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Internet Marketing and Web Development in Higher Education and other tidbits…

Missed Opportunities for College Dorm Searches, Part 1

10 Jul 2008

written by Kyle James

Missed Opportunities for College Dorm Searches, Part 1

college dorm life Missed Opportunities for College Dorm Searches, Part 1Over on FJ’s Higher Education Photography for Recruitment Blog he just made an excellent post about Missed Opportunity for Higher Ed.  I wasn’t even half way through his short but valuable post before light bulbs started going off in my head.  (Hey FJ thanks for the mention and hopefully this post will help fulfill some of this indepth SEO you claim I have)  Picture to the right was take from FJ’s blog and if your college is interested in Higher Education Photography Wofford hasn’t used FJ, but I’ve heard nothing but great things from lots of credible sources.

So here’s FJ’s juicy tidbit:

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about Dorm Room Photos and since then the traffic to the blog has seen a steady increase in keyword activity surrounded by the search term “dorm” I have seen this in the past, as there are trickles of visitors throughout the year coming from “dorm” but nothing like the traffic during the summer, year over year..

College Dorm Searches To Drive Traffic

keywords college dorm 150x150 Missed Opportunities for College Dorm Searches, Part 1

So what exactly do you do with that information? Well first off you need to know which keywords are bringing which traffic and how competitive ranking for each keyword will be.  Luckily just this week on the Google Inside AdWords blog a game changing update was released, Keyword Tool updated with search volume data. I guess it’s not so much gamechanging because there are a lot of pay tools available that do this already, but more game changer because it’s official information from Google and because it’s free.  When something is free it has a way of being more widely used by individuals. I’ve been thinking about this upgrade and how to explain it and FJ’s post gave me the perfect example.  So doing a quick search on “college dorm” returns a chart that looks like the following.  (Click on the picture to the right to view it full size)

additional keywords college dorm Missed Opportunities for College Dorm Searches, Part 1
Some related Searches for College Dorm

Note: You do not need to have an AdWords account to use the Keyword Tool, but it’s a little tricky to find.  Here’s a link to the Adwords Keyword Tool.

College dorm returns over 60,000 monthly searches, HOLY COW!  That’s actually a fairly valuable search term and the tool returns a whole list of other search terms that you can take a look at to gain a little better idea about the competitive environment and maybe something more specific to your school.  Also at the bottom of the produced list is additional keywords to consider, who would have “thunk it” that dorm décor would result in over 40,000 searches per month?

Just as another note I typed in college dorm into Google and I didn’t see a search result on an edu site until page four.  Congratulations Reed College!

I’ll let this knowledge sink in for a few days and I’d love to hear other people’s creative ideas about how to capitalize this knowledge before posting a follow-up post next week.

The content of this post is licensed: The post is released under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa 3.0 license


About the author

Kyle James

Kyle is the CEO & Co-Founder at nuCloud and formerly the webmaster at Wofford College. He also spent almost 4 years at HubSpot doing a range of jobs including inbound marketing consulting, sales, management, and product management.  Kyle is an active contributor in the social media spectrum. Although his background is technical, he claims to know a thing or two about marketing, but mostly that revolves around SEO, analytics, blogging, and social media. He has spoken at multiple national conferences and done countless webinars on topics ranging from e-mail marketing to social media and Web analytics. He's definitely a fairly nice guy.

Ways to Connect with Kyle

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This post was written by - who has written 274 posts on .eduGuru


  • http:unassigned.blogspot.com Jamie Hastings-Smith

    This is ‘Post-It’, why didn’t I think of this first, type stuff.

    I have just been floored by how “we” in the industry have just dropped the ball.

    And, FJ does Excellent work.

  • http://doteduguru.com/ Kyle James

    @Jamie – I totally agree. We’ve already begun optimizing for this page and I did a bunch of research for other pages that could use the same sort of work. Now I’m in sort of a catch-22 because I feel a little obligated to report what I’ve done, but not ready to give out these secrets until our work has a little of a head start.

  • http://www.fjgaylor.blogspot.com Joe Gaylor

    Hey talk about valuable info for free!!! Ha… Great stuff. Brad and Eric Stoller brought up some great points about the whole “dorm” keyword issue, talking about administrators switching the “dorm” to “residence halls” even though we all know that kids and everyone outside the ivory towers call them what they are, DORMS

  • http://www.mynextcollege.com/college-reviews College Reviews

    Google’s free KW tool is better than the paid versions fromother companies because it comes from the Beast itself, and there is no cost.

    Great tips.

  • http://www.stuvu.com StuVu

    Hi, I stumbled across your post and found it really interesting. At StuVu.com we provide college reviews of campuses from the students who go there. We get reviews on everything from dorm rooms to cafeteria food, but we haven’t seen the spike in dorm traffic yet since we just launched last October. It will be interesting to see if there is such a spike over the summer as kids get ready for college. Thanks for the info.

  • Jennifer

    One other way is to talk to the actual students living in the dorms. I know this sounds a little creepy, but to gather the best experience is to talk to someone. With the social web 2.0, you can almost communicate with anyone these days without having to physical interact with them. But also, I mean if you are going to that college, it might be worth to check out the dorms in person. College Stories

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