In higher education, there are many different audiences that you need to speak to on your website. How do you do this without diluting your message to each one?

Tips for effective college websites

Back to School: Tips for an Effective Higher Ed Website

Wed Sep 25, 2013

Lesson 3: Achieve Your Goals

We're teaming up with digital marketing agency, Boston Interactive for a three-part blog series to help get your higher ed website in shape for the new school year. This series of posts will cover the importance of social integration, prominent calls to action, and faculty showcasing to provide you with insight and inspiration to improve the effectiveness of your .edu site.

Everyone has a website. But, do you have a website that drives your audiences toward achieving the key business goals that propels your institution forward? In higher education, there are many different audiences that you need to speak to on your website. How do you do this without diluting your message to each one?

Start by clearly identifying your audiences and understanding the most important visitors coming to your website; prospective students, parents, alumni, etc. Then, assign clear, measurable business goals to each of your audience types. What steps do you need them to take during their time on your website to meet these goals?

By answering that question, you have the keys to design a website that leads your audiences toward the conversions that impact your business success. Use the steps you’ve identified to inform your key messages and the primary calls-to-action on your website. Write your website copy with your audiences in mind. Be strategic with your calls-to actions and get creative with how you present them. They should be compelling and contextual so that users are more likely to engage. Rather than just having a “Schedule a visit” button on a page, embed this call-to-action within a dynamic video of a current student showing their residence hall. The more engaging and interesting your content, the more likely your audiences will be to take the next step with you.

And remember to set goal-tracking within your analytics to track your key conversion points so that you can measure the performance of your site on an ongoing basis. The user activity that you track against these goals will provide you valuable information about the effectiveness of your calls-to-action and your online conversions rates. These findings will inform future decisions on your website that can enhance your website performance even further.