If you work in an online marketing role within higher education then you will no doubt bow down to one overlord in particular; the student lead. Student leads can be qualified by the number of visits from your target audience and then by your ability to turn those visits into conversions.
It’s a simple idea that hinges on the idea that the more traffic you drive to your website the more leads you generate and ultimately the more students that will descend upon your campus come orientation week. But how do you know for sure that you’re attracting the right traffic? Well, to attract the right traffic you need to understand your current traffic.
1. First stop, Google Analytics
To understand the behavior, source and value of your current traffic you need help from this one all-knowing tool. Google Analytics will tell you everything you need to know about where your traffic hails from, who referred them to your site, what information they are most interested in and what social media platform catapulted their visit. You can then determine what goals you want to set that will help you achieve your KPIs.
2. Develop or fine-tune your content strategy
A solid content strategy is the very foundation of your quest to generate quality leads. Without it, failure is imminent. Your content strategy should have one aim which is to help you figure out how content can help you achieve your organization’s goals. You probably already have a content strategy in place so your first step should be review this and see what’s working and what isn’t. What content are you wasting time with and what content are you missing? At this stage, you will have already used Google Analytics to better understand the behaviours and needs of your existing traffic so now you can audit your content. Find out what’s missing and what content you need to ditch!
3. Be smart about social media
We’ve all heard social media being lauded as the saviour to all business problems and you’re probably thinking- yes our university has a Facebook page, we tweet, we Instagram, what more do you want? We know your university probably has an active social media presence but are you completely confident that you are being seen, engaged and followed by your target audience? Maybe you’re killing it on Instagram but not sure if it’s worth your time getting on Pinterest? Are you getting the most out of each social media platform and are you delivering the right message to the right platform?
Never engage in social media without knowing who you are trying to engage with; carry out research first and then determine what content is going to offer the most value and interest to that particular demographic.
4. Go mobile!
If your website isn’t already optimized for mobile, then you’re already losing traffic and potential leads. It’s a fact; organizations who have switched to responsive have reported increases which vary as high as 50-200%.
5. Create more opportunities for conversions
It’s time for a website reconnaissance mission; find out what conversion opportunities your university website is currently offering students. Are they user-friendly? Are they easy to locate? Do they cover all possible bases? Be honest, is there room for improvement? Could you add live chat operators? More video content? Do you have links to relevant email addresses and forms to request further information? How easy is it for visitors to subscribe to your newsletter? Put yourself in your users shoes….if you find it hard to locate information then so do they!
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