SEO and online content strategies for international student recruitment | Spring EAIE Academy 2014

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This is a sneak peek into the 2014 Spring EAIE Academy course 'SEO and online content: strategies for international student recruitment'.

Are you an international higher education professional? Check out all the training events of the European Association for International Education (EAIE) here: www.eaie.org/training

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  • Who actually knows what’s on every page of their website, including every place it links to, every download, etc.? What about social media, the many micro-sites, offsite content (portals, etc.)?Who gets bored at the thought of having to re-visit pages you’ve seen a billion times??If you have to, find a student, find an intern – and do a full content audit (or as full as it can be)You can put this on an Excel spreadsheet, a Word doc, a whiteboard… but you should have a way to see how the content is related.Update your list/sitemap/spreadsheet every quarter, ideally, or at least once a yearYou’ll be surprised what you find! (Especially if you’re not the only one who can upload content)Put it on the calendar. Forget about it until you have to do it. Know that the time is worth it.Auditing, though, is different than assessing – as you go through the site, you can start to make some notes about what is working or not…
  • SEO and online content strategies for international student recruitment | Spring EAIE Academy 2014

    1. 1. SEO and Content Strategy for International Student Recruitment Spring EAIE Academy, The Hague, April 2014 Megan Brenn-White, Director and Founder of The Brenn-White Group, USA Yvonne von Bischopinck, Account Director at NETEYE, Germany
    2. 2. Search engine usage
    3. 3. Google search engine result page (SERP) 31,400,000 search results for “study in germany” in the Google index Goethe Institute is visible as an advertisement. What about in the index? (Organic / Natural) Index Instrument: SEO Advertisements (Sponsored Links) Instrument: SEA
    4. 4. Google’s Page Rank Target website Link distributor 1st level Link distributor 2nd level Representation and recursive evaluation of the cross-linked web structure: Analysis of link strength
    5. 5. Search engine relevance criteria On-page ranking factors Approx. 40-45% share in relevance criteria • Page title (<title> tag) • Content structure, headlines • Keyword presence and density • Internal links and link texts • Crawler accessibility • Site structure / information architecture / hierarchy… Off-page ranking factors Approx. 55% share in relevance criteria • Backlink quantity (number and source of links) • Backlink quality (authority links, content synergy of linked websites) • Age and history of a domain • Keyword competition
    6. 6. Content strategy in five steps • Step 1: Allocate resources • Step 2: Audit/assess • Step 3: Develop core strategy • Step 4: Create or modify content/implement workflow • Step 5: Measure and adjust
    7. 7. Step 2: Audit and assess • Conduct audit of all content that impacts an international student’s decision-making process – Central university pages – Departmental pages – Program pages – Application pages – {What happens when they call or write?}
    8. 8. Assessment • How can you tell which pages are working? – Pageviews – Conversions – Exit or bounce rates – “Gut” feeling about what’s working and not • How do you want to track it? – Word – Excel – As many factors as are important to you…in a format that will be useful
    9. 9. Clicks alone are not enough: The optimization circle Promote information (e.g. special website section with enrollment information or regarding student life for foreign students…) Keyword: “student life Cologne" Website analysis Expand & optimize content / optimize usability Student life in Cologne Get information about living costs, accomodation options and more www.uni-cologne.com/student-life-cologne Check rankings, optimize campaigns Ad or search result Information on landing page

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