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International Education Course Search SEO Digital Marketing

Organic Destination/Course Search vs Paid Offshore Promotional Events/Campaigns.

SEO organic inbound search results versus paid or sponsored outbound.  What is the difference between paid ‘outbound’ conventional events or digital campaigns via AdWords etc., and organic ‘inbound’ SEO for course and destination search?  Why use SEO techniques as part of the marketing mix versus campaigns or events?



Google search results for generic search has paid ‘outbound’ adverts on right and top, while the main game are the trusted ‘inbound’ organic search results all year round due to well SEO website.


Inbound Organic SEO Marketing – Outbound Paid (Digital) Marketing Campaigns

21st century main game  –  20th century redundant

Bottom up  –  Top down

Inbound digital skills  –  Physical size and budget

Informed by client feedback  –  Informed by management

Direct access to MIS/analytics  –  Managed by ‘web marketing team’

Authentic marketing content  – Official advertising copy

Know how and digital culture  –  Administrative management ‘box ticking’

Resources on multiple channels  –  Gambling resources on one channel

Access to many diverse markets  –  Focus on fewer big markets

Multiple markets simultaneously –  Physical location at one time

Highly targetted  –  Vague correlation

Long term marketing  –  Short term sales

Grow market ‘cake’  –  Preserve market ‘cake’

Lower but relevant traffic  –  Higher untargetted traffic/interest

Custom search results  –  Promoting or pushing school

Economic over time  –  Expensive ‘one off’ budget

Accumulating marketing content  –  Use by date on marketing materials

Continuous activity –  Stop/start

Objective outlook  –  Subjective outlook

Rich qualitative market intelligence  –  Quantitative data (if analysed)

Evaluation of ongoing quantitative  –  Evaluation of campaign or ‘event’

Organic  –  Artificial

Cumulative increase in visibility  –  ‘One- off’ event or ‘spike’

Open and transparent  –  Closed and opaque

Multilingual  –  Mostly English only

All state bodies and institutions’ international marketing should be encouraged to conduct emerging market development, not mature market development where there is already visiblity.

This should include producing a comprehensive digital and SEO marketing strategy outlining who is responsible, architecture of their web and social media networks, digital KPIs, development of ‘marketing content’ and incidental or related media releases (for website, blogs and social media) informed by students and stakeholders, that can be found online internationally.

Examples of stakeholders include prospective or existing students, faculty, agents, admissions, international managers and IT/web teams, in relevant languages, focused on course and destination search optimisation or SEO, with goals/targets analysed via analytics, and on campus students asked ‘how did you find us and which online channels did you use?’.

For more information and resources in international education marketing click through.

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