Do you want to make a strong first impression? Would you walk into an important meeting looking like you just rolled out of bed? Probably not. So don't let your college or university departments' pages look sloppy. Put your best foot forward for potential students, and give them the information they need.
Here are five suggestions to spruce up your departments' pages.
Good video content can go a long way. It's visually engaging content that, when done well, can provide visitors with useful information in a stimulating and concise manner. A good video for your department page should be short and focus on a particular message. With good planning and delivery, you can make an excellent video. Consider featuring student testimonials or inside looks at the department from its professors. Also, to keep your videos from being a nuisance, turn off any auto-play functionality!
Why are students attending college? Many of them do so in pursuit of careers once they graduate or possibly for advancing their current careers with post-graduate education. Keep this in mind when determining what content goes on your page. Provide useful content on what careers are relevant to your department's offerings. Use success stories of other students to help demonstrate that a degree from your department can help line up students for success after graduation. Of course, just having the degree isn't enough for many graduates. If your department shines at helping students snag valuable internships or building superb résumés and portfolios, make sure that stands out on your page.
Don't leave interested students hanging. Give them an easy way to get in touch with you without leaving the page. Whether it's a simple contact form or live chat, make it inviting and easy for students to reach you. If the goal for your department page is to get students interested enough to inquire about more information or how to apply, then consider creating a contact form for interested students to fill out. It doesn't need to be complicated and ask a hundred questions. Just grab the information needed for your department to follow up with the student (i.e., name, email, phone number etc.) and a comment box.
With the heavy presence of mobile devices it's essential that your page looks sharp and functions seamlessly on smaller screen sizes. Make sure it's tested thoroughly for mobile responsiveness. The last thing you want is for a curious student to visit your page on his or her phone and have images that load too slowly or navigation that only causes them to fumble about and get frustrated.
If your department page doesn't or won't feature a place for students to apply or get in touch with your department, make sure you include a call to action that encourages them to take the next step in pursuing degrees within your department.