Data is one of the most critical assets to a website— but understanding how to use that data and apply it to your school content marketing and enrollment strategy is key to leveling up your website. Though it may seem daunting to beginners, analyzing website data can be broken up into manageable chunks. In the mess of numbers, there are a few primary datasets that are important to track.
In this blog post, we’ll tell you which data is the most important to collect, how to track that data, and how you can use that data to improve your website marketing strategy and increase enrollment in the next school year. The overarching goal is having the knowledge and resources to tweak your website and do whatever it takes to entice interested parents to engage and contact your school.
The first step is recognizing which website elements may impact your school’s enrollment numbers, ultimately guiding us to understand which data points are the most important to track. Put yourself in the shoes of parents and families navigating your school’s website. Which pages would you visit, and why? Notice the most enticing elements of your website. Which school website content would you engage with, and based on the available information, which decision would you make in whether or not to enroll your child in the school?
You will most likely take notice of high traffic pages like your school’s “About Us” page, tuition information pages, perhaps even your school’s event calendar so potential school parents can see an inside look at the school’s social and extracurricular activities. We can take a look at your school’s website performance data based on these favorite pages.
How do you view your school website’s data analytics? We’ve written on this before— this is where Google Analytics is your friend. Check out our blog post on how to set up your Google Analytics account through a quick and easy process.
Some of the most important data points for a school marketer to track in Google Analytics are:
- Unique users: How many new visitors your site is gaining
- Views: How many times a webpage was viewed by site visitors
- Engagement rate: How site visitors are interacting with web content (i.e. staying on a page longer than 10 seconds, clicking through other links, etc.)
- Average engagement time: Average time your webpage was the user’s focus
Though a lot of this data can be located in Google Analytics, it can also be tracked through other means, like heatmaps or usability tests to follow the site visitor’s journey of navigating your website. Heatmaps are a tool to track what exactly users do on your webpages: where they click, what content they look at (and what they ignore), how far they scroll down your pages, and when they click off. We recommend Hotjar for heatmaps, which offers a free plan to get your school website started.
Usability tests offer you real feedback by having real users navigate your website and take note of its strengths and weaknesses. These tests are a necessary step in ensuring you have built an efficient and effective website for your school. Real site users will take note of content that is hard to find, broken links, information they wish they could see, and more; we recommend using Trymata (formerly TryMyUI), a platform that offers a free trial to get you started on your usability tests.
Now, you have collected this all-important data. You know exactly how many people are visiting your website, how long they are staying, what they are looking at and scrolling past, etc. How can you use those analytics to guide your marketing strategy and increase enrollment?
Make a good first impression!
First impressions are everything, and you can use your school website’s current data to understand what on your homepage needs to be adjusted. Where are parents dropping off on your homepage? Do they scroll past your homepage’s most important information? We recommend catching parents’ attention as soon as they click onto your website, using strong imagery and featuring your school’s mission statement near the top of the homepage. Within seconds, parents should know your school logo, colors, mission statement, etc. to understand what makes your school unique. Check out our blog post on what important information should be included on your homepage.
Use data to guide your school website content plans
Don’t waste any of your school’s marketing budget creating content that potential parents won’t engage with. If your school website has a blog, check back to those analytics. How many people are clicking into your blog? Which posts have the highest clicks? In this scenario, you can use data to guide your content strategy, and tweak your content plans to include posts that will encourage interested parents to engage with your school. Topics could range from helpful Q&As to guide parents through the enrollment process, a faculty highlight, a post on what makes your school so unique and enriching for students— the world is your oyster!
Improve your communication strategies with parents
In addition to internal communication methods, like a school blog, how are your school’s external communication methods performing? Data can show if parents are using your contact form, or filling out forms to receive more information on the school. Now is a good time to check in on your process for what happens with a parent once they visit and engage with your website. If they fill out a form and download your school’s tuition package information, do they receive an automatic welcome email from your school? How often does your school send emails to parents? On your website, is your content easy for parents to share?
Parents are your key audience when developing your school’s website, and to increase enrollment, opportunities to communicate with them throughout the website should be prioritized.
Design your tuition and enrollment information to be easy to find
Crucial information for new parents include your school’s enrollment requirements and tuition information. It is one of the most popular searches new parents make on any private school’s website. Data from heatmaps and user tests can tell if your tuition information is easy to find. Another data point to check is your contact form submission— are there any requests from parents looking for tuition numbers? If so, you may want to restructure your site to better highlight this important information. Once parents have their desired information, how easy is it to digest? Is there a better way to organize the information to take parents from generally interested to all-in for your school?
There is power in data— once you learn how to use it and integrate these tips into your school website content strategy, you may see a positive uptick in website engagement, which can lead to more interested parents and families wanting to enroll in your school. What a great bonus not only for your marketing funnels, but your school’s community!
Digging through your school website’s data doesn’t have to be scary– contact us TODAY for a FREE 15-minute consultation. We can help make your data usable and applicable to your marketing funnels!