Your website is the face of your college. The way a prospective adult learner perceives your website – its content, its organization – will in large part determine how they perceive your institution as a whole. It’s their first impression of you. Make it exceptional.
Designing, expanding, or managing a university website can be a challenge for many institutions. College websites tend to have a tremendous amount of content, and it’s easy to fail at presenting this information in a thoughtful, effective, and visitor-friendly way.
Your website must excite adult learners. It must establish your brand, position your institution, and set you apart from other universities. It needs to welcome. It needs to inform. It needs to answer in the easiest, most efficient way: Why should I attend your college?
Make It Easy
College websites can be so large that relevant information for the non-traditional student – such as Reasons to Choose, Admission Requirements, Tuition & Fees, and more – can often be difficult to find.
With so much information, making content easy to access is crucial. You need to provide your website visitors with clear, simple navigation, so they can quickly and easily locate the information they need. If the site is not easily navigable, they’ll quickly move on – and continue their search elsewhere.
Keep It Simple
While traditional students want to see the broader picture of academics and campus life, adult learners are typically more focused on a specific degree – so it’s important to be upfront with the program’s features and benefits.
Clearly state the learning format, credits, and average time to completion. Present other facts that set your programs and institution apart, such as impressive rankings and statistics. Make sure your call-to-actions are prominent and easy to find. And remember: visitors scan pages; they rarely read full text, so present your information simply and succinctly.
Make Editing Easy
Websites are most effective when they are kept up to date. Program offerings, faculty and staff, start dates, and more – these will change. But all too often, because revisions are complicated, technical people are needed to edit and keep the site current.
It’s essential that your content can be updated by non-technical people. A modular design will make it easy to add to or remove, as needed. Future editing needs should be thought through from the start to preserve the long-term integrity of the site.
While there are many ways to create interest and impact on a website, the use of images and photos is still one of the best. A picture is worth a thousand words when communicating outstanding academics, innovation, professionalism, and more.
Your photography should portray adult learners as they balance life, work, and school. Images should show the institution itself, establishing place and credibility. Your photos should be aspirational, showing proud graduates and successful outcomes.
And very importantly, your photography should be of a professional quality, raising the level of your website, and the perception of your institution.
If you want to increase the number of prospective adult learners to your site, content is key – and a simple way to produce more of it is to blog.
By covering insightful topics – such as returning to school as an adult, how online learning works, or announcing a new program – a blog will help keep your website content fresh, allow you to target prospects, and help establish you as a thought leader.
Blogs are not difficult to maintain, and when utilized correctly, they can make a huge difference in SEO success, increased traffic, and ultimately, new prospects.
A Smart, Clear Solution
The key to an effective website is providing a first-rate user experience for prospective students. Smart development and clear organization are critical to accomplishing that end.
At Rivetica, we create dynamic, user-friendly websites for institutions who want to effectively communicate with prospective adult learners. Please contact us, and let us help you to put your best digital foot forward.