A brand's online positioning is the way it communicates with its audience and conveys value through what it does. It is intrinsically linked to the concept of branding, which is the sum of strategies that aim to awaken a positive perception in the public in question.
Our mission in today's post is to check, together with you, whether your educational institution's website is taking advantage of all the opportunities to position itself well against the competition.
Here's what you'll find in this post:
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The role of the institutional website in the online positioning of an educational institution
We know that an educational institution's website must comply with some requirements required by the MEC, such as providing an updated curriculum matrix, monthly fees, course recognition ordinance, among others. However, this is not a justification for your educational institution to have a website disconnected from its people.
We can transform the content of an institutional website into something truly attractive, which meets visitors' expectations and makes navigation easy, intuitive and interesting for those who interact with your educational institution. By doing this, you are bringing this important communication channel closer to your audience and showing that your institution is willing to dialogue on an equal basis.
Encouraging a conversation that is closer to the reality of your future students contributes to your online positioning because these people's perception of value in relation to the brand of your educational institution is strengthened. Furthermore, by using the same language as your audience, it becomes much easier to have your website found on Google.
How to guarantee a competitive online positioning?
The construction of an institutional website must be designed to offer the best experience possible for the user, which involves planning from the platform to be used, through the information architecture, and arriving at the content that will be published. Below, you can see step by step what must be done to have a well-positioned website online:
Responsiveness is an attribute of websites that adapt easily to any type of screen, and can be viewed on both large monitors and small smartphones.
As mobile devices are a national preference when it comes to searching for information, especially among young people, your educational institution should invest in responsive websites to attract more visitors.
The slowness of a website affects its performance, therefore, impacts the user experience. And Google knows this. It is for this reason that the speed of a website is one of the more than 200 factors considered by Google to rank a web page well. In this sense, to have a good online positioning, your educational institution needs to invest in resources that make your website agile.
Each page on an institutional website has a purpose, whether it is to inform about a course or to show the infrastructure of the educational institution. Therefore, for visitors to find what they are looking for, your pages must be well organized, each with its own title.
The page title and subtitles must be inserted hierarchically, in order to demonstrate to Google and also to visitors what is most important. This means formatting the page structure correctly.
The page title must always be formatted as h1. Secondary subheadings, such as h2. And so on. Any confusion in this regard, such as leaving the page title in h2, can confuse search engines and affect your online positioning.
A good practice of SEO linked to the structure of the page is to always have more than 300 words of content in each one, in order to demonstrate the relevance of the content to Google, and not to have more than 250 words of content for each intertitle.
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Search engines are driven by keywords. The search entered by the student on Google must be connected to specific content on your educational institution's website so that the search engine returns your web page as one of the relevant results.
This is where using the right keywords throughout your content makes a difference. If you want entrance exam candidates interested in the Biomedicine course to reach your educational institution's website, you need to use, throughout the content of the course page, terms used by these students to search online.
To make sure that the correct terms are being used, it is necessary to analyze the searches carried out on the web, which is only possible if you use a technology like SemRush or Moz, for example.
It is worth noting that a high school student thinks and writes in a very different way than a university professor. So, if you really want to rank well online, your content must be optimized for students, not your faculty.
The images on your college website also need to be optimized appropriately so that they contribute to your online positioning. Each year that passes, Google improves its image search engine and today, if you do a test, it even displays a small description of the page where the image is located.
In image optimization, keyword usage is equally important if you want people to find your educational institution through visuals as well. But, in addition, it is necessary to fill in a field called “alt text”, which refers to the description of the image.
A brief and precise sentence about what you see in the image is essential to properly optimize it for search engines and also to offer a richer experience for users with visual difficulties or limited internet connections.
When the image does not load, the text inserted in the “alt text” is displayed in its place, informing the Internet user what the image that should appear there is about.
Links made between pages on your educational institution's website help Google crawl and index content more quickly, in addition to encouraging visitors to stay. They are, therefore, a basic premise for anyone who wants to improve their online positioning.
Always try to make links between similar pages, from the website to the blog and vice versa. This way you build a structure that allows the user to browse the website pages for much longer.
In addition to internal links, to obtain a respected online positioning, you need to acquire external links, or inbound links.
Inbound links are like votes of confidence from other websites for a certain page on your educational institution's website, which is highly valued by Google. The more inbound links your educational institution has, the higher the site's reputation.
Did you like to know more about online positioning? Check out our post about ON PAGE SEO training now!