Independent School SEO Case Study

Industry: K-12 Education SEO

"We did see a huge jump in inquiries, and we're going to go back and compare our numbers to previous years, same time frame. We have had big surges at the beginning of Fall before, but we were low last year, so just getting back on the map again is a great improvement. Thank you for your help so far. I am stunned at how much difference it is making. Had expected to have to wait 6 weeks but the changes began almost immediately."

View The Results

I was privileged to work with this amazing small private school with numerous features: huge facility, large classes, small ratios, dual national accreditation, happy teachers, and a warm environment where babies, toddlers, and elementary school students thrived.

This progressive school didn’t want to be “the best kept secret.” They wanted to grow, and increase their exposure within a limited geographic area.

The Challenge

In their 10 years of being open, the owners of the school had tried everything: SEO attempts, ads, TV, events, expos, local directory listings, social media marketing…they needed better, and more results.

I was brought on to put together an SEO lead generation strategy. The KPIs came down to inquiries and tours – website traffic alone wouldn’t cut it.

SEO Strategy

To say the owners were busy was an understatement. However, this is a true testament to the owners making a commitment to getting the impactful work done quickly, and then methodically knocking out the rest of the plan in a practical manner that worked with their busy schedule.

Impactful activities included:

  • Identifying and disavowing spammy links pointing to their site
  • Fixing other technical issues – canonical, CMS errors
  • Turned an articles category page into a true blog with keyword-driven blog posts
  • Improved internal linking to keep users clicking through and for the benefit of Google
  • Re-wrote copy to feature more hot buttons from the prospective customers’ point of view—a classic case of balancing what the organization thought was important vs what compelled them to initially reach out
  • Keyword mapping strategy so they could pursue more keywords
  • Splitting one page into two page in order to pursue very niche specific words, and that made a huge difference
  • Made the navigation and page naming conventions more intuitive and clear
  • Made the CTAs more prominent

The final two things that made a significant impact were:

  1. Speed to implementation: the owners were very quick to implement the Phase 1 on-page SEO strategy: tweaking the copy, adding in keywords, and other on-page elements such as internal links. They also took care of the technical fixes and link disavowing in good time.
  2. Being open to keywords that (at first glance) didn’t seem to be a great fit: as with any organization that offers a product or service that is a bit of an anomaly, you have to start with the “known” keywords people are googling. Even if those keywords don’t perfectly describe your business, products or services, you have to start there. It’s when you get your prospects on your website that you can show them how you’re different.

Embracing both of these activities, as well as the comprehensive strategy I put together for them, helped them get big wins.

The Results

While it’s rare to see results extremely fast, fast results are what we saw. The business owners were stunned and pleased, and this motivated them to keep making the recommended changes and sticking to the plan. Results included:

  • Started ranking for and getting clicks on more keywords
  • Receiving 5 inquiries in one day vs weekly inquiries of 8
  • By the end of the month, their inquiries had doubled and sales from SEO were up from 5 inquiries to 30 inquiries.
  • One of the secrets to their success was that they took my suggestions, and then worked them into something that they believed in and that felt best for their brand, voice and beliefs.
  • Training on analytics, SEO blogging and SEO copywriting, analytics and more made them more empowered and gave deeper insight about how to gain – and maintain results

Next up for the school: now that the SEO is working to bring in leads, they’re looking at reducing expenses in paid directories, listings, and AdWords.

Testimonials

 “We did see a huge jump in inquiries, and we’re going to go back and compare our numbers to previous years, same time frame.  We have had big surges at the beginning of Fall before, but we were low last year, so just getting back on the map again is a great improvement.”

“Thank you for your help so far.  I am stunned at how much difference it is making.  Had expected to have to wait 6 weeks but the changes began almost immediately.”
-Co-Founder, Head of School

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