Post Secondary Institutions: Industry Challenges
Post-secondary education institutions, including colleges, universities, and trade schools, are often unaware of where their digital marketing efforts are finding success – or falling flat. It can be overwhelming to narrow down which key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure and how to interpret the results.
College and universities often see SEO (search engine optimization) work as driving traffic towards one, specific goal, such as increasing enrollment among certain demographics or enhancing brand awareness in a particular geographic target. And while we at DriveTraffic love specific goals, we also know that a strong digital marketing effort has many payoffs. Like using SEO not to drive a demographic target audience but to understand what your target audience is searching for on Google – and how YOU can get noticed as a result. Digital media dominates the lives of students – aka your client group. They’re talking to Alexa all the time. Shouldn’t you talk back? It’s time to get ahead of the trend instead of simply playing catch up!
Search Engine Optimization Strategies for Post Secondary Institutions
Improved search engine optimization isn’t just about increasing student applications and enrollments. It’s also about improving communication with existing and potential students, making the user experience easier, reducing student stress, and improving the functionality of online services, like paying tuition and switching classes.
Great SEO work doesn’t just think about the target audience. It also focused on your team, including your academic and administrative staff. The right SEO work can reveal what students are struggling with and where they’re getting stuck, reducing needless calls and emails to professors, as well as help parents complete online work with ease, reducing bottlenecks for the admissions staff.
At DriveTraffic, we always say that there is so much more to SEO work than simply stuffing in some key phrases and calling it a day. It’s about quality content that you can be proud of and, for a post-secondary institution, that means content that reflects your school’s spirit, history, and traditions. We will never let SEO strategies conflict with your core identity.
The first step in developing a comprehensive SEO strategy is a conversation. We would like to know about your business goals (For which programs are you trying to gain more enrollment? What are the most common questions that get asked on your website?) From there we will propose a website audit. We’ll be looking at your analytics setup, ensuring you have Google Search Console, and assessing your content’s strengths and weaknesses. We’ll also look at developing keywords and content strategies for the different problems your audience is likely to have. Do you know what your potential students are searching for? Are they searching by keyboard or voice? And are you making the right moves to be their top result?
Making a Difference With Google Ads
For years, large post-secondary institutions have known that social media is essentially a paid platform. No progress is made for free and investments in social media boosts and ads are essential. But when it comes to utilizing the full breadth of tools and options for Google Ads, universities are behind the ball – and their entire digital marketing work is suffering as a result.
Very few post-secondary institutions take full advantage of all the tools that Google offers, including Google Tag Manager which allows for the tracking of additional types of goals in Google Analytics. As a Google Ads specialist, we make sure that your advertisements are fully supported and optimized through the full set of resources that Google has to offer. We can help with tracking, training, and analyzing, empowering your team and giving you the best possible results.
At DriveTraffic Digital Marketing, setting up different goals and metrics to track and assess is part of what we call the Google Dance. We’re not just measuring your traffic – we’re ensuring your Google Analytics is properly set up, complete with goals, so every campaign, platform, and promotion is being monitored and analyzed for maximum efficiency and return on investment.
Keeping Up with KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
As a boutique digital marketing agency, we know that responsiveness and results are everything to our clients. You need results and you need the flexibility to pivot as your goals evolve and your strategy matures. This is especially applicable to post-secondary institutions who are answerable to board members. Strong ROI is everything! We understand that you’re not a business – but you have to operate like one when it comes to your marketing budget.
We go beyond simple website traffic and clicks when it comes to measuring key performance indicators or KPIs. We’ll be measuring the time spent on each page, the progress of returning visitors and charting a path to see where your website traffic comes from, where it goes when it visits your website, and what obstacles it hits along the way. We work with you to establish a comprehensive, measurable set of Google Goals and we’ll monitor the ongoing progress of said goals on a monthly basis.
The health and success of your Google Goals are supported by a comprehensive editorial calendar, essential for keeping everything running smoothly on all channels and planning ahead for seasonable targets.