Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a common feature in almost every digital marketing campaign, whether B2B or B2C organizations. Generally, search engines have certain criteria and guidelines that digital marketing teams must follow to secure a higher search rank.
According to industry research, 68% of online experiences begin with search engines. In addition, nearly one-third of US consumers use local search to discover businesses daily, with a 28% purchase rate.
Like many others, SEO for Edtech business remains one of the most crucial aspects of presenting your offer to relevant audiences. For higher education marketing, search engine optimization offers long-term exponential growth while building critical trust with the target audience.
SEMJournal discussed that SEO is usually the primary traffic source for businesses, and this quantifiable tactic directly influences the buying cycle. Today we take a look at the importance of SEO for Edtech companies as we study ten creative ways to grow traffic and leads through strategic SEO.
How Edtech Websites Grow Traffic and Lead Through SEO Strategies?
When it comes to success online, Moz emphasizes that quality content is key! Invest in optimizing the right keywords associated with your industry, and you will surely see great results. Although search engines have come a long way, they still need the help of strategic SEO to rank websites.
SEO optimization provides critical information for search engines to index content and displays it in top search results. Here are 10 interesting strategies we found in the best Edtech SEO campaigns.
1. Navigation for Edtech Website
Great user navigation is critical for an Edtech website, with great examples including Udacity, Udemy, Coursera, Edx, and many others. Google identified in its key insights that 52% of users leave a website because of its aesthetics. Visual.ly identified in its research that 83% of users demand a seamless browsing experience across all devices.
Notify discusses five important elements of website navigation that Edtech SEO should consider to provide users with a seamless journey. Webfx claims that 38% of users will stop using websites if the layout is unattractive.
Main or Universal Website Navigation
The main navigation is located on the top of the webpage, and it is essential to include your strategic landing pages here for SEO. The example below, we can notice the Udemy website’s simple design with a purged navigation that displays additional landing pages.
Even Coursera offers a similar extended navigation with only the strategic pages listed for SEO, while the rest remains in the collapsible navigation. As mentioned above, clarity, fluidity, and ease of use are essential for Edtech websites to retain users and attract new ones.
BlueCorona estimates that 70% of all search traffic comes from mobile devices, while Impact research discovered that 61% of users will not revisit a website if it is not mobile-optimized.
Excellent mobile website navigation is simply necessary these days, especially for Edtech, since 77% of adults use smartphones.
Search engines also prefer websites with a great mobile design and navigation. Neil Patel even mentions mobile website optimization as a top priority in his search optimization blog.
The footer located at the very end of a webpage can be used as a more elaborate navigation to link all the important pages of an Edtech business internally. Since the main navigation should be concise and precise regarding which pages to display, the footer can be as extensive as possible to provide users with all the necessary information they require.
If you notice in the screenshot above, Coursera uses the footer navigation to link almost all web pages for optimized SEO internally.
Sitemaps remain one of the most critical parts of an Edtech website since this is the file that lists and describes your various landing pages for search engines. There are generally two types of sitemaps, including an XML Sitemap (meant solely for search engines) and an HTML sitemap which is meant to make user navigation easier for your visitors.
The sitemap from Udacity is one of the best examples of a simple but highly elaborate and effective sitemap structure in Edtech. You can view the entire page here, and notice the variety of keywords the brand is targeting through this page.
An excellent sitemap is routinely updated to ensure search engines have access to the latest updates on the website. Another best practice of Edtech SEO is continually indexing videos, images, and news sitemaps for increased content discoverability.
2. Conduct a Relevant Keyword Strategy
As a long-term growth tactic, SEO can demand time, investment, and patience to elevate your brand on search engines truly. One of the most interesting things that Google identified in 2021 was that 16-25% of keywords searched on a given day are unique. This basically implies that there is always potential for your keyword strategy.
Brands that regularly publish new content generate 4.5 times more leads compared to those that don’t, Credo’s recent insights identified. A Hubspot survey determined that companies that invest in an SEO strategy are 13 times more likely to grow their ROI.
Creating content is excellent. However, embedding this content with relevant keywords intelligently is crucial to enacting your keyword strategy. One of the most popular methods to enhance your SEO reach is using medium-tail and long-tail keywords. Simply put, these are terms visitors use to search for products and services on search engines.
Great examples of Edtech medium tail keywords include “best Edtech providers in USA”, “Edtech B2B solutions” and “e-learning technology providers in the UK.” Since Google is now deploying an AI search algorithm named Google RankBrain to make it easier for user search, it learns what most ideal terms are used to find different products, services, businesses, and people.
Your keyword strategy combined with the content marketing plan is one of the most essential and effective strategies to enhance inbound leads, a fact seconded by HubSpot, Moz, SEMRush, and SearchEngineJournal previously.
3. Effective On-Page Optimization
On-page optimization is the effective process of enhancing every rankable aspect of your Edtech website to rank better in searches. Improving meta titles & descriptions, navigation, sitemaps, and other aspects are generally used to make the website more accessible to visitors.
Edtech providers must continually analyze and monitor their on-page SEO aesthetics, as professionals discuss on-page changes without evidence can cost businesses severely too. There are several aspects of on-page optimization that Edtech providers must prioritize:
- Technical Optimization
- Internal links & site structure
Online learning provider Canvas offers an excellent example of effective on-page optimization in the Edtech sector. From a clean & highly appealing user interface to its very prominent CTAs, the brand emphasizes creating an experience around value.
The brand uses simple navigation to engage its target personas, including higher education and K12 students, through perfectly designed collapsing sub-menus. Canvas also highlights its partners, some of the biggest US schools & universities, setting up a brilliant flow with ideal social proof.
4. Relevant Off-Page Optimization
Optimizing the external or off-page elements of your Edtech website includes interesting tactics like guest blogging, creative promotional activities, and branding initiatives. Off-page optimization is a very popular and essential element of SEO for Edtech startups since this is majorly how providers build authority in the industry.
A most essential but technical tactic within the off-page toolkit is backlinks. Backlinks are links from other websites that direct to your own, for example, a guest blog or a reference.
For Edtech businesses, backlinks are an excellent way to promote valuable content and build credibility in the industry. In fact, professionals even identify the most popular off-page optimization techniques:
- Guest blogging
- Rectify broken links
- Publish high-value content
- Hire an SEO agency
In our example above, we see a list of Edtech institutions ranked by top domain rating. Edtech provider Articulate is a brilliant example to look up to. With close to 44,000 backlinks, the brand drives a massive 129,000 traffic. The most prominent of the pack, however, is the University of South Carolina website, with traffic of almost 750,000 visitors from its over 70,000 backlinks.
5. External and Internal Links
Optimizing your website and blog with internal and external links is a great way for Edtech websites to build their domain authority, improve search ranking, and enhance online traffic. Using credible external sources to support your blog content and building partnerships with other brands is a very sought-after tactic in the educational technology sector.
HubSpot, Udemy, and many others leverage guest blogging, influencer marketing, social media branding, directory listings, referencing, and partnership building to create a web of links directing to their websites.
6. Create Focus Content
Being in the Edtech space, you must focus your content on the audience, exploring topics as subjectively as possible. For example, a ThinkOrion article that discusses Edtech’s digital marketing strategy also has two more specific blogs that separately discuss search engine optimization strategy for Edtech’s business and digital content marketing.
The digital marketing blog mentioned above can also be considered high-quality pillar content that engages audiences and leads them to more diverse topics. Hubspot discusses in a blog that top content marketing goals include brand awareness, building credibility & authority, and educating audiences, according to recent research.
Speaking of Hubspot, the SaaS solutions provider offers one of the most descriptive examples of creating focus content that attracts multiple buyer personas, including those from Edtech. Equipped with one of the most diverse, elaborate, and descriptive education blogs, Hubspot is a real-time example of creating an effective Edtech content marketing strategy.
7. Keep Eye on Technical SEO
Technical SEO involves the backend optimizations that improve some highly critical aspects of your Edtech website. Experts identify that technical SEO optimization improves search rankings, facilitates visitor journeys on the website, delivers conversion rate optimization, offers a competitive advantage, and optimizes ROI from SEO marketing.
Some of the most popular techniques to improve your technical SEO include:
- Adding structure data to web pages to be crawled with more reference by search engines
- Improving internal linking of landing pages
- Keeping website pages loading speed optimized
- A mobile-friendly and optimized website
- Using an SEO-friendly URL structure
- Develop a user-friendly navigation
- Using HTTPS instead of HTTP prefix
- Building a sitemap
- Submitting a Robots.txt file
8. Create User-Friendly Pages
Digital marketing professionals establish that “A positive user experience matters when driving traffic to your website. Understanding these key components is an important part of your brand’s digital marketing success.”
A user-friendly page is one that provides simple & easy navigation, renders for the right device automatically, has an appealing trendy design, and loads faster without errors. For an Edtech website, all of the above may be essential to engage young audiences consistently.
RockContent lists 6 essential characteristics of a user-friendly website:
- Effective Navigation
- Mobile compatibility
- Simple forms
- Easily spottable content structure
- Clear call to action
- Faster load times
If you notice the design of EDx’s home page, you will see how the page instantly engages students through the Courses tab in the navigation, partnership seekers through the Schools & partners button, and B2B visitors through the business tab.
As we browse through the Growth Marketing course page, we notice the same simple navigation (both header & footer), great content & readability, prominent CTAs, and great page loading times.
9. Converting Landing Pages
Converting landing pages and their analysis are some of the more integral parts of SEO for Edtech companies. Edtech providers must ensure prospective customers land on the ideal pages and find the information they are looking for.
Unbounce discusses five important aspects of developing a high-conversion landing page that Edtech SEO strategies should consider:
- Place great images & visuals
- Present a single, strong call to action
- Clearly mention the value proposition – emphasis on the header and subheading
- Outline the features and benefits of your Edtech solutions
- Include social proof and testimonials
It was something compelling that we found across Edtech learning provider EDx’s landing pages that maybe ticks all the boxes above. The brand offers good images and a color scheme with a compelling register for a free call to action on the top right. Each course page offers a value proposition in the header and subheading, while an explainer provides additional value on every landing page.
As we scroll down, there is a complete breakdown of the features of the course, followed by the benefits of completing it. The one thing missing was actual reviews from students who have completed the course listed on the landing pages.
10. Analyze Your Competitors
Being in a highly competitive sector, Edtech businesses must keep track of their competitors’ marketing activities and tactics. A tactical competitor’s SEO analysis reveals important insights, including what attracts users to the competition, what lead generation tactics they use, and which content pillars work for competitors.
Evaluating different competitors will allow you to create unique Edtech guides and course material, improve search ranking, and drive new traffic to your website. Edtech marketing agencies identify that a competitor analysis generally includes a content marketing analysis, a keyword analysis, a technical SEO analysis, and a backlink analysis of competitors.
An excellent example of competitive SEO marketing in Edtech comes from Udacity, Udemy, and Coursera. Being in the same competitive cluster, you will immediately notice a similarity in design and navigation among the three alternatives.
One of the most common attributes among the three includes strategic whitespaces, concise content, collapsible navigation menus, strong, compelling CTA, and the value proposition in the header.
All three platforms also offer considerable similarities in quick page loading, interactive content, innovative customer journey across landing pages, and elementary forms with Google sign-in. The similarity in so many features of these Edtech platforms indicates a severely competitive environment where all three abide by the most ideal SEO strategies based on user insights.
SEO marketing for Edtech remains a core strategy to grow traffic and enhance conversion rates. Being a long-term plan, SEO for Edtech business requires time and patience to show its unique advantages gradually. From guest blogging to ranking across different keywords, research suggests that SEO works for Edtech.
Some of the most popular SEO tactics that digital marketing agencies pursue include creating valuable content, increasing backlinks, enhancing on-site features, and several other tactics.
If all this seems too challenging to manage, reach out to us. At ThinkOrion, we know that a comprehensive digital marketing strategy is key for successful reach. That’s why we offer comprehensive Edtech marketing services, from creating effective PPC campaigns to driving organic traffic with SEO tactics. With our help, competitors will no longer overshadow your Edtech brand. We’ll use our industry insights and knowledge to craft high-performing digital campaigns that captivate people’s attention and draw them towards your product or service with ease.