Today, I will be going through my top five that I have used in different school environments including Google Analytics, Google Data Studio, Google Optimise, Google Tag Manager, and Google My Business.
Digital Marketing For Schools – 6 Week Course
Today is going to be a little bit more technical, don’t worry if it’s a little over your head. It’s still a good idea to be aware of these tools when you are talking to your digital marketing agency.
If you would like to up-skill in your digital marketing knowledge, I do have a six week course that I’m launching very shortly so keep an eye out for it. I’ll let you know a little bit more about the program at the end of today’s post.
The first tool that I want to talk about is Google Analytics. We should all have Google Analytics installed on our website and a lot of you do, but from time to time I log into a new client’s account and see that they don’t have access to basic analytics on their website. Which tells me that they’re going to struggle to improve on an on-going basis because they are not looking at the data.
Google Analytics is a web analytics tool to help you analyse your website traffic. You can see things like the number of visitors, the bounce rate, the content that people are interested and their county or origin. You can also track specific campaign sources that you set up or goal actions that people have taken.
If you are working with a website provider, make sure that you have that access to your Google Analytics account. I’ve often seen schools work with website providers that don’t give them access to their own analytics account, they rely on the agency to email them once a month. Make sure that you actually have the log in to your own Google Analytics account and you can go check for yourself and verify that data for yourself.
The next tool that we’re going to be talking about is Google Optimise. This tool leads on from the data that you obtain from Google Analytics because if you are looking at the data for a specific page like a tour booking page, and you find out that you’ve had a hundred people to the landing page but only 10 people opt in, you’re going to have to do some split testing to make sure you know what improvements to make to the page.
Google Optimise is a great tool to use to test your different theories of how you would improve a web page. If you’re thinking: “We should add a video to this page,” or, “Maybe we should add testimonials just to back up what we’re saying,” or, “Maybe we should add a button”; then you should use Google Optimse to test these different theories out.
Split testing is key to consistently improving rather than guessing what is actually going to work. A lot of schools spot a problem and move to immediately fix it and they’ll find that actually in the long run it didn’t get a better result, that’s because they didn’t test their ideas first.
There are two tests that you can run in Google Optimise. The first is a redirect test and the second is a page test where you test one element at a time. The redirect test is used if you’re changing things up completely and you’re going to test one landing page compared to the other landing page. Google will send a certain percent of people to the first page, and the rest of the audience to the second page. Google Optimse will compile the results for you and after a specific period of time they’ll give you a winning page and tell you which one performed better and by what percentage. It’s really handy.
If you want to change just change one of two elements on the page then you can use their tool to change things like button colours, location of content and wording to test the difference that changing just one element makes. This can be done right inside Google Optimise and no coding is required.
Whenever I’m building a school website first have a month of analysing their website as it is currently. I can then tell you exactly what content is working, what’s not working and the changes needed to the navigation bar before building a whole new site with no data to back up the decisions made.
Google Data Studio
The next tool that I want to talk to you about is Google Data Studio. This is a relatively new tool and not everyone knows about it. It’s really powerful and makes your life super simple. 10 years ago, I used to have to take a day out of my schedule every month for marketing reporting. Because I’m such a data person I’d spend so much time collating the data I needed from spreadsheets, various software platforms and random scribbles on bits of paper … well, times have changed.
Google Data Studio has made my life super simple these days. It’s a visual data display tool that can integrate data from different sources. It can pull information from Google Analytics, Google AdWords and Facebook advertising to name a few and also include third party integrations from tour booking software, email marketing software or enrolment software. The possible integrations are limitless.
The cool thing about Google Data Studio is that it gives you a live view of your data so that you can compare your progress day by day, week by week, month by month, and year on year. It really helps you to get a snapshot of how you’re going through the month. Access to that data is invaluable if you are working on continuously improving your marketing.
Google Tag Manager
The next tool (and this can get technical) is Google Tag Manager. If you’re using all these tools like Google Analytics, Google Optimise, Facebook Pixels, Google AdWords, Conversion Tracking and various integrated tools on your website, you’ll have to install tags for each of these different applications. When you’re adding these tags one at a time it can get quite clunky and you’ll find you’ll have to give your agencies and software providers access to your website, it can get really messy.
What you can do is you can use Google Tag Manager as the one place to manage all your tags. All you have to do is install one tag on your website, that’s the Google Tag Manager tag, and then you can manage all of the other tags that can go on the header or the footer of your website in one place.
Google My Business
The next tool that I want to talk about is your Google Maps or Google My Business listing. You may have created a listing yourself or had someone create it for you but I really recommend that you claim your listing and put effort into completing your schools profile.
If you have more than one campus,have a listing for each of your campuses separately. I recommend that you spend the time and effort to update the description, operating hours and photos and actively encourage parents to leave testimonials. The effort is really worth it.
Make sure to use the same SEO keywords that you use on your website. If your Google Maps content is complementing your website, that ticks quite a few boxes for Google and will help in terms of your Search Engine Optimisation.
Ok, That’s it for my top five Google Marketing tools. Have a look at the Google Marketing platform if you want to explore any of the other tools that they have available.
More about the 6-week course
If you’re feeling like you’re a little bit out of your depth in terms Digital Marketing or you want to really step up your school’s marketing in the digital space, then I have a six week course coming up, the Digital Marketing for Schools course.
It’s not a digital course on its own and its not just schools theory either. In this course you will get innovative digital marketing knowlege that is then applied specifically to the schools industry. It’s really combining the power of both of those worlds. We’ll have a one-on-one individual coaching session as well as weekly joint group coaching AND tonnes of resources for you to refer back to. You’ll also have access to the training materials and videos for a full year after the course just in case you need a refresher.
The details will be coming out in the next few weeks