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A common question our Partnership Managers receive is “How do we optimize our profile?” This guide will help provide some guidance, but there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Review the suggestions here, make changes, and monitor the change in engagement and inquiry rates on your profile by using your Niche Monthly Insights Report.
The first step, if you haven’t already done so, is to claim your profile. The Niche Team will verify that you are an employee who is authorized to do so, which means there will usually be a short lag time between when you claim and when you are granted access to your partner account. Some of the features listed are only available to Niche partners, but quite a few will help even free profiles stand out.
The best photos tend to be bright and provide a sense of place. They should be a photo that can only be from your school or campus. If it looks staged or that it could be any generic stock photo you won’t see as much success. Each of these examples catches your eye and provides a strong sense of the environment, yet each is completely different. Your header image is the first way to grab attention and should tell a story by itself. You can also change this out as often as you like, so some institutions have seasonal images.
We did a Data Dive covering the call to action links on premium profiles in-depth; but focus on financial aid, programs, and “Why X?” for your links. Colleges can also consider a link out to admissions criteria. Another link that students often look for, but is rarely offered as a CTA, is a way to connect with current students and parents. If you have a hub page with user-generated content and stories or ways to speak to the student and/or parent ambassadors, try linking there. You can use your Monthly Insights Report to monitor your CTA performance and change out your calls to action if you are not seeing the levels of engagement you want. Another important part of tracking performance is to use UTM code to your CTAs so that you can measure engagement and conversion back on your site. Be sure to use the content tag as well to uniquely identify each CTA. Below are three examples of how these might be used.
Using the Program Spotlight Feature
The Program Spotlight is a premium feature that allows you to highlight a specific major, an academic program, or opportunity that stands out at your institution. This is another area that can be changed as frequently as you like. Your Monthly Insights Report will provide you with details into how engaging your spotlight is, but you can also use UTM code on the link back to your website to track engagement and conversion there as well. These examples highlight a few different ways that they can be used.
Video on the Profile
Video on your profile can be a great way to pull in your YouTube or Vimeo content to engage students and parents. Make sure that videos are short, engaging, and represent your school well. Having a student-centered thumbnail that makes people want to click and watch the video is incredibly important. Test different videos over time as well, if you know that fall is prime research season the videos should be different than spring and summer yield/melt prevention videos that can tell different stories.
Events are an underutilized, but highly engaged with, part of your profile. You should enter the link to your events calendar as well as individual events. When there are not any individual events, you will still be able to direct people back to your site this way. Events roll off of your calendar after they occur, so you don’t have to remove them manually. Use these to promote both on-campus or online events.