Most students use search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo to find websites for student accommodation. Competition for the pole positions is fierce, as users rarely take a look beyond the top ten results. Each website needs an individualised search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy in order to harness its full potential and to boost its ranking. However, there are a few easy steps that can help to improve your Studentpad platform's performance in modern search engines.
Integrate links to your Studentpad platform in all your service pages for students
Your institution's accommodation website is the most important source of information on student housing in your area. Most students will browse your pages and contact you when they look for a place to stay. Thus, you should place a link to your Studentpad platform at a spot that is hard to miss for a site visitor, e.g. in an info-box on the left or right side of your main page or the sub pages on private student accommodation. This ensures that students will learn about your Studentpad platform when they search for help on your website and subsequently increase traffic between the two spots.
Another importan place that should have a link to your Studentpad platform are your international office's web pages. Many overseas students need to secure student accommodation before they arrive and search for appropriate properties on the Internet and often browse their uni's international office's web presences for this purpose. Providing them with a link to your Studentpad platform helps them to find a student room quickly.
Your institution's student union may also agree to include a link on their advice pages on student accommodation. If possible, any of your institution's and related organisation's web sites that might have information on student accommodation should have a link to your Studentpad platform, in order to raise awareness among students and maximise traffic.
Use the right keywords in the right way (i.e. avoid "keyword stuffing")
Links to your Studentpad websites should be embedded in short pieces of texts that include the most relevant keywords and -phrases, i.e. "student accommodation", "student rooms", "student housing", and the name of your institution. For example, a link to Edinburgh Studentpad on the university's accommodation page could look like this (with the entire paragraph marked as a link):
"Looking for a room in Edinburgh? Find student accommodation on Edinburgh University's Studentpad platform. Students can register for free!"
Relevant search phrases must be included but in a natural, organic manner; modern search algorithms ignore mechanically generated keyword chains that do not read like a "normal" text (e.g. "Students find student accommodation in Edinburgh with Edinburgh Studentpad. It lists student accommodation in Edinburgh. If you are looking for student accommodation visit Edinburgh Studentpad").
Tell people about your Studentpad Platform
It is also very important to spread the word mouth-to-mouth and inform students about your Studentpad platform whenever they seek advice on finding new student accommodation in your office. Additionally, you could provide printed brochures, flyers, and posters that tell students about the platforms functionality and services. The web is not isolated from "offline" life and classic marketing can significantly boost traffic on a website, i.e. th number of individual visitors that it receives.
Do regular checks on your SEO performance
The Internet is not static. It constantly changes and evolves. The same applies to your Studentpad platform and its performance on modern search engines. It is therefore recommendable to check its search ranks for relevant keywords and general page rank on e.g. Google regularly and to adopt adjustements to its content and structure, if necessary.
We at the Pad Group aspire to be always on top of the latest trends in the area of student accommodation management software and we will help you to get the most out of your Studentpad platform, including its search engine optimisation. Any questions? Do not hesitate to ask!