SEO for Higher Education: 5 Tactics to Boost Enrollment in 2024

Here in the digital age, a solid SEO campaign is a must for every business and establishment, higher education institutions included. Here’s what you need to know about SEO for higher education to help you move to the head of the class and stay there.

seo for higher education

Need content for your business? Find top writers on WriterAccess!

Even though you typically hear people discussing search engine optimization (SEO) as an essential marketing strategy for businesses, companies, and entrepreneurs, make no mistake about it. SEO is as important for other kinds of establishments as well, up to, and including universities, colleges, and trade schools.

In fact, not only has enrollment in higher education been skyrocketing throughout 2022 and 2023, but organic search generates more related traffic than any other source. So, if mastering SEO for higher education hasn’t made your to-do list yet, it’s time you changed that.

    Download this post by entering your email below

    Do not worry, we do not spam.

    5 SEO Tips for Higher Education Institutions

    Here’s a closer look at how you can leverage the power of SEO to drive more traffic to your institution’s website and boost your enrollment rates in 2024 and beyond.

    1. Use SEO to Optimize the Student Journey

    A higher education establishment has more in common with a standard business than you might think.

    Consumer goods and services represent a monetary investment for sure, but they’re also an investment in a person’s lifestyle and value system. The same can definitely be said of a great education.

    A student’s choice in higher education options is one of the most important decisions they’ll ever make, so they (along with their families) put a lot of time and effort into getting it right. And just as a business’s buyers are on a buyer’s journey, students are on students’ journeys, as well.

    Use proven SEO tactics like market research, keyword research, and segmentation to target prospective students at every stage of their personal student journey.

    • Awareness: Address common concerns for those just starting to think about college
    • Consideration: Cover answers to questions students ask when first evaluating various options
    • Decision: Get into options like financing, programs, and other incentives to give students that final nudge toward choosing a school
    • Retention: Include resources for existing or returning students that can help them get the most out of their scholastic experience

    2. Offer High-Value Authority Content

    Original, high-quality content is the heartbeat of any successful approach to SEO for higher education. Keep in mind that while young people thinking about college will definitely take advice from mentors and loved ones, they’re also going to be online looking for additional answers and information.

    You can ensure your school is the one to provide what students need by creating exceptional content that ranks well and adequately addresses search intent. Start with a round of deep keyword research and then craft original content about related topics your target audience cares about. Suggestions include:

    • How to choose the right career path
    • How financing for higher education works
    • Extracurricular and social culture benefits of higher education
    • How distance learning programs can give a student more options

    Then take the guesswork out of scaling your content production by leveraging a trusted platform like WriterAccess to hire experienced freelancers who know what goes into incredible SEO content for higher education institutions.

    3. Update Web Design and Boost Mobile Friendliness

    The days when most people did their online research via standard desktop systems (or even laptops) are over. These days, approximately 63 percent of web visits from search engines originate from mobile devices

    . This is especially the case for younger people who typically prefer accessing the web via their phones.

    Google also has a “mobile first” policy these days as far as web rankings go. So, if your higher education website isn’t fully optimized for mobile friendliness, it’s time to update your website design with mobile in mind.

    State of Marketing Report 2024

    Make sure your site loads well on a variety of different screen types and sizes. Streamline your web design, eliminating any unnecessary clutter that could slow down page load times. Always ensure that both the desktop and mobile versions of your site match in terms of content and technical elements.

    4. Scope Out Your Competition

    The world of higher education can be just as competitive as any standard business sector, so it’s important to keep an eye on what your biggest competitors are up to. Which institutions are directly competing with you for attention from your target audience?

    Check out what they’re doing to attract new students, particularly regarding what’s working for them.

    • What keywords are they currently ranking for?
    • What content formats, social media tactics, and blogging strategies are they leveraging?

    Consider what you can learn from what you see, as well as how you can use this data to get ahead.

    Don’t copy your competitors. But do consider how you can better fill those same audience needs via innovative, original ideas of your own.

    Look for content gaps you can address, as well, and craft incredible content to fill these gaps to perfection.

    5. Boost Your Brand Identity

    Keep in mind that a student is looking for more in a higher education establishment than just a place to go to school and get a degree.

    They’re looking for an entire experience they can dive into and remember for the rest of their lives. A great brand identity can help convince them that you can give them that.

    Use clever storytelling and smart keywords to show prospective students what life could be like if they chose to prepare for their future at your school or university.

    Underscore unique features, special programs, appealing mission statements, and real stories from actual students to position your school’s brand as the solution your audience is looking for.

    Don’t forget to meet your students ‘where they live’ and engage with them on their favorite social media networks. Modern consumers like to feel like they have a personal relationship with the brands they trust their lives to, and your students are no different.


    Revamping your efforts when it comes to SEO for higher education can easily be the move that puts your school ahead of the pack and keeps it there throughout 2024 and beyond.

    But a successful SEO and content marketing strategy isn’t the kind of thing you can accomplish all by yourself.

    Sign up for a free two-week WriterAccess trial today, and join forces with some of the most talented, experienced freelance writers and content creators in the business.

    They’ve got what it takes to help you connect with your target audience and send enrollment through the roof.


    Human Crafted Content

    Find top content freelancers on WriterAccess.

    Human Crafted Content

    Find top content freelancers on WriterAccess.

    Shannon Hilson Rock author vector
    Rock Content Writer

    Subscribe to our blog

    Sign up to receive Rock Content blog posts

    Rock Content WriterAccess - Start a Free Trial

    Order badass content with WriterAccess. Just as we do.

    Find +15,000 skilled freelance writers, editors, content strategists, translators, designers and more for hire.

    Want to receive more brilliant content like this for free?

    Sign up to receive our content by email and be a member of the Rock Content Community!

    Talk to an expert and enhance your company’s marketing results.

    Rock Content offers solutions for producing high-quality content, increasing organic traffic, building interactive experiences, and improving conversions that will transform the outcomes of your company or agency. Let’s talk.