How Important Is It to Have a University Website?
In recent years, the internet has become our primary source of information and is driving changes across all areas of society, having deep-ranging impacts in all areas of life—from how we communicate to how we work and access media.
Having a corporate website and strong online branding is an essential consideration for all types of enterprise. From architects to accountants, a professionally produced, informative website offers the world an insight into a company and gives prospective clients the chance to learn more about their particular areas of expertise.
The Importance of Websites for Educational Establishments
When a prospective student is trying to decide which university to attend, research has shown they will almost always start with an online search. Furthermore, your online identity is one of the biggest driving forces in whether a potential applicant will make follow-up inquiries or request further information.
Indeed, a recent study found that 52% of all students rated a university’s website as the most important aspect influencing their decision to apply. Further, it was found in 2018 that 91% of foreign students made an application without any contact with the university (that is, applications made purely over the university’s website).
Maximizing the Efficacy of Your Website
While having a website is clearly an essential part of your online promotions, being found is perhaps more important. After all, there’s little point having an all-singing, all-dancing website if no one sees it.
As well as having a clear, concise, and informative website, you should also consider search engine optimization (SEO) to help prospective students find you. SEO is the process by which individual sites or pages are promoted to the top of search engine results, under specific terms. Google remains by far the most popular search engine with a staggering 86.86% of the market share—so this is the search engine you should target the most.
SEO is a highly complex and involved process. To have the best chance of appearing high under your target keywords and phrases (words you think people will use to find you), you should enlist the help of a specialist SEO company. In particular, for the promotion of a university, you should aim to partner with an education SEO specialist who should be more than happy to provide higher education marketing case studies to back up their work and show evidence of their skills.
Other Important Channels
In almost all cases these days, when we’re looking for information on a product or service, most people make search engines their first port of call. Indeed, many of our most important decisions and purchases are made purely on the basis of the information we find on the web.
However, having a website is just one part of a much bigger picture of online promotion, and your university should also have a strong presence on all the major social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn).
Moreover, these pages should be regularly maintained and updated with recent information. Young adults are far more likely to use a combination of traditional search engines and social channels to find information, so diversifying the places they can find you will only work to your advantage.