Improving your school’s SEO can significantly increase the traffic and quality of your visitors as well. Another equally important factor is authority. High ranking in Google conveys authority for first time visitors. The sooner you identify the keywords and terms your audience uses to search, the easier will be for you to reach them and keep them hooked with your website for good. And all that, just the right moment they look for your services 😉
Figuring out the behaviour and trends around the search entries your audience choose, is not that hard. First one simply needs to have a broader view of how search engines function and how user search is formulated. By configuring your school’s SEO you will help search engine crawlers match the most relevant keywords to your website and show it higher and higher at search results. But what happens on the other side, from the perspective of a user?
The way internet users utilize search engines has been reshaped over the years, however the core principles remain basically the same. Let’s see below the most common search process internet users undergo:
Internet users mostly use search engines by inserting 3 types of search queries:
Do – Action Queries: When you want to do something like book tickets to a concert or watch a movie.
Know – Informational Queries: When you want to find information like the best bar in town, or relevant articles for a thesis.
Go – Navigation Queries: When you want to visit a particular place on the internet such as social networks or the homepage of Learnworlds.
59% of adult internet users use search engines on a typical day. As it is expected, search has gone more and more popular over the years, growing steadily almost 20% a year.
So we know how SEO works and we know what type of search queries users mostly use. What about the way they express these queries though?
Through extensive analysis of individual search responses over all possible search scenarios, have brought two distinctive search approaches that users tend to prefer, to light:
Time is of the essence (…or is it?)
This particular search approach lays mostly on saving time by typing the least amount of information in a search engine’s search box. However there is a simple contradiction here. This says a lot about how these users act. They are eventually willing to take their time and go into multiple result links or even search again with more specific searches.
Being to the point
On the contrary, this type of search is much more focused as the search is on depth. Users might take their time before typing their search information. They will write the best possible search query while hoping to find what they are looking for in the top search results.
Keyword Research for Elearning
Keyword research is an essential part of Search Engine Optimization & Marketing. By researching the keywords being used you can plan your SEO or SEM strategy. Although, keyword research is useful for much more than search engine optimization.
So, how much is each keyword worth to your website? While keyword research tools can help you acquire the keywords users choose in their searches, value depends on a lot of factor.
A keyword’s value can be it’s bidding value, the price you pay to advertise for a click, but can also be the value of the customer conversion it will bring. There are many ways to calculate it, but the most important is how valuable is a customer the keyword will bring to you is worth.
When assessing a keyword’s value you will have to ask yourself a these questions:
– How relevant is this keyword to your school’s content?
– If someone searches using a particular set of keywords will they find on your website what they were looking for?
– Will this gained traffic help your business reach a specific (long term – short term) goal?
– Is the keyword going to bring a customer?
– Is the keyword going to bring a lead that might later convert to a customer?
One good strategy is looking at your competitor-websites ranking up for the same keywords you want to use for your school. This will not only offer you invaluable insight into the market field but it will also give you an idea of how far is the milestone set. In addition, if the search results also include search advertisements then it means that the given keyword has a higher value than others. The more search ads you can find under a keyword search, the more profitable and conversion-prone it is, but also the more competitive and expensive it can be.
In case your website isn’t able yet to show up in high ranks for the relevant keywords, you can employ is to purchase a sample campaign with test traffic and see how successfully it converts. Google Adwords is the way to go there. You can ran a paid advertising campaign to test the value of the keyword, while tracking conversions and sales.
Short Vs Long Tail Keywords
We have already established how efficient in terms of time it is for people to search by adding the most popular keywords in the search field. In fact such queries (short-tailed) hold only a 30% of the overall searches taking place on the internet.
The rest 70% are “long tail” and includes countless unique potential searches which can be conducted any time. Long tail keywords have a tendency to show better conversion rates. This is because searchers of long tail keyword know what they are looking for and are ready to buy. They are “intentional” searches, while more general ones are exploratory. Intentional keywords are more likely to end in an action, but exploratory keywords will be coming for an initial visit and are far from acting (e.g. subscribing to a newsletter, downloading an ebook or buying a course).
Keyword research informs your next steps and will help while optimizing your website for those keywords. Any knowledge you can gain from research, can greatly help you establish and execute a promising keyword strategy in overall as you will be confident about the terms you will need to target.
How to do keyword research
ACreate a topic list
You don’t have to be an experienced SEO to achieve this, no worries. Try to think about topics that belong in your bucket list and you can aim to rank for. Once you write down 5-10 topics significant for your business, you can use them to figure out relevant keywords for your marketing strategy.
If you are a blogger though, the topics you will come up with will most probably be those you usually blog about.
Regardless of being a pro or not, you need to think about your target customer persona and see things from their perspective. That way you will be able to understand better the kinds of topics your target audiences search for and thus enrich your website with the relevant keywords so it can show up in those searches.
BResearch Google’s related search terms
There might be a moment when despite your struggle to come up with more keyword terms, you cannot think of another one people use to search about a given topic.
It’s completely understandable, and a great workaround for this, if you haven’t already done so, is to visit Google and notice the related search terms that show up below as soon as you search for a keyword. If you notice those related search terms you will see that right there you have ready suggestions for searches that are related to the given keyword you searched for.
This is a great way to get your brain working again after some time of keyword brainstorming. But don’t let us stop you there, you can go ahead and search by those related search terms and get another set of related search terms you can use to expand your keyword options.
For your convenience, Keywords Everywhere is a really useful tool that can help along the way as it provides free search volume, CPC & competition data for almost all the keyword research tools out there.
Bonus tip: Expand your search also on Google’s autocomplete feature to generate keywords. You might find a term combination you hadn’t thought before.
CIdentify your competitors’ ranking for the same keywords
Figuring out the appropriate keywords to implement in your online marketing strategy is one thing but avoiding in the process the mistakes others made in your industry, will surely save you time and effort. This might need a paid competitive research tool to do so.
Try to do a cross reference of certain keywords in your list with the ones a competitor is using. If your competitor ranks with those you have in common, then these are the keywords you will need to keep improving to achieve higher ranks as well.
On the contrary, keywords that do not match with the ones your competitor is using, should not be ignored because that is a wonderful opportunity to own a slice of the marketing cake while getting your share of significant keyword terms. Remember that during your keyword research, one of your main goals should be to reach a sweet spot where you will be able to understand the balance between terms that are hard to get due to competition and those that are more practical.
DUse professional SEO tools to shorten the list (and make your life easier)
So, you have managed to come up with a great variety of keywords from your research. Now, all that’s left is for you to narrow down your list with quantitative data provided by numerous tools you can find around.
Best free tools to boost your keyword research
According to the great marketing guru Neil Patel, here are the most innovative free tools you can use to target the best keywords for your niche:
Best paid tools to boost your keyword research
Ahrefs has the best link index among all SEO tools. Track your backlinks, keywords, brand mentions and know what your competitors are doing.
SEMrush It allows you to do keyword research, spy on your competition’s SEO and PPC strategies, do backlink analysis, and much more.
Moz relies heavily on SEO metrics such as Domain Authority and Page Authority to give you insights on link equity, keyword rankings, page optimization reports, and more.
Keep in mind that before reaching the top you will have to not only understand the demand around a particular set of keywords/phrases but also the difficulty of keywords as well as the work required to reach high rankings. Being able to determine which keywords in your industry are worth to fight and which to flight, will surely help you avoid competitor mistakes and steer you towards the right keyword usage.
SEO takes time and patience, but is also rewarding. And the best way to do SEO is by creating useful and interesting content. Use keyword research to inform your actions, but your best strategy is being helpful and answering your customer’s troubles with the best solution!