Eliminate the Bounce and Increase the Catch

Recently I was working with a university who were proud of meeting a marketing objective: to attract 100,000 visitors a month.  However what they were not aware of was that 97.25% of traffic was bouncing, in other words the quantity was there but the quality as well below par.


Formulas can be used to work out website conversions for example:  

bounce 2



We are driven by quantity as a measure of website success yet the true measure of success is in the quality. If we take the example formula above and remove the number of bounces to the site(97%):

 

bounce rate

The question is how do we prevent the bounce traffic which often has a cost, but has no value?  The answer is in the analytics they can provide a very clear picture of what is and isn't working on your site.  We need be able to understand which sources of traffic are bouncing, which pages visitors are bouncing on etc..

Often campaigns are driven to the home page.  We see large bounce rates on the home page as they rarely provide specific information. An example is an LLM search on an institution website, students landing on the home page had a bounce rate of 97%, students landing on the specific LLM page had a bounce rate of 44% and were being retained for over 4 minutes.

We know that semantics are part of the students search behaviour,  because of this website copy incorporates answers to semantics. What is also essential is when we are focusing on a specific market are we landing them on the most significant page?

The message is simple make sure you provide students directly with the information they require and you will have an engaged student with a much higher probability of enrolling.




Joanna Turner

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.hecoms.co.uk












                                              



                

                          




















































The issue seems to be that we are driven by quantity as a measure of website success yet the true measure of success is in the quality. If we take the example formula above and remove the number of bounces to the site(97%):




     





























































The question is how do we prevent the bounce traffic which often has a cost, but has no value?  The answer is in the analytics they can provide a very clear picture of what is and isn't working in your campaigns.  We need be able to understand which sources of traffic are bouncing, which pages visitors are bouncing on etc..




Often campaigns are driven to the home page.  We see large bounce rates on the home page as they rarely provide specific information. An example is an LLM search on an institution website, students landing on the home page had a bounce rate of 97%, students landing on the specific LLM page had a bounce rate of 44% and were being retained for over 4 minutes.




We know that semantics are part of the students search behaviour,  because of this we website copy incorporates answers to semantics. What is also essential is when we are focusing on a specific market are we landing them on the most significant page?




The message is simple make sure you provide students directly with the information they require and you will have an engaged student with a much higher probability of enrolling.




Joanna Turner

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.hecoms.co.uk












                                              



The issue seems to be that we are driven by quantity as a measure of website success yet the true measure of success is in the quality. If we take the example formula above and remove the number of bounces to the site(97%):

The question is how do we prevent the bounce traffic which often has a cost, but has no value?  The answer is in the analytics they can provide a very clear picture of what is and isn't working in your campaigns.  We need be able to understand which sources of traffic are bouncing, which pages visitors are bouncing on etc..

Often campaigns are driven to the home page.  We see large bounce rates on the home page as they rarely provide specific information. An example is an LLM search on an institution website, students landing on the home page had a bounce rate of 97%, students landing on the specific LLM page had a bounce rate of 44% and were being retained for over 4 minutes.

We know that semantics are part of the students search behaviour,  because of this we website copy incorporates answers to semantics. What is also essential is when we are focusing on a specific market are we landing them on the most significant page?


The message is simple make sure you provide students directly with the information they require and you will have an engaged student with a much higher probability of enrolling.




Joanna Turner

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.hecoms.co.uk












                                              

Data Mining - Are you missing seams of invaluable information?

Databases are every institutions mine and give us access to precious information that feed strategies for enquiries, applications and enrolments.  At the touch of a button we know how many students enquired,  what source they were from, how many of these students made an application and the numbers that went on to enrol.  We also know what was our best enquiry generation source for enrolments was, what was our weakest source of applications that did not enrol.  These are just a few areas of knowledge that can be extracted from mining, there are many more. The information is vast and for many overwhelming, the key is to have a clear objectives for your mining so you find the seams of knowledge that re important to your institution.   

In order to be able to start our data mining we require an essential resource; the IT team.  In fact before we start our mining we have to ensure that the IT team are able to extract the knowledge we require.  This becomes a major stopping point for many  institutions as the database they are using is unable to provide the extracts that are required.  It is essential that the objectives of the data mining are clearly communicated to the IT team so they can work towards providing the data that is required.  To engage the IT team present them with the objectives so they understand how essential data mining is to the institution.


We also need to be aware that it is common for data mining to done in isolation in different departments, for instance the marketing team know all about their enquiry data, but once the student applies the data becomes the property of the enrolment team and so on.  Data mining is a central role that crosses departments to ensure that the whole picture is understood. 
Data Mining - Are you missing seams of invaluable information?


In the complicated world of students recruitment there are triggers that can have an affect on student numbers, when we are data mining we have to be mindful of these.  One technique is to have a calendar of triggers that have affected your market, then when your mining has a sudden change it can be compared to any market triggers.

There is a role for a data mining coordinator in institutions, a role that is hybrid of marketer, data miner and also understands the many outside factors that can impact on mining results.

Joanna Turner  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  www.hecoms.co.uk


Understanding Teaching Quality From the Students' Perspective

TeachingQuality

The term teaching quality is hard to define, there are a number of papers that provide a definition but it seems there is no clear cut global definition.  However, for many it is academic, how academics deliver in the classroom and the learning outcomes.  This is why many institutions shy away from mentioning teaching quality in marketing material.   For students teaching quality is becoming increasingly important  for selecting the right university. 

Todays students recognise teaching quality as being made up of a number of areas. The good news for institutions is that how students measure teaching quality makes it accessible to all institutions. In the eyes of the student teaching quality is personal based on individual needs. 

Key areas that all institutions can ensure students have access to information on are:

Educational Method:   How is the programme delivered to the student?  Lecturers? tutorials? Problem based Learning? Practicals?

Lecturers & Researchers:  Are the lecturers academics or practioners? are there visiting lecturers?

Student/Staff Ratio:  Number of academic staff to students

Contact Hours:  Number of hours tuition per week

Student Satisfaction:  Feedback on student experience if the programme

Accreditation:  Is the programme accredited to an association or professional body? is it recognised overseas?

Joanna Turner

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   www.hecoms.co.uk

Challenges in Student Recruitment - Systems, Processes and Mindsets

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Student acquisition is at the core of every international office, student acquisition cost (SAC) costs can be driven down by analytics. Using analytics means that we never get complacent, we are making adjustments to markets before changes occur…we are ahead of the game.

For instance a university has india as a region, in that region it is investing in a number of marketing channels for example: 

  • Agents
  • Attending in country student recruitment events
  • Online advertising 
  • Social media

The university is wanting to increase the number of students from India and invests into its agent network across India. Yet analytics are showing that enrolments from India are only coming from a two main areas and that enquiries from other regions of india have increased on the internet. The university looks to experts and technology to see how it can make the current scenario more cost effective. It also starts to monitoring if this is a growing trend and start growth hacking to become more efficient and effective in the region.

The value of this analytical data becomes increasingly important overtime as then we see changes and patterns and shift approach accordingly.  

Analytics is very core for growth hackers; a hybrid model crossing; marketer, software developer, innovator and creator  However, the individual growth hacker can also become growth hackers: a team using experts to fill the many areas  of expertise required for growth hacking.  This team needs to encompass the vision for growth, the acceptance to engage with others, technology and innovation

Growth hacking starts with a dull edge utilises analytics and data , implements technology and creativity to become razor sharp 

Joanna Turner  Consultant HE Coms   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    www.hecoms.co.uk

Why Higher Education Institutions have to shift from Reactive to Proactive

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HE institutions have put themselves outside the fundamentals of marketing. It is easy to understand as HEs do not see themselves as businesses and therefore believe that when it comes to the market they can manage it in their own way. This way is generally reactive, the institution only communicates with the student when the student contacts them.

However, todays potential students are bombarded by business with constant messages, messages that resonate with them as these companies have done their homework and understand the market. Students are therefore used to companies that understand their needs and are in constant contact with them.  In order to engage with todays students HEs need to be proactive. Yet, I have sent 100s of enquiries to HEs across the globe and from 75% I get one message back and receive no other communication.  

It is not difficult to develop a proactive approach if you understand your market.

  • Understand the needs of your potential market - What information is important to enable the student to make a decision?
  • Segment your market and prioritise needs for each segment - for European market priority may be accommodation but for Asian market may be scholarships
  • Develop a relationship development strategy for each market segment - Ensure that the strategy provides information on the needs of the market, encompass segment priorities
  • Make sure each message within the relationship development strategy is short, simple, clear, concise and provides links to relevant information areas on your site.
  • Relationship development with a student goes on until they unsubscribe this can be years - we had a student recently enrol after three years of communication!