Each year there are over 3 MILLION childcare searches made with Google in Australia. This makes Google the most popular destination for Australian families to find childcare.
If your childcare service is not effectively using Google’s marketing solutions, then there is no doubt you will be missing out on thousands of dollars in revenue every month.
The great news is that there are lots of quick to implement marketing solutions offered by Google that will grow occupancy for every childcare operator.
In this article we give you 5 Google marketing tips that are proven to grow occupancy. Best yet, these tips can be implemented in under one week.
1. Appear at the top of the page on Google
Google’s Search Ads, formerly known as Adwords, will make sure your childcare service appear at the very top of the page on Google.
You have probably seen Google’s Search Ads before, the 3 listings below with black ‘Ad’ stamp in the top left are all Search Ads.
By appearing at the top of the page, you can be guaranteed that more families will visit your website. The more website visits the more enquiries by families.
Any enquiry that comes from a Google search is HIGH QUALITY. What this means is that the majority of these enquiries will book a tour of your centre.
On average, about 1 in 4 enquiries from Google Search Ads convert into an enrolment. If your team is better than average at converting enquiries into enrolments, then you could expect that 1 in 3 or even 1 in 2 enquires convert into an enrolment.
You have to pay for Google Search Ads, but this is worth it because there is a clear return on investment. For every dollar spent on Google Search Ads, an childcare operator should expect to receive at least $30 in revenue.
With such an AMAZING return on investment, it is no surprise that Goodstart, G8, Affinity, Guardian, OAC, Busy Bees, C&K, Busy Bees, Green Leaves, Petit and many other childcare operators all use Google Search Ads.
For every dollar spent on Google Search Ads, an childcare operator should expect to receive at least $30 in revenue.
2. Appear at the top of Google Maps results
If your childcare service doesn’t already have a Google Business page then you need to setup one up immediately. If you don’t know how to do this, please book in a consultation with us and we will help you set one up for free.
A Google Business page appears in the Google Maps sections of Google’s search results.
There are two Google maps sections that familiess will see. The first is the local pack which lists the top 3-4 childcare services in the location.
In the above example, the first service listed with the ‘Ad’ stamp is a Search Ad that has be purchased. The next 3 services listed have earned their spot their through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
If your childcare service can get listed in the local pack through good SEO, then fantastic because you don’t have to pay to Google anything.
However, SEO takes time, is complicated and competitive. So if your childcare service cannot make it in the top 3, then purchase your position there with a Google Search Ad. This is money well spent because A LOT of families will click on the listing because it is the first in the list.
Even if your childcare service does make it into the top 3, you can still purchase a Google Search Ad to appear twice. Why not? Now your service is listed twice and you are more likely to get families visiting your website.
The other place your childcare service will appear is in the full view of Google Maps, see below for what this looks like.
Again, childcare services can either purchase Google Search Ads to appear at the top. In the above example two services have purchased a Google Search Ad, you can tell because there is a green ‘Ad’ stamp on the listing.
After the two Google Search Ad listings are the organic listings. The ranking of the organic listings are determined by SEO, but also the location of each service.
Pro Tip: A good strategy here is to purchase a Google Search Ad for the neighbouring suburb. In the above example the results are a search of ‘Childcare Brighton’. Only About Children Hampton is not in Brighton, but because they have purchased a Search Ad for ‘Childcare Brighton’ they are the first result in Google Maps.
It is hard to rank high in the neighbouring suburb organically because Google will favour services in that suburb. Purchasing a Search Ad for the neighbouring suburb will get your serviced noticed by families searching in a suburb nearby your service.
3. Increase rankings with reviews from families
Receiving positive reviews from families will increase the ranking of your service’s Google Business page.
Google makes this VERY CLEAR on their Improve your local ranking on Google help page.
A higher ranking results in more families visiting your service’s website. This in turn results in more enquiries and ultimately more enrolments.
There’s two different ways to get reviews from families.
The first way is to do it manually by going to your service’s Google My Business account and copying the review link.
Once you have copied the review link, simply email this to families currently enrolled at your service and ask them to leave a review.
The problem with the manual process is that it needs to be done regularly which takes time and easily forgotten about. Also, there is a risk that a family leaves a negative review which could reduce your service’s rankings.
The second way to get reviews is to use a tool that automates the process. Not only does this save lots of time, these tools also make sure families with negative reviews do not leave their review on Google.
The best tool available in my opinion is KindyNow which is specifically built for childcare. Better yet, their Google review feature is completely free.
4. Increase website visits by uploading photos
There are two reasons why regularly adding photos is REALLY important.
Adding photos improves the ranking of childcare service’s Google Business page in the Google Maps’s results.
Google even states that this on their Improve your local ranking on Google help page.
Pro Tip: Add photos regularly, not just once. Regularly updating a Google Business page helps Google trust that the business is active and operating. So when uploading a great new photo of your centre to Facebook, remember to also upload it to your Google Business page.
The second reason for adding photos is that will increase the number of families that visit your website.
If Google Business page has no photos, then Google will show families a street view of the centre.
A street view photo does not give families any information about your service. This is likely to results in families ignoring your service and looking at your competitors.
Now let’s compare this to a centre who has added quality photos to their Google Business page.
It obvious that quality photos make a MASSIVE difference.
These photos show families what the centre’s facilities look like and the type of learning children receive. This helps families assess that the centre is good quality which will lead to them visiting the centre’s website and submitting an enquiry.
In my experience adding quality photos increases website visits from a Google Business page by over 60% which is HUGE.
5. Increase enquiries with a call extension
Google’s Search Ads are a great way to direct families to your service’s website where they can learn more about it and then submit an enquiry.
Whilst most people prefer to browse a website to learn about a service before enquiring, others will prefer to pick up the phone immediately and have chat.
This is where call extensions really help. These will list your service’s phone number in the Search Ad.
Below is an example of a Search Ad with a call extension and one without.
With a single click of a button, families can be on the phone with your services within seconds. Your service manager can then invite the family in for a tour.
In my experience adding call extensions to Search Ads will increase enquiries from families by at least 30%.
Learn more about these tips and others
Book in a free consultation to learn how we can implement these tips and many more for your childcare business.