Google Analytics is an undeniably powerful marketing tool. In many ways it’s kind of like a fortune teller; it can make predictions about the future, remind you about the mistakes you’ve made in the past and warn you against making the same errors in judgement again.
The major difference between Google Analytics and a fortune teller is that its predictions are based on measurable facts and not the word of a psychic wielding a crystal ball.
Google Analytics can show you what the traffic to your website is like for any given hour, day, week, month or year. It can tell you what’s driving this traffic, what pages or campaigns are on the receiving end of the most traffic, who your visitors are and where they’re coming from.
Specifically for universities, it can tell you whether a particular social media campaign was responsible for driving visitors to your website, what courses are attracting the most visitors and equally important, what courses aren’t getting enough clicks.
Let me ask you how important do you think it is to be able to see how many prospects you have at each stage of admissions or how many visitors are abandoning your website at each stage? What about finding out exactly how hard your social media accounts are working for you? All pretty useful information to have at your finger tips, right?
The above questions are all questions that marketing heads in higher education need to be asking and more importantly need to have the answers to.
The benefits of Google Analytics to higher education institutions are endless but how many universities and colleges are actually using it?
The ability to track, measure and analyze data from across your websites is something that traditional businesses have long since subscribed to. However, higher education institutions have been a lot slower getting on board with the merits of Google Analytics. It can be used to gather powerful data which can then be used to dictate where you invest in your future marketing efforts. Higher education marketers who aren’t using Google Analytics are really only making things harder for themselves. Sure, a good handle on your Google Analytics account won’t automatically guarantee the success of your marketing campaigns but what it does do is help you gauge what’s working and what isn’t allowing you to focus your energies on marketing activities that are most advantageous to your university.
We’re really interested in this whole area of measurement and analytics in higher education. We would love to do a series on examples of colleges and universities who are doing exciting things with Google Analytics. Let us know in the comments below or email us at Marketing [at] terminalfour.com