Niche releases reports on Higher Education and PK-12 School website traffic
February 28, 2022 — PITTSBURGH — Niche, the leading platform connecting students and families with colleges and schools, has just published two reports examining year-over-year trends in traffic to schools’ and colleges’ websites. The annual reports are designed to identify industry-wide trends for schools and colleges to use as benchmarks as they strategize and budget for the new year.
2021 Niche Higher Education Website Benchmarks presents metrics drawn from website traffic data for the 2021 calendar year aggregated across 442 higher ed institutions. All participating institutions granted Niche read-only access to their Google Analytics data to track and report on their website traffic.
“This year’s website benchmarks report should be a wake-up call for many colleges,” said Will Patch, Senior Enrollment Insights Leader on the Higher Ed side. “The report shows that higher ed institutions saw less overall traffic to their websites, and more visitors left without taking any actions. Websites need to meet user expectations if colleges want to engage, attract, and ultimately enroll students.”
Some key takeaways include:
- Institutions brought less traffic to their sites in 2021 than in 2020, but a higher share of new users. They also stayed longer on the site each time they visited.
- TikTok is making the biggest impact on traffic to 2-year colleges, and it was the second-highest social source behind Facebook. It was the fourth-largest source for 4-year colleges behind Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. In both cases, however, it was poor at bringing an engaged audience. Unexpectedly, it was the largest social traffic source with for-profit colleges.
- As institutions get larger, the volume of social media traffic increases but also contributes a smaller percentage of site traffic.
The Higher Ed results can be viewed in full here: https://www.niche.com/about/enrollment-insights/2021-niche-higher-education-website-benchmarks/
2021 Niche PK-12 Education Website Benchmarks looks at the same aggregated data across 1,042 PK-12 schools. The report also looked at differences between organic and paid traffic, and general website versus social media-driven traffic.
“This report should give PK-12 schools a reference point for evaluating their own websites, social media channels, or paid digital marketing campaigns against the industry at large,” said Angela Brown, Niche’s PK-12 Senior Enrollment Insights Leader. “Schools can compare bounce rates, engagement, even marketing budgets with what’s common among similar institutions. We hope the report will serve as a quality resource for reporting on last year’s metrics and setting new goals for this year.”
Some key takeaways include:
- Similar to what occurred in higher education, K-12 schools brought less overall traffic to their sites in 2021 than in 2020, but a higher share of new users.
- Facebook traffic declined 59%, and given ongoing challenges with organic reach on Facebook, this is a data point for schools to watch given the heavy dependence on this channel for constituent outreach.
- With respect to Google Ads specifically, all K-12 segments except for school districts increased spending in 2021, some significantly. Average spending on Google Ads increased the most in the public K-12 segment, by nearly 2,600%.
The PK-12 results can be viewed in full here: https://www.niche.com/about/enrollment-insights/2021-niche-pk-12-education-website-benchmarks/
About Niche: Niche is where students and parents choose their school. Whether a school is already on their list or the perfect fit they haven’t yet discovered, Niche connects families to the ones that are uniquely right for them. Our enrollment marketing solutions enable our 1,800 partners to build genuine connections that nurture interest into visits, applications and enrollment. By supporting over 50 million students and parents, Niche is changing how schools and colleges connect with families and build their future classes.
Senior PR Specialist