How to Increase Lead Generation in Higher Education with SEO

How to Increase Lead Generation in Higher Education with SEO

As a full-service and higher education marketing agency, LaneTerralever has taken on various clients in the higher education industry and helped them find innovative solutions for expanding visibility, increasing lead generation, improving enrollment rates, and for developing a deeper overall understanding of their prospective student’s journey as they navigate a continuously evolving educational landscape. Through research and real-time implementation found in our case studies, the team at LT found that one of the most effective strategies to increase lead generation for colleges and universities as well as enrollment is through developing and maintaining a strong foundational SEO (search engine optimization) strategy. The key to successful lead generation within higher education SEO is to pair informationally valuable content with a technically sound website.

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Understand your Prospective Students' Search Habits

To understand a prospective student’s search habits, it’s imperative to first understand their student journey. Oftentimes, students may still need to discover what they would like to pursue studying. This is where your school’s organization is presented with its first opportunity to digitally meet the student. By providing enough valuable content you will begin to familiarize your organization to any prospective students as they venture into the world of higher education options. During this part of their journey it is important that you are providing as much detailed information as possible about the program or degree option(s) that your organization offers. Once the prospective student has decided to pursue a program, your higher education organization can then help make achieving their goals easy and accessible by anticipating and outlining any additional information the student may need for their newly chosen program (financial aid, enrollment, fees, etc).  However, some outdated SEO mistakes are still made today in lead generation efforts that often hinder more than they help. These include ‘keyword stuffing’ (the process of overloading content with repetitive or non-strategic keywords in the hopes of tricking a search engine into issuing the site a higher ranking). Another common mistake found in SEO efforts, is driving users straight to landing pages without properly providing any necessary contextual information prior to that page. These mistakes lead to both navigation and communication issues. Our team at LT recommends avoiding these outdated tactics by performing a comprehensive site audit, and a competitive analysis. This is where our SEO experts will identify what is and is not performing well for your brand and compare the findings against the research garnered from your top competitors to identify the right strategy and SEO solution for your organization.

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Garnering Leads Every Step of the Way

Real world implementation of these lead garnering SEO strategies through the understanding of the student journey can be observed in the recent work that the SEO marketing team at LaneTerralever has performed for the Universal Technical Institute (case study), Lufthansa Aviation School (case study), and for North Central University (case study). While it is true that the start of a student’s journey begins at search, the opportunities to garner new leads does not stop there. From the moment that a prospective student makes the choice to search, everything from that point forward presents an SEO opportunity to provide guidance, information, and visibility. 

By performing extensive SEO research and by enhancing target audience profiles, the expert marketing team at LT was able to reach the core of what drives each prospective Universal Technical Institute (UTI) student. This research assisted UTI in generating more quality inbound leads, and as a result, increased quarterly student enrollment for the first time in eight years. Lufthansa on the other hand, struggled to reach enough instructors for their flight school and needed to meet a fast approaching hiring deadline. Their short term goal was to find and hire a number of instructors in a matter of mere months, while the long term goal was to create a lead generation engine of potential applicants to choose from so they wouldn’t encounter the same problem in the future. After our team performed a competitive site analysis they were able to identify areas of improvement and develop a newer and more hyper-targeted strategy to reach a more specific audience. In a Q1 year over year comparison after implementation of our SEO better practices, Lufthansa saw a 143% increase in the number of applications submitted and the lowest cost per lead they had ever seen ($38.72) on top of hiring 100% of the necessary instructors. LT helped them achieve both their long term and their short term goals, and still maintains a client relationship with Lufthansa today. 

Another attestation to the success of a proper lead garnering SEO strategy, presents itself in our partnership with North Central University. NCU’s struggle was different.  As a global leader in online accredited higher education, NCU’s student acquisition conversions were proving to be a struggle due to a handful of unknown variables such as where the students were coming from and what they were doing after they visited an NCU site. After extensive research and a multi dimensional data audit and gap analysis, our team was able to identify that there was a large-scale communication failure between systems and data. After making over 100 recommendations spanning five separate categories and making ongoing site optimization an adopted and standard practice, we were able to initiate a multi-channel attribution and allow for more targeted marketing based on the prospective student journey. This resulted in both smarter conversions and a greater lead volume.

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Increased and Higher Quality SEO with LaneTerralever

Lead generation within higher education is mastered not only by pairing informationally valuable content with a technically sound website, but also by using higher quality SEO to understand your target audience and expertly tailor your higher education organization’s efforts to them in a clear, easily accessible, and more user friendly way. 

Explore more of the SEO marketing services offered at LaneTerralever and allow our SEO for higher education experts to help you enhance your institution’s SEO strategy to improve your lead generation and ultimately increase college enrollment.

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