Are you an Educational Institute Owner looking for some solid online marketing solutions to grow your institution online? Well, you have got to the right place.
Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world. The education system is perhaps the largest system in the world which is not price-sensitive. It is the driving force of growth and progress in an increasingly inter-connected and globalizing world. It empowers people to defend and pursue their rights and is an effective tool to empower women and promote tolerance within a society. It is seen as the key to better quality of life as well as a means of providing a new set of skills required for the future years. The social world needs to be stable and predictable for people to operate in it, and it stays stable only if people continuously make it so. Cultural transfer through education is an essential means to generate the stability required by the continuation of social life. Societies need a system of education to exist because education is needed to generate and facilitate social change and innovation and societies can continue to exist only if they adapt and change.
The education industry is expanding rapidly and is eager for new talent, including experienced professionals and enthusiastic individuals just entering the workforce. The private sector is helping to transform education at all levels and the goal is to provide information and resources that can not only educate interested parties but also guide them to opportunities in the industry. Most companies offer idealistic goals, combined with competitive salaries and generous benefits. The employment opportunities are as diverse as the companies themselves, ranging from consulting with school operators to working with software and textbook publishers. Individuals seeking a career in the industry should be passionate about various changes based on an understanding of the education market today. So here are providing step by step online marketing guide for educational institutions to achieve good results through better exposure
Why Online Presence is Important For Your Business?
Search engines have changed the way people use the internet today. With the rise in technology, the internet has given us a lot, particularly for small businesses and organizations. More people search online for the products and services they need. The businesses that have not created an online presence which is effective in sales, also lack the functionality to assist with the business processes and customer service. The internet never sleeps and every portal you offer online gives your business a virtual 24-hour showroom which allows potential customers to research your products and services even after business hours and in the comfort of their home. If you sell products, it allows for 24-hour order placement to capture sales as soon as a customer is interested. Not only does it gives a customer access to your products and services, but also provides a way for the customer to check out your company. This builds trust within your potential customers for your company or product. It also helps form a positive impression of your company in the customer’s mind, making a future sale more likely by producing online reviews, by making your interactions with other customers possible and through the frequency and quality of your posts.
While you are a construction company, fitness center or an educational institution, an online store is mandatory in today’s competitive business environment. Your online presence reaches out to everyone who passes by your virtual doorstep, including people from any other country. This can help open up a much wider customer base depending on your specific industry and offerings. Potential customers often check for reviews of a company or product before considering to purchase. Therefore, you should always encourage happy customers to leave reviews on different rating sites. A strong online presence with a well-written piece of content for your products and services will allow your buyers to make a more relaxed and informed decision to purchase. If utilized properly, it can be the key you need to reach your audience and gain a dedicated following. It makes marketing your business easier and more far reaching because of the wider and more cost-effective distribution of your business worldwide.
Elements to Achieve Online Presence Effectively:
Below are the elements described in details regarding how exactly can you grow your education business online.
A. An Online Educational Website
Before creating your educational website, you need to understand why it is important for you and your business.
A 1. Why Do You Need An Online educational website?
Today many businesses have become aware of having an effective online presence since it has allowed them to have access to thousands of users who use the internet to find any kind of information and to obtain products and services, etc. Educational institutions also have great advantages of having an online presence they can use a web shop for. Giving your business or institution an online presence means putting up a web shop with your company’s address and contact number.
This means setting up a virtual version of your business with a welcoming and informative website, a Facebook page and a Twitter account. By creating an online web shop, you are able to advertise your institution’s educational offerings like curriculum, degrees of study offered, etc. You can also post pictures of the facilities such as laboratories, classrooms, gardens, etc. and post upcoming events to take place. A web shop allows you to issue relevant information about having an exclusive area for parents and students. The web shop is a means of constant communication to the respective community. Furthermore, the information within a web shop can easily be updated, whenever required.
A.1. Benefits Of A Perfect Educational Web Shop :
Following are a few ways you can get benefited by having an online web shop for your business :
1) Higher Ranking – You need to manage both the onsite as well as offsite elements and create content that provides richer information about your business so that your website ranks higher in searches and links to all your social identity online.
2) Drive Traffic – The real value of having a website lies in the ability to control the content about your business which helps drive traffic to your online profile. You can also find out why visitors are coming to your site and what content they are accessing and use this information to constantly improve the messaging of your website and marketing efforts.
3) Build Fan Base – This is the most important way for growing your small business as you can reward customers who recommend your business and share their positive experience on social networking sites. You can also build an email database and track purchase tied to customers’ mobile phone number.
4) Brand Promotion – This allows you to use coupons and promotions to reward existing customers and bring in new customers. You need to make sure that the deals you are running are measurable and not just attract those customers that are looking for a one-time deal and have no intention to return back.
5) Get Listed – Update the online profiles that link to your business. If the customers are not aware of your offerings and where to find you while on-the-go, you are losing new valuable customers. List your business on search engines as it is free. Ensure using resources like get listed.org that your key information such as business name and address is listed correctly.
6) Competitive Advantage –The local convenience and service of the buying experience are considered as a central part of your competitive advantage. It offers dynamic local marketing benefits and lasting loyalty by consistently engaging with customers and providing personalized customer service at every step of their purchase. These key practices are a key step towards succeeding in this new world of online marketing.
A.2. Website Elements of A Perfect Educational Site :
I) Domain Name – Having a secure domain name for your business is the first and foremost step in building an online presence or a website. Once you have done this, you are one step ahead of those without one. You need to include an email address with your domain as having a professional email address means that both, your business as well as your brand are trust-worthy. It gives a level of confidence to the customers because email address has a direct relationship with your business. The email address should be professional and give a better first impression to the world.
II) A Professional Interactive Website –Having a professional website and the most appropriate one is very important. Your educational website must be constructed in such a way that the main focus has to be on teaching. The designs are to be built around high quality Flash and well-constructed layout that would enrich the learning experience of your sites’ visitors. It should create a unique look for your site, centered on educational quality. The website requires understanding programming languages to build and update and allows you to add new services or any new changes happening in your institution, and so on.
III) Educational Content – You should plan how to cover certain topics an how to produce content that gets shared, keeping significant keywords in mind and providing value to people, teaching them, providing keen insights and showing how and where to find valuable info. You can also include videos and pictures to make them even more easily shared and read. Content plays a vital role in getting ranked in search engines and helps to build credibility and trust with those that are interested in what you have to offer.
IV) Blog Posts – Blog posts on your websites and blogs keep your site up to date and the search engine spiders in Google crawling consistently. This keeps your site on the top when searches are done. Guest blog posts on related websites with backlinks to your own sites will help you gain added exposure and traffic to your site. Offering free e-books and reports is a great way to show people your expertise and give you access to their email account for ongoing marketing purposes.
V) Good Navigation –A good navigation is very important for a website as it determines the effectiveness of a website. If your website links are not obvious and hard to figure out, the web surfers will never click away to return. All the navigational elements must be clearly linked by using standard conventions like menus, buttons, changing color on mouse or underlining the text. Make sure that every page of a website should be reachable within three clicks since most of the users do not like to click more than three links to get their desired information. Make the web page simple yet attractive and do not use more flash movies or any other type of splash pages. This can increase the number of visitors of a page and in turn, increase customers, signups, members and sales and make your website more successful.
VI) Image Captions – Image captions are a great place to add a bit more style to your website or to give some unique insight into the subject of the image. They represent an opportunity for reinforcing the overall look of the website, no matter the captions are for photos on a news website or your educational website. When done properly, they can even add more visual interest and become a distinguishing trademark for a particular brand or website.
VII) Breadcrumb Navigation – Breadcrumb navigation on websites that have a lot of pages can greatly reduce the number of actions a website visitor needs to take in order to get a higher-level page, and thereby improve the find ability of website sections and pages and enhance the way users find their way around. It indicates the location of the user within the website’s hierarchy, making it a great source of contextual information for landing pages.
B. Achieve Top Positions in Google/SEO:
Google, being the most powerful and popular search engine today, offers a lot of great resources as well for making your business searchable more easily.
B.1. Why Achieving Top Position in Google/SEO is So Important?
Gaining top positions in Google/SEO is extremely necessary in order to get success for your business. By getting topmost rank on major search engines, every website owner can get his website stand out among competitors. When content on a particular page is linked to an author who has powerful Author Rank in Google, then search position of that page becomes higher. This is called “Author Ranking” and is a recent update of Google which is an ideal way to identify authority of content creator, web author or blogger. This gives an opportunity to websites to acquire credit for authority, gain credibility and improve its search engine rankings in Google. As a result, your content will rank higher in its search results. It helps you receive huge amount of traffic in a shorter period of time and thus, more number of sales to your website.
When people list your website on their own site, your search engine position will improve and if their site already has a good ranking, then you can get your site improve even more. The more people you get to link to your website, the higher your page will be listed. If your website is not visible on top of search engines, you can never be found. Ranking on top lets you be visible and increases the overall organic traffic, giving you a chance to sell your services. This helps make sure that your business has a good reputation and makes the website accessible to people who are looking for the same kind of products and services. As a result, your website is visible to the whole world and this great exposure broadens the range of company promotion as well as globalization of your company.
B.2. How To Gain SEO Benefits For Your Educational Institution
To popularize your educational institute you need to be active in SEO process and must be aware of all upcoming strategies.
Organic SEO: Content Marketing Importance And Features:
Content Marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience, with the objective of driving profitable customer action. Quality content is a crucial part of all forms of marketing, be it social media marketing or PPC, you need great content behind it. It is required to succeed in today’s competitive business world, no matter whether you are a large corporation like an educational institution or a small business. The content must be based on fulfilling your customers’ needs and interests so that they come to build a trusted and emotional connection with your brands.
Your website visitors crave captivating and information-rich content , highly impact and insightful. Therefore, you need to deliver highly relevant and valuable information in a way that strikes your target audience. This can deliver you increased reach, lead generation and new business development. The more frequently you publish content, the more website traffic and leads you are likely to produce.
Most effective content marketing strategies include :
- Engaging Content –The content should be engaging, dynamic, memorable and ideally shareable from a reader’s point of view. It should contain attention-grabbing headlines and sub-headings and non-complex sentence structures so that your readers can easily find what is important in your industry right now which will help your content get ranked in search engines.
- Backlinks – The more backlinks you have been pointing to your content, the more search engines will value that content. Go to relevant blogs and leave a comment with a ink posting back to your content. The more places your links appear directing people to your content, the more likely they are to find it and share it themselves.
- Go Social – When you have published your content, post it to as many social networks as possible as readers expect businesses to go social these days. You can post an important point in the content to Twitter, add it to relevant discussions on LinkdIn since a group discussion admin will include a link to your content whenever they send out an email update.
- Keyword Research – Quality content anchored in a well-defined keyword strategy serves as the nucleus of your content marketing strategy. It involves identifying your target audiences, discovering the best long tail keywords by conducting persona analysis, analyzing keyword competition, identifying keyword themes as well as the most searched keywords indexed by search engines in the competitors’ websites, and so on.
- Case Studies – Case studies refer to documents that tell the story of how your business has helped a client resolve a problem. It typically outlines a problem, details the solution and summarizes the results. This approach helps establish credibility for your business as readers are able to relate to the featured client.
- Webinars – These are the digital presentation, usually delivered as a live event that presents an explanation of the detailed information about various topics related to your industry, especially educational topics. You can also record your webinars and post it for future views.
- eBooks–This type of content marketing is distributed as a document and is normally placed in a visually appealing format. eBooks include graphs, tables, and images to help illustrate the information. A detailed document of this length allows you to establish expertise on the specified topic and acts as a solid cornerstone for future content.
C. Local SEO: Business Listing Importance & Features:
Local SEO can make a small investment for any business go a long way by making the local buyers find their desired websites on local searches. It means optimizing your website for a fixed geographical area. It is a low-cost marketing technique to promote and market your business on the web. It helps drive traffic and sales to your website, and gain the attention of people in your community as the majority of consumers search for local goods and services from local businesses. Therefore, if you want to get huge and fast traffic from a fixed geographical area, then you need to choose local SEO for your business. This increases your business visibility by enhancing your ranking for geographically-related keywords.
Your brand is viewed as more authentic, generating trust between your business and the user. The prospects searching for local terms tend to have a higher conversion rate than those searching national terms due to the geographic proximity of the local businesses. Therefore, you can create a more custom experience to the users by speaking to their needs specifically through local SEO. Businesses with local target market should always focus on local SEO and list their business on local listings so that it can generate more business leads and conversions through it.
The business listing strategies and benefits are as follows :
- Google Map Listing – Most search engine users looking for local businesses prefer to navigate through map listings. Google has the largest and the most accurate local business listing database and has improved its map navigation features in local business listings. The users can easily list their businesses after a small business verification process.
- Wikimapia listing –Wikimapia is an online editable map where people search for places and businesses. You can list your business here, absolutely free. By adding your business in wikimapia, you can get better SEO advantage of it.
- Business Directories Listing – Business directories are a good way for advertising and online marketing. You can list your business with trusted business directories to get more business leads. These are also used by local search engines and help you in gaining local SEO.
- Local Keywords – Choosing local keywords for advertising your business through Google Adwords means you face less competition for the words and spend less on your keywords. The more popular the keywords are, the more money you have to pay for such keywords.
- Yahoo Listing – Yahoo, being the second largest search engine in the world, offers for two types of local business listing – Basic Listing where you can upload one photograph along with contact details and other business information, and Enhanced Listing where you can upload upto 10 photographs, company tag line, and all basic listing features.
- Bing Local Listing – You can get more business leads and exposure by listing your business in the Bing Local Business Portal.
- Yellow Pages Listing – Yellow pages are the most effective way of local business advertising and marketing as most search engines use online yellow pages database for local business listing.
- Backlinks – You can use local blogs and news site or any other kind of website to create backlinks. Every visitor who has a local IP will increase the rank of your website on local search. For local SEO, you must create most of the backlinks of your site on local directories. Each site also gets local rank on the search engines that filter search result by geographical area.
C. PPC Marketing Importance And Features
PPC is an internet marketing strategy used to price online advertisements. Here, the online advertisers pay the internet publishers the agreed upon PPC rate when an ad is clicked on, regardless if a sale is made or not. The advertiser would typically bid on a keyword so that the PPC rate changes. And, the site publisher usually sets a fixed pay-per-click rate on a single website or a network of content websites. You can buy search engine traffic based on relevant keywords bought in an auction model.
Targeting is important as you pay for every click. You can view overture click costs for your primary keyword phrases. Google hides bid prices and factors ad click-through rate into click cost. These are also called cost-per-click (CPC). It enables you to get your website promotion instantly in front of your target audience much faster than with SEO. You can gain a better position on search engine results pages that are most relevant for your customers.
The PPC marketing techniques include :
- PPC Keywords –Analyzing a competitor’s keyword list can tell a lot about their success stories as well as failures with the keywords being purchased. By identifying these terms you can create a whole new level of adgroups and campaigns. This helps establish a sense of budget projections and the competitors’ offline influence and new product launches.
- Text Ad History – By measuring the behavior of the competitor’s urgency to improve conversions for a specific keywords or group of terms, you can track where he might be struggling to improve conversions or testing different CTAs and offers to an audience that is already providing a successful ROI percentage.
- Landing Page Development – Each landing page needs to effectively communicate the products and services with which you are trying to engage users. It should communicate what your offer is and why is it relevant to the visitor. Make sure that it loads fast and is easy to take required action within just a few clicks.
- Bid Management – This determines how much you should pay for each click you receive via PPC. How much your website can afford to pay for each click largely depends on how much profit you earn when a visitor takes the target action you seek.
- Setting Up Adgroups–After identifying your keyword list, you need to group them together into ad groups. By setting up the ad group correctly, you can later make any changes and evaluate performance. If your ad group contains 10 keywords and one of those keywords’ ads have a low quality score, this affects all other keywords in that ad group. Also make sure that the main keywords you are targeting for any given ad group exist in the page title and within HTML heading tags.
- Content Ad Placements –Content network placement refers to websites that display PPC ads as blocks within their pages. Running the same ads on both networks could cost you money in terms of irrelevant placements. Although customizing takes more time and effort, it is far more better to tailor your keywords, ad copy and keyword bids for each network.
D. Social Media Optimization Importance And Features
Social media optimization is considered one of the best SEO strategies and the fastest way to get your identity to the outer world effectively. It is a good method of increasing a company’s trust-worthiness and goodwill which gives the said company an increased and better branding. It increases credibility when companies are able to have conversations with their customers. Social media campaigns help reach out to targeted lead generation, making it easier and more flexible for companies to engage with its customers. When you promote your products through social media channels, you get an opportunity to increase your return on investment (ROI).
This again helps you in increasing your conversion rate and gain benefit from a desirable ROI. It can help you in link popularity, fast search engine indexing, faster crawler rate, good number of backlinks, and inbound as well as outbound traffic, etc. It not only helps, but also takes control and gives a boost to your needs and business strategies. This way, it increases the in-depth links which search engines love a lot.
Effective social media marketing strategies include :
- Facebook Ads –Setting up targeted Facebook ads is very important for companies with no advertising experience. By doing this, you can spread your brands to members of the community who do not subscribe to fan clubs or know nothing about your business.
- Use Hashtags –Hashtags are invaluable for finding users with common interests and a great way to interact with your niche target market. You can use relevant hashtags while tweeting content in order to increase the chances of being picked up. By popularizing certain hashtags that describe your business, you can create a new community based on that hashtag.
- Avoid Automation – Automating your social media efforts can save you a lot of time. You also run the risk of alienating your followers with pre-packaged content and timely posts. You should tailor your content to each of your social media streams and make all content as inviting as you can, and always post them manually. You can include your shorter content in Twitter, longer posts in Facebook, and photographs about your business in Pinterest, etc.
- Engage With Audience – You should build solid customer relationships in your niche market by using social media channels to communicate and respond to other users, especially when they have any questions regarding your product. You need to keep all your dealings with your followers as genuine as possible and avoid auto-replies.
- Get Customers To Your Social Media Pages – In order to get your customers to notice you, you can insert Facebook and Twitter links on your blog and website and on all marketing materials you send out, from business cards to email contacts. Social media is based on conversations which means that you should respond to your target audience.
- Vanity URL – A vanity URL for each social media site lets you easily optimize your sites for organic search. Include your business name in each URL, if possible. Consider adding your location to the URL, in case you have a common business name and the URL has already been taken by someone else.
E. Mobile SEO Importance And Features
A mobile-optimized website provides audiences using mobile devices elegant ways to interact with your content and give you more control over elements of their experience like the size of the text they will have to read and the links they have to click on relatively smaller screens. The specific search phrases that people use on mobile devices are often different than those they use while searching on a desktop. More people have started developing their website with mobile compatibility and they go with a new domain/subdomain/.mobi extension for their websites. Searchers using mobile devices enter keyword queries differently than they do with desktop applications as they use shorter tail phrases.
Some mobile SEO techniques are :
- Know Mobile Audience – Understanding your mobile audience will help develop more relevant messaging which will lead to higher engagement rates and conversions. You can also determine which pages and content are being visited from a mobile device by using social media tools with measurement functionality and Google Analytics.
- Technical Mobile SEO – You need to validate your code more often as mobile devices are less forgiving of incorrect codes than desktops. You can verify your site in Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools as well as create and upload a mobile sitemap too.
- Add CSS Files – To ensure your site is mobile ready, get listed in local directories and add a handheld CSS file to your site which are a great start for optimizing your site for handheld web browsers.
- Short Keyword Phrases – Most people are habituated to use the keyword suggestions offered by Google whenever they try to search for some specific keywords. They usually type short keywords as compared to while using desktop. Therefore, you should focus on short keywords or key phrases to experience the visibility on mobile searches.
- Product Search – As you focus on acquiring customers through product search, your incoming traffic is probably driven by a handful of top products. So while building a mobile store you need to focus on the top 100 products and use mobile SEO to make those pages perform well in searches for those product names.
- Mobile Campaign Management – You can also measure the impact of off-page and on-page changes and how they affect SEO performance of pages on mobile devices. And, optimize mobile campaign performance for educational institutions.
E. Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing helps create revenues as these are very important for an educational institute. It is because it has to undertake expansion, advertisements, campus renovations, R and D, and many other money involving works. A completely representative website could help your institute run on its full capacity by informing and engaging students in the best possible way.
The power of inbound marketing lies not only in attracting traffic and audiences, but also in drawing in the right audiences, students and families who are a good fit for your institution. When your institution’s digital content is fresh and timely, you get discovered by new audiences and shared through social media. And when the length of institutional knowledge and experience is represented in social media platforms, the opportunities for conversation, engagement and attraction are infinitely greater. In the competitive education landscape, useful, unique and entertaining content can be an asset that sets your institution apart and builds your brand.
How Can Fedobe Help Your Business?
Fedobe is a professional web design company that provides specialized website design for the Educational institutions to grow online. No matter the size of your institution or budget, Fedobe can design a professional site for you that will meet your needs. It is cost-effective and can be easily managed without the knowledge of HTML. Our sites incorporate features that make sense for your objectives and will reflect a look and feel that matches your organization’s activities and mission. We have designed a wide array of website features especially for educators.
You can update information and schedules for just a few minutes each day, post announcements, share resources and stay connected with students, parents, educators and your community. An education website is not a platform to show off your graphic design skills, but to deliver some valuable information to the students, parents and faculty. Our education web design team is aware that an educational website should be designed with a slightly different approach and should have simple graphics so that the viewers can go through the content part without getting distracted by the graphics.