Enroll Media Group Blog

Prepare Your School for Google’s AI Search

Dec 12, 2023 6:45:00 AM / by Alec Wall

Earlier this year Google introduced an experimental AI search feature called Search Generative Experience (SGE)  via its Labs platform. Combining traditional Google Search with a conversational function similar to Microsoft's ChatGPT or Bing's Copilot, SGE uses AI to synthesize information from the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) into an easily digestible summary at the top of the page, and allows the user to ask follow-up questions directly within Google Search.

This experimental feature is only available through December, but it appears to be a matter of when, not if, Google will enable SGE as a permanent feature. With the majority of parents beginning their private school searches on  Google, AI search has significant implications for independent schools. Not only will information gleaned from your school’s website, Wikipedia page, and other online directories appear at the top of the results page, but users will be able to find the answers to common questions like,  “how much is tuition?” or “what is the student: teacher ratio?” without leaving Google.

With AI search on the horizon, here are some tips to make sure your school is ready for this shift in the way prospective parents obtain information about your school. 


Login to Google Search Labs and conduct a search for your school using  generative AI search

  • Prior to December 31, go to labs.google.com/search
  • Sign in with a  personal Gmail account (you cannot use a school email or other business account) 
  • Toggle the slider on the “SGE, Generative AI in Search” card to “ON”

  • Open a new tab and conduct a Google Search for your school  
  • Above the search results, click the “Generate” button next to “Get an AI-powered overview for this search?”

  • Audit your School's search results and ask a few questions

Prioritize Local SEO to ensure the information that appears for your school is accurate

Local (or Off-Page) SEO is the process of optimizing your online presence to improve search visibility. This includes making sure that information about your school is up-to-date and consistent across Wikipedia and the most common business and education directories—Google Business Profile, Yelp, greatschools.org, niche.com, privateschoolreview.com, boardingschoolreview.com, etc. Key information to audit across these channels includes tuition, student: teacher ratio, enrollment, school hours (when is someone available to answer the phone?) and admissions contact information.

Solicit Online Reviews

Optimizing your school’s online presence includes soliciting reviews from parents and alums. Whereas auditing education and business directories is critical to ensure accurate information appears when users search for your school directly,  AI search results for non-brand searches like “best schools in Massachusetts” or “private schools near me” include Google reviews for the schools that appear.  Reviews on Google, Facebook, and school directory sites also positively impact SEO and search visibility. For best practices on asking for reviews,  read our guide to managing your school's online reviews

Need help with Local SEO? Contact EMG about a Local SEO Audit.

Topics: Local SEO, independent schools, digital marketing, Nonprofit Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, K-12, google, AI

Alec Wall

Written by Alec Wall

Alec is a Senior Account Manager and Marketing Strategist at EMG with over 10 years of independent school experience as a teacher, coach, advisor, dorm parent, director of financial aid, and director of admissions.

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