Child care & daycare is big business. Many of these businesses are fiercely competitive, and they’re always looking for ways to get an edge.
SEO to the rescue (along with some other, non-search-related online marketing).
We don’t work with many daycare or childcare centers (only 2 so far) because we focus on local SEO for real estate and SEO for lawyers. But I think it’s one of the most often overlooked yet competitive (and, for an SEO, lucrative) business models out there.
So in that spirit, here’s how to do SEO for child care & daycare centers.
Location, location, location
In many (most?) cases, these daycare schools are located near office parks or other major business areas. So naturally, these schools want to attract parents of young children who work in those office parks/business areas.
There are 2 ways I’d recommend it.
Organic Local SEO
For purposes of demonstration, let’s pretend this school is in Worcester, MA near the Worcester Plaza. The first level of keyword targeting would include phrases like Daycare in Worcester MA, and Childcare near Worcester Plaza, etc.
Keep in mind that the competition results I discuss are based on the Worcester Plaza example. Therefore your mileage will vary depending on your daycare SEO client’s location.
If you google the phrases I mentioned above—Daycare in Worcester MA and Childcare near Worcester Plaza—you’ll see that the competition is already pretty tough. We’ll have some work to do.
Care.com will be especially difficult to beat, and maybe Yelp too.
Off the top of my head, I’d say that the other results—NGC Centers, Bright Horizons, Garden City, BCLC, etc—will all be fairly easy to beat if we’re publishing the right material.
Those sites have all managed to rank their homepages. That’s impressive for them, but it means Google is essentially grading their whole website as a good fit for these search queries. Again, nice work on their part.
But FOR US, it means that a few targeted individual pages can probably overtake those generic homepage results.
What to publish
A blog post-style page on our client’s website listing and describing other schools in the area. This is exactly what Care.com and Yelp are doing.
Why should we do it too, when Care and Yelp are already doing it, especially when it would mean providing additional exposure for our competition? Because it works.
This list blog post can easily be styled to be helpful for users while still driving leads to convert for our client, rather than driving them to the client’s competitors. More on that later.
And, perhaps most importantly, because Google tries to reward authority—not just words that match a search query, but the best answer to the search query.
And the fact that our client will themselves BE an answer to the “childcare in Worcester” query AND they’re talking all ABOUT “childcare in Worcester” is a double-whammy and a quick win.
Fair warning: this one is a manual process, and it’s tedious (read: time-consuming, and therefore potentially costly).
And some of this will depend on the office park in question, and some bits of information may be easier to get than others.
If it works, it can generate a list of EXACTLY who we should be targeting. As in…we’ll know their name, email address, and employer.
Sticking with the Worcester Plaza example, check out this page of their directory. Best I can tell, these directory pages constitute a list of all of Worcester Plaza’s tenants.
These lists are a goldmine.
They hand over a comprehensive list of all the employers of the people we’re trying to reach.
Skip down a few on that page, and we find Cellceutix Corporation (I just skimmed and picked one at random). Then hop over to LinkedIn and we can easily do a search for people who list their employer as Cellceutix Corporation.
When you log into LinkedIn, click Advanced at the top, next to the Search bar. You should get something like this:
Center column, halfway down, click Current Company, then hit +Add.
Type or paste in Cellceutix Corporation, and you should see a little box pop up just beneath the Current Company field.
Click the box, and hit the blue Search button at bottom left, and you’ll see a list of current employees. That list can be filtered by location to be sure these folks work in the Worcester office.
From there, we have a number of options on reaching these people. It gets a little complicated, and it depends on the marketing strategy, but hopefully you can see where I’m going with this: it’s possible to reach people directly.
No sense in wasting time or money marketing to the wrong people. If we can identify, say, 100 young parents who work across the street from the client, we can and should spend the majority of our effort trying to reach those 100 people.
It’s a ready-made audience.