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    3 Simple SEO Steps for Teen Summer Programs

    3 Simple SEO Steps for Teen Summer Programs

    Posted by Marie Schwartz
    3 Simple SEO Steps for Teen Summer Programs

     

    Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the quality and quantity of organic traffic to a website from search engines. As one of the most effective inbound marketing strategies, SEO achieves 20 times more traffic opportunities than pay-per-click on both mobile and desktop devices. Focusing on SEO will increase your summer program’s organic traffic, brand awareness, and help you garner more leads. Now, let’s dive into the 3 simple SEO steps to boost your summer program’s visibility.

    Why Should Summer Program Marketers Care About SEO?

    If parents, teens, and educators are looking for an enrichment program like yours and you don’t rank at the top of a search engine results page (SERP), it’s possible they’ll never even know you exist. Consider these statistics:

    • Over 99% of all searchers click on one of the links in the first SERP
    • 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results
    • 70-80% of people ignore paid search results, and only click on organic search results

    Google, and other search engines, are constantly updating and changing their algorithms to provide web searchers with the most relevant and useful information possible. Because of this, it’s crucial that summer program marketers stay up-to-date on the latest SEO trends and best practices. The last thing you want to do is fall behind your competition just because their program’s site ranked higher in SERPs.

    The bottom line: SEO for summer programs is no longer optional — it’s vital for the success of your business. The good news is that listing your summer programs on TeenLife’s online directory will enable your summer program to rank higher in search engine results pages. 

    Step 1: Create a Long Tail Keyword SEO Strategy Around Buyer Personas

    To properly optimize your website for search engines you first need to consider the desires of the humans searching for summer programs. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal program participant based on market research and real data about your existing participants. To discover your buyer personas, think about what your ideal summer program participants are searching for, their lifestyles, needs, and wants. 

    Next, based on your buyer personas’ behavior and needs, take broad search terms like “summer programs,” and narrow down the query with long tail keywords like, “summer theater programs in boston,” “american literature immersion camps,” and “for-credit summer programs on the east coast.”

    Long tail keywords are phrases that are more specific than generic terms, allowing marketers to target specific demographics and niche audiences. To get started, make a list of long tail keyword phrases you want your site to be found for on page one of a SERP, including a few variations of each. If you have trouble brainstorming topics, ask your team for a list of questions frequently asked by parents, teens and educators.

    Step 2: Blog With Keywords in Mind

    Search engines love blogs because they’re date stamped, have a unique title and URL, they’re categorized like a book, and they aim to educate the searcher on a topic specific to their needs. Additionally, they provide multiple opportunities to include a target keyword phrase.

    Once you’ve compiled your list of long tail keywords, it’s time to start creating content around them. However, it’s important to note that your keyword is not your story. Make sure to develop unique and interesting angles in your blogs that will capture a potential reader’s attention. Let’s say one of your phrases is “pre-college academic summer programs.” Of course you want this to appear on appropriate static pages of your website, but for blogging purposes consider these uniquely angled titles targeting different readers:

    • Parents:  “How to Choose the Right Pre-College Summer Program for Your Teen”
    • Teens:  “5 Reasons to Attend an Academic Enrichment Summer Program Before Applying to College”
    • Schools: “New Research: The High School Benefits of Pre-College Enrichment Programs”

    Think outside the box and use variations on keywords so that Google sees you as an authority in summer immersion programs. The more often you post and the deeper you get into each topic, the higher and faster you’ll rise in search engine rankings.

    Step 3: Put Keywords in Their Place to Maximize SEO

    Humans and search engines alike need clues into the context of your content. This is where on-page SEO comes into play. For instance, the most important places in a blog post or static web page for target keywords are in the title, URL, meta description, page content, and section headings. Let’s take a look at each of these in-depth below.

    Title

    Including the keyword in the title ensures that search engines and web visitors can easily recognize what your blog post is about. For example, say your keyword phrase is “learning spanish in an immersive summer program abroad.” A good idea would be to title the blog post, “Learning Spanish in an Immersive Summer Program Abroad Boosts Retention by 53%.”

    URL

    The URL provides a clue to search engines as to what your page is about, so it should match the title if possible and include the keyword phrase. 

    For example, if the title of your blog is “Learning Spanish in an Immersive Summer Program Abroad Boosts Retention by 53%,” your page URL would be http://yoursite.com/learning-spanish-in-an-immersive-summer-program-abroad. Remember, use hyphens in between words in the URL to help Google better understand your page’s content.

    Meta Description

    Meta descriptions describe the content of the page or blog. This helps search engines rank your web page based on relevance to the search query. It also helps web visitors determine the value of this page. Adding the keyword to the meta description is a must! 

    Let’s continue with our blog, “Learning Spanish in an Immersive Summer Program Abroad Boosts Retention by 53%.” An example of a meta description for this blog could be, “To ensure your teen retains as much of the language as possible, learning Spanish in an immersive summer program abroad is key. Read more…”

    Page Content & Keyword Stuffing

    Keyword stuffing is the practice of loading a blog with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site's ranking in Google search results. However, filling pages with keywords results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site's ranking.

    Instead, write your blog in the same language used by your buyer personas, and let your keyword variations fall into place naturally. If that doesn’t happen, go back and sprinkle some variations into the content so that the same message gets across, just optimized!

    Headings

    Finally, it’s critical to format headings with the right tags: 

    • H1: Title / Main Heading
    • H2: Subheadings
    • H3 & H4: Sub Subheadings

    Then, without keyword stuffing, include the keyword in the title and subheadings. 

    Your blog layout should look something like this:

    H1: Learning Spanish in an Immersive Summer Program Abroad Boosts Retention by 53%

    H2: Why Learning Spanish in an Immersive Summer Program Abroad Increases Language Retention

    H3: Students are Constantly Surrounded by the Spanish Language

    And so on and so forth. Depending on the outline of your blog and the topics you want to cover, you might not have any H3s or H4s. It’s up to you to decide which format is best for getting your message across.

    Final Thoughts

    By listing your summer programs on TeenLife’s online directory, you’re actually boosting your SEO efforts by increasing the visibility of your summer program to over 1.5 million annual TeenLife visitors. Get started today by creating a listing on TeenLife. Already have a listing? Click here to update your listing or here to upgrade your listing to a Featured, Premium Plus, or Premium listing.

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    Marie Schwartz

    Marie Schwartz

    Marie Schwartz is the CEO and Founder of TeenLife Media. Marie launched TeenLife in 2007 after moving to Boston with her husband and two middle school sons and discovering that there were no information resources for families with older children. Today, TeenLife's award-winning website lists thousands of summer and gap year programs, schools, college admission resources and volunteer opportunities for teens around the world.

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