Search Engine Optimization for Higher Education

More than two-thirds of all prospective students use search engines to begin their college search—making a strong presence in the organic search results imperative for success. Carnegie Dartlet’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies push the boundaries of what SEO means in the higher education space, utilizing advanced techniques to deliver authentic human connections between students and universities.

We are fascinated by the power of SEO to completely transform college enrollment marketing. Our SEO services synthesize technical prowess with a deep understanding of human psychology. The result? Increasing the visibility of your college or university’s website for prospective students, driving sincere interactions, and filling your funnel with qualified applicants genuinely drawn to your institution’s authentic personality.

Technical Site Audit and Analysis

Every digital marketing campaign you run, and even traditional print marketing campaigns, send prospective students to your website.

In our SEO technical audits, Carnegie Dartlet delivers a comprehensive analysis of every technical aspect of your website that could negatively impact the performance of your SEO strategy. Our passionate SEO enthusiasts work with you every step of the way to assess the technical health of your website from the ground up. Our goal is to empower you with the knowledge and insight to clean up your website—transforming it into a sleek marketing tool that convinces prospective students to apply. Through a series of personalized consultations, our experts provide insight into each technical issue affecting your website, including:

  • Missing, duplicate, and lengthy meta titles and descriptions
  • 404 error pages
  • Pages with low word count
  • Pages with duplicate content
  • Broken internal links
  • Image titles and alt text
  • Page speed

Content Optimization and Copywriting

Content is king—especially content with the power to appear in the organic search results. Our SEO team understands the unique challenges of optimizing web content for higher education. Using a combination of industry insight and in-depth research, we unearth the keywords and phrases your prospective students are searching with and use this research to craft original, informative, and compelling content that answers their questions, offers solutions, and creates connections.

From start to finish, our content development and optimization services bring obsessive attention to detail and a high level of finesse to all web content, touching every aspect of the page, including:

  • Conducting keyword research to determine the best key phrases for optimization
  • Developing or revising content for SEO
  • Ensuring content visibility
  • Word count assessment
  • Assessment of content relevancy and focus
  • Implementation of cutting-edge SEO content tactics

Academic Content Optimization

Employing a range of advanced research techniques, our SEO strategists assess your current content’s performance, identify opportunities for optimization, and re-work the content to target high-volume, relevant search terms used by your audience. We ensure your academic program pages are optimized for search engines and facilitate a positive user experience that entices prospective students to explore your institution further.

Blog Content Development

Optimizing current content is only half the battle. The real power of SEO comes from understanding the detailed questions your prospective students are asking and creating content that offers your institution’s unique, relevant solutions to these concerns. The SEO experts at Carnegie Dartlet uncover these questions and reveal not only what keywords your prospective students are using but what information they’re seeking. Using this research, we create exceptional content crafted to anticipate these questions and establish a relationship of authenticity and trust with your audience.

On-Site SEO Writing Workshops

Through a single in-depth, hands-on workshop, our SEO experts empower your team to create impactful content that converts prospects into enrollments. We come to your campus and transfer a wealth of knowledge to your institution in a single day, providing the tools required to utilize SEO tactics across the board on all web content. Our goal is to share our excitement about the power of SEO and equip your team with the tools required to create content for your website, including admission pages, academic pages, news stories, blog posts, and more. The workshop covers:

  • Utilizing Google Search Console and Google Analytics data to drive content strategy
  • Performing keyword research
  • Creating optimized title tags and meta descriptions
  • Weaving keywords into your on-page content
  • Taking advantage of header tags
  • Using internal links and calls to action

Google My Business Optimization

In the modern digital landscape, the local search pack has become an influential asset for visibility and authority. Your Google My Business (GMB) property is essential for conveying your prowess as an institution of higher learning.

Using proven visibility tactics, we position your college or university at the top of the organic search results—and the top of your prospective students’ minds. The result? Your institution gains a prominent visual asset that displays your legacy of excellence and attracts qualified prospective students from their very first search. We help colleges and universities:

  • Claim not only the school's main GMB property but properties that exist for different colleges, departments, and campus locations
  • Optimize GMB properties for relevant keywords
  • Change information that Google is pulling into the property that may be inaccurate
  • Utilize Google Posts to advertise events and blogs and track CTR in Google Analytics

Organic Social Media Consulting

Social media is an essential component of student recruitment. Your social advertisements are locked down, but prospective students are searching for you organically on social media platforms as well. Carnegie Dartlet connects the dots between your social advertisements and your organic social media presence, creating a cohesive social strategy that conveys your personality and forges real human connections with your prospective students.

Through our social media consulting services, our experts work with your social media team to understand best practices, restructure your approach to social, and empower your team to create an organic social presence that stands out from the crowd. We consult on how to utilize students and alumni for social content, develop posts, and optimize at the profile level.

YouTube Optimization

YouTube is far and away the industry leader for video content. GenZ is on YouTube. Prospective graduate students are on YouTube. Your target audience is on YouTube. Carnegie Dartlet’s YouTube optimization services will transform your organic presence on this platform through a deep understanding of the way your audience behaves.

Through a detailed process of targeted changes, we innovate your YouTube presence to convey your college or university’s authority and respond to prospective students’ search behaviors. Employing a combination of optimizing and testing, we’re able to significantly alter the way you appear on this essential platform, resulting in dynamic, positive shifts in performance.

Website Redesign Consulting

It’s the age-old question: should you work on SEO before, during, or after a website redesign? The answer is simple: SEO is an integral part of every step of a website redesign or refresh, from the first touch to the final polish. Our SEO experts guide your team through every stage of the process, preventing mistakes before they happen and ensuring everything about your new site—from the structure to the URLs to the navigation—is optimized for search. By the end of the process, your new website is clean, thoughtful, and ready to perform.

We address components such as redirect plans, content coding, URL naming, navigation assessment, user journey mapping, and more.

ADA Compliance Consulting

Accessibility is essential, both for users and for SEO. When your website lacks accessibility features, you run the risk of losing prospective students. Not only that, but not being in compliance with the guidelines outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) could put you at risk for legal reprimand. Carnegie Dartlet works with your team to ensure your website is available to all users from the structure up to the finest visual detail. Through a series of in-depth calls, we work with your web team to ensure your site is set up for success and built to create human connections with each and every visitor. We help you address:

  • Image titles and alt text
  • Video closed captioning
  • Headers
  • Link names
  • PDFs
  • Forms
  • Site navigation
  • Contrast

Program Name Analysis

When deciding to launch a new program, you want to be sure that the program name matches the market expectations. Prospective students turn to search engines such as Google to find information about the type of program they’re interested in. It’s now essential that programs are named with SEO in mind.

Carnegie Dartlet performs in-depth research to see what specific language prospective students are using to find similar programs. Alongside a detailed analysis of the most popular search terms, our team creates recommendations for best names based on search trends and the goal of the program.

SEO Services Tailored to Higher Education

When you work with Carnegie Darlet on SEO, we are more than consultants—we are members of your team. From start to finish, we make sure you understand the ins and outs of SEO and how it’s impacting your enrollment efforts, then we get to work on the optimizations, making sure your website and its content are convincing prospective students to click the “apply” button.

Contact us today if you’re ready to turn your conventional website upside down and create content that speaks directly to your prospective students.