54% of survey respondents said a college's Website was very or extremely important in their decision about whether to apply to that college.1 And, with rising seniors unable to visit campuses, 3 out of 4 students are relying solely on the college Website to make an enrollment decision.2 Given the data, it's no wonder that institutions are scrambling and those universities which may not have previously had a robust digital presence are now being forced to leverage virtual tools to reach prospective students.
A strong online presence will:
Enhance accessibility for on-demand information
Reach a wider audience
Gain the trust of your prospects
Here are ten ways to improve your online brand visibility and drive conversion at every stage of the funnel.
1. Dedicated Microsites
Colleges and universities have turned toward microsites to host virtual events, including open houses. The microsite functions to bring brand awareness through focused content while also being fast to build and cost-effective.
Consumers are demanding more tailored interactions and experiences. Give prospective and admitted students the experiences they want by engaging them at every step of the funnel with customizable video viewing experiences.
3. Authentic Imagery and Video
40% of incoming Freshmen say their institution's handling of COVID-19 is fair or poor. Prospective students visiting your site want to see what life is like on your campus now, not what it was like pre-COVID. Be sure photos and videos on your site are up-to-date and reflect the new reality.
4. Build Your SEO
Students use search engines like Google to find information and will most likely click only on top results. Consider implementing a SEO strategy by:
Building compelling content around your prospect base
Revising all titles, tags, headers, descriptions and URLs for optimization
Carefully choosing keywords based on your target audience
Creating share-worthy content
5. Organic Social Media
51% of Gen Zers are using social media constantly‚Äîand almost 40% of rising Seniors use social media as an informational resource.3 Know where your students are spending the most of their time. Right now it's Instagram and YouTube.
6. Paid Ads
73% of students surveyed have noticed college or university ads on their computer or mobile device. And of those who have, 56% have clicked on at least one.1 Boost your budget for advertising on social media platforms and create hyper-targeted audience segments with focused messaging to produce the most qualified leads.
7. Online Chat
Recreate the student engagement experience by implementing live-chat into your website for more personalized interaction with prospective and newly enrolled students. While this may seem like an easy short-term solution, a live-chat function has long-term benefits for increasing leads.
8. Mobile Optimization
If your website is not optimized for mobile viewing, you are essentially turning away a large majority of your target audience. Keep it simple and design for ease of use. When updating for mobile, keep in mind visual overcrowding, load time, ease of clicks, and stray away from pop-ups.
9. Lead Capture
If you're worried about a shrinking inquiry pool our online events have seen a 35% increase in participation and, with our name capture feature, are a great way to start to fill your funnel.
10. Web Analytics
Collect, analyze, and base future strategies on insights derived from metrics. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will help you analyze and optimize your processes and objectives for future events. Ensure you have the right technology in place to capture key data points that will be beneficial to your overall game plan.
Our mission is to help education institutions drive enrollment through unique and memorable digital engagement solutions. Contact us today to see how we can help your institution develop customized digital solutions to engage with students and drive conversion at every stage of the funnel.