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10 SEO Tips For Charter Schools

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

Would you like to be the first result that appears in Google when someone in your city searches for "best charter school near me?"


Of course! Who wouldn't?


Search engine optimization is often misunderstood or overcomplicated. It is easy to get lost in the sauce when SEO experts throw around terms like "backlinks," "robots.txt," or "meta descriptions."


Instead of that, let's speak like real humans and get to the meat and potatoes that make the real difference when Google is ranking your school's website. Here is a brief video explaining the basics behind search engine marketing and the format of a search engine results page.





We have created a list of ten tips that can take your school to a new level, and in turn, increase student enrollment. There is no particular reason for the numerical order of our tips, but by far the most important tip is tip #1, so make sure to scroll down and at least read that one!


Tip #10: Google Search Console


If you are wanting to get serious about your charter school's Google rankings, you are inevitably going to become familiar with (and eventually fall in love with) Google Search Console.


GSC is a free tool offered by Google to help charter school administrations to better understand what keywords they are ranking for, how their web pages are performing and even how many links they have to and from their website. The list of important tools and features goes on and on making GSC a must-have for any serious SEO strategy.


Unless driven by data, attempts to improve your website's search engine rankings is comparable to shooting a basketball in the dark. Google Search Console gives you data that will help to identify where your time and effort would be best put to use.


To get started, you will obviously need a website and ideally a Google Analytics account. We won't go through how to set up GSC in this article, but there are plenty of videos and forums to assist you in setting up Search Console if you're unfamiliar with the platform or are new to SEO.


“Unless driven by data, attempts to improve your website's search engine rankings is comparable to shooting a basketball in the dark.”


Tip #9: Keyword Research


How are you supposed to know what content to create if you don't know what your target market is searching for? There are digital marketing tools that make finding keywords very simple. It is important to find search terms that have a relatively high search volume, low competition and are relevant to your charter school.


Try using these free tools to explore which keywords to create content around:

If you don't currently have access to those tools, you can start by asking yourself, "what would parents type into Google if they were looking for a charter school or alternative education option in their area? And try to avoid terms that only a charter school administrator or faculty member would know! Put yourself in the shoes of someone who doesn't even know that charter schools exist.


Tip #8: Keyword Placement


This tip is BORING! But.... it is very, very important. After determining which keywords you want to rank for in Google, it is important to place them on your website in places where Google can find them and give you the credit you deserve! Google can't read your mind or walk the halls of your charter school, so make sure that you have your keywords in at least these four spots on your web pages:

  1. Title tag

  2. URL

  3. Header (preferably H1)

  4. Body copy of text

If you aren't familiar with the terms above, that's okay. Reach out to our team of marketing experts who can help.


Tip #7: Website Speed


Visit this link to test your website's speed. What speed score did your website receive?


If you are in the red or yellow for your website on mobile devices, your search engine rankings are being negatively affected, and I can guarantee that your website visitors aren't having much fun waiting for your site to load.


Tip #6: Organic Backlinks


If you're not familiar with the term "backlink," don't be alarmed! It's actually really simple. A backlink is simply a link from another website that links to your website. Here's an example of our website linking to a different website that sells goat yoga sessions: Click Here


Linking to other websites and having other website's link to you is a really powerful signal to Google that you're not just all smoke and mirrors. Anyone can claim to be the "best charter school ever," but links from other websites help bring validity to your claim. Would you rather eat at a restaurant with 1,000 5 star reviews or at a restaurant with one review by the owner's mom?


Links to and from other websites simply help to build trust with Google and other search engines.


Tip #5: Take Your "NAP" Seriously


Around 2pm when you get sleepy right after lunch..... just kidding.


When we say "NAP" we are referring to your name, address and phone number. There are thousands of local business directories that Google looks at when ranking your school. Making sure that your name, address and phone number are accurate word-for-word will help you rank better on Google Maps and in their search engine.


Here is a tool to help you understand the current state of your school's NAP accuracy: Click Here


Tip #4: Google My Business


One of the first places any parent will check before even considering your charter school for their child is your Google My Business profile. It is an easy place for parents to see whether you check all their boxes in regards to what your school has to offer. There they can see photos, your NAP, Google reviews from other parents and students and even ask you a question.


It is important to update your GMB listing frequently and to build up to a minimum of 70 Google reviews with an average rating between 4.5 and 4.9. When you do get a bad review, make sure to respond in a way that shines a positive light on your excellent customer service and problem solving skills.


Tip #3: Conversion Tracking


Unfortunately, many school principals or directors can't answer the simple question of, "How many enrollments do you receive via your website and other online platforms?"


Via Google Analytics, it is important to properly track your website's conversions (student enrollment applications). It will be impossible for Google to optimize your Google Ads or properly rank you in their search engines if you are not tracking your website conversions. Plus, how can you inform your board members whether your school's marketing strategy is working without keeping an accurate score board?


Tip #2: Understanding Your Competition's Strategy


With the popularity of charter schools growing nationwide, it isn't uncommon to have to battle with a few other schools in your city or county for students. Obviously, you want to be the best and most recognized option for parents seeking a charter school in your area.


Some charter schools might be unique in their curriculum or grade levels offered, but even if you are very different from other charter schools, it will be important to understand what other charter schools are doing in your area as to make the most of your marketing budget and time.


With Google Analytics and other digital marketing tools, you can better understand your local market and dedicate your focus to areas with the greatest amount of potential.


Tip #1: Be The Last Click!


Google's job is to provide answers to their users. You can rank well in Google by being that answer.


For example, let's say that someone is looking for "best charter school near me" in Google, and you appear as an option. They click on you, read through your awesome website and are impressed with what you have to offer. They fill out an enrollment application and then jump off the internet. You were the last click! They didn't go back to Google and continue their search.


You satisfied their need, and Google was your witness. that is a way to prove to Google and other search engines that your site is high quality and that it should continue to be shown towards the top of search rankings because web users obviously find value on your page.


A few ways to become the last click would include:

  • Nice pictures

  • Helpful videos

  • Easy application process

  • User friendly web design

  • Testimonials

  • FAQ section

Conclusion


Be the last click! Build a website that would satisfy a parent or potential student's needs and questions with information that is easy to find. Make the call-to-action easy to identify. Your "enroll now" button should be easy to spot, and the enrollment application should be easy to fill out.


Add data tracking, do keyword research and think like a parent! Be critical of your charter school's website and then take it one step at a time.


If you have any questions in regards to these tips, feel free to reach out to our team of expert digital marketers that specialize in charter schools. We are happy to help!

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