How to Get More Applicants for Your Private School with Inbound Marketing

How to Get More Applicants for Your Private School with Inbound Marketing

April 13, 2021
(Reading time: 4 - 8 minutes)

Even if a school is doing everything right, it does not always follow that people have heard about them or the things they are doing. Worse, the surrounding communities and families they want to target the most may not be aware of their existence. 

In such a scenario, and if there is a consensus within your school organization that a more robust and effective marketing plan must be implemented to attract more applicants, then one of the strategies you ought to consider to include is inbound marketing – along with other strategies for that matter. 

Here is how inbound marketing goes. 

What Is Inbound Marketing?

What is inbound marketing, and how is it effectively implemented for private schools? 

You may have a bit of an idea about private school marketing for both offline and digital approaches and have been doing it for quite a bit of time now. Still, you may also need to focus on some strategies that may produce better results for institutions like the one you are running. In that regard, one strategy you can consider quite carefully is inbound school marketing. 

Inbound marketing per se is the process of marketing to potential customers who have already sought you out. It is called inbound because they come to you out of their own volition after engaging with your content. In other words, it is a process of attracting your prospective parents and students. 

This is in contrast with attracting cold prospects, which are what traditional outbound marketing strategies are attracting. Examples of outbound strategies are direct mail, billboards, and brochures. 

Inbound contacts are labeled as warm contacts, meaning that they are potential parents and students who have engaged with a company’s content. 

How can this strategy help with your independent school marketing? 

Your school has a website where you put videos, images, and other types of posts. You have that site, and other schools have their websites, too. 

The thing is, these are your competitors, and they know how to leverage the power of their websites to attract more applicants and build revenues for their operations. 

They specifically do with that website power is content marketing, which plays a huge role in inbound marketing for schools and other types of businesses. The trick is that you create content that people are searching for, and for you specifically, that means creating content that your target audience/families/students/communities are searching for. 

Inbound marketing for schools starts with the idea of working out strategies that should be based on how Google searches work for businesses because it is through Google that most people search for products and services. When they use Google for this purpose, they use keywords related to their purpose. 

Google loves keywords, and if it crawls through your content and your content contains the keywords that are used in a search, the searcher will be shown several pages of search results. You definitely would like to be at the top of these search results, so more traffic will be drawn to your site. 

This is basically how the inbound system works. 

The Inbound Strategy that Is Keyword

Now that you know a little about Google search, content marketing, keywords, and how these things can be taken advantage of as useful marketing ideas for private schools, let’s explore more on finding the right keywords for you to use and the dos and don’ts for that. Then we can move to other topics under inbound marketing. 

First, research is key in finding the right keyword for your business. You would want to find a keyword that is frequently used or at least being used in the area of your operations. 

On the other hand, you also consider the fact that digital content is fairly a saturated market these days. So, you may also play on keywords that don’t have too much competition as well. 

Once you found the right keyword, you would go on to create content for that keyword. Let us say you are writing a blog post. You would want that post to be as optimized as possible based on the keyword you have chosen and for search engines. Once that is done, you proceed to post your new content, hoping that your potential customers will discover it during their search. 

Including your keyword throughout the blog post is part of the strategy you can try. Insert it wherever it feels natural. Just avoid keyword stuffing because search engines hate the practice, and they will punish your site for that, which will also make your entire effort worthless. 

Places to add the keyword include:

  • Title
  • Headers
  • Slugs
  • Alt texts in any images
  • Meta description

This makes the post be easily found in the gigantic sea of other blog posts. 

An example would be appropriate here at this point. Let us suppose that your school is located in the North Central Phoenix area.  You would want some keywords like North Central Phoenix private schools to use, which is a logical option to use. 

However, it makes sense to check out with the Google browser first and type in this keyword into the search box. You will find that as you write this keyword, the box automatically shows suggested search keywords related to the one you are typing. 

In this example, the dropdown list may include Phoenix private high schools, phoenix private schools, and so on. The suggested keywords are the most popular keywords related to the search. You can also include these other keywords in your posts to increase your chances of being selected by Google and placed on top of its search result pages. 

When all is done concerning the keyword, you are now ready to post your blog. Do not forget to use several platforms, such as social media. Not only does it aid you with your relevancy, which is another important point to focus on for a more strategic inbound marketing for school planning. It will also open doors for sharing your content whenever your online followers feel the need to do so. 

Fortifying Inbound Marketing for Private Schools

When the basics are already in place, do not think that it is already the entire job you need to do. Marketing is an ongoing task, an ongoing process, and for inbound marketing, in particular, there are other areas that you need to keep an eye on. 

When you talk to a specialist looking for the best ways to market private schools, he will bring to the table several other strategies you can use, including: 

Responsive website

You need to have a responsive website design. This makes sure that your web pages render well on a variety of devices and screen sizes. 

A responsive design also ensures that the various elements you have on your pages adapt to the screen size of different devices such as desktop computers, tablet PCs, and Smartphones. This way, parents and students can seamlessly navigate your web pages to get the information they need quickly. 

Content Hub

A content hub, hub page, or pillar page is a page on a website containing content related to a central topic, in your case, the services you offer. It allows linking back several pages to a central hub. 

The benefits of this marketing tactic are:

  • Increased engagement
  • Increased web traffic
  • Lead Generation
  • Increased time on site

When students visiting your website want to quickly know how your website works and how they can access the specific information they need, they can simply refer to your central hub and click a link there. 

Search Engine Optimization 

Keywords are important for search engine optimization, which is the process by which you make your site and its individual pages relevant and visible to both search engines and search engine users. But keywords are not the only things to consider for search engine optimization. 

In search engine optimization, you also have to consider high-quality and relevant content, website user experience, social media branding, among others.

Video Content 

Videos provide a powerful, compelling way to present your school to prospective applicants. Telling your school’s story through videos is a more effective way to convey your message and to present the milestones your organizations have achieved in the past than simply telling it using text. 

Local directories 

There are many of these directories available for users to write reviews about your schools. Register your private school in several local directories. Still, you want to always make sure to provide updated information on your services and encourage your student’s parents to provide a steady stream of positive reviews. 

Check out Private School Review and Great Schools to start with. 


What you have done in the past may have worked wonders, but things evolve, and the way we discover information changes. What we have provided you here is hopefully an evergreen or long-lasting guide that you can use for your private school inbound marketing.

If you are looking for help marketing your school, reach out to us. We would be happy to offer a free consultation.

Adam Bennett

Written by:  |  April 13, 2021

Adam is the president and founder of Cube Creative Design and specializes in private school marketing. Since starting the business in 2005, he has created individual relationships with clients in Western North Carolina and across the United States. He places great value on the needs, expectations, and goals of the client.

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