SEO for Higher Education & Educational Services

Connect with More Students and Dramatically Improve Your Enrollments

Are you showing up during the crucial moments on search engines when your prospective students are looking to expand their education? If you’re not appearing on Google search, you are losing valuable opportunities to engage with new students during their decision making process. FiveFifty’s education SEO services will help you rank higher on search engines, drive traffic to your website, and increase your student enrollments. Our experienced analysts will leverage our data-driven and highly researched white-hat SEO strategies to create custom-tailored education SEO marketing services geared towards your unique university, school, or learning platform. Interested in learning how? Let’s chat

SEO Helps Educational Organizations Connect with Students

Allow us to share some important studies that showcase how students are using the internet and search engines:

According to a 2012 study conducted by Google and Compete, nine in ten students use the internet to research higher education institutions.

67% of prospective students use search engines as their first source of information for higher education institutions



On average, moving up 1 sport in search results will increase your click through rate by 30.8%


Times More

Websites in the number one spot on Google are 10x more likely to receive a click compared to a page in the number ten spot.

Ok, so here’s why these studies matter: modern students are using the internet and search engines to make more informed decisions on how and where to continue their education. If your program is not present during these critical moments on search engines, you are missing out on a significant source for new students.

An Agency Built Around People

Here at FiveFifty, helping our clients create meaningful connections with actual human beings is what we’re all about. When you invest in an education SEO campaign you’ll be developing a partnership with folks who understand that your prospective students are more than just data points; they are real people with actual needs & questions and are turning to Google for the answers. Our education SEO analysts take the guesswork out of digging through search data to discover what your potential customers are really looking for and use it to align your organization with their needs. We’re an agency of highly knowledgeable specialists who will actually listen, folks who check their ego at the door, a team you can always count on to have your back.

Education SEO Services

Google is constantly working to improve the results it presents to its users. Consequently, they are making thousands of changes every year to the over 200 ranking factors that their algorithm utilizes. SEO for colleges and educational programs has to be done correctly to be effective and have long-lasting results. It takes a team of highly experienced professionals who understand what search engine users and Google are looking for. Using our years of experience and data-driven decision making, FiveFifty is able to seamlessly integrate what makes you unique with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and conversion rate optimization best practices, leading to improvements in your online presence and more connections with new students. Take a look for yourself at what our education SEO services are all about.

Research & Competitive Analysis

Any great SEO strategy starts with an in depth look into your top competitors and your prospective students. All of FiveFifty’s education SEO campaigns complete a deep dive into the top competing colleges, universities, and educational institutions to discover how they are positioning themselves on search engines. Our analysts will also examine what your prospective students are searching for and the intent behind these specific searches. Our team will then take all this data into consideration as we create our education SEO strategies aimed at aligning what students are searching for with what makes your schools and programs unique.


Your university deserves a website that is as prestigious as you are. Outdated, slow, and underperforming websites turn students away and lead to higher bounce rates. Google’s crawl bots tend to look unfavorably on these types of websites, as well. Our education SEO team will regularly complete a comprehensive analysis of your website and provide detailed recommendations. Our technical services include:

  • Monthly Crawl Audits
  • Page Speed Testing and Optimizations
  • Google Core Web Vitals Optimizations
  • Redirect Mapping
  • HTML Schema Code Optimizations
  • Sitemap Creation and Optimizations

On-Page SEO for Educational Institutions

One of the most impactful things we can do for your education SEO campaign is optimize your program or university’s website pages. Your content is how you let your prospective students get to know your degrees, certifications, and classes. An effective SEO strategy fully flushes out these pages to highlight the benefits of enrolling in your program while also making a convincing argument for why Google should care about your webpages. Our professionals on SEO for universities, colleges, and educational programs will rework your existing content and create new web pages, so they better align with what your prospective students are searching for. We’ll do this by: 

  • Conducting Keyword Research and Strategy
  • Writing Content
  • Optimizing Your Page for Search Intent
  • Optimizing URLs
  • Improving Meta-Titles and Meta-Descriptions
  • Strategically Placing Internal and External Links


A powerful strategy for SEO for universities and educational institutions is the inclusion targeted blog posts. Your prospective students are using search engines to discover answers to help them plan out the next stage in their life and careers. They’re searching for things like what college life is like, what scholarship opportunities exist, advantages of various degrees to choose, just to name a few examples. FiveFifty’s SEO for educational institutions will help you uncover these questions and then craft highly effective blogs that will help you to connect with students early in their decision making process.

Off-Page Link Building

Just as you need to provide citations throughout your published studies to improve the credibility of your argument, Google uses your backlink profile as a way to measure the legitimacy and authority of your website. Your .edu or .org website probably already has a ton of fantastic inbound links due to all the amazing online research and resources available through your website, but so do all your competitors. FiveFifty’s education SEO services, using white-hat SEO tactics, will help you improve your backlink profile to show Google that your website is the best resource out there for students, thus improving your online search rankings. We’ll do this by completing: 

  • Link Research
  • Link Outreach
  • Strategic Guest Blogging

Detailed Monthly Reports

At the end of each month, our education SEO agency will present you with a detailed report outlining your campaign strategy, as well as tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as keyword rankings, organic traffic, new vs. returning visitors, and goal completions. We want to use this report to work with your marketing team to

  • Capitalize on Successes
  • Cut Losses or Underperforming Strategies Quickly
  • Identify and Fix Problems Early
maps on phone and desktop

Local SEO for Educational Institutions

While you may have students from all across the country, local SEO can still be an important part of improving your online leads and enrollments. An estimated 135,000 monthly searches are conducted for “colleges near me”, highlighting the value of targeting local students. Our education SEO services will help you form meaningful connections with students in specific states and regions by optimizing:

  • Google My Business Profiles
  • Localized Content with Geo-Targeted Keywords
  • Local HTML Structured Data Markup
  • Profiles on Local Directories and Review Sites

Benefits of SEO for Educational Institutions

Still not convinced? Here are 5 great perks of investing in SEO for colleges and other educational institutions. 

1. More Exposure and Website Traffic

As your website ranks for more keywords on Google and other search engines, you’ll start to see a dramatic upward trend in your website traffic. Ranking in the number one spot on search engines will also help to improve your university’s prestige and credibility.

2. Student Resources

All the blogs, class outlines, and degree pages that we create as part of our education SEO strategies can be amazing resources for your existing students to find ways they can maximize their educational experience with you. 

3. SEO Never Gets Turned Off

Unlike other forms of advertising where a decrease in spend has an immediate and equivalent decrease in your media impressions, your rankings on organic search results are not continually dependent on your investment. When you invest in implementing the right things for your education SEO campaign you’ll produce long-lasting results. So even during hard economic times and your marketing budgets get slashed, your organic rankings will still be there to help you enroll new students. In this way, SEO for universities and educational programs is able to almost “future proof” your enrollments.

4. Better Student Insights

The data that is gathered during your search engine optimization campaign provides a more complete and unbiased window into understanding the needs, wants, and questions of prospective students. 

5. Significant Return on Your Investment

Compared to outbound marketing media like print ads and direct mail, which has an average 1.7% conversion rate, inbound SEO marketing, when done right, has a 14.6% conversion rate. This is a significantly higher return on your investment compared to traditional advertising avenues. Ultimately, marketing initiatives without a significant increase in your student enrollments are just wasting your money. 

African American college student

Cross-Channel Integrations

Organizations that invest in SEO are also investing in improving their sales and digital marketing initiatives. Here are just a few examples of the cross-channel integrations that SEO for high education and other programs offers:

1. Recruiting Assets

The pages we expand upon and the blogs we create as part of our SEO for high education strategies provide fantastic assets for your coaches, sports directors, and other recruiters. They can use these assets to strengthen their case as they are trying to convince prospective students to attend your university. 

2. Superior Landing Pages

Since the content being created for SEO also uses conversion rate optimization best practices they can also become highly effective landing pages for all your paid media campaigns. Landing pages improved with SEO for universities and educational programs also tend to have better Quality Scores, scores that factor into how much our team has to bid for your ad to be shown on various platforms. By improving this score you can expect a decrease in your cost-per-click and an increase in your ad impressions. 

3. Integrated Keyword Strategies

FiveFifty’s education SEO marketing team works closely with our pay-per-click managers to integrate your Google Ads and organic keyword strategies. By doing this, both campaigns are able to learn from one another and even discover untapped keyword opportunities. 

4. Improved Targeting

SEO for colleges and universities generates phenomenal data that our media buyers can then use to gather further insights into how to more effectively connect you with new students. This data also creates a fantastic opportunity to improve your remarketing campaigns. 

Our Results Speak For Themselves.

The FiveFifty SEO team isn’t all talk. We can actually back up our claims with strong evidence from previous SEO campaigns. Skeptical? See for Yourself: 

Ready to Connect With More Prospective Students?

We’re a team of experienced education SEO professionals who genuinely care about doing what’s right to grow your program and create meaningful connections with students. Our SEO for high education and educational programs will help you to develop real and lasting relationships with new students that results in measurable enrollment rate growth. Sounds interesting enough? Contact us today and let’s get the conversation started on how we can help you grow your online presence.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is Education SEO?

    The goal of SEO for colleges and educational organizations is to increase your presence on search engines like Google and Bing. This is done by thoroughly researching what students are searching for and then developing strategies to better align what makes you unique with what people are looking for to improve enrollments and drive growth.

    How Long Does SEO Take?

    SEO tends to be more a marathon than a sprint. It takes time for Google to fully crawl your website and shift it’s rankings accordingly. Your results will also depend on the competitiveness of the keywords you wish to rank for. In the end, SEO is an investment that can take 3-6 months before it starts to pay dividends. SEO is also an ongoing process and grows in effectiveness the more time you put into it.

    What is the Difference Between White-Hat and Black-Hat SEO?

    White-hat SEO for universities and educational programs is all about doing search engine optimization the right way. These are ethical strategies designed not only for what Google wants to see, but also what your website visitors will find useful. White-hat SEO tactics are designed to provide a stronger case for why your website better aligns with what people are searching for following Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and best practices. At our SEO company, being “genuine” is one of our most important core values, which is why we practice white-hat SEO.

    On the flip side, black-hat SEO aims to trick Google into ranking a website. This is the unethical, lazy way of doing SEO for educational institutions, which include tactics like keyword stuffing, link farms, hiding white text against a white background, etc. Often when another company claims they can improve your SEO in as little as a few weeks they are using these and other black-hat SEO strategies. Not only will these strategies most likely not work, but they are likely to put your website in a Google penalty, which will tank your online presence and lead to a rapid decline in your organic traffic and major holes in your enrollment funnel. They can also take months to years to fully recover from, meanwhile your competitors are stealing your potential students.

    What is Organic Search?

    Organic sessions (traffic) occur whenever a visitor lands on your website directly from an unpaid listing on a search engine like Google, bing, or yahoo.

    What is Structured Data Markup?

    HTML Structured Data Markup, or schema, is a type of code that is installed on the backend of your website that makes it easier for Google’s crawl bots to understand your website and your organization.