7 Ways Language Schools Can Boost Bookings with a Digital Marketing Audit
Date posted: November 4, 2020
Creating a cohesive digital marketing strategy isn’t always a walk in the park for language schools. After all, your prospects tend to be spread out all over the world, in constantly changing markets, with a variety of different motivations and concerns.
A digital marketing audit can help language schools synthesize these moving parts and create a streamlined recruitment strategy. By analyzing all your marketing efforts (even manual follow-up), an audit will reveal what your school should be doing, what it shouldn’t be doing, and what it could be doing better in order to generate more bookings.
If you’re looking to make the most out of your school’s marketing efforts, an audit could be just what you need. Read on to discover 7 things your language school can learn from a digital marketing audit.
1. Identify Personas to Build Your Language School Marketing Strategy
It’s difficult for any school to tailor its content to every kind of applicant – but when your prospects come from different corners of the world, crafting targeted content can be much more difficult.
By creating personas, however, language schools can better understand their prospective students and create content that is relevant, insightful, and helpful to them. Personas are the typical types of students your school attracts, and a digital marketing audit can help you identify these prospects along with their motivations, concerns, and demographic information:
Another unique benefit of a digital marketing audit for language schools is the ability to identify other key decision-makers in the booking process apart from your prospects. If your school offers summer camps or programs for teens and children, chances are that the opinions of parents also factor in. An audit will analyze the importance of these decision-makers and identify whether they warrant a separate persona, like the one below:
After marketing specialists create unique personas for your language school, they will then develop key messages that address your personas pain points and emphasize your school’s selling points:
If you want to boost bookings, it’s good practice to regularly emphasize these key messages in website content, emails, ad campaigns, social media posts, and more.
2. Optimize Your Language School’s Lead Nurturing Process with a Digital Marketing Audit
Although the term ‘digital marketing audit’ sounds technology-focused, most marketing specialists will look at both the manual and automatic aspects of your school’s lead nurturing process. From workflows to calls to SMS, an audit can evaluate each element of the follow-up process in alignment with your personas and key messages.
On the automated end of the spectrum, an audit can analyze the workflows you have in place, the channels they span, and the content they include. To maximize bookings, it’s important that a language school’s workflows offer enough resources without inundating prospects with information.
Example: This email workflow is optimally spaced out and provides prospects with a wide variety of content, ranging from general information to specific offers. This sort of structure is perfect for piquing prospects’ interests and gently moving them towards booking.
As for the manual part of the lead nurturing process, a digital marketing audit can analyze various elements such as the frequency of your follow-up, how leads are divided up amongst your staff, and how effective these efforts are at generating bookings.
Example: Let’s say a prospect from one of your target regions submits an inquiry form – what do you do? Depending on your school’s resources, an audit may recommend you follow this fairly aggressive workflow.
Depending on the language proficiency of your prospects, a digital marketing audit may also suggest making these workflows multilingual.
Communicating with your prospects in the language they know best can significantly impact their decision to book. By creating multilingual email content or speaking to prospects over the phone in their native language, your school shows its willingness to accommodate its students’ needs. What’s more, multilingual lead nurturing makes it easier for prospects to learn about your school while mitigating the chances of miscommunication and misinformation.
3. Upgrade Your Social Media Marketing Strategy for Language Schools
Social media is accessible, caters to a young audience, and uses visuals to communicate – making it an excellent way for language school prospects to explore their options. If you want to maximize your school’s social media presence, a digital marketing audit will ensure you’re reaching as many people as possible on social.
Starting with social content, a digital marketing audit will analyze the quality, variety, and timeliness of your posts on key social channels. If language schools want to make the most out of social media, a consistent schedule filled with both entertaining content and booking-focused posts is a must.
Example: From videos to course information, Centre of English Studies (CES) shares a wide range of content for both prospective and current students.
A language school-specific audit may also narrow in on certain factors such as whether the school showcases its location as a study destination, uses simple vocabulary, and incorporates plenty of visuals.
Example: The English Institute in Casablanca does a great job at engaging prospects interested in learning English with simple Instagram quizzes.
It’s no doubt important to assess the quality of your social content, but most language schools will also be keenly interested in how these posts engage prospects, drive traffic, and perhaps most importantly, generate bookings. A digital marketing audit will look into the metrics behind your social posts to assess this important marketing strategy for language schools.
Example: This Google Analytics report showcases how many goal conversions stemmed from each social channel.
From nitty gritty details to overarching data, a digital marketing audit will give you a well-rounded picture of your social media ROI.
4. Assess Your Website Content with a Digital marketing Audit for Language Schools
The longer a prospective student spends on your website, the better. The more they read blogs, watch videos, and engage with interactive content, the more they’ll discover about your school and be tempted to book.
When analyzing your website content, an audit will assess the quality of information you provide as well as your incorporation of key messages. Marketing specialists will also look at the entertainment value of your content for the sake of user engagement.
When language schools think about website content, blogs are often the first thing that come to mind, and as a result, they tend to play a big role in the content audit process. Similar to social media, marketing specialists will look at how frequently you’re blogging, the variety and relevancy of your topics, as well as whether you’re effectively spotlighting your programs without coming off as overly promotional.
Example: ASC English’s blog posts range from general English-learning to TOEFL-specific, perfect for prospects with different reasons for learning a new language.
Accessibility is another important factor for language school students. Creating content for non-English speakers can be difficult, but a digital marketing audit can identify whether your school’s blogs are written at an appropriate reading level for your prospective students.
Example: If you find accessible content difficult to write, try using Duolingo’s CEFR checker. Simply copy and paste your content and the program will analyze the vocabulary you use.
Apart from blogs, language schools may also want to offer additional content to make their site extra engaging. After all, it’s increasingly difficult for schools to secure a prospect’s interest online.
From online quotes, to English quizzes to virtual campus tours, there are plenty of ways that language schools can convey information in fun, interactive ways. Of course, the amount of online resources you offer will depend on your school’s budget, needs, and competitors. But a digital marketing audit is fully tailored to your school so the advice you’ll receive will always be within your bandwidth.
5. Evaluating the User Experience of Your Language School’s Website
Creating content isn’t the only way to ensure that prospects have a positive experience on your site. It’s also imperative that your website, itself, offers a smooth user experience (UX).
User experience is becoming an increasingly important element of website design – and language schools have the added pressure of providing top-notch UX considering the difficulties that prospects may have navigating your site in a language they’re not familiar with.
A digital marketing audit will look into the many factors that contribute to a website’s UX and identify any areas of improvement. From the design of your school’s website – its branding, layout, and use of visual elements – to the more technical elements like page load speed, an audit will leave no stone unturned in its efforts to improve its usability.
Since the purpose of a school’s website is to drive bookings, one important component of a digital marketing audit will be to assess is how easy it is for prospects to complete key conversion activities on your school’s website.
This part of the audit process involves marketing specialists posing as prospective language school students and assessing the path users take to complete key activities such as booking or requesting a quote. Are these calls to action (CTAs) foregrounded on your homepage? And when a prospect browses through your site, are these key pages easily accessible? If your site is multilingual, can prospects easily view it in their native language?
Example: No matter which page you visit on CES’s website, a sticky header with a Book Now CTA remains. There is also a dropdown menu on each page where prospects can toggle between languages. Notice how CES also uses icons to guide prospects that visit the site and may not be immediately familiar with the language they see.
Then, once prospects click these key CTAs, where do they go? The answer is most likely some sort of lead capture form – which is another crucial web element for language schools to get right.
The better UX a form offers, the more likely a prospect is to fill it out. A digital marketing audit can help you make this process smoother and shorter for prospects while ensuring that your school gets the information it needs. There many different ways a language school can improve its forms and an audit will identify which work best for your school’s site.
Example: Dropdown menus and checkboxes make it easy for prospects to get a quote on EC English’s website. The price breakdown is also helpfully displayed on the side of the quote for quick reference. Notice how there is also a Book Now CTA prominently placed in the quote builder to encourage prospects to take the next step in the process.
When it comes to booking, however, sometimes simply optimizing your form fields isn’t enough to make the often-lengthy process more user-friendly. But by offering stepped and saveable applications, you can make the process of filling out a form a whole lot manageable for your prospective students.
Example: With HEM’s Student Application Portal, prospects can create their own unique account which allows them to save, edit, and submit their booking at any time.
6. Improving Your SEO With a Digital Marketing Audit for Schools
With search algorithms updating constantly, search engine optimization (SEO) tactics, strategies, and best practices are evolving at an accordingly fast pace. It can be difficult for any company to keep up with the latest trends – especially those managing hundreds of students and numerous courses, which in some cases take place across multiple campuses.
With an audit, language schools can find out how their search presence fares in today’s marketing world. This insight provides your school with the tools it needs to craft an SEO strategy that could increase your website traffic significantly.
Example: Using Google Analytics, you can discover a great deal about your search traffic, including how many clicks and impressions your site gets in a certain time period, as well as your website’s average position for key queries.
The factors that influence your website’s organic search ranking are endless – some are known, some are changing, and others are under the wraps of Google’s secret search algorithms. However, a digital marketing audit will uncover numerous ways to build up your school’s organic search presence.
Since keywords are the foundation of any successful SEO strategy, a digital marketing audit for schools will often start by researching the queries your prospective students are using to research schools.
Example: Moz is a great program for language schools to analyze keywords and discover new phrases.
Once you have a robust list of keywords, you can then begin strategically incorporating them throughout your website. Search engines reward schools that properly integrate keywords in their content, so it’s an important practice for language schools to engage in.
Example: Every time you write a blog, make sure to include keywords in the appropriate titles and tags, as well as the URL and meta description.
After learning to optimize your content, then comes the technical aspect of SEO. An audit will evaluate how well your website architecture is organized for search engine indexing and perform a technical diagnostic to identify elements like broken links and page loading speed.
In addition, a language school may also want insight into international SEO to ensure that its site can be easily accessed by prospects in target regions. If your school’s site is multilingual, an audit can examine your website’s international architecture and assess how your site ranks for keywords in different languages.
If you’re interested in making your site multilingual, an audit can recommend which kind of site structure – such as ccTLDs, subdirectories, and subdomains – is right for your school. An audit can also help you build a multilingual keyword strategy to help you begin creating and optimizing multilingual content.
7. Better Track Your Marketing Strategy for Language Schools
Practically all schools would agree that the insight a digital marketing audit provides is extremely helpful – but what happens when the expansive field of digital marketing evolves? Is the information still relevant?
The answer is yes. Although an audit is a one-time analysis, the information it provides is a catalyst for long-term growth. By assessing the foundation of your digital marketing strategy, providing you endless suggestions for improvement, and showing you how to monitor the results, you can continuously grow your school’s online presence.
An audit shows language schools how to effectively track key performance indicators (KPIs) in order to regularly optimize your marketing efforts. From channel-specific metrics like social media followers and email open rates, to KPIs relating to your digital strategy at large, you’ll have a firm grasp on your recruitment strategy with a digital marketing audit for schools.
Language schools can also learn how to set up and monitor goals in Google Analytics with a digital marketing audit. This will allow your school to keep a close eye on how well it advances prospects through the booking process.
Example: For language schools, GA goals could include inquiries, quote requests, bookings, and more. You can compare your goal completions to previous time periods on GA to ensure you’re making progress.
Once you know the metrics your school should be measuring, how often should you be looking at the numbers and figures? A digital marketing audit can also prioritize which KPIs you should pay attention to and provide recommendations for how often your school should measure these metrics.
Knowing how to monitor and interpret data will set your school up for long-term recruitment success. Along with tailored recommendations relating to content, web UX, and more, your language school will walk away with personalized digital marketing insight that can benefit your bookings for years to come.