Online Search Engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo)
We can track via referrers and analytics what people were searching for before they come to the Clover Park website. Google leads the search engines with about 26k referrals a month. With the most searched for phrase being, “Clover Park Technical College”. About 41% of our traffic comes from search engines, 48% just type in the URL or click on a saved favorite. About 12% comes from other sites, (i.e. state board, checkoutacollege.com, etc). Our ability to interact with this channel (before they enter the site), is almost non-existent.
Search Engine Social
If you perform a search for Clover Park on a modern search engine, you’ll notice that many engines now offer a “social” aspect. The idea behind this is that even if a site won’t allow customer reviews, the search engines will “do it for them”. The problem is that these reviews tend to “live forever”, and can’t be moderated by the college. A quick search for “Clover Park Technical College”, on Google places reveals 6 comments, all from 2008. The comments posted were talking mostly about the Barber shop and Dental office. This leaves the community channel hard to engage with (i.e. long gone), and difficult to manage, (takes Google a few weeks to allow us to “claim” a listing).
Third-Party Social and Communication Tools (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia)
In this section I’ll break down the different channels available and what over-all impact they might have on online communications.
With the lions share of the “Social” landscape we’ve actively engaged our Facebook audience. As of December 13th, we currently have 465 “friends” on our official facebook page. They make about 10 comments, wall posts, or likes a week on average. We also have Foundation, and ASG Facebook pages as well.
Blogger (In the Spotlight, Webmaster’s Corner, Solid Start, etc.)
We have pushed blogger as the main service available for anyone who wants to start a blog. The blogs allow staff to post information for students, community, staff, and alumni. People can easily “sign-up” for a blog and stay up-to-date with the latest information. All the blogs allow comments although there are very few that have actually used them. For example there hasn’t been a comment posted on “In the Spotlight” in over a year.
I’ll cover the Continuing Education twitter account since our offical twitter is basically just a feed from our Facebook site. The CPTContinuingEd account has 177 followers with about 112 tweets. Currently this is being used mostly as a one-way “push” for information. There are not a lot of students re-tweeting our posts, (i.e. other users “sharing” them). And even fewer tweets about us.
About a year ago we recreated the college’s official YouTube channel. At that time we uploaded all new high-def videos. Since then we’ve received about 3,800 video views and 7 subscribers. Also since that time we’ve only received 1 comment on all of our YouTube pages.
We have a detailed article on Wikipedia describing the history of the college. This article is also listed in the WikiProject Universities collaborative. However, as of now we have not received a single comment or discussion article on the wiki site.
CPTC.edu Direct Communications (Comments, Contact Us, Information Request, etc.)
In the following section I will cover all of the currently available communication options available from the Clover Park website.
Contact Us Form
Relaunched about a year ago, it has only recently seen an increase in usage. Word verification keeps the bots from spamming the form. All messages are sent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org which I then forward onto the appropriate department. Most contacts are general information requests and are sent to email@example.com. There have been a total of 113 messages posted with about a 10 per week average as of late.
Information Request Form
Used to request program or financial aid information. This form receives about 8-10 request per week on average. The majority of these go directly to Judy, with most requesting a catalog and financial aid info.
Comments by Intense Debate
Launched at the beginning of November, the new online comment system has enjoyed by far the highest level of interactions. Comments can be made anonymously or by signing in to your Facebook or Twitter account. Comments are monitored in real-time and offensive comments can be deleted before they appear on the site. Anyone can subscribe to the comment feed and join in on the conversation. So far we have only had to remove 3 comments out of 225, for inappropriate use. In one month this has increased our online interactions by almost ten fold. We are also building a large repository of email addresses for future use.
Hopefully this explains the many options available for communicating with students, faculty, staff and Alumni. If you have any questions, comments or concerns feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Comments by Channel
for November 2010
for November 2010