After evaluating Stevenson’s current organic presence and website content, WebMechanix noticed three things:
- Their program pages were thin on helpful content. We needed a creative way to help answer prospective students’ questions without over-cluttering the program page content.
- Their blog posts were more focused on general topics than specific questions a person looking for a degree Stevenson offered might be searching. So the traffic wasn’t relevant or likely to convert to a student inquiry.
- Due to compliance standards in higher education, Stevenson was limited by how they could describe their programs on their programs pages. How they were allowed to represent their programs didn’t necessarily align with how prospective students searched for them
To solve this problem, we implemented a “Tier 2” page approach to content. The big idea was to create content on the blog (“Tier 2”) that would be helpful for a student in the middle of their journey to considering an online degree program.
Next, we would link to the “Tier 2” pages from the program (“Tier 1”) pages and vice versa. This would allow prospective students visiting the program pages to have added-value links they could follow to help with their decision-making process. And blog visitors would more likely be in the market for an online degree program, then be able to immediately learn more about Stevenson’s programs.
So how did we execute this strategy to make the biggest impact? We started by focusing on the “leading horses” — the top 6 programs for which Stevenson wanted to generate applications.
We then identified the primary keywords that we needed to rank those pages for, followed by related secondary keywords that would be the target keywords for the blog posts. During this phase, we also observed what content was already ranking for those keywords to get a baseline of what kind of content we would need to publish to compete.