Creating the Best Website Content for Higher Education
Higher education websites have a lot of objectives to accomplish. They need to attract prospective students and faculty, serve needs of current students and faculty, foster alumni relations and provide information to parents and family.
In order to have a website that fulfills the many content needs, higher education institutions must think about:
1. Content Architecture
Your website needs to have accessible information for all key stakeholders. Both the type of content and organization of information are critical for SEO and user experience. Content should be short, sweet and to the point, including original content. Lend credibility to your content through ratings and reviews, content from well-known faculty, facts and statistics and elevated language.
2. Content Types
Leverage multi-media content for the highest engagement. Virtual campus or dorm tours could impress prospective undergraduates. Videos of the classroom experience or ability to audit a class online offers early engagement with the academic experience. Tools like these also demonstrate the connection the institution has with technology and innovation.
3. Content Updates
Websites must be continuously maintained and kept fresh with the latest news and updates. Announcements of new hires to staff and faculty should be made on the website as well as new program dates, updated statistics and upcoming events. If maintenance is not a priority, the website comes across as outdated and old news.
4. Content Design
“White space” seems daunting and there is always an urge to fill in as much as possible. But keep it simple. Having white space reduces the cognitive load for users. Text is also important for cognitive overload. Use a maximum of 3 typefaces in a maximum of 3 point sizes. Any more will distract the readers from the contents of the page and ruin the clean layout. The use of icons is often helpful to navigate through the pages.
5. Mobile Content
Young adults typically check their smartphones 60 times per day. Most of the time, they only use mobile devices rather than laptops or desktops. Make sure your higher education website content takes advantage of the mobile medium. At a minimum, ensure the site is responsive to screen size. At best, take advantage of integration with the mobile device for things like appointment or event scheduling, click to call and easy access to the most relevant content for mobile users.
Overall, a website reflects the institution as a whole. It reflects the students, faculty and donors that all make up the university or college. With the right website marketing, your higher education institution will shine above the rest making positive impacts on all viewers.