Three Critical (free) Marketing Tools and Why Your Preschool Needs Them
Google Analytics is a powerful tool that helps you understand on-site statistics. It helps you to understand how your school’s website is performing, and how your audience is interacting with your content.
Here are some questions that Google Analytics can help you answer:
- How many visitors have come to my website this month?
- How many people came to my website from search?
- How many families are viewing the Contact page?
- How do my monthly phone inquiries correspond to my search traffic?
- Are my visitors looking at my Tuition Page before my Contact Page?
- How many families from my area are coming to my website?
How to use Google Analytics Effectively for your Preschool
Google Analytics is a complex resource. There are endless ways that you can use the information to continually improve your preschool’s online presence. Here are some key ways you can stay on top of your information:
- Look in on it regularly.
Set up a regular time (bi-weekly or monthly) to check in on your school’s Google Analytics. You need to stay aware of dramatic and unexpected drops in traffic (organic, search, or direct). You should also know when there are large upward trends. Perhaps you just started a direct mail campaign, or held an event that was open to the families in your community. Keeping aware of how your traffic is working for you gives you insight into which elements of your marketing are working for you.
- Spot check when there’s a major shift in search.
Occasionally Google makes a significant change to their search ranking algorithms. This is a huge deal for education centers, which typically see about 40-50% of their new inquiries coming from search. You can use resources like Mozcast to keep an eye on shifts. Then head to your Google Analytics to see how it might have affected your school.
- Track your numbers over time.
The only way to see the “big picture” of your stats is to track them over time. Are you seeing growth year-over-year? When is there more seasonal interest in your programs? When does online interest show a seasonal decrease? Tracking your numbers over time can help you prepare for what comes next.
More Google Analytics Tips!
- Use Dashboards to create customized views of your Google Analytics Data.
- Create Goals to track specific objectives like sign-ups for your newsletter or contact form submissions.
- Set up Intelligence Events Custom Alerts to automatically alert you when a specific event occurs, such as a dramatic increase or drop in traffic.
Google Search Console
(Formerly Google Webmaster Tools) www.google.com/webmasters/tools/
Here’s an example of what you can learn from your Google Search Console:
- What are people typing in to find your school on Google?
- What technical errors has Google identified on your website?
- How many people are seeing your school’s website in search results, but not clicking on your school’s website?
- Has Google detected that your website has malware or other issues that can cause you to not rank as well as you should?
- Which of your keyword rankings have improved over the past 90 days?
How to use Google Search Console Effectively for your Preschool
- Keep an eye on reported Crawl Errors and HTML Improvements and and fix them ASAP.
If Google is reporting the existence of errors on your school’s website, or improvements they feel you should make to it, then these are no doubt affecting their perception of your site’s overall health.
- Be mindful of Messages.
Google will alert you to important information (such as your website not being mobile friendly). Be aware of these messages, and take action swiftly if possible.
- Review your positions.
Similar to with Google Analytics, you want to have an idea of how you’re competing in search. See any important keywords ranking in positions 11-20? These are terms that Google already thinks you’re relevant for, you’ll just have to do a bit more work to promote these concepts on your website.
More Google Search Console Tips!
- Connect your Google Analytics and Google Search Console to access keyword data in the Search Engine Optimization area of your Google Analytics.
- Submit your school website’s sitemap to help with indexing your pages in Google.
- Check out the “Resources” tab. Under “Page Speed Insights” you can see how fast your website is responding. Remember that your audience wants the content to show up quick, especially on mobile. Speed also plays a part in your ranking.
- Use the Data Highlighter to tag structured date, such as your preschool’s address.
Google My Business
business.google.com Google My Business is the dashboard to your business’ profile on Google. In addition to showing up in organic search, it is also featured in Google Maps and Google+ (Even though this element of Google’s suite of business-related tools is in flux – they’ve been reworking their approach to Google+ over time – it is still an important element of your preschool’s marketing).
So let’s take a look at why this profile is so important. Many of your families will either find you through search or by word-of-mouth. In either scenario, your Google Business Profile is filled with information they’ll need. This includes where you’re located, what your location looks like, your contact information, and reviews.
Here are some important insights you can gather from Google My Business:
- How many people are viewing my profile?
- Is my information compelling enough that people are visiting my website to learn more?
- Are my families leaving positive reviews?
- How many people are calling directly from my Google Profile?
How to use Google My Business Effectively for your Preschool
- Claim it!
Make sure you claim your business’ profile. If your school is new, or it’s not listed on Google yet, claim it here.
- Fill it out 100%.
Make sure you provide thorough and complete information. Hours, photos, description… everything.
- Check your Insights regularly.
Set up a regular time (bi-weekly or monthly) to check in on your school’s Google My Business Profile. It includes information like: views, clicks, driving direction requests, and phone calls.
More Google My Business Tips!
- Choose the right categories for your profile. In most cases this will be Preschool, but for some schools Nursery School, Private School, or even Religious School may also be appropriate.
- Make sure your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) matches your website.
- Add a Google Map to your website’s contact page. Learn how to do it here.
- Get great reviews by encouraging your most enthusiastic families to visit your profile and share their experience with your school.