SEO Update 2020: 7 Insights for Enrollment Marketing

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In 2015, I posted seven search engine optimization basics to help you incorporate SEO into your enrollment marketing strategy.

What’s changed in the last five years?

Let’s take a look at the state of SEO in 2020.

How have these 7 aspects of SEO for enrollment marketing changed since 2015?

1. Length of Content

More important.

The old adage in blogging, a common content format, is to write posts as long as they need to be … and no longer.

That’s still basically true. But it’s also true that your posts in 2020 really do need to be longer.

In 2015, 300 words was the minimum recommended word count for search engine discoverability, with the sweet spot somewhere between 500 and 1,200 words.

In 2020, 300 words is the bare minimum just to get your content indexed by Google, which isn’t the same as highly discoverable.

To compete against other institutions for discoverability, you need to shoot for 1,300 to 2,600 words, depending on the type of post.

HubSpot’s research reveals that while the ideal length to shoot for is 2,100 to 2,400 words in general, this number varies quite a bit:

Lead Generation: 2,500 words

Posts you’re writing as part of a campaign to capture email addresses should be the longest. At this length, you might consider packaging it as gated content, like an ebook (e.g. “25 Ways to Make Your College Application Stand Out”) instead.

Listicles: 2,300–2,600 words

Blog posts with a list structure do best when they’re longer, either with lots of examples (e.g. “50 Sources of Tuition for College Freshmen”), or more in-depth explanations of your examples.

How-to: 1,700–2,100 words

While it can take far fewer or far more words to explain certain topics, this seems to be the sweet spot on average for your how-to articles (e.g. “How to Fill Out the FAFSA”).

What-Is: 1,300–1,700 words

Blog posts that answer a “what is” question (e.g. “What Is Room and Board and What Does It Cover?”) should be pretty concise, and can therefore be among your shortest.

What has not changed is this: content quality always trumps length.

If you feel you’ve covered the topic, it’s always better to stop short before you’ve hit these targets than to add meaningless filler, repetition, etc. Any trick grade schoolers use to try to hit the word count in English class will annoy readers and hurt your content’s ranking.

2. Keywords

Still important.

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President & Founder Caylor Solutions Husband. Dad. Learner. Thinker. Branding, Marketing, Problem Solver for Education. Apostle's Creed. #highered #marketing

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Bart Caylor

Bart Caylor

President & Founder Caylor Solutions Husband. Dad. Learner. Thinker. Branding, Marketing, Problem Solver for Education. Apostle's Creed. #highered #marketing

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