Part 2: Students Say Your Website Can Make or Break Their Enrollment Decision
By: Laura Sheehan
Part 2: How to help students find your website
The beauty of inbound marketing is that it gives us the capacity to attract right-fit students to your institution. Rather than putting up a billboard and hoping they drive by, see it and respond, we can draw them in.
How? By knowing what information students seek and how they search; by creating authentic and engaging website content that matches their search terminology and inspires them to take the next step.
For example, most students will start their college search by googling a specific major. They typically include superlatives in their search terms (“best nursing program” or “top business administration degree.”) Adding these superlatives to website copy will increase traffic.
According to Ruffalo Noel Levitz’ 2019 E-Expectations Report, students search via:
- Academic programs (44%)
- Quality & ranking (21%)
- Location (15%)
- Student life & athletics (11%)
- Name of school (10%)
Students often view the homepage as a jumping off point, a table of contents that directs them to the information they’re seeking. At the University of Saint Francis, we created a homepage that serves this function: the primary feature is a search box, along with success messaging and calls-to-action. In its first quarter, the top action on the homepage was clicks on the Apply button.
The Importance of Academic Program Pages
Because most students search for a particular major, they enter the site via an academic program page. Catching their interest here is essential in moving them through the funnel. Successful program pages include:
- Overview of program with a link to the academic plan (this cannot read like the course catalogue)
- A success testimonial from current student or alumni
- Real-world experience (internships, clinicals, fieldwork, etc.)
- Conversion form
- Data on career potential and earnings
- Special opportunities (e.g., research, travel, labs/facilities)
The point is: every academic program page needs the capacity to convert the student into an inquiry or applicant; every program page must sell the program’s personal and professional value — which brings us to the topic of content.
Nothing can replace good content. If your web copy is stale, boring, out-of-date, uninspiring or too long, there’s no dressing it up. (Number 1 higher education website mistake: redesigning the site with the same copy and navigation). Yes, redoing the entire website with new content is daunting, but it doesn’t have to be done all at once and you can start with high traffic admissions pages.
So, what now? Contact us for a conversation. Start with:
- An evaluation of your current website’s enrollment-generating capacity, along with a
- Plan to implement new strategies, content, architecture, and design that can be done in website sections or throughout the site.
Higher education websites are literally our business. It’s what we know.
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SEARCH THE BLOG
- Your School’s Distinctive Success Story: Why & How to Market It
- Inspiring Students throughout the Recruitment Process
- Part 2: Students Say Your Website Can Make or Break Their Enrollment Decision
- Part 1: Students Say Your Website Can Make or Break Their Enrollment Decision
- The #1 Thing You Can Do for Enrollment
- Finding a “Pocket of Potential” in Summer Enrollment
- How Small & Specific Digital Enrollment Campaigns Yield Timely Results
- Decision Day and Beyond: How Digital Marketing Can Reach Prospects at Critical Points in the Enrollment Cycle
- An Enrollment Management Strategy to Offset the Federal Overtime Rule
- Community Colleges Offer Strong & Specific Value: Tell It & Sell It through Success Stories
- Inbound Inquiries are High Yielding Inquiries
- Is a High Bounce Rate Really Such a Bad Thing?
- Student Satisfaction and the Bottom Line
- Getting a Handle on Your University or College’s Social Media Strategy
- The Value of Content in a Higher Education Website
- Digital Advertising for Colleges and Universities: Don’t be Impressed by Impressions
- Enrollment-Driven Higher Ed Websites: A Recruitment Solution
- The Power of the Human Story: In Enrollment Campaigns & In Life
- Recruiting Adult Learners on Their Terms
- Community College Recruitment: Breaking old Stereotypes via Student Success Stories
- Part III: How an Enrollment-driven Website Can Serve Higher Ed Recruitment
- Part II: How an Enrollment-driven Website Can Serve Higher Ed Recruitment
- How an Enrollment-driven Website Can Serve Higher Ed Recruitment
- The 2016 Internet Trends Report: 4 Takeaways for Higher Ed Recruitment
- What Can Other Colleges Learn from Recent Closures? Staying Current in an Ever-Changing World
- From Enrollment Professional to Parent: My New Insights into the College Search Process
- Does your Higher Ed Website Work For or Against Enrollment? Three Tips to Assess its Recruitment Effectiveness
- Step Up Summer Enrollment: How a Digital Campaign Can Stem Summer Melt & Inspire New Applications
- Looking to Recruit Adult Students? Good News: They’re Telling Us How
- What Can Community Colleges do to Counteract Declining Enrollment? Turns Out Your Institutional Stories are your Best Ammunition
- 5 Tips to Celebrating — and Selling — the Value of the Humanities
- Recruiting a Shifting Demographic: Today’s Minority is Tomorrow’s Majority
- Sure, March Madness Brings an Admissions Bump — If You’re a Big Name DI University
- Higher Ed Recruitment: Can We Help Ease Students’ Stress?
- Countering the Decline: How to Sell Small Liberal Arts Colleges to Gen Z
- Put your Recruitment Eggs in the Basket-of-High-Returns
- Calculate’s Web Recruitment Strategy Recognized at Global Marketing Forum
- Digital Search: A New Way of Finding Right-Fit Students
- 6 Tips to Guide your Decision when Hiring a Digital Marketing Firm
- Content is the Driving Force Behind a Successful Higher Ed Website
- Your Website Isn’t a Project. It’s a Perpetual Work in Progress.
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