By now, your college or university probably has a good website, a presence on social media and an email marketing campaign. But, if you’re like many other higher institutions, you may not be taking the time to track and analyze data. Google Analytics can tell you a lot about where prospective students are coming from, how they became interested in your school and what services they are looking for. In order to convert visitors into students, you must look at the total picture, and this includes user data.

In Google Analytics, some figures to look at include:

  • Acquisition>All Referrals – What websites are referring people to your site.

  • Audience>Geo – What location your visitors are coming from.

  • Audience>Interests – What interest categories the users are a part of.

Knowing the above information can help you better understand how students are getting to your website and why. For instance, if you want to expand your local reach but find that few students in your local area are visiting your site, a stronger marketing campaign for local students is needed. Or, perhaps you want a stronger presence in a particular state or with a particular group of students. Running an analytics report will tell you if you’re succeeding or falling short of these goals.

Once you capture data and learn about prospective students, you can use this foundation to grow your rapport with visitors and convert them into students, thus boosting enrollment and ROI. Remarketing is one of the simplest and most effective ways to do this. This marketing tactic allows you to reach people after they have visited your website. You can show students ads from your university and even tailor these ads to meet their unique interests or study area while they’re browsing other websites.

Drip marketing is another smart approach because it enables your school to send out messages to prospective students over a period of time. Even though there is much to learn about the modern student, they are still predictable in many ways. Student interest, university tours, applications and enrollment tend to follow a similar schedule each year. With this consistency, your school can put together a drip marketing campaign that will follow the behavior of the student. One way to do this is to implement a pop up on the website that encourages prospective students to share their name and email address.

One of the biggest issues that our agency–and a lot of other marketing agencies have–is the ability to get the proper tracking in place due to the “red tape” that sometimes comes with working in the higher education field. Whether it’s that the institution doesn’t have the manpower to implement a tracking code on the website or the enrollment portal redirects to a different URL that can’t be tracked, getting a tracking method down is usually one of the hardest parts.

With that said, we’d like to hear from you and get your feedback on the tracking issues that come along with the edu field.  Capturing data is just as important as being online. Understanding who your prospective students are and where they are coming from is the single most effective way to boost enrollment.