How to Improve Online Reviews Schools
Whether you’re looking for a nice restaurant, where to shop or the best school to send your child, online reviews are the go-to place. Reviews form a big part of consumer experience in the age we are living. Schools that proactively curate and engage with their parents grow the schools online reviews by 150% in the first year. As you can see, online reviews for schools matter. Which school would you pick? The one with four reviews and a 3.1 star average rating or the one with 150 reviews and is rated online at 4.5 stars?
Engagement begins with the initial search for a school but doesn’t end there. Because parents and students use the social media to engage with the school, they will see the schools star rating each time they open a browser. Have a plan to proactively curate reviews and your school will dominate your market segment. Without it your school is at the mercy of the nameless, faceless people who only review when they are upset.
Everything now is being done online, and many users are seeking for unbiased opinions in the form of reviews. With this notion in mind, you should consider how reviews of your school will likely influence prospective students.
Having a lot of positive reviews for your school, and dealing with negative opinions is the right path to take.
Moreover, your engagement team should familiarize themselves with the numerous online spaces in which students, parents, and community members frequent to share their opinions about your school. In fact, 95% of online reviews for schools come from the students.
Such knowledge helps you make significant strides.
Why Reviews Should Be Part of Your School Marketing Strategy
In a 2017 Spiegel Research Center study, it emerged that almost 95% of searchers go through online reviews before making a purchase.
Bright Local published more research the same year, which showed that 85% of consumers trust online reviews the same they make personal recommendations.
Extensive research has been conducted in determining the extent online reviews influence the decisions of prospective students. Peer recommendations play a significant role in the decision making process.
Case in point, a survey was done in 2018 by QS Digital Solutions International. It registered that positive reviews conducted by existing students were the third factor that prospective student applicants opted for when gauging teaching quality.
Independent reviews offer the much needed social proof in a similar fashion as student testimonials. They provide enough evidence that your school delivers on its promise.
Moreover, reviews posted on independent online platforms are unedited and are not controlled by your institution.
The reviews can be both positive and negative; they will either contradict or reinforce your crucial recruitment messages. In a nutshell, prospective students rely heavily on independent studies and regard them highly.
Where Is Your School being Reviewed online?
Online reviews targeting schools are posted on different channels. Recruitment teams need to take more caution if they wish to use the reviews effectively to generate student leads. Below are some of the widely used and influential review sites:
College and School Review Sites
Your community engagement team should also look into review sites that revolve around education such as Student Hut, CourseFinder, schooldigger.com, niche.com among others. Focusing on the education sector solely sees these sites provide readers with more in-depth and customized reviews.
Users also get to rate institutions based on certain factors such as affordability, staff, faculty, and accommodation.
Other websites, including Rate, My professors, Rate My Teachers, and more. Which focus on various educational segments such as Go Overseas, and Hotcourses Abroad should be looked into.
With well over 163 million reviews on this platform since inception, Yelp is a user-friendly interface that hosts unbiased and informative reviews. Prospective students visit this platform seeking independent reviews of your school.
Over 60% of users leaving reviews are college-educated, and 34% of users range between the ages of 18 to 34. However, you shouldn’t attach too much importance on the kind of exposure your school gets on Yelp. School reviews take up a small segment on this platform.
Facebook reviews now called recommendations have increased in prominence. The reviews can appear on official business pages as well as the place section of the sites. The reviews on this platform are unique and accord readers with loads of opportunities since they encourage interaction.
Facebook allows you to reply to comments/reviews with their customary reaction buttons. You can also use gifs, emojis, photos, and stickers. The site is highly reputed for its engagement and conversational nature that allows users to comment on reviews. ReputationSimple has a best practices training for how to reply to online reviews for your school.
The platform also has made it easy for reviewers to recommend places on their news feeds. On the face value, this is a great way to expand the effects of positive reviews.
Google My Business
Since its inception back in 2013, Google My Business listings continue to grow in popularity. The review section is setup beneath social media profiles in standard GMB listings.
These reviews are essential for your school thanks to the volume of potential recruits that go through them. Moz research shows that having Google My Business reviews profoundly impacts Local SEO which helps your school searches, reviews, and website rank higher.
The Best Ways To Generate Improve Online Reviews Schools
It can be challenging to get reviews on student lead generation. Research conducted by Bright Local shows that browsers read an average of 7 reviews before they make a buying decision.
Fan and Fuel researched in 2016 and found out that 73% of customers regard written reviews highly than star ratings.
You should conduct an audit of your presence and get a baseline on the above platforms to find out where and how many reviews of your school exist and how substantial they might be. We offer a free Reputation Report Card to get your schools online information quickly. Contact us via the FREE Reputation Report Card form and we will send you over your schools online information.
If the online reviews of your school are either too short or are mostly negative. You should get proactive and search for them all through the online community. You should encourage users to post recent reviews as dated reviews are considered less relevant.
Rectify these mistakes by presenting updated information that appeals to users. You can achieve this by updating Google My Business Listing with new info, images, and GMB posts. Doing so helps your school rank better and appear more on user searches.
See to it that your school appears in Facebook Places, not just through your school page to get it reviewed more. Also, dedicated review sites, including Yelp and educational review platforms, make it easy for you to claim the school’s page on these platforms.
Owning or claiming such pages allows you to edit, make them more engaging as you provide users with proper information to make sound reviews.
Other platforms such as Go overseas provide custom data dashboards that make it possible for browsers to view valuable traffic. It also offers engagement metrics for your page.
Finally; you can optimize the school’s website to encourage visitors to leave reviews.
Yelp allows businesses, as well as schools, to pin a review badge on their web pages. You can place the symbol next to your other social media buttons in your posts, and other strategic areas on the website.
Contact support by clicking here for more information or to sign up for assistance with your schools online reviews or reputation marketing needs.