SEO Series: Part 1 – Why SEO is Important to Educational Publishers

First published February 24, 2008

As the Internet becomes an increasingly mainstream part of everyone's life, connecting with educators, schools and districts online has never been more important to educational publishers than it is right now. Fortunately, the highly interactive nature of today's websites makes it easier than ever to facilitate conversations that highlight the need for your products and also draw visitors deep into your website to investigate your offerings.

But building a strong website isn't enough. K-12 educators and industry decision makers need to be able to easily find your products and services online. Neglecting search-engine optimization strategies (SEO) for your website, means limiting visits to your website and leaving educators unaware of the help that you offer.

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SEO Series: Part 2 – What is Search Engine Optimization Exactly?

First published February 26, 2008

SEO can take many forms but one time-tested strategy is evaluating the primary keywords that people enter into search engines to find relevant content. Make sure that those keywords appear multiple times in your page text. Strive to use those key words as frequently as you can while ensuring that your text still reads easily and naturally to your audience. You want to avoid "stuffing" keywords into your text artificially, however. Current recommendations are that keywords should comprise no more than four percent of your total text.

When automated programs from the search engines called "spiders" find your website, they create an index of words used on your web pages. The more frequently keywords appear on your pages, the more relevant  the search engine considers your page for those keywords and the higher it places the link to your website on the list. This is called "organic" search and is more valuable to a searcher than "paid" search links.

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4 Ways to Use Your Blog to Win Over Decision Makers

First published April 11, 2008

As you build up your company blog, one of the primary objectives is to provide information that satisfies the needs of your reader community – customers, prospects and influencers at school sites and district offices. You also want to promote your product offerings as solutions for your community.

On a traditional website, these objectives can be difficult to accomplish without your content coming across as shameless self-promotion. In a blog, the two goals can be done easily in a way that doesn’t turn your readers off.

Here are 4 ways to connect with your blog community while furthering your educational publishing company’s business aims.

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A New Conversation

First published June 2, 2008

One of the current strategies for K-12 education is differentiated instruction. Differentiation has always been a marketing strategy for businesses. Customers and prospects ask, "how are you different from your competitors and why should I care?"

How companies answered those questions has changed over time, however, the one-way nature of the communication has now been significantly altered by social media. Some companies have embraced the change and others have been sitting out and waiting either to understand the landscape better or to wait for it to change again.

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“Old Marketing” v. “New Marketing”

dollar-key.jpgFirst published September 14, 2008

Traditional marketing is still very much with us in K-12 publishing. Because of the institutional nature of our market, we still operate in “push” mode with direct mail, outbound sales, either in person or by phone, conferences, etc. For most K-12 publishers, sending occasional customer emails and offering online webinars and demos is as Web 2.0 as it gets. For educational publishers, it is still very much about filling the sales funnel moving prospects to customers through a multi-step process.

But even in educational publishing, this traditional model is giving way to something new. In traditional sales, the company was in charge of moving the process forward, and in the Web 2.0 world, the new driver is the customer.

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