When breaking down online marketing strategies, Google Analytics is frequently discussed but rarely used to its full potential. Let’s talk about how Google Analytics can help your child care website reach more potential families and increase enrollment for the fall.
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is an online tool that helps website owners to better understand a few things about their website:
- Who is Visiting The Website
- Where The Visitors Are From
- How The Visitors Found The Website
- What Content is Shared on Social Networks
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the information Google Analytics can provide about your website. There is so much that can be measured with Google Analytics code and data. If there is important data you want to find easily, you can add those categories to your dashboard. Customize your view to focus on the data most important to you and your daycare website.
Google Analytics is free for users with less than 5 million page views each month. Who doesn’t want a free tool that will help them improve their website and online marketing approach?
#1: Learn What Web Pages People Love
Learn what your best and worst performers are on your child care website. You can learn what sites keep visitors interested for longer periods of time. What pages make people run away? From the Content menu, click on Site Content and then select Pages. From here you can understand on what pages your audience spends the most time. If one web page is a real winner, what can you do to your other web pages to keep people engaged?
Use Google Analytics to compare the bounce rate of each of your pages. Since your bounce rate does factor into SEO, this is one aspect of Google Analytics you cannot afford to ignore.
You can also use Google Analytics to find out what your website visitors are clicking on the most. Visit your Content menu and click on the In-Page Analytics to learn which internal links are garnering the most interest.
#2: Find Your Website’s Blind Spots
Learn what people are looking for are your website. Are they looking for an answer you don’t provide? Is there a service you offer at your preschool but do not heavily feature or advertise on your website? You could be losing out to another local child care center because families mistakenly believe you don’t have what they need.
Google Analytics gives you the chance to identify these blind spots and address them so you are properly representing your daycare center online.
#3: Up Your Mobile Game
Our team has said that your target market will most likely visit your website on a mobile device like a smart phone. Don’t just take our word for it. Instead, use Google Analytics to understand how traffic to your website varies on different devices.
If your website is not mobile friendly, a website visitor is likely to spend less time on your website and return to search engine results for the next option. Visitors to your website will also be far less likely to engage on your site or answer your call to action if it is not mobile friendly and they are using mobile devices.
Think about the last time you looked up a local restaurant or coffee shop on your phone. Did you visit their website? Was the website hard to navigate? Did that make you want to spend more time trying to go through the website to have your questions answered? Did that experience make you want to go to that coffee shop or restaurant? Now think about your website. Could parents be thinking the same thing when they visit your website? If the answer is yes, then it is time to up your mobile game.
#4: Make Sure Your Target Market Can Find You
Learn who is your audience. Are you reaching families and parents in your area? Because there are so many child centers nationwide, it is imperative that child care center owners can market to the local community and surrounding cities.
If you are a daycare center in Memphis, Tennessee, you would ideally want families in Memphis to be visiting your website and considering enrolling their children at your daycare center. Is Google Analytics showing that the only people who see your website are from Burbank, California, then that isn’t really working for you is it?
If the only people who are finding your website are so far away they would not send their children to your daycare, then you need to adjust accordingly.
#5: Learn About Your Visitors
Where is your traffic coming from? Are people finding you via Facebook, Yelp, or another site? To prepare for enrollment season, it may be worth your while to invest in an additional marketing budget. How can you get the most out of your money? If you use Google Analytics, you can see which outside sites drive traffic to your website. With this information, you can make a smarter investment in your marketing dollars towards a site that will reach the right audience.
If parents are finding you through Facebook, you can use that knowledge to make a Facebook ad that targets young families in need of child care services. If website visitors find you through a site like Yelp or Care.com, make sure all your information is up to date on those sites.
#6: Develop a Marketing Strategy
You can use Google Analytics for strategic decisions. With this online marketing tool, you can learn which online campaigns are getting you the most bang for your buck. You can use the data from Advanced Segments to figure out if your social media marketing campaign is working or if you should be putting more effort in another area of your marketing strategy.
Work With Local Child Care Marketing to Increase Enrollment
Local Child Care Marketing can help you understand how to develop and implement a marketing strategy for your child care center. There are so many online marketing tools available to help you increase enrollment for your daycare center, and our team can break down the options to find what is most useful for you now.
Parents are searching for solutions online and on their mobile devices. Make sure that these parents can find you and your child care center as the solution. With services like Website Development, Pay-Per-Click Advertising, Social Media Marketing, Local Child Care Marketing can boost your child care center’s web presence.
Contact us to learn more about how to use Google Analytics to your advantage this summer!
May is National Foster Care Month. This month is set aside to recognize the individuals and families who give their time, their resources and their homes to children who are going through the most difficult times of their life.
Most people would have a difficult time letting a stranger in their home to shower, sleep and eat. It would be the equivalent of picking up a homeless person and taking them home. You know nothing about this person except what you can see and perhaps what they have told you.
For foster parents, the person is a child. This child may have severe mental or physical trauma that is not apparent to the naked eye. Emotional damage may be hidden under layers of disdain, hatred and aloofness. Now imagine that you open your home, your family and your heart to this child. Is that hard to imagine? That is what foster families do every day. It is all about placing your fears and doubts aside to meet the needs of a child who has nobody else to turn to.
National Foster Care Month
May is the time to bring awareness to foster care. Foster parents are honored during this month. The need for more families to volunteer is brought to the forefront of the public eye. The needs of the foster care families are recognized. Resources are introduced to help meet the needs. After all, foster care is more than just opening your home up to a child in need. Foster care awareness is critical to help families and communities meet the needs of the children and the families that care for them.
Where to Find Help
Many people caring for children do not know that there are resources available to help them. Respite babysitting services, community clothing closets, support groups and even activities and sports programs for the children are all in place to help families foster these children. However, the problem is that not all families know about the resources available. During May, resources of all kinds are brought to the forefront in an attempt to help families caring for foster children.
Grandparents, aunts and uncles are often kinship caregivers. This means that they have assumed the role of caregiver since the parents of the child are not an option. Often, this causes a change in family dynamics. An adult child may resent the grandparent becoming the primary caregiver of their child. Maybe a grandparent does not know what to do about things like medical care, legal issues with the school, etc. Resources like
The Grandkin Guide can help grandparents to navigate the legal system, family issues and the new role of caregiver.
Such resources are critical to helping foster care families cope with the changes that come from having a new child in the home. Online resources, support groups, financial aid and more can all be beneficial for the care of foster children. Whether kinship care is decided between family members or set up by child welfare services, there is no reason to feel alone and adrift in this new circumstance. Help is available.
Why is Public Awareness so Important?
Foster care is often shown in a negative light. News stories of tragedies, rumors of greed and horror stories from former foster children get the spotlight, while great foster successes go unheralded.
Care of these children must be brought to the public in a positive light. People will remember success stories of foster children who went on to college and beyond. Foster parents who go above and beyond to help children find their passions, like painting or horseback riding, should be highlighted and commended. The children should have their success stories shared, just like in a traditional family. These children can thrive if the parents have the resources available to help them. Even severe mental and physical abuse of the past can be overcome with love and support from foster parents who really care.
Foster care takes a whole community to be successful. Outreach groups, support groups, legal and financial help, respite caregivers, teachers, child welfare advocates – everyone must work hand-in-hand with the foster caregivers to ensure these children are protected, loved and given the chance for a successful, happy life.
Use May as the month to educate yourself about the foster care system and how you and your community can help these families. A community picnic, a toy or clothing drive, volunteering your time or even offering your talents (like free piano lessons) – there are plenty of ways you can help with foster care. The keyword is ‘care’.
What does SSL mean? What is an SSL? Do I need one for my child care center website? How do SSL certificate installations work? When it comes to the ins and outs of building your daycare’s reputation on the internet, there are so many moving pieces. This month, we are introducing one that has been around for a few years but has become more important than ever: SSL.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and it encrypts your data as you visit a website. Hackers and thieves want to intercept communications between your computer and the hosting server of the website you visit to capture important data about you. SSL protects your personal information, like phone numbers, addresses, names, and most importantly, credit card information. This is especially important if you are asking parents to share sensitive information with you through your website.
Learning More About SSL
How do you know a website is encrypting your data as you browse the web? When you look at the URL of a website like www.google.com, look just to the left of that. Do you see HTTP or HTTPS? That “S” lets you know the site is secure. Some SSL certificate providers will even let you know a site is secure by adding a little green box that says “Secure” or a picture of a lock to the left of the URL. These examples let you know that your connection to the site is secure.
SSL Certificate Providers
SSL certificate providers are web service company that are certificate issuing authorities. You can also purchase SSL certificates from web hosting companies like GoDaddy. Some of the most popular SSL certificate providers are Comodo, GeoTrust, and VeriSign. Different SSL certificate providers offer packages up to 3 years with warranties and free unlimited reissues for the lifetime of the certificate. SSL certificate providers also offer different ways to verify your site is secure, from the green box to a lock, etc.
#1: Secure Web Visitors’ Data
There are more online threats of identity theft and credit card fraud than ever before. When sites use encryption to protect your information, your chances of being a victim of identity theft decrease. The most important reason behind getting an SSL certificate is safety and security.
#2: SSL is Becoming a Requirement for Some Sites
It turns out that SSL is required for compliance with Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards. Does your website have any sort of e-commerce aspect? Do you sell anything on your website? If there is a chance a website visitor would enter credit card information on your website, the security standards are stricter in order to protect financial information and prevent fraud. The extra need for security means that your website is subject to audits to make sure you comply with the PCI standards. One of these standards is having an SSL certificate. While this requirement is only necessary for e-commerce websites, SSL on your site shows you are trustworthy.
#3: Build Trust
SSL certificates provide authentication of your site. If your site is secured through SSL, you indicate to your website visitors that you are who you say you are. A secure site also gives the sign to visitors that your content has not been compromised in any way. An SSL certificate authenticates your child care center’s website.
#4: Don’t Scare Parents Off
Google has started to label sites without SSL as “not secure.” If your site does not have an SSL certificate, browsers like Google Chrome can tell your website visitors not to type in any personal information while on your site. Imagine the first impression you get of a company is a trusted authority telling you, “This isn’t safe.” That can give parents the willies!
If parents don’t even feel safe visiting your website, what are the chances they will feel safe leaving their young children in your care?
#5: SSL Gives You an SEO Boost
In 2014, Google told the internet world that the algorithm would use HTTPS as a ranking signal for websites. As Google experts have been improving the user experience, they have also wanted to make that experience more safe and secure. On the Official Google Webmaster Blog, Webmaster Trends Analysts explained, “A big part of [making the internet safer] is making sure that websites people access from Google are secure.”
Google does not always announce updates anymore; instead the experts at HQ continue to refine the algorithm to make sure people searching online find quality, user-friendly content. Taking the step to secure your website and get an SSL certificate may not boost your website from page three of results to the first result of the top page, but it can improve your search engine rankings. If other child care centers in your area are investing in SEO and online marketing, every little effort can help you beat out the competition.
Your Child Care Website
At Local Child Care Marketing, our team can make sure your website helps parents learn about your child care center and trust you as a child care center owner. Local Child Care Marketing can help you develop or revamp your child care center website to be user friendly on different browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari. We ensure that your website is also mobile friendly and optimized to improve your rankings on various search engines.
With over 7 years of experience, Local Child Care Marketing has worked with over 75 child care providers across the nation. We offer a wide array of online marketing services to help you get your preschool noticed by parents. From Website Development and SEO to Reputation Management and Pay-Per-Click Advertising, Local Child Care Marketing serves as your ally in building your child care center’s online reputation.
Over 80% of parents look online for child care centers, and roughly 72% of them trust online reviews. What are people saying about your child care center on the web? Contact us today to learn more about what you can be doing online to gain parents’ trust and increase enrollment!
What is NCAPM All About?
April of 2017 marks the 34th year of National Child Abuse Prevention Month (NCAPM), a time dedicated to raising awareness of this devastating social issue and ending child abuse once and for all.
Since 1983, this month has been a time for communities to have a dialogue about the ways to not only stop the abuse of children, but providing education and resources for families and young adults to make sure that the abuse and neglect of children doesn’t carry on for even one more generation.
What the Statistics Say (And What they Don’t Say)
Are the numbers of abuse victims still high enough to warrant a month of awareness and advocacy? Sadly, the answer remains an absolute “yes”.
Despite what you might think, America still has a huge abuse and neglect problem. Current statistics report a staggering 3 million children a year who deal with some form of abuse. Sadly, these are just the cases that are reported; we will likely never know the true statistics.
This is one of the worst rates of abuse in any industrialized nation. The time has come to say, “Enough!” We can do better, which is why each April we renew our promise to the children of America.
Time Can’t Heal All Wounds: Ongoing Symptoms of Abuse
Abuse would be bad enough if the hurting ended with sores and bruises, but abuse creates many scars that do not manifest until later in life (often manifesting in dangerously rebellious teenage or young adult behavior).
Over time, the young victims of abuse may also be affected by the following issues:
- Increased tendency towards drug and alcohol abuse
- Serious depression, including suicide attempts
- Higher instances of “risk-seeking” behavior, such as multiple sexual partners, and other unsafe sexual practices
- An almost 80% instance of some type of psychological disorder
The list of effects is startling, but what is most unacceptable are the nearly 1,600 children who died as a result of abuse last year. Until that number reaches zero, the NCAPM will advocate and raise awareness of these issues affecting countless American families.
History of the NCAPM
Did you know that the first specific laws regarding child abuse were only signed in 1974? While we’ve certainly come a long way since then, there is still a social stigma and problem of reportage and awareness that we need to deal with as a nation.
What started as a single week of awareness in 1982 became a full-fledged month of action starting in 1983, and the events and actions have inspired the creation of new laws and statutes that aim to eliminate harm to innocent and vulnerable children.
Whether in your own community, online, or by joining a larger march or event somewhere near you, you can become part of the NCAPM’s history this April–don’t wait until next year.
Ideas to Get Involved
There are many ways you can participate in this nationwide awareness month. Activities can be simple:
- Organizing a block party or “meet and greet” with your neighbors
- Attending parent meetings at your children’s school
- Finding city or government-organized events for NCAPM
Or, you can organize with other parents and local families to put on bigger events, such as:
- Running for local office or a PTA board
- Attending and speaking at local government meetings (such as city council)
- Organizing letter-writing campaigns and petitions
Keep in mind, these are just a few ideas. Be creative and think about new and interesting ways that you can help children and families who have been affected by neglect and/or abuse.
Moving Our Communities and Families Forward
Whether you visit the official NCAPM website (provided by the government’s Child Welfare Agency) or you find local events to raise awareness, the important thing is to get involved. It’s also important to remember that April is only the beginning–staying vigilant and engaged in your family and community throughout the year is the best defense we have against future abuse and neglect.
For too long, the victims and families who have suffered from abuse and neglect have been silent. April is a time for these voices to be heard, loud and clear. Now is the time–take a stand against abuse and neglect!