Before renting a car or making an expensive purchase online, do you check for online reviews? Around 93% of consumers used online reviews to find a local business within the last year.
Does your school include a feature that allows potential new families to view parent reviews? There are numerous benefits of posting parent reviews for school that will be outlined in this article.
The same consumers who shop online, for example, use online reviews to decide where to enroll their children in school. Here are the top 10 reasons that online reviews are critical for schools and child learning.
1. Parent Reviews Help Schools Improve Learning
Parent reviews offer feedback for other parents, school leaders, and the general public. Reviews can help schools attract new parents, but the online reviews can also improve learning within the school.
Consequently, parents have the option of posting anonymously, and they can include constructive criticism more readily. Common legitimate complaints about the school may include concerns about the curriculum or student workload. Not all complaints are simply disgruntled parents taking personal grudges online.
Some parents may feel more comfortable voicing critiques or praise online, and school leaders can use that feedback to improve student learning.
2. Parent Reviews for School Are Free Advertising
Parents no longer solely rely on word of mouth for good advice on where to send their kids, and parents can even enjoy taking part increasing the good sentiment surrounding their educational institution. Letting parents and students provide video testimonials can be a thrill for those folks.
Nevertheless, even when word of mouth works in your school’s favor, younger parents are much more likely to still search online reviews to confirm those recommendations.
Your school likely has an advertising budget, which is probably directed toward securing new enrollments through a series of steps:
Parent reviews are an important part of the attraction phase, or what might be considered the awareness phase of your inbound marketing funnel. If you are not familiar with terms such as inbound marketing funnel, it may be time to work with an experienced content marketing services provider.
Accordingly, our team also offers in-house software that can collect and promote reviews in a non-intrusive and intuitive way that allows parents to easily leave 5-star reviews.
3. Parent Reviews Help School Leaders Notice Trends
One of the jobs of school leadership is to guide learning and school services in a manner that best serves students and parents. With each new class of students, there may be subtle changes in learning behavior and expectations that school leaders may not notice at first.
Parent reviews for school help the school administration notice new trends. If a growing group of parents wishes for more arts-centered learning, those comments may become noticeable through online reviews.
Subsequently, that feedback can help school administrators allocate resources. Those reviews also offer feedback for parents outside of the school network.
4. Reviews Help Your School Compete
Does your school’s website have a prominent space to show reviews? They don’t necessarily have to be front and center for site visitors, but they should be visible somewhere on your website.
If you are not sharing parent reviews, then you may not be as competitive as you could be. For better or worse, parents may not look at academic ratings as the first indicator of where they should send their kids.
School reviews for parents have become the gatekeeper that determines how a lot of parents decide which school to choose. Engaging new parents early in the marketing funnel through emails, videos, and social posts can help keep parents excited about enrollment as well as more likely to leave their own positive reviews. These can help your school compete with other schools in the area.
5. Reviews Help Out of State Families Choose Where to Move
Around 36 million Americans moved within the first half of 2020, and remote work has only made moving easier than ever. When families move, one of the first details they look into is the quality of the school districts in their new destination. Online reviews certainly stand out during this phase.
If your school isn’t actively engaging prospective new parents by highlighting your online reviews, than you might be missing out on new students who are moving into your town or city.
6. Online Feedback Helps Drive Internet Traffic
Go ahead and check if your school’s website shows up in an online search. Pull up Google and search for “Best schools near me” or another common internet search term that prospective parents may use.
Consequently, if you aren’t thrilled with the results, it may be because your school has a low SEO ranking. Search Engine Optimization drives traffic toward your website, which online reviews are an important part of because Google considers reviews when assessing online ranking scores.
7. Parent Reviews Can Boost Enrollment
Whether your school outsources marketing or handles that work in-house, your admissions team should have a strategy for increasing online visibility. Any admissions strategy should include a plan to use online reviews to boost enrollment.
This should include reaching out to parents and asking for their feedback when they might be the most likely to express positive sentiments. Some times to consider might be after committing to the school, toward the end of a successful academic year, or even around the holidays.
Posting online reviews helps your school earn that all-important first impression. Still don’t believe that reviews are a top determining factor of new enrollments? One survey found that 13% of Google’s ranking preference is determined by online reviews.
8. Reviews Show Transparency
Accordingly, having online reviews can help your school boost its online profile. It also signals to parents that your institution is open and transparent. Conversely, schools that do not share parent feedback may come off as potentially hiding something.
Transparency helps your school boost its reputation. Moreover, most parents expect school leaders to be transparent with school dealings, and posted reviews can communicate that sense of openness to new students and potential new families.
9. Online Reviews Signal Strong Parental Involvement
Ordinarily, parental involvement in learning is shown to improve student outcomes. Schools that have strong parent involvement and teacher commitment tend to have students who show stronger signs of emotional development and reading skills.
Showcasing online reviews can help communicate to prospective parents that your school has a strong community of involved parents. When parents understand that other parents are passionate about their children’s education, that will be seen as an advantage.
Moreover, the mere fact that your school shares reviews online will further spread the message that your institution cares about parental involvement.
10. Online Feedback Helps You Boast About Achievement
Does your school have great academic performance figures? What better way to boast about those achievements than through the voices of parents whose kids attend your school?
In fact, these sorts of accolades can seem more authentic when coming from the parents and families who experience them first hand. Highlighting these achievements can also attract parents who are still in the awareness phase of your inbound marketing funnel.
Tips for Promoting Parent Reviews
As we mentioned earlier, one of the best ways to share online reviews is through your school’s website. That information can help boost your website’s online rankings, it’s not necessarily as simple as just pasting your reviews onto your site.
Prioritize Which Review Sites Matter
Not surprisingly, there are dozens if not hundreds of popular review sites online. You can’t possibly monitor all of them, but you can prioritize which ones your school follows.
Google, PrivateSchoolReview.com, Facebook and Niche are are some of the top websites for school reviews
Read your online reviews. Keep track of which ones you want to feature on your website as well as where any negative reviews are popping up.
Engage Your Supporters
You already have a built-in group of supporters — your parents! Keep track of when your families seem their happiest. Have a few parents recently donated to your school? Reach out and ask if they might be willing to leave a review.
Other aspects of your marketing funnel and efforts, such as social media posts or email drip campaigns, can also help engage parents before directing them to suggested review sites.
Additionally, if reviews are a priority, it may be worth your time to call parents directly and ask them to write an online review. Remember, if there is a website that has negative feedback about your school, driving new comments to that site can pay off the most.
Grow the Effort
Once you have found willing parents who can write reviews, you should get creative in also finding other sources of feedback. You can hire an outside group to run a satisfaction survey. This objective information can then be promoted.
Subsequently, the benefit of this approach is that it captures data from parents who may not have been able or willing to write their own online reviews.
You can get further mileage out of reviews by making individual social media posts that highlight your most positive reviews. Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are great places to make a post that captures someone’s feedback.
Corporations go one step further by politely replying to online comments. Depending on which review service you visit, you may be able to reply as a spokesperson for the school. By taking parents’ concerns seriously, you will appear accountable and trustworthy in the eyes of parents who read those responses.
Partner with VujaDay to Boost Parent Reviews for School
Parent reviews can be an important asset to your school’s marketing efforts. You can take control of parent reviews for school by following the simple steps outlined in this article.
The effort may take months or longer, but the long-term benefits of cultivating positive reviews will eventually lead to a boosted public image and increased online traffic from parents who want to send their kids to your school.
Along the way, VujaDay will be there to help you grow your online presence in meaningful ways that will help grow your business. To schedule a consultation with one of our team members, contact us today!