In some cases, your private school’s website is the first impression you get to make on a prospective student or their family. In this (and every other) situation, it is crucial that your website accurately represents objective and values of your institution to potential students, parents, faculty, and donors.
Many private schools struggle to turn their websites into effective and profitable lead generation tools. In addition to being a digital extension of your facility, your website is a lead-generating machine – or should be.
There are several reasons a particular private school website might be failing to attract new students. Some of those reasons include private school administrators not really understanding how search engines work, or how a potential student conducts a search online.
This lack of understanding can undermine even the best of digital marketing efforts, but that is not the topic of this article. To learn more about it, read: The Private School SEO #TruthBomb To Save Your Cash.
More and more private school administrators are seeing the importance of quality content in private school marketing, but still struggle with what to write about, or have already been publishing content that is not being found useful by prospective students.
Stepping Inside the Minds of Your Potential Students
The most successful method to create the optimized content for your private school’s website and to develop an effective private school content marketing plan is to consider the mindset of your potential students and parents.
Think about the questions your and your faculty answer often from new students for ideas, since they are likely looking for answers to the same questions on Google. These questions will be a great starting point for content topics that are relevant and helpful for your prospective applicants and their families.
This strategy we outline below can help you collect, research and create content that potential students and parents will value the most, and that search engines will reward.
Here is how you start:
Start by Brainstorming Interesting Private School Topics Related to the Specialties of your Institution
Like we mentioned earlier, most administrators understand the value of great content, but are challenged by what to write about when it comes to private school blogging. May we suggest approaching this like any other project – with a list? Creating a list of some general topics that come up from new students or staff is a great place to start.
For example, a magnet school in Dallas might start by listing related topics like:
- Dallas STEM magnet school curriculum
- Dallas STEM magnet school over a public school
- Dallas STEM magnet school college acceptance rates
After listing out the general topics, then you can add related phrases and keywords to the list of ideas that address what potential students and parents may be searching for online.
While you continue this process, remember that the way people ask questions of search engines tends to be similar to how they speak to another person. In response to that, Google’s search algorithms have become incredibly sophisticated and complex.
There will be times where the searcher doesn’t even know they are in need of a private school yet. They may just be searching for things like, “get STEM focused preparation in high school” or “best high school curriculum for engineers” instead of “STEM magnet schools.”
Prospective students or their parents could also be seeking answers to some detailed inquiries, like:
- Is taking foreign language classes at an early age beneficial?
- What are the benefits of having smaller class sizes?
- How can I choose what specific type of private school is best for me?
- Where can I find the best teachers?
If you are still having a hard time developing a list, check out “How to Do Keyword Research For Your Private School Like a Boss
Consider Related Search Terms
By now, I’m sure your list has a combination of words, phrases, short sentences and questions that have come up at your private school from students, faculty and parents.
Its time to expand your list even more now, by adding related terms and phrases potential students want to learn about. Consider too, that most students and parents do not speak in academic vernacular (ahem…), and they will relate more effectively with your content if it is in plain language. Determining and writing in the terminology that potential students and their families use will allow them to engage with your private school on a level that is comfortable for them.
Google has two extremely helpful resources for identifying some related terms: “searches related to….” and “People also ask…”
Let’s use the magnet school as an example again. Here’s what might see if you searched for “magnet school California.”
“Magnet elementary schools in California,” “magnet schools pros and cons,” and “what is a magnet public school” are some of the potential topics that give your more insight into what your prospective parents and students are asking about.
Now if you run a Google search for these additional topics, and you will encounter yet even more relevant keywords, phrases, and questions to add to your list. These lists will be the basis for writing content geared toward private school students.
Check Out Your School’s Competitors
Once you have a comprehensive list together, do some research and see what competing schools are ranking well for on Google.
If your competition is being displayed for certain queries on the SERPs (search engine results pages), then reviewing their website to learn what type of content they produced on these topics can be incredibly helpful to your school’s own strategy. Informative, relevant content that addresses specific questions potential students and parents have is what most likely dominates their website, and gets them ranking well..
I am in no way suggesting you plagiarize your competitors’ content, I am saying by seeing what is successful for them, you can apply some already-tested strategies to your own digital marketing for private schools.
Remember that even if competing private schools are already covering the same topics or questions, there are plenty ways to uniquely spin a new approach to produce content that highlights the strengths of your private school, capturing your character in a way that will be memorable and compelling for potential students.
Publish High-Quality Content That Addresses the Concerns Of Your Potential Students
By far, one of the most effective private school marketing ideas is to produce valuable, informative content that potentail students can relate to.
I hope by now you have gathered some valuable insight into how prospective students search for schools just like yours, and what questions they are asking search engines. You have taken the first step, and you’re well on your way. The next task before you is to create and publish high-quality content that addresses those questions and topics.
Think about the list you developed and begin to formulate how you will create posts and pages for your site addressing these topics. If you are successful in publishing content that is accurate and attends to the needs of potential students, faculty, or parents, the right keywords and phrases will flow naturally in your writing.
Don’t have time to write your own blogs? AdInfusion has an exceptional team of content writers that can produce captivating content that will attract new students and parents to your website and convert them into new enrollees. Contact us for more information.