K-12 Education Marketing: 3 Search Trends You Need to Know for 2018

As we kick off 2018 and aim to improve our marketing efforts, it’s important to reset and refresh our understanding of what makes our target markets tick.

What information are they turning to Google for? Where are they hanging out online for work and for fun? What devices do they use and how do they use them? And how do we make sure our messages and content rise above the noise?

In the Education community, we talk to every generation: parents (Gen X, Gen Y, Millennials), students (iGen/Gen Z), educators and administrators (Millennials, Gen X, Gen Y, and Baby Boomers).

One of the most helpful ways of understanding how to effectively market to them comes from the King of Data itself, Google. After all, Google only processes about 63,000 searches. Per second that is.

Insights Through Search Habits

While we were all running around like crazy people living in the chaos that is December, Google was publishing stats and insights about our search habits:

“What people look for provides a window into their interests, needs, and wants. Amid all of these searches, new consumer behaviors emerged and a new super-empowered consumer took shape. We found that people are more curious, more demanding, and more impatient than ever before.”

Here are 3 trends you should know and think about when it comes to how these insights should shape and transform your marketing initiatives:

1. We turn to mobile for advice by researching everything under the sun. Did you know that mobile searches for “best toothbrush” has grown over 100% in the past 2 years? We’re increasingly searching for the words “best,” “top,” and “top rated” as we’re all time poor and don’t have time to sift through results that aren’t the best of something. Here are examples of growing “best” searches on mobile:

search trends -"best"


2. We make impulsive, fast decisions with less advanced planning and lead time. Take researching and booking travel, for example. We know the technology is there to research, decide, and to act on those decisions immediately. Did you know people regularly search for “flights today” and “hotels tonight”? (As a plan-ahead person personally this gives me a heart attack.)

travel trends in SEO 2018


Search habits also show that we don’t like waiting, and we’re increasingly intolerant. Search interest in “open now” has tripled in 2 years while “store hours” has dropped.

Drone deliveries today? Yes please!

3. We want to be informed and educated. While this trend is not new news, search data corroborates this expectation. After all, who has the time to waste on going back and fixing a mistake? We want it done and done right the first time. Hence the fact that the large percentage of searchers – over 75% – won’t scroll past Page 1. Wouldn’t we rather recalibrate our search query then take the time to click to the next page and wait for it to load?To meet this search demand, your content strategy needs to make sure it has a healthy dose of content mapped around keywords such as:

  • “What is”
  • “How to”
  • “Best …”
Not to mention site speed as a critical factor here. And don’t forget your website content strategy should apply to your social media strategy and off-site content strategy as well. We know that Educators go right to Pinterest and YouTube to search and bypass Google altogether.Check out some of these “how to” and “what is” terms Google said were were popular this year along with a note about the long-tail keyword use of these terms for even more specificity:

longtail keywords for specificty


Analyzing K-12 Education Searches from Google

A hugely underrated tool in the Education Marketer’s arsenal is Google Search Console (GSC). Similar to Google Analytics yet different in many ways, it gives us some extremely useful information about what searches our market is out there doing relevant to our website content.

Here are some insights I’ve gleaned when comparing desktop vs mobile searches in several of my client’s GSC accounts:

k-12 parent and student seo search examples



dyslexia queries



homeschool SEO


Digital Marketing in 2018 – Are You Ready?

To close us out, Google sums up with this: “As we head into 2018, we expect this super-empowered consumer to continue to evolve. Expectations will only continue to rise. People will ask more detailed questions and want more personally relevant answers, and they’ll want it all faster than ever before.”

Does your data correlate with the findings above? How are you tailoring your strategy to better align with parents, students, educators, and administrators?


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Jenny Munn

Jenny is an independent Digital Marketer and SEO Consultant with more than 10 years of experience helping companies and content creators generate brand awareness, traffic, and conversions with SEO. She is a frequent speaker and is on the faculty for the AMA (American Marketing Association) and has taught SEO to thousands of marketers over the past 10 years.

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