of an Education brand.
SEO Content Research Based on the Student Journey
The Student Journey is how prospective students research, evaluate, apply, and enroll in their chosen university and degree program. Today it has disrupted and transformed into a self-service, learner-led model
The requirements of these prospective students are very different during each of these stages; understanding this and aligning the education brand’s content strategy with this will be a game-changer.
Conversion Rate Optimisation
Education bands using clever website structure and design are those that serve the student queries better. This includes using clean and valid code, optimizing the website's load time, and making sure that the website is mobile-friendly. A well-structured website will not only improve its search engine rankings, but it will also provide a better user experience for visitors. For example, a student should be able to download or access the detailed breakdown of the fee structure without having the need to talk to a representative, thus leading to positive brand experiences.
The success of the well-optimized page is measured by the percentage of website visitors that are converted into contacts in the CRM. For doing effectively below are some tools and techniques that can be used.
Have multiple Call-to-actions
Not just “Apply Now” - remember the Student Journey. Not all the visitors of the website are ready to start the application process. They might be researching and evaluating their options. So have call-to-actions that apply then to do that.
This gives one last chance and helps nudge the website visitor to be a part of the conversation before they leave.
Add Chat and WhatsApp option
Add WhatsApp and chat functionality whenever possible. We have seen it to be the best conversion tool on a page and the usage is growing year-to-year. This reflects the on-demand nature of today’s student expectations.
Interactive and engaging course or program web pages
Another important aspect of SEO for Education companies is to create better pages with higher user engagement. This is done by creating a strong online presence by building a website that is easy to navigate and provides useful information. This includes creating detailed information about the institution's programs, faculty, facilities, and campus life. Additionally, providing detailed information about the admissions process, tuition fees, and financial aid can help potential students to make informed decisions about their education.
Tools like CHATBOT will help prospects outside of business hours, FAQ Hub provides prospects with immediate answers to both common and complex questions, and COMPARISON TOOL and TUITION CALCULATOR help prospects compare the program's quantitative and qualitative aspects to help them make the right choice.
Interactive and easy-to-understand content structure
Mapping SEO Success to Student Enrollment
Lastly, when evaluating the success of SEO efforts, most education brands need full visibility into the admissions funnel. Marketing teams look at numbers like Google search keyword ranking, website traffic, leads generated... etc., but not the no of paying students enrolled.
So, measure what that really matters - the Impact on Student Enrolment Numbers.
This can be done by integrating all marketing and admissions data in into your CRM and reporting structure.
In conclusion, SEO is an essential aspect of digital marketing for higher education companies in the UAE. By conducting keyword research, optimizing the website's structure and design, building backlinks, engaging in social media marketing, and participating in local search engine optimization, higher education companies can increase their visibility and reach to potential students and other stakeholders. Additionally, by providing detailed information about their programs and facilities, and creating a user-friendly website, higher education companies can help potential students to make informed decisions about their education.