You may not be a trained marketing expert—and there’s nothing wrong with that! But if you find yourself wearing the marketing hat, you’re not alone. Many administrators must think like marketers—at least when they plan to use their websites to increase admission.
Before you write off your website as just a generic place for people to find out how to email you for more information, think again. Seventy percent of consumers’ buying decisions are made before they speak with a person, according to Hubspot. According to Salesforce, 87% of a buyer’s research occurs before engaging with a brand.
That means almost everyone will spend a bit of time on your website before they decide to contact you. Check out these tips from our marketing pros to make sure you are maximizing your website and the impact it has on admission.
Think About How People Access Your Site
Mobile-first design means your website should not only look amazing on a computer, but, more importantly, be accessible on a phone or tablet. Here’s a simple check anyone can do: Pull up your website on your phone and ensure that it is easy to read all the text, see images clearly, and features are accessible on multiple devices.
Does it load quickly? Do you know where and when your visitors are accessing your website?
Create Clear Calls to Action
As web designers say, there should be no “dead ends.” Users should always be able to see what “next step” is available to keep exploring—whether it’s reading more content by clicking a link, or clicking a “contact us now” button to reach a staff member. This link should be available from every page on your website.
Marketing pros are familiar with the zero moment of truth—the decision-making moment where visitors decide to move forward to learn more, or lose interest in your school and leave your website. Nobody should leave at that moment of truth due to a design flaw—they should always be able to see where to go next.
While contacting someone is a strong Call to Action (CTA), there are other options as well. What do you want interested parents to do next? Some options include booking a seat (virtually or in-person) at an upcoming open house, completing a Google Form survey to supply more information about their children’s educational needs, or possibly scheduling a campus tour. The action links should be available on every page; no visit should have to spend much time looking for them.
Provide a Variety of Contact Options
You know you need CTAs on your website, but are you aware of how your users will interact with your CTAs?
Think about a mother who is ready to learn more, but her toddler is screaming in the background. They can’t phone the school for more information at that moment. Alternatively, maybe a grandparent wants to consider enrolling their grandchild and gifting tuition to them, but they aren’t as comfortable with emailing, and can’t find the phone number.
Without various contact methods, you risk losing potential new admission—all of which could have been avoided with a few extra buttons.
Repurpose and Expand Content
Marketing pros know all about repurposing content. If you have one amazing video, there’s no reason it should only live in one place on your website. Different clips from the same video can be featured at different access points to ensure that a wide audience is finding your favorite content.
Some readers will respond to videos more positively than others. Creating strong text that accompanies the video can make sure everyone has the same takeaway.
Tune in to ask questions related to this Source article or other topics you've encountered lately.
Cater to the Right Audience
Many websites focus too much on enrolled families rather than prospective families. Narrow in on your target demographic, and you’ll likely see more admission inquiries coming from website views.
First, think about the audience you’re trying to reach. Then, dive deeper into the problem you’re addressing. For example, you’re trying to target prospective families who want a well-rounded education for their children and an advanced sports program. Maybe they’re frustrated because they’ve already viewed a dozen schools. Then, they stumble on your website. They will be delighted to find that your school offers a curriculum that is appealing and has the athletic programming they’ve been searching for.
How you show this on your website may vary. Are there events current students are involved in? Does each page describe why a student might want to attend your school?
Review your site with an eye for your demographics, analyzing how much content is for new students and families.
Make It Easy to Meet With a Live Person
Parents are busy and they may consider multiple schools for their children. You need to capture their attention immediately, and that includes making it easy to schedule an admission tour or contact an admission representative. We can’t emphasize this enough—CTAs are vital to the success of your website.
Giving parents more power helps them feel in control of the process, as opposed to having them click on a button and someone contacting them with more info. But you’re also meeting them when they are in the decision-making stage. Take the guesswork out of making time for the next steps by using appointment scheduling software, (like Calendly), to make it easier for your school administrators to keep track of requests that are submitted. Publish your admission director’s availability.
Checking your website through the eyes of a marketing pro increases your chances that prospective families just browsing your site turn into future students in your school.
8/19/2021 — 1/20/2022
New Heads Cohort: Fall Semester
11/3/2021 — 11/6/2021
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