As you can imagine, every single one of your competitors also wants to be on that first page of Google. That means you are competing with every other program (distance education, grad school, college of engineering – whatever your program specialty is) for those ten to fifteen search engine result slots. Those coveted slots are constantly shifting as your competitors pour money, time and effort into mastering the SEO game. Some of them also hire unscrupulous SEO marketing companies that use practices that are considered unethical. These sites get slapped down by Google and other search engines (Yahoo, Bing), while sites that use what are considered ethical SEO practices rise in the rankings.
SEO is simultaneously complicated and not complicated. If your site is configured properly and contains the right content, you can consistently rank in the top few pages for multiple keyword phrases. No SEO marketer can promise exact results, but a good SEO expert will know how to protect you from bad practices and set you up with best practices that get results.
You can learn more about SEO by watching this free video about the top five SEO mistakes webmasters make. Since SEO requires both strategy and responsive monitoring, a little expert help goes a long way. Fortunately for you, you know an SEO expert: Contact Verified Studios for a free SEO site analysis to find out how you’re doing in this area.
The Second Piece of the Puzzle: Pay-Per-Click Advertising
You can only control so much when it comes to SEO, but PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising is something you can control. Basically, PPC ads are those top three listings and the ads on the right hand side bar on the Google, Yahoo or Bing search engine pages (the ones with the tiny word “Ad” next to them). Those ads show up because college program directors like you paid for them to appear there.
This is how PPC works: you register with Google, you fund the account with a credit card, and then you pay everytime someone clicks on an ad that shows up for a relevant search term. For example, if you are offering a distance learning art history class, you might bid on the search term “virtual art history class”. Then you’d pay every time someone clicks on your ad and is directed to your site.
PPC ads involve strategy similar to SEO strategy. Successful PPC advertising rests heavily on the following:
- Proper keyword usage in the ads
- Compelling copywriting
- Smart, competitive pricing of ads (you have to decide how much you will pay for every ad click you get – this determines how often and in what place your ad is presented on search engine pages)
PPC can be highly effective, especially if you speak with someone who is knowledgeable and learn how to setup your account so that it has spending limits.
That’s it. Now you know all you need to know about SEO and PPC. Okay, not quite but I’m Verified Studios is here to help. Contact us for a free consultation to determine what we can do to help optimize your content.