Staying ahead of the latest and greatest marketing and advertising trends is a non-stop sprint. From digital marketing to video creation, your website is at the center of it all. It’s important to view your website as an evolving marketing tool rather than a place to store content and program information.
Here are five key performance indicators we recommend for higher education websites:
On average, an engaged visitor spends 8-10 seconds on a home page. This means you have 8-10 seconds to tell a potential student what your campus is like, what programs you offer and what life is like for students. You can do this by adding videos and imagery of your campus and your students. However, avoid adding too much content and stock imagery. As the potential student moves through the enrollment journey, they will request program information and navigate your site to find what they need.
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Our client at Kansas Wesleyan uses student personas to tell their story on their home page.
Calls to Action
Adding a call-to-action button sounds simple, but there must be a strategy behind each CTA. Calls to action help us gather information on potential students at the top of the funnel, but they shouldn’t distract students at the bottom of the funnel who are ready to hit the “apply now” button.
Take a look at our client, Winterline Global Skills. They offer sample itineraries and brochures available to download throughout the site.
Ease of Navigation
A disorganized website or a site with too many options might overwhelm a potential student and create bounces. It’s vital to have an organized site architecture potential students can navigate. Make it easy for potential students to learn about your programs, requirements and how to apply.
Look at the navigation differences in the before and after images below. Our client, SCU, had four areas to navigate to programs on their old home page. The new home page makes it easy for potential students to find what they are looking for with easy-to-use navigation.
Social Media Integration
Integrating social media channels on your website allows potential students to experience your school’s culture. It’s also exciting to see what other students, faculty and alumni are interested in on your campus.
Beyond that, it’s beneficial from a technical perspective. While Google keeps its search algorithm top secret, rumor has it that active social media channels help your organic search.
One of the most important things you can do is integrate an automated marketing system and CRM into your website. This intelligent software provides insight on who is visiting your site, what actions are they taking and where you can improve your website strategy. Your enrollment and recruitment teams can determine how real-world recruitment events and activities translate into web traffic. Converge works with clients with many types of CRMs and can help with everything from integration to setting up templates for marketing automation.
As you’re creating your social and digital strategy, be sure to continue investing in your number one tool – your website! Learn more about website strategy in this blog post, 3 Ways to Create a Killer Higher Education Website.