It was exciting to attend last weeks’ joint IAPS/AMCIS Prep School Marketing Day conference and in particular to hear two of the school speakers sharing the success they’ve had with their own digital marketing.
Kirsty Hassan of Colston’s School in Bristol demonstrated the amazing results they had in filling their new Nursery with a very small budget and primarily a digital strategy (including social media and PPC advertising). Katherine Pomfret from St. Peter’s School in York showed us how she uses Google Analytics to continually guide – and refine – their marketing initiatives, resulting in some astounding and surprising results! It was really music to my ears. As a digital marketer and lover of data, it was fantastic to hear schools taking their marketing to the next level with digital and data and openly sharing their success with others.
Those that know me, know one of the first things I ask a school marketer when we chat is ‘Do you have Google Analytics on your school website?‘. So I thought I might just share a few surprising ways that Google Analytics can influence – and improve – your school marketing…
1. Find (and Convert) More Parents
Google analytics is perfect to learn what your ideal visitor looks like. Knowing how a parent found you and how they engaged with your website before converting can help you find, and convert, even more parents!
How to Use This Data?
- Put more time and resources into the traffic channels that drive the most conversions. For instance, if your Organic traffic gets the most Open Day registrants, look to improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) even more. If a particular social media channel provides the most conversions, focus there.
- Learn the keywords your converters are finding you on (yes, Google Analytics can tell you that) and incorporate more of those into your website content to expand your reach.
- If there was a particular page that most converters visit, or perhaps a document they download such as your prospectus, add a prominent link on every page to ensure you have the best possible chance of converting new visitors.
2. Personalise Your Marketing
Understanding your audience is the first step to effective marketing. Imagine if you discovered that 80% of visitors that converted were women between the ages of 35-55, on a mobile device, with the majority located in three of your neighbouring counties…
How to Use This Data?
- Ensure your website content is optimised for mobile. This is obvious for any user experience and your SEO rankings, but now that you know that’s the device your converters are on, it’s even more critical
- Personalise your content to your audience. Why not reference ‘Mums or Ladies’ in your content? Or add images that resonate with women?
- Use this demographic and geographic data to improve your digital advertising ROI by targeting your converters with the content that resonates with them as well as those geographic locations with the highest number of converters. (You’ll want to also analyse your existing parent postcodes to assist with your geo-targeting). I’m not saying you shouldn’t experiment with other locations, but perhaps look to put the majority of your ad budget where your converters live.
3. Change Your Visitors’ First Impression
When creating a school website lot of emphasis is placed your homepage to ensure your branding and key messages are strong. All your important areas and pages are prominently highlighted with links to their respective pages on your homepage. But what if your homepage wasn’t the only page parents were entering your school website on? Google Analytics can reveal those alternative Landing pages…
How to Use This Data?
- Ensure that your Landing pages are consistent with your brand and as engaging as possible. Remember it’s your visitors’ first impression.
- Check that your site navigation is just as easy as from the homepage and that those links/pages you’re looking to promote are just as prominent and accessible
4. Change Your Visitors’ Last Impression
Imagine if you knew where parents were more likely to leave your school website and could do something to change that? Well with Google Analytics you can! Uncover your most ‘popular’ Exit pages and develop your content to change your visitors’ last impression.
How to Use This Data?
- Add links to supporting pages. For example, if the last page visitors are on is your Fees page, you might want to add a link to your scholarships page. Make sure the last impression of your schools isn’t your fees.
- Include a link to your parent and student testimonials. We all know the power of word-of-mouth with schools. Think of testimonials as your digital WOM. You might even want to embed those testimonial videos right on your page.
Deciphering Google Analytics is a skill that every marketer should have. And it’s not as difficult as you’d think. You simply need to have a goal and then work backward to identify the data that will help you get there.
If you need a little assistance in getting started with Google Analytics or brushing up on any of your digital marketing skills, let’s chat.Let’s Chat
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