GPRS Higher Education Marketing Agency


GPRS Higher Education Marketing Agency

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Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | February 21st, 2020

Writing keyword rich content that increases search results — and sounds great too

Writing keyword rich content that increases search results - and sounds great tooConstant updates to Google’s search algorithm are being made. But it doesn’t do you any good to obsess over them – just know that the goal is to improve the user experience, not stress you out. If your school is working with a skilled digital agency, you can rely on them to optimize your campaigns and content. If you are looking to DIY, the simplest way you can take advantage of all of what Google and other search platforms have to offer is to set your website up for success with keyword-rich content.

When keywords are done right, you can boost the quantity and quality of organic (non-paid) traffic to your site:

  • Your position on the first search page (top 5) will get 70% more clicks than the second page.
  • 51% of traffic to most sites comes from organic search.

Why does keyword-rich content matter?

It sounds simple, but the more keywords you have on your site that correspond to what people are searching for, and that you’re relevant for, the more traffic you will receive. Although a cornerstone to any good digital strategy is paid search, there’s no way to know exactly how much your competitor schools are spending. The best way to boost your search volume organically is to update your site with the words that matter most.

How do I find out what the best keywords are?

When it comes down to it, you know your prospective students the best. Think like they think, interview current students, scour your competitors’ sites, do countless google searches and use related searches to brainstorm. Think like a student considering a degree:

  • Is an MBA worth it?
  • EMBA in California
  • Executive MBA ROI
  • Is an online degree right for me?
  • When is the best time for an MBA?
  • How much does an MBA cost?
  • Global EMBA program

Although you may have highly attractive program benefits you want people to know about, these may not always translate to popular search terms. This doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t want to include features like “Canadian immersion” or “Doing business in Asia” on your site – it just means that you will benefit more from the real questions students are asking. Keep in mind that although you’ll want plenty of broad words like your degree name, it is unlikely that you will rank for them so finding your niche and including 3 word phrases will help.

Tips on finding relevant keywords:

  • You can use tools like SEMRush and Google Keyword Planner to find out what people are searching for.
  • You can hire an agency to do an audit and make recommendations for you.
  • Know that keywords are not always just words – they can be phrases or questions too.

How do I write keyword-rich content?

As a general rule of thumb, Google looks for keywords in your opening and closing paragraphs and no more than 5 times per page. This goes for blogs as well. But weaving them in can be difficult – be careful not to just write sentences that stack word after word. Here are some tips:

  • Start with your homepage – this is the most visited site on your page and you want the most important keywords to appear here. This is a great place to include phrases and questions.
  • Write your content first, thinking more about your message and prospective student’s mindset than keywords.
  • Once you’re happy with your message, go back in and identify places where you can insert keywords that make sense and don’t distract.

As you are looking for ways to increase traffic to your site using SEO, take a look at your keyword strategy. GPRS can give you access to successful methods and copywriting tips to make your site stand out to search engines.


Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Alicia Lyons | March 6th, 2019

SEM and SEO – Working Together to Boost Recruitment ROI

SEO and SEM are two very different animals, but they can be finessed into working harmoniously together. In order to create a complete and comprehensive graduate program marketing strategy, it’s best to apply them both holistically.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it’s how high your program appears in search results.  It uses free, algorithm-driven methods to achieve a high placement in search engine results.

The Keys to SEO:

  • Strong keywords in your titles and content
  • Keyword rich and fresh original content
  • Building backlinks
  • Faster page loading times

The good thing about organic SEO is that it’s free. However, unless you have an extremely niche market, which an MBA program does not, then it’s difficult to compete on SEO alone. Organic SEO is always something to consider when developing a website. And you want to harness it when looking to raise awareness of your programs, but it is further up the sales funnel and it will take longer to convert leads. However, don’t dismiss it, as you are likely to have a stronger paid marketing campaign if leads also see your organic SEO results. Now, let’s look at SEM.

What is SEM?

SEM or Search Engine Marketing is the process of using paid methods to garner search engine conversions.

Some examples of SEM are:

  • Pay Per Click (PPC)
  • Google Ads
  • Google Display Ads

SEM is also conversion focused. Most of the paid advertising is targeted at landing pages or contact pages. This pushes students through the enrollment funnel faster than SEO. It urges them to take an action and convert.

SEO: earning traffic through unpaid means

SEM: acquiring traffic through paid means

How can SEO and SEM work together?


Your paid ads could also increase backlinks. Backlinks are links on external websites that lead back to your website and as a result give your website more credibility and a higher SEO score.  The more visibility that your website has then the more options for backlinks. So, although your backlinks don’t affect your SEM they do affect your SEO score. Your paid efforts will increase your visibility and therefore increase your organic results.

Promoting Your Content

A website is a great way to share fresh content, but it can be hard to find an audience.  Best practice is to write quality content that serves as an answer to the questions posed by users. Then you should promote the content using PPC ads and display ads.  The paid ad will take the user directly to the content, but it will also improve your search results and your position on the page. This makes it more likely for a user to click on your organic link.


When creating your PPC campaigns you will be asked to choose your relevant keywords. Keywords could be things like EMBA, EMBA program, best MBA degrees, and high ranking MBA degrees. These keywords are how a search engine will know what searches to serve your ads to. You can also use the same keywords on your website. This way search engines will pull your website for the same searches for free. Sprinkle a few keywords in the content of your website for the best results.

Using SEM and SEO together not only increases your search engine ranking, but in the long term it will also save you precious budget!



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For over two decades, GPRS has been a trusted higher education marketing agency, offering custom solutions to institutions of all sizes and degree types. Admissions directors, marketing directors, deans, and presidents rely on GPRS to provide a depth of services, including strategy, lead generation, digital marketing, nurture communications, recruiting, and analytics.

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