Management Information System (MIS) for schools
MAT Operations | School Operations
Category : Blog
What is Search Engine Optimisation? Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of making your website appear further up the page when people search terms into Google, or another search engine. This helps to get more organic traffic through your website… for free! Your website probably ranks highly when people know what they’re looking for,
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of making your website appear further up the page when people search terms into Google, or another search engine. This helps to get more organic traffic through your website… for free!
Your website probably ranks highly when people know what they’re looking for, such as when somebody types in your exact school name or location. But what about when prospective parents or students search for ‘best schools in my area’ or ‘top schools near me for sports’?
SEO is all about helping to boost your website so that it’s easy to find, even when people don’t know exactly what they’re looking for.
It’s not often that schools and trusts have the capacity for a marketing team, which means your website is often your main marketing tool. It’s the place people come to when they’re browsing schools in the local area and wondering which is the best fit for their child.
If your website is difficult to find, and prospective parents or students have to try harder to find out the information they need, then there’s a high chance that this will influence their decision-making process. It’s important that your school website is easily accessible and navigable.
For trusts in particular, your website also plays a key role in your brand as an organisation. A high-performing website, where all the information people need is at their fingertips, can give greater integrity to your brand and make your offer more attractive to schools and pupils.
Keywords are phrases that are commonly searched for on Google, Bing or other search engines. Despite the name, they can be single words, such as ‘school’, or phrases, like ‘schools rated good by Ofsted in London.’
Threading the keywords which are important to your school (by thinking about how you want to be found online!) is a key part of SEO. You can then build these throughout the wording across your website. You can use a keyword checker to see the popularity of the terms you choose, and what your competition is like. In an ideal world, the terms you choose would have a high search count with minimal competition.
It’s important to use these in your headings, subheadings and alt. text for pictures, as well as your main bodies of text.
Hyperlinks can help to boost your website’s performance in a number of ways and come in different forms.
All the links on your site help search engines to see you as an authority in your area, so make sure they are relevant, easy to navigate and give the user exactly what they are looking for.
Backlinks can be particularly useful in boosting your website performance, as they indicate to search engines that you are trusted and give your website authenticity. When it comes to backlinks, quality or quantity is key, look for links from websites that are closely aligned with your own and have a high authority. Don’t fall into the trap of buying backlinks! Not only can this can lead to you being penalised by the search engine, but there are plenty of organic ways to gain backlinks too. These include:
It’s super important that your website is easy to navigate, and isn’t filled with clunky, unnecessary information. This is even more significant given that the majority of internet traffic is via mobile.
The main thing to remember is to always have the user experience front of mind when thinking about SEO. You don’t want to make it difficult for users to find the information you’d like them to see!
In other words, there’s no point ranking highly if your website isn’t serving its original purpose. Whilst keywords and hyperlinks are good for boosting performance, stuffing them throughout your website in order to trick the search engine into ranking your website higher will be a short-lived win. Search engines will often penalise websites that attempt to use these ‘black hat tactics.’ Investing in a good quality website with useful content will always win in the long run.
We post our blogs weekly on Twitter and LinkedIn – follow us for more useful tips and tricks for your school or trust.
If you’re a trust thinking about your digital strategy, download our free ebook here, which features articles from MAT experts on how to perfect this in your organisation.
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