The pandemic has got the whole world in a cage. We all had to get used to a new reality. Some people were somewhat ready for it due to great computer skills, and overall enjoyment of a semi/permanent recluse living. Others found it difficult, with tremendous challenges and maybe even the impossibility of dealing with it, let alone for extended periods of the forming-mind lifecycle.
Now, as the situation seems to reverse somewhat, both well-being losses and returning anxieties come into play, hopefully into the conversation table too. Information technology helped the world from a complete stop, and that includes school years. And yet, technology isn’t always at the center of the debate about resuming to a “New Normal.” At best, people don’t consider tools, apps and platforms as decisive elements in the situation. At worst, experiences in charge of preparing young minds towards a world yet to be built are —to put it diplomatically— underperforming.
To be clear: The problem is not the modality. Within half a century, IT put to the service of education has shown its capacity to cater, deliver and increasingly surpass the quality levels of the education we all receive without it. There is no shortage of studies deeming EdTech as an effective complementary or substitution for traditional means of education. (PDFs) Certainly at this time they reveal a number of flaws in the way implementations take place, from “benign” hassles all the way towards accessibility, equity and corruption problems. Issues of management and incomplete information rather than definitive statements about eLearning.
There is, no doubt, a problem with the messaging. This provides a direct revelation. We don’t listen to them enough. They do communicate. They know what’s wrong, and can be quite vocal about it. Only they might not be in the places you’d expect. (Or demand?)
Believe it or not, SEO techniques can provide insight into the online learner mind. Yes, Social Engine Optimization is about keywords, volumes and ranking factors. It is also about listening, and doing it so in an operable way. Get started by understanding, then figuring out a game plan for each of the 7 factors listed below.
№1. Analyze your SEO strategy
First of all, the analysis. Understanding the specifics of organic traffic is getting into the story of what has gained traction, what continues to do so, and attempting to apply improvement practices.
There are plenty of digital tools for such an analysis, including but not limited to:
- Google Search Console
- Ahrefs, etc.
Don’t be afraid to discuss and find support on SEO forums or online communities!
№2. Short and long-tail keywords
Topics about which people reveal their interest can be perennial and obviously popular (like jeans), or floating between currents and bursts for all kinds of interesting people.
Broadly speaking, long-tail keywords, alluding to interests and topics that remain active, if not growing over time, are a critical source of new insight about what people care about.
Make sure, of course, you know which people you are caring about. You analysis needs to identify a target audience and make sure it has been reached. Or course, keyword data can reveal groups of people that weren’t into your consideration before, that could turn into an appealing target.
№ 3. Backlinks
SEO is far from a perfect science, but it there was a fundamental equation for the popularity of a website, backlinks would be large contributors. Getting a backlink, that is, a link to your page from another one, is by itself a token of trust or friendship. It’s also a meaningful criteria used by search engines to determine their rankings.
Getting referral traffic from education sites sounds like a straightforward strategy. Of course, there is another evident relationship between the quality of the source that links to you, and how much it bolsters a page towards the top of the niche search results.
Other factors of commonly agreed upon importance in SEO include:
- A high Domain Authority
- A decent Trust Score
- The relevant main topic of the site
№4. ‘Optimal’ content
High-quality content is imperative for the success of your project. Ultimately, people need proof that you’re a “leader” of some kind. The obvious roadblock is the fact that quality is subjective. You can mix data and intuition to create experiments that put your world view to the test.
Common areas of debate and experimentation in the SEO space include:
- The role of relationships between other sources and communities, and how far parties are willing to go for what kind of cooperation.
- Expertise and authority, ways in which they are exploited, and ethical boundaries.
- Trust and influence over the target audience, and whether SEO can alter the mind of the user or if they are already resolved before a query takes place.
- The role of marketing and education, and achieving quantitative and qualitative (changes) goals through SEO means.
№5. Link building
When a search engine evaluates a website in order to determine the ranking on a search results page, they take direct, indirect and relative measurements into account. Popularity is necessarily defined by everyone else’s action. If the interest is there, however, but it hasn’t reached a critical mass, website content and structure both signals positive ranking attributes.
The unstable and obscure nature of this process is an invitation to apply some “wisdom of the crowds”: Check out recent ranking trends, make an attempt to isolate the measures top-ranking sites take to move up, and adapt them to your agile experimentation and analysis.
№6. The social media factor
The contribution of social media engagement or “shareability” of a content to its positioning depends on the search in question, but it’s arguably overstated. Google states on the record that there are no social media signals in its SEO algorithm. But that’s not necessarily the whole story.
One of the most effective ways to get to your target audience directly is to use social media. And depending on how you are positioned over there, people who are likely to link pages like yours may meet you there. Which is also a suggestion about the value of social media for SEO outreach and PR campaigns purposes.
In any case, by sharing links in your bio or stories, you increase the flow of traffic to the website. Just remember: Google treats social media backlinks just like any other website’s. From there, it’s the job of the site’s architecture and charm, as well as the quality of content and your offers, to accomplish SEO goals.
Posts with media content get more attention than plain text. But the presence of an image or video alone isn’t the deciding factor. A nascent sub-industry in media for SEO, particularly videos, is already rolling.
At the very least, a YouTube video embedded at the top of a page, both discussing the same topic in depth, could provide compounding effects and be favored by the “rich snippet” feature of Google and other search engines.
To sum up
We recommend building a thorough study with these factors, and use them to understand your learners (or target audience), how to reach them and how to leverage that understanding towards your goals.
SEO opens doors to learner understanding, not to mention traffic. Harness this power and you will never doubt who your learners are again!