Nearly 50% of all Google searches are mobile. In fact, 93% of mobile users are likely to click on the first set of results during a “near me” search. About 76% of people who make a local search visit an institution within five miles of their location. If you want to attract more prospective students to your college this year, consider using local search engine optimization (SEO). What is local SEO, exactly? It’s your chance to boost brand awareness, website traffic, and enrollment this year!
On the fence? Here are 10 benefits of adding local SEO to your digital marketing strategy to consider first.
After reading this guide, you can make a more informed decision for your university’s marketing strategy. Read on to learn more!
1. Generate Awareness
If prospective students don’t know your college exists, they won’t enroll! As part of your marketing strategy, it’s important to build awareness. Without brand awareness, competing colleges will attract those prospective students instead.
In fact, nearly 60% of people prefer familiar brands. The more they recognize, appreciate, and believe in your brand, the more likely they’ll choose you.
To build brand awareness and familiarity, you need to use brand consistency online. In fact, 90% of consumers expect brands to remain consistent across all platforms. Consistency can help you build brand familiarity.
You can use local SEO to boost brand awareness and familiarity, too.
The more often people see your website content, the more brand awareness will grow. In fact, it tasks over five impressions before you build any awareness. With local SEO, you can keep appearing in front of prospective students.
For example, you can create different blog posts with specific search queries in mind. You can also optimize your Google My Business (GMB) listing. Your institution will appear as they complete Google searches.
In fact, content marketing drives three times as many leads as ads. It also boosts engagement. Engagement can help you build brand awareness, recognition, and recall.
Creating high-quality content for your local SEO strategies can help you build brand relationships. People will become more accustomed to your brand voice, too. People will see that you share their values, which can help you attract prospective students.
Without local SEO for colleges, you might struggle to appear in front of prospects online. They’ll visit another institution’s website instead.
Before that can happen, develop a search engine optimization strategy and start getting ahead!
2. Connect With Students
You can also use local search engine optimization to connect with prospective and existing students.
As part of your SEO strategy, it’s important to gather research. Research can help you determine what content people are searching for online. Then, you can create content based on their most common search queries.
Gathering content can help you better appeal to the user’s search intent. Their intent indicates what they expect to find during a search. Google looks for content that matches the user’s search intent when determining rankings.
Your search engine ranking could rise, helping you appear in front of a wider target audience.
Creating content that appeals to the user’s needs can help you connect with prospective students. You can show students you’re prepared to answer their questions.
As part of your local SEO strategy, it’s important to create high-quality content for your website. You can create fresh posts to appear for a range of search queries. As you keep appearing, your credibility can grow.
Once they visit your website and read your content, people will realize you have the know-how they need. They might call the admissions office or schedule a tour to ask their questions in person.
Outbound marketing strategies can feel annoying and obtrusive. Prospective students might turn away from your institution. You could struggle to show them the value you can offer.
With local SEO, you can attract prospective students to you based on their needs. You’ll have an easier time appealing to their needs and interests. Then, people will choose you before anyone else.
With search engine optimization, you can connect with prospects. Then, you can use that connection to encourage more admissions.
3. Increase Traffic
Around 30% of all mobile searches are location-based. What if you could appear each time someone searches for a nearby college? With local SEO, you could.
Improving your search engine rankings can help you appear for more of these searches. With every search, you have a chance to generate website traffic. As you continue generating traffic, Google will take notice.
Google will recognize you’re offering the information people need, leading to an influx of web traffic. It will boost your search rankings further, helping you gain more trafficin the future.
As part of your local search engine optimization strategy, make sure to update your Google My Business listing.
Your GMB listing will appear in the top right corner of a search engine results page (SERPs). From there, prospective students can see your:
- Institution’s name
- Phone number
- Photos and videos
- Recent posts
- Directions to your college
Creating a local SEO strategy can make it easier for people to find the information they need regarding your college. From your GMB listing, they have a direct link to your website. Then, they can explore your content.
As they click around, your clickthrough rate could improve. As they stick around, your dwell times can rise too. Meanwhile, your bounce rate will plummet.
A low bounce rate can further improve your local SEO rankings.
Generating traffic to your website is essential for your entire digital marketing strategy. Otherwise, people will never read your content. They’ll struggle to learn more about your institution, too.
If people don’t get the chance to learn about your school, they might not see the value you can offer. They’ll struggle to differentiate your college from others as a result.
Meanwhile, your search rankings will drop. Fewer people will see you online, impacting your ability to generate brand visibility.
Instead, start using local SEO for universities to give yourself every advantage.
4. Build Trust and Loyalty
Remember, people want to choose brands they’re familiar with. If they don’t know who you are, they’ll struggle to trust you. Without brand trust, loyalty will never grow.
Brand loyalty can help you retain students over the years. Those students might eventually encourage someone else to enroll in your school. They might even encourage their kids to enroll in the future.
You can build brand trust and loyalty through your optimized website content. When creating content for your website, focus on EAT. EAT stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
Establishing EAT will help Google recognize the value of your content. It could boost your rankings, helping you reach prospective students.
You can establish EAT within your content by offering information students can’t find anywhere else. Show off your experience and expertise to establish your credibility, too.
You can also add writer biographies to each post. People can learn who they’re gaining advice from. They might continue returning to your website to get the information they need.
In time, people will call your admissions office or fill out a form on your website to get answers to their own questions.
Demonstrating your credibility can help draw more people to your institution. If they can’t find a reason to trust you, however, they might turn elsewhere.
5. Appear on the Map
People can search for local institutions online and pull up Google Maps to view their options. Sometimes, Google displays Map results on the top of its result pages, too. These Map results are displayed as a featured snippet.
Appearing as a featured snippet can put you at the top of a search engine results page. More people will see you online. Then, brand awareness and website traffic will grow.
People can use your Map listing to get directions straight to your institution, too.
In fact, nearly 90% of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps. Local SEO for colleges can put you on the map.
The local 3-Pack listing only displays three options prominently on the map. You could have an easier time standing apart from other institutions. Then, you can attract more prospects to your school.
You could have an easier time generating more enrollment this year as a result.
6. Generate Social Proof
Over 90% of people read reviews of local businesses to determine their quality. Another 72% won’t take action until reading reviews.
In fact, 92% of customers between the ages of 18 and 34 trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Generating reviews is an important part of a successful local SEO strategy. Reviews from faculty members and students can build your credibility. Happy reviews could even help you attract more prospective students to your college.
Without social proof like reviews, however, prospective students might struggle to trust you. Remember, brand trust and loyalty could prove valuable over the years.
You can use local SEO for colleges to generate more social proof.
Direct people to post their reviews on your Google My Business listing. Google looks for how many reviews you generate. It also considers whether or not those reviews are fresh.
Keep generating reviews over the year. You can build a buzz and keep people talking about your institution.
Then, use a plugin to feed those reviews to your website.
Prospective students will see how much current students already enjoy your college. They can learn more from people they can relate to.
Prospective students might have an easier time trusting you based on another student’s recommendation. They might decide to enroll in your college based on someone else’s story.
7. Keep Competing
Chances are, competing institutions in the area are already using search engine optimization to boost enrollment. If you’re not using local SEO as part of your digital marketing strategy, you could fall behind.
Local SEO can help you remain competitive. You can’t throw money at Google to boost your search engine ranking. Instead, you need white hat SEO and a strong strategy.
You can use local SEO to appear before other colleges on Google results pages. Developing content can help you appear for different searches, too. You can determine which keywords prospective students use when searching for local colleges.
Then, you can create content based on those search queries to appear for those searches.
You can maximize your visibility online, then draw more people to your website. People will see your institution before any other online.
You can compete with other local colleges, boost enrollment, and remain competitive this year.
8. Boost Enrollment
Once you start generating more traffic through your local SEO strategy, you can show people the value of enrolling in your college. Visitors can start reading your website content to learn more about your institution. As they learn more about your college, they might decide you’re the perfect fit.
You could start generating more leads and boosting enrollment as a result.
Without local SEO for colleges, however, you might struggle to attract people to your website. You’ll also lack the content they need to make an informed choice.
Instead, start using the latest local SEO strategies and put your college in the lead.
9. Use Mobile Marketing
More people are searching for what they need from their phones, rather than desktop devices. Someone might want to look up local colleges on a whim. They might realize you’re only a few miles away.
They could decide to visit your college and request a tour.
If you’re not appearing for mobile searches, however, you’ll miss a chance.
Local SEO can benefit your mobile marketing strategy. You can appear for more mobile searches, helping you reach more students.
10. Reduce Your CPA
How much are you currently spending trying to boost enrollment with traditional marketing strategies? Local SEO is a cheaper option. You can reduce your cost-per-acquisition and improve your marketing ROI.
Then, you can spend that money on other, more expensive marketing strategies.
Reach More Students: 10 Benefits of Local SEO for College Marketing Strategies
Don’t miss a chance to reach prospective students online. Instead, consider these 10 benefits of using local SEO. With local SEO for colleges, you can take the lead online.
Then, you can generate more website traffic and start boosting conversions.
Need help improving your search engine optimization strategy this year? We’re here to help.
Contact our team today to get started.