​Online courses are in high demand, but marketing teams aren't doing their best to convert site visitors into students.

​Back-to-school shopping starts earlier than ever before, presenting new opportunities for marketers to produce meaningful online content that drives additional sales. Brafton previously reported on the volume of educators and students engaging on Twitter and how social media marketing may be able to attract their attention. With more than 1 million college students active on the site, largely from their mobile phones, brands​ can attract a lot of attention with social media content. However, marketers ​cannot solely think of Twitte​r​​ ​when optimizing campaigns for mobile marketing.

Google revealed new research during its first Hangout on Air for Google’s education team. According to recent evaluation, demand for education info on Google’s search engine increased 4 percent year-over-year. In many instances, branded keywords have led prospects to educational websites. While mobile queries for traditional schools remai​n​ strong, significant traffic has found its way to online programs related to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Interest toward those education systems rose 142 percent year-over-year.

While there’s still caution about the validity of MOOCs, search upticks prove that more people are considering these options during their research process. This creates new marketing opportunities for organizations looking to grow class size, expand offerings and impact their bottom lines. Institutions may not be doing all they could to convert leads, either. Because of such a drastic increase in search volume, MOOC programs must develop effective content marketing strategies to provide site visitors with more information about course offerings. Content can help.

Mobile may be a key channel on which educational institutions can leverage their unique marketing collateral. Mobile queries around education increased 48 percent year-over-year. Brands can step into new professional territories when they keep abreast of evolutions in search and consumer sentiment, but they must have smart marketing strategies to support growth.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.