(Google) Analyze This

Going to the marketplace, window shopping and reading encyclopedia entries sound like old-fashioned activities now, but we actually do all of these every day on Google. As such, companies know that most of their potential customers use the search engine to shop, compare prices and learn about different topics. In higher education, we have to bet on students looking up our tuition cost, rankings, and student reviews.  

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are essential skills for building your online presence and converting searches to sales or actions. Relevant actions might be encouraging students to sign up for more information about your program. In order to truly leverage your SEO and SEM, you absolutely, positively must get familiar with Google analytics. With it you can: 

  1. Visualize your marketing data.  

You can link your analytics dashboard with your website, apps, and ad campaigns in a way that is clear and organized. You can view your data in different formats and filter segments and dimensions as needed. By aggregating, visualizing and analyzing this data, you may glean important insights about your audience(s) and the efficacy of your marketing strategies. 

2. Create Goals and Events. 

Through Google Analytics, you can easily capture information about customer/student behavior on your website. If your goal is to have students download a brochure, for example, you can easily track the percentage of new user visits that lead to a download (the event). 

3. Maximize User-Friendliness of Your Website 

You can see which pages are loading too slow, what your students are searching for on your website, and which pages have high “bounce rates.” Bounce rates are the percentage of users that land on a page and do not interact with anything before closing right out of it. A high bounce rate may indicate they did not find what they were looking for in that page.    

When hiring web designers or marketing managers, make sure that you are looking for people that are highly familiar with Google Analytics or you may find that your potential students are “bouncing” right over to a different program.