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DIY: Search Engine Performance Audit for Branded Search
Red Abbott

Because Google is pulling so much content about schools onto the results page, we talk a lot at Finalsite about the "search impression" — the impression that you make on people even before your homepage gets to make that amazing "first impression."

There are some aspects of that search impression that you can influence or control, including the way your school's website displays and performs in traditional search results, as well as in search elements powered by Google's Knowledge graph.

Thayer Search Engine

To help you evaluate how well you're doing, we've devised this easy, 9-question DIY audit.

Let's see how you score on this little self-exam to determine where you should work to improve.

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First, Google your school by name:

First: Google Your School's Name

Then, answer the following:

Search Performance

1. Are you the top result?

(Y=10, N=0 and go sit by the river and have a good cry)

2. Are the headline and body of your result coming from your home page's title and meta description tag?

(Y=5, N=0, I don't know=-3)

3. Does your result have sitelinks to top pages like Admissions and Employment?

(Y=5, N=3 – not really your fault!)

Google Sitelinks

Knowledge Panel

4. Is there a Knowledge panel for the school on the right? (Y=10, N=0)

CCDS Knowledge Panel

5. Is the image one that you currently control? (Y=5, N=0)

6. Is a map with the correct location showing up next to the image? (Y=5, N=0)

7. Are there correct details listed in the panel? (Y=5, N=0)

8. Do you have as many social badges in your search engine result as you have social networks? (Y=5, N=0)

What does my score mean?

Below 25: Needs serious attention.

25-49: You're doing some things right, and with some minor adjustments, you could be on your way!

50: Perfect. You rock!

Did you score less-than-perfect? Start a conversation with one of our SEO consultants today.

Social Engine Marketing Services


Red Abbott


Red leads our team of experts who have your back when it comes to organic online searches and ads. With a long history in independent schools — as an alum, former teacher, dorm parent, coach, and now a current parent — his passion for helping you is rooted deep in his own experiences. Alongside his degree in engineering and a master's in school leadership, it's easy to see why clients say Red "gets them" when they discuss marketing strategy!


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