We found the recent results concerning the 20 most searched universities in the world on Google to be most surprising and therefore decided that a blog post was in order.
The results were provided by the search engine Google at the request of the BBC and are quite different to other league tables as they show that the most prestigious and highest ranking universities aren’t the most searched for institutions.
Before seeing the results, we were prepared to see names like Caltech, MIT, Harvard, Oxford and Princeton dominating the top spots but it’s just not the case.
While heavy weights like Harvard, Stanford and Oxford do feature in the top 20 they’re nowhere near as googled as you might think.
So what is the most googled university then? It may surprise you to know that the accolade goes to Arizona’s own University of Phoenix with MIT and the Open University finishing in second and third place consecutively.
What’s especially interesting about this list is that it feeds neatly into what’s been happening in higher education over the past number of years. Once upon a time, prestige and reputation were the bread and butter of an institution; however there are more factors to consider these days and an online reputation is becoming far more influential. Students are no longer waiting to be fed information, they’re actively leaving no stone unturned; trawling the internet for the school that’s best tailored to their unique, individual needs. A university with a web presence that’s lacking or noticeably absent just can’t compete with an institution that’s got an impressively visible web presence.
If you’re wondering how to improve your university’s online reputation then there are a few golden rules you need to follow:
Invest in SEO
Even small investments in SEO can make a noticeable improvement in how your university ranks in Google searches. A comprehensive SEO strategy is certainly worth investing in to find out what searches your university (and your competitors) is performing well in and what areas you are underperforming in. Play to your strengths and you should reap the rewards.
Write great content...often
We know we’re always droning on about how content is king of the online castle but if you want to increase your university’s visibility online and get yourself onto Google’s radar then you need to be writing great content on a regular basis. We’re not talking holidays and special occasions here, we mean on a weekly and even daily basis. Blogging actively (and well) is one of the best ways to help you achieve this. If users like what you have to say then pretty soon they’ll be googling you just as often as you are uploading blog posts.
Use Alt tags
The basic rule of search engine optimization is to provide content that satisfies the purpose of your users visit. When writing content you should always be asking; “What information does the user need to know?” Make sure you answer these questions in the fastest and most direct way possible. Usability is extremely important so ensure that you use descriptive and concise Alt tags for any images. If Google doesn’t know what it’s looking at then this will affect your ranking.
There’s no magic overnight solution that will increase your ranking online but over time and with a solid investment in your online strategy you should begin to see an increase in web traffic and in turn an increase in web conversions.
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