Let me begin by mentioning that I have been doing Internet marketing for secondary schools' websites for more than 6 years. Recently, it has become increasingly common to see schools making some very serious mistakes in regards to Internet marketing. For instance, it is common to see schools using some sort of lead generation company to boost their leads.

These lead generation companies may seem convenient, but they often use unethical methods to produce bad quality leads for the school. Observing these unethical methods and the problems arise from them, as well as seeing other easily avoidable pit falls prompted me to write this article about the top 5 mistakes that schools make with regards to Internet Marketing.

1. Out of convenience, schools often hire the same company they purchase leads from to perform SEO services as well. This presents a terrible conflict of interest and might be the biggest mistake you can make since the company you are hiring is actually your biggest competitor for the keywords you would like to rank for. If they are selling the school leads, it is naturally in their best interest to outrank the school’s site and sell the leads the school would otherwise be getting by optimizing its own site.

2. Schools rarely monitor what lead aggregation companies are doing to produce the leads that they sell to the school. It very is important for a school to monitor exactly how a lead gen company gets its results because buy hiring that company, a school is essentially inviting them (and their 1000’s of affiliates) to create a permanent footprint in the search engines responses for the school’s name and major keywords.

Some tactics these companies commonly use involve bidding on the school’s name in pay per click campaigns, making dummy sites that mimic the school’s official website, and buying and redirecting mis-spellings of the school’s domain name. All of these common practices potentially damage the school's organic rankings and ability to generate their own leads. Even if a school ends their affiliation with the lead generation company, the old results will linger for years further hampering organic lead generation.

3. Schools often agree to let their web designers do SEO for them as well as design their websites. Many web designers claim they are effective Internet marketers when they actuality have little to no experience in the industry and certainly do not have enough time to keep up with the latest trends and methods. Subsequently, many schools believe they have an in-house expert managing their websites when they do not. While the core principals of Internet marketing are fairly basic, the industry is constantly changing and evolving making it extremely difficult for all but the most dedicated marketers to keep ahead of the curve.

4. Many schools use one company for their entire Internet marketing needs instead of using separate companies that focus on a certain aspect. Just because a company says they can do anything doesn’t mean they can do everything well. Often, the company has a core service (typically web design or lead generation) and “branches out” to other areas including SEO. Having a web design company do SEO is the equivalent of having a really good electrician who dabbles in plumbing do all the plumbing in a school. Good organic results for the competitive keywords that schools often go after are extremely hard to achieve. Attaining those number one rankings is not a job for a company that only dabbles in real SEO.

5. Nine out of ten Schools are not optimized correctly for the search engines to index them thoroughly, let alone to achieve high rankings once they are indexed. This is because out of the few schools that do incorporate Internet marketing focus a bulk of their efforts on buying traffic via Pay Per click instead of focusing on raising their rankings organically. This is mistake organic rankings lead to higher quality leads and is a better overall long term strategy.

Author's Bio: 

Phil Laboon, CEO and founder of Eyeflow Internet Marketing. Eyeflow is a search engine optimization firm that specializes in organic Internet marketing for secondary schools and colleges across the country. To learn more on how to protect your school from lead generation companies as well as how to increase the natural search engine traffic to your website visit Eyeflow.com or call Phil directly at 1-866-849-0740.