September 25

The Key to SEO Copywriting for Higher Ed Marketing


by | Sep 25, 2023 | Featured, Strategies

So maybe you don’t believe that there is a key to SEO copywriting for higher ed marketing, but I assure you that there is!

It may seem like hype, but the key to SEO copywriting is incredibly simple to understand and easy to implement. 

That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t take time or effort. I’m just saying that some of the most powerful principles in marketing and copywriting are not complicated. 

So let me state it here simply. 

The key to SEO copywriting is identifying and answering the questions prospective students have. 

On a practical level, this is true because every search engine query begins with a question. 

They’re coming to their favorite search engine to find out something, to find out the answer to some kind of question they have. 

The Google Search Central Blog backs this idea up by encouraging content creators to avoid “creating content for search engines.” 

Instead, the developers of Google’s algorithms recommend creating content that will be useful to the audience coming directly to you. 

More specifically, that means that your content should answer the questions that brought the user to your website in the first place. 

But on a more personal level, answering our prospective students’ questions allows us to serve them and helps us avoid manipulating them into serving our ends.

As higher ed marketers, our role should not just be about creating flashy banners or slick brochures. 

Our higher purpose should be to guide, educate, and reassure students during one of the most significant decisions of their lives. 

By focusing on answering the key questions your students are asking, you can craft copy that resonates, builds trust, and increases engagement. 

Here’s why answering questions is the key to SEO copywriting for higher ed marketing.

1. It Builds Trust

If you boil it down, trust means everything in the world of higher education. It is the most valuable currency out there. 

When students are scouring university websites, they’re not just looking for a course list. 

In considering where to study, they’re searching for a future home, a place where they’ll spend the next few years of their lives. 

I’m sure you remember this moment in your life when you left home for college, or to live in another city. It’s a scary decision.

Prospective students want to trust that they’re making the right decision.

By answering the questions your prospective students have, you’re showing them that you understand their concerns. 

You’re not just pushing a brand; you’re building a relationship. 

When students feel understood, they’re more likely to trust and choose your institution.

2. It Boosts Website Traffic with Student-Centric Content

Want to know the secret to increasing website traffic without spending a penny on ads? The answer is student-centric content. 

The most SEO friendly content with today’s sophisticated AI-driven world focuses on the needs, concerns, and aspirations of the students rather than solely on keyword ranking schemes.

If your website is filled with content that answers the burning questions of students, it’s more likely to rank higher on search engines. Why? 

Because search engines aim to provide users with the most relevant and helpful content. 

By becoming a reliable resource for students, you’re also becoming a favorite of search engines.

3. It Engenders Authenticity

In an era of skepticism, authenticity is invaluable.

There is a growing set of data showing how young people are losing trust in higher education institutions. 

Students can smell inauthentic marketing from a mile away. 

Of course, this doesn’t mean that your school is untrustworthy. But it does mean that your content has to pull double duty to gain their trust. 

By focusing on real questions and providing genuine answers, you’re positioning your institution as transparent and authentic. 

This genuineness can set you apart in a sea of polished yet empty marketing messages.

4. It Makes Implementation Easy

So, this sounds great, but where is a higher ed marketer supposed to start? 

Creating question-based content is incredibly straightforward. Here’s a simple strategy any marketer, regardless of experience, can implement:

Step 1: Begin by gathering questions. This can be from FAQ sections, social media, student forums, or even by conducting quick surveys.

Step 2: Categorize these questions. Common categories might include “Admissions,” “Campus Life,” “Academics,” and so forth.

Step 3: Create content around these categories. This can be blog posts, infographics, or even video content.

Step 4: Distribute this content across your platforms. Ensure that your website is updated, share on social media, and consider incorporating them into emails.

Remember, you don’t need a massive budget or a team of marketers. 

By focusing on answering students’ questions, you’re leveraging one of the most powerful tools in marketing: relevance.

5. It Creates a Ripple Effect

There’s a ripple effect that happens when you center your content around students’ questions. 

This is an often-overlooked part of SEO copywriting. You need to get people to link to and share your content.

By answering the real questions that students have, you can increase engagement and trust, leading to shares, comments, and backlinks.

When students find helpful content, they’re likely to share it with peers, leading to organic growth and increased visibility for your institution.

The Key to SEO Copywriting: Being Student-Centered

In the competitive world of higher education marketing, it’s easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamor of flashy campaigns. 

But at the core of successful marketing lies a simple truth: It’s all about the students. 

By anchoring your copywriting to the questions and concerns of prospective students, you’re crafting messages that resonate deeply and authentically. 

So, whether you’re a one-person marketing team or part of a small department, remember the key to SEO copywriting: Always, always, answer their questions!

By doing so, you’ll not only increase website traffic and build trust, but you’ll also position your institution as the top choice for many prospective students. 

For more actionable insights into higher ed marketing, please contact us today!

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