It’s no secret that your institution’s website is the single most important asset you have online. Yet no matter how much your website dazzles and impresses, you need to make sure that you are gathering important data from visitors.
The sooner you can learn about your prospects, the faster you can get them into your database. You can then use their information to personalize your interactions and nudge them along the enrollment journey. It’s a long one, so you might as well get started today!
In this post, we are going to go over some of the most effective ways that you can help your institution’s website convert. The key is to attract, convert and nurture. Say it with me: attract, convert, nurture. Good.
ATTRACT prospective students by using the right keywords.
Keywords should never be underestimated. How else will students find schools that match their needs?
Fortunately, you can do some essential keyword research on your own. Start by looking at the pages that have the most engagement. Identify the message you’re trying to send and create a list of related long tail keywords. Once you have them, work the keywords into the content so that the pages are optimized.
It’s important to optimize your pages with long tail keywords because Google is getting better at understanding how people talk. Users tend to search for things based on the way they would say it, so writing in a conversationalist way with keywords that people use is crucial.
As you optimize your pages with the right keywords, also use this time to determine which keywords you can let go. Maybe they’re too generic or don’t represent your program. Stick to keywords that are successful.
CONVERT prospective students by asking for their information.
How many forms does your website currently have? What information are you giving in exchange for students giving you their information?
While there’s no hard-and-fast rules on the number of CTAs that you should have on your website, you can go toward the higher side. The purpose of your website is to get prospective students interested in your program and then provide them with more detailed information to help in their search.
That said, be careful that you don’t come across too pushy. Prospects that are early in the enrollment process don’t want to be forced into filling out an application just yet. Applications take time and usually cost money, so students limit themselves on how many applications to send out.
In the meantime, focus on “soft” CTAs that ask for an email address and major. This gives you just enough information to increase conversions while being able to personalize the content. Nudge prospects along with content regarding your program, professors and campus life. Give examples of syllabi or the employment outlook for certain professions.
As you nurture your relationships, use progressive profiling to collect more information about your prospects. It’s a highly effective way to gather data without being invasive or borderline annoying.
NURTURE your prospects with personalized content.
In order to get the most relevant content into your prospects’ hands, personalization is key. As you learn more information about your prospects, you can change the content to fit their needs. This is something called “smart content.”
Smart content can be described as intelligently personalized content that meets the reader’s needs. With this type of content, you can tailor the material to where the person is in the buying process. For example, smart content would enable you to show a different homepage to parents vs students or incoming students vs alumni.
Another benefit to smart content is that you can change the offer. If a student has shown interest in the engineering program, it’s much more worthwhile to show them an offer for an ebook on engineering rather one on the nursing program. This makes the content feel more personalized while also providing prospects with real information they can use.
To make smart content work for you, it’s imperative that you have a good understanding of your prospects. The technical details aren’t too difficult.
In the end, make sure that you are not just creating content and then forgetting about it. You can increase the effectiveness of your content by optimizing it with the right keywords, adding compelling CTAs and making it “smart.” Not only will this make the most of your current content but also save precious resources that your college or university may not have.