CONSIDER LANDING PAGE CONVERSION RATE BENCHMARKS: Optimizing landing pages to maximize conversions is part of the daily routine of many marketers. But what is a good conversion rate when it comes to landing pages? It depends on the industry, but in higher education, the average conversion rate on landing pages is a low 2.6%. Higher ed comes in lower than almost every other industry, like healthcare (2.9%), travel (5.0%), and business services (3.5%).
Why you should care: Higher education institutions (on the whole) see low conversion rates on landing pages due to a lack of genuinely valuable resources that are relevant to the prospective student’s applicant journey. Often times, higher ed landing pages present prospective students with the option to request more information, start their application, or attend an event– all bottom-of-the-funnel conversions that fail to be truly helpful to a prospective student in the top or middle of the funnel. Instead, offer various content offers like eBooks, long-form guides, and blog subscriptions to inform students about specific industries and career opportunities that align with your programs.
KEEP YOUR ADS RUNNING WHILE EATING THOSE HOLIDAY COOKIES: The holiday months are some of the best for lead generation for higher ed, though many marketing professionals don’t realize it and put their advertising campaigns on hold during November and December. Turns out, schools on average see a 25% increase in lead-to-enrollment rates during the winter months when they continue to advertise their programs, according to a LinkedIn study. Cost-per-lead (CPL) decreased for those who continued to advertise through the holiday season, whereas CPL increased for those who paused their advertising efforts during the same time period.
Why you should care: It can be easy (and tempting) to slow advertising efforts during the holiday season when winter break rolls around, students leave campus, and enrollment marketers take time off. Continuing to promote high-performing content and educational resources during the holiday season can help keep the momentum you’ve built, keep CPL low when you do come back in January, and help prospective students connect with your programs when they have more free time to do so during the winter months.
DON’T MISS THIS CRUCIAL TACTIC IN SEO STRATEGY: For marketers not well-versed in technical SEO, Robots.txt is a file added to your website’s root directory to allow or prevent a search engine from crawling pages on your website. In some cases, you may want to keep certain pages of your website private and un-indexed by Google. For example, you may want to disallow crawlers if part of your website is under construction thanks to rebranding efforts, for pages with sensitive contact information, or for a login page to an internal university system.
Why you should care: For marketing communications and enrollment professionals in charge of any website maintenance or updates to program pages, understanding when and where to use robots.txt can be helpful to protect (or improve) your programs’ search engine rankings while also hiding other pages that may hinder SEO rankings. If you’re managing a rebrand, ensure that your web development team is blocking Google’s crawlers with Robots.txt until the entire rebrand process is complete.