Rather than hunt for traffic pools (hello Ad Agencies) use Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) tactics to improve lead flow on web properties and even traditional media. Improve lead conversion from 2-4%, that’s double, which translates into huge rev lifts. Do more with what you’ve got.

Do You Need a New Website?

How to know when it’s time to replace or repair

I was recently involved in a small fender bender. Thankfully no one was injured, but there was some damage to my car. What to me seemed like a minor dent and busted light, to my mechanic was a reason to write off the car. I opted to have the car fixed, but this question of “repair or replace” is a common one these days, whether it’s a vehicle, furniture or appliance.

But what about your website?

A new website can seem enticing, especially if you feel like your marketing has plateaued and you want to jumpstart lead generation. There are certainly a lot of marketing companies that just so happen to sell websites to tell you you need to buy one. But how do you know when a “repair” will do, ie. update photos, clean up SEO elements, add testimonials and other best practice elements and when you’re better to start fresh?

If you’ve looked into assistance with marketing your school, you’ve likely been pitched on buying a new website. But is it necessary?

We recently shared a pair of articles with tips on how to evaluate your existing website, including:

If you know that your website hosting is up-to-date and functioning properly, page load times are good and you’re not having technical issues like dropping offline periodically, it’s possible you may be able to save yourself a significant amount of time and money with improvements to your existing website.

5 Elements to Improve Conversion Without Buying a New Website

5 Elements to Improve Conversion WITHOUT Buying a New Website

  1. Photos – Do the photos on your website resonate with your prospects? Do they see themselves reflected? Do you use all stock photos or do you have authentic shots of the school, staff and potentially even students? Your website may be a prospect’s first impression of your school. It is worth investing in high-quality professional photos of your facilities, staff and community in order to showcase your school in an authentic way.
  2. Clarity – Does your homepage clearly express the following:
    – Who you are?
    – What a prospect can DO on your site? Are there clear calls-to-action, i.e. “sign up for more information”?
    – WHY a prospect should engage with your school?
  3. Contact Forms – Do you have clear, compelling contact forms on all major pages of your website? A quality contact form can be an incredible way to boost website conversion. Some people don’t like the look of a contact form on every page or think it feels “too salesy.” While overall look is a consideration, the purpose of your site isn’t to be good looking. It’s about providing a simple way for prospective students to take action and move forward with their pursuit of career training with your help.
  4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – SEO is a term that gets thrown around a lot, but it can often seem vague. Most simply, SEO is a set of practices designed to improve the appearance and positioning of your web page in organic search results. Some key metrics of SEO include the quality of internal links, i.e. links to pages within your website, and external links to pages on other sites. Other SEO elements include things like photo tags and captions, keywords and more.
  5. Compelling Copy – Does your website engage visitors? Is a reader drawn into your story and compelled to read on? When a prospect gets to a program page, is there enough information on that page to pique their interest and provide answers to some of their questions? Website copy can be easy to overlook in favor of design elements, but ultimately a prospective student considering a life decision like potentially going back to school is typically invested enough to spend some time reading copy that is relevant to them and their goals.

Have an Expert Review Your Website

If you’re curious about the performance of your website and how it measures up against today’s best practices for lead generation and conversion, Enrollment Resources can help. Schedule a free website audit with an EDU conversion expert.

Click Here to Request Your Website Audit

How to Check Your Website’s Foundation

Does the backend of your website make the grade or is it time to upgrade?

In this piece, we’ll share a few important things to check in order to assess whether the backend of your website is up-to-date and functioning optimally. This is particularly relevant if you want to generate more organic leads and/or are considering a new website.

The backend of your website is like the foundation of a house. If “the bones” of your site are good, you can potentially improve performance through design elements and the use of best practice conversion elements, rather than a complete (and often costly) rebuild or redesign. To continue the house metaphor however, if the foundation is rotted it will likely save you in the long run to fix it before you invest in design.

How to Evaluate Your Site’s Overall Foundation

Do you have access to your website’s Google Analytics? If so, take a look at the analytics for the following things:

  1. Does your website traffic drop off completely at any point?
    This can be an indicator that the website is inaccessible at times.
  2. Is your page load time 3 seconds or less?
    Google recommends a page load time of 3 seconds or (ideally) less. According to Google, 53% of mobile site visitors will abandon your page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
  3. Do you know your website conversion rate? Is it trending down?
    Your website conversion rate can be measured by the number goals achieved, in this case the “goal” is any time a prospect took action to contact your school, divided by the number of unique website visitors, multiplied by 100. For example, if your website receives 2,000 unique visitors per month and generates 50 leads, your website conversion rate is 2.5%.

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions…
This can be a sign that your website hosting may potentially be out of date or otherwise providing below optimal function. If this is the case, it could potentially be time to invest in an upgrade.

If you answered “I’m not sure” to any of these questions…
If you aren’t sure the answer to any of the questions above, it’s worth a conversation with your web developer or anyone knowledgeable in Google Analytics who can walk you through it.

If you answered “no” to these questions…
That’s good news! If the basic foundations of your website are sound, that could mean you do not need to invest in a foundational upgrade. That also means you can potentially boost your website’s performance through less costly improvements such as copy, improved calls-to-action, more authentic photos and other best practices.

What About Mobile?
For a quick way to test your website’s performance on mobile, click here to check out this blog post from last week.

Want Help to Assess Your Website?

If you’re curious about the performance of your website and how it measures up against today’s best practices for lead generation and conversion, Enrollment Resources can help. Schedule a free website audit with an EDU conversion expert.

Click Here to Request Your Website Audit

How A/B Testing Failures Reveal Bigger Opportunities

Failing Forward: Unlock Hidden Insights

As marketers we are always pushing to grow, break new ground, and stay ahead of our competition. We may test a new advertising approach, a different angle on a value proposition, build channel partnerships, or realign our marketing for performance and growth.

An area perhaps less explored is when bright ideas fail to live up to expectations. Testing is a science but mostly it’s trial and error where breakthroughs come by being curious around the why-of-things, especially when results flop.

Understanding your prospects at their level and being able to communicate to their needs and aspirations is the foundation of all great breakthroughs

In a recent landing page test for Google Ads, we started to notice some common trends for expensive to market programs that had commonality among competition. Most schools were running these programs, Google search advertising was expensive and cost per leads were higher than we wanted for our clients. We were having some breakthrough success across other program landing page tests, improving conversion rates by 30% on average, so we adopted a similar approach to what we’ve called our “problem programs.” Think teenage angst.

Pages were built with a new design, rewritten, and expectations were high. To our surprise and disappointment, the tests dropped performance and increased cost per lead so we stopped the test to protect ROI.

You can go two ways with a situation like this:

  1. Determine that the control is the better version and carry on to a new test
  2. Question why performance went in the opposite direction we wanted

In many ways, conversion rate optimization analysts will forgo the failure and move on to something new. The tendency is to seek the win, which is great, but often that win or insight can be hidden in the failure.

We tend to lean in on curiosity.

Since Virtual Advisor encapsulates the stories behind a prospects’ journey, we started to dig into the data we had on those programs. We also questioned if the program value proposition wasn’t aligned with where the prospect was in their journey.

Were they already invested in the career? Were they just starting their research? Why are they inquiring now? To help answer these questions, we decided to use our form technology to trigger a seamless survey on a second step form. We then combined that data with Virtual Advisor’s quantitative and qualitative data on these programs and started to uncover some blind spots in our copywriting.

In most instances, our prospects had been thinking about the career for some time, in many cases years. The pandemic has been an interesting catalyst for many folks looking to explore a different path in their lives. The knowledge that the career path is not new to them and they have done their research prompted us to reframe how we spoke to them in our copy.

We’re currently on iteration #3 for this test and will likely have results in the new year but the point is not necessarily about the end result in this case. It got our wheels turning around leveraging our form technology and aligning Virtual Advisor user data to improve your school’s conversion rates in other ways we hadn’t thought of before exploring why our tests had failed.

Understanding your prospects at their level and being able to communicate to their needs and aspirations is the foundation of all great breakthroughs.

Any insights you can attain to further your understanding and have more meaningful conversations, online and offline, is a recipe for great things. Combine that with seamless technology to foster a supportive user experience, it begins to get really interesting.

This will be one of the sessions at our 3rd Enrollment Builder Best-Practice Virtual Conference – we would love to see you there!

Recent Changes In The Paid Search Environment And How They Can Affect Your School [VIDEO]

There are even more changes to the digital marketing environment coming in 2021, and at least five of those developments are likely to affect your school. In this video, Tammy Miles, Director of Paid Search Marketing, and Chris Cunningham, Conversion Leader, share: How to guard your school against the potential fallout from these changes The […]

Are You Ready For A Strong January?

Are you ready to support your high-intent Explorers in January? - A post from Enrollment Resources

Typically this time of year, schools would start to see declines in leads through paid search advertising and inquiries from prospective students through their website as folks get busy preparing for the holidays.

But, as we have all witnessed, 2020 has been anything but typical.

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Enrollment Resources Earns A+ BBB Rating

Enrollment Resources Earns A+ Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating

Higher Education Marketer Is Recognized For Ethical Business Practices

VICTORIA, British Columbia – Sept. 25, 2020

Enrollment Resources is proud to announce that they have achieved an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). An A+ rating shows that the BBB is highly confident that Enrollment Resources consistently treats their customers in a fair and honest manner, is transparent in their business practices and engages in truthful marketing and advertising.

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Google’s Mission: Content vs. User Context

Content vs. User Context - The Main Takeaways Of Google Marketing Live, 2019Tammy Miles is the Director of Paid Search Marketing at Enrollment Resources. She recently attended the 2019 Google Marketing Live Conference in San Francisco. The event attracted over 5000 participants from 68 Countries, with most of the buzz focused around Google’s new ad features and artificial intelligence (AI) technology innovations. This is her summary of the main takeaways for schools looking to reach their EDU prospects.

Do You Know Your Prospect? Google Does

Google reiterated their mission: to deliver content that is useful, helpful, and transparent to their users while creating personalized and meaningful experiences that respect the privacy of those same users. To that end, Google advertising is heading beyond content and creative to the vast universe of user context.

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