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4 Student Recruitment Mistakes to Avoid in 2019

Stop making the same mistakes over and over again when it comes to higher education marketing and student recruitment. Learn the top 4 student recruitment mistakes to avoid in 2019!

Feb 6, 2024

The top 4 mistakes to avoid that you probably don’t even know your making.

As an institute for higher education, your main goal is to draw in new students. Even though it may feel like you are doing everything you can to attract leads and draw students into your university, chances are you are making mistakes that you don’t even realize you’re making.

Don’t keep repeating the same mistakes that you were making last year. Avoid these 4 mistakes in 2019 and get the most out of your online recruitment efforts.

Not chasing the student that goes silent

Getting a lead is exciting. However, it can be discouraging if you respond and then don’t get a response back.

According to our Mystery Shopper exercise, one of the main problems that universities experience is no response back after they reply to a lead. Instead of getting down and assuming the student went another direction or is not interested, make sure you follow up again.

Don’t feel a need to be distant, after all they are the ones who contacted you first. Even if they don’t end up applying for your university right now, establishing a relationship can influence them to apply in the future. A good chase time is 3 days after you have sent your initial reply.

Not utilizing reviews

Universities continue to underestimate the power of reviews. Using reviews to promote your programs and yourself can play a significant role when a student is deciding whether or not to apply to study with you. In fact, our research has found that courses are likely to perform 3 times better if they have reviews. 

Make an effort to get more reviews this year by following up with students about their experience at your university. Not only will this help you gauge how satisfied your students are, but it will also ensure that you are constantly receiving a feed of valuable marketing content.

Having current and relevant reviews up with your profile is a key selling point. Set yourself apart by capitalizing on reviews in 2019.

Not using relevant content

There is an old myth that more is always better. Although this is sometimes true, quality is always better than quantity when it comes to school and program descriptions and resources.

Many universities make the mistake of adding too much wordy and unnecessary content. Even though this may seem like a good idea, adding a plethora of unnecessary text can often drive potential students away rather than draw them in.

According to data by Tony Haile, CEO of the data analytics company Chartbeat, 55% of people spend fewer than 15 seconds actively on a web page.

With this in mind, it is important to focus on listing relevant and up to date content that can quickly and easily inform the reader about yourself and your programs. Ensure your key selling points are clearly established at the top of your page so your readers don’t lose interest.

In addition to ensuring your content is relevant and tailored to your audience, make sure to focus on providing captivating images. Many universities put visuals on the backburner after written content, which is a huge mistake. The first thing that a user sees is the banner at the top of your page. Don’t disregard this image. Use it as an opportunity to give a positive first impression of your institution.

In addition, using tools like video can also help expand your profile beyond just text and give interested candidates a sneak peek into what they can expect when studying at your university.

According to our International Higher Education Report: Student Trends 2018, 67% of students surveyed stated that video content played a large role when choosing which country to study abroad in. Additionally, 79% noted videos as an important factor when choosing a specific university.

Don’t let irrelevant content hold you back in 2019. Get a grip on your overall image and show potential students why they should apply to study with you.

Not tracking

One of the biggest mistakes that universities make is that they don’t track their traffic and other marketing efforts. If you feel like you’re not getting a lot of leads, it may be because you are not drawing enough traffic into your site.

All activities have metrics. If you are not monitoring them, you will have no idea how effective or ineffective they are. Using tools such as Google Analytics, HubSpot or Ahrefs can give you a major competitive advantage by showing how much traffic you’re drawing in, what type of audience your attracting, how well your marketing efforts are performing and so much more.

Don’t continue to be blind in 2019. Stop making these 4 mistakes and start seeing an improvement in your performance.

Keystone Team


The Keystone Team is comprised of experienced educators and advisors dedicated to providing valuable resources and advice to students all over the world.