Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves a great number of tactics, each designed to help a given website improve upon their organic rankings in search results. There are a countless number SEO tactics, ranging from on-page keyword placement, to avoiding 404 (page not found) messages, to creating “link bait” such as infographic, viral videos and great blog posts. It is rare, however, for an SEO tactic to provide as many potential benefits to a business as that of starting a scholarship fund. Here is why we consider scholarships and SEO a “Win-Win-Win Situation”:
Win # 1: SEO Benefits
“Link bait” like that mentioned above is created in order to entice other sites to link back to your web site so that the site benefits from the “link juice” those links pass on. The key is to attract links from quality sites with lots of link juice. Educational sites (.edu) and nonprofit organization sites (.org) tend to have great link juice due in large part to their authority on various topics, as well as their overall “trustworthiness” (other quality sites are more likely to link to them). In addition, scholarship database sites and news sites often have good link juice as well. All of these types of sites are often more than willing to link to information about a scholarship – which brings a LOT of link juice for a site. Subsequent blog posts and articles can also highlight the often touching stories about scholarship recipients, which provides… even more great link bait!
Win # 2: Business Benefits
In addition to the SEO-benefits described above, a scholarship fund will provide businesses with a number of other benefits. These business-related benefits include: enhancing the corporation’s reputation with consumers; creating a strong connection with future talent (scholars); improving employee morale; as well as potentially receiving tax benefits.
Win # 3: Philanthropic Benefits
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it feels great! Helping students get their college degree is very satisfying, especially if the scholarship is geared towards those entering the field most associated with the business (because employees can identify with the scholars).
Regardless of which “winning” aspect above provides the most motivation to start a scholarship fund, it is clear that doing so will provide a number of potential benefits for those that employ this tactic. Starting a scholarship is not without its costs though (the amount the scholarship, the time to set it up and potentially administer it, etc.) and should therefore be fully thought through before attempting. Still, with so many potential “wins” for a business, its web site, and society as a whole, starting a scholarship fund should be high on any list of SEO tactics.
Randy Brians is a former scholarship program administrator and is currently a Senior Online Marketing Consultant at Sparkplug Digital. Randy welcomes questions or comments here or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org