Google Analytics (GA) is an important tool for higher education marketers. Thanks to the data collected, you can learn all sorts of things about your audience and how they respond to your campaigns. Knowing what to track isn’t always clear, though. What metrics indicate that your efforts are working? Should you be focusing more on visibility and awareness, or should your attention go towards making conversions?

The metrics to pay attention to depend on your specific objectives, but there are some general numbers to have on your radar. I have listed out a few important goals that your higher institution should be tracking in Google Analytics.

Requests for Information

I recommend setting goals for areas where prospects give information, such as contact forms. Prospects who fill out these forms are definitely interested in your courses and programs. Measure how you are acquiring these leads, and set up goals to track prospects who make inquiries. I even suggest tracking those who sign up for your newsletters and emails. They may have less potential value, but they are still interested.

Online Applications

Some students may decide to apply to your school directly online. This can happen after months of research or right away. Use Google Analytics goals to monitor your success in this area. By doing so, you can learn what areas of the application process need to be clarified or simplified. For example, what percentage of students completed the application? For those that didn’t, at what point did they drop off?

Event Registration

Prospective students do the bulk of their research online, but physical visits to your school matter, too. Campus tours, sample lectures and open days should be promoted on your website and social media channels. Set goals for registration so you can tell how well your school is noticed online. You can also use GA to determine where prospective students are coming from, how many are registering and how you can make campus events more enticing.

Content Downloads

Do you have downloadable material on your website such as career guides, student handbooks or city information? You can use GA to determine how appealing it is to your audience. GA lets you track the number of downloads there are for brochures, student handbooks, white papers, etc. The easier it is for prospects to access these materials, the more likely they are to download them. All content should be delivered at the right time in the funnel, too.

Visit and Duration Goals

Visit and duration goals tell you how engaging your site is for visitors. Page visit goals are triggered when users visit several different pages on your site. Duration goals let you set targets for how long visitors use specific pages. By analyzing these numbers, you can learn how helpful and relevant your website is to your audience. Are they visiting more than one page? Are they staying on your site for a long time?

Google Analytics is a powerful tool, and these are just a few of the goals you can be tracking. By setting goals around your recruitment strategies, you can make data-driven decisions and use Google Analytics to your full advantage.