Are you satisfied with your enrollment rate? If not, maybe it's time to reconsider your digital strategy and readdress the face of your higher ed institution: your website. We took a look at a few reasons why you may want to consider a redesign:
1. You complain about your content management system daily
It’s hard to have a website that achieves your institution’s goals if your content management system (CMS) is problematic. If you’re using an older CMS and are upgrading or even switching to an entirely new system, it’s likely that you’ll have to move a bunch, if not all, of your content. Migrating content is a huge undertaking in and of itself. Before you take the leap, make sure you assess your website as a whole. Consider it from all angles, including content, design, and user experience. If all need updating, start looking for a partner agency who knows the higher ed landscape to help you navigate what's needed for a new website.
2. Your story doesn’t resonate with your audience
People are drawn to a good story. It’s what compels us to take action. If your website doesn’t tell your visitors the story that sets your institution apart from your competition, then it’s not doing its job. Whether you're highlighting your institution's diversity, your renowned academic programs, or marketing your overall brand, your visitors need to understand your story and understand the reason they should apply.
A compelling story should be woven throughout your website—something that’s hard to do on a piece-by-piece basis. The overall user experience , as well as the right words, videos, and images are the makings of your story and often the only way to create one with so many integral pieces is to start from scratch.
3. Your academic offerings aren’t being clearly communicated
The bread and butter of any higher ed institution is its curriculum. Most often, this is what turns prospective students into students . You might have a stellar criminal justice program, but if it's not presented on your website in an organized and appeasing way, visitors interested in that field may leave your site to find their interests elsewhere. Your visitors want to learn quickly about the majors you offer and the value they provide, among a flurry of other questions, like:
- What will I learn?
- Who are the faculty?
- What makes the major worthwhile?
- What courses are required?
- What have graduates done with their major(s)?
With so much information, it’s often more effective to do a redesign so the way your site is organized makes sense to the organization and to your target audience.
4. Your site isn’t optimized for mobile
Let’s face it, the world runs on smartphones. In fact, today’s students basically live on smart phones. If I had to guess, I’d bet the bulk of your traffic comes from mobile. These days, people are searching for answers from their phones and they want them on-demand.
Any of these sound familiar? If so, you might be in the very beginning stages of a website redesign. While redesigns are a lot of work (we won’t sugarcoat it) there are steps you can take to ensure that your redesign project is a successful one that everyone is happy with. Check out our free resource, Preparing for a Higher Ed Website Redesign Project, to get started on the right foot.