A good school site should:
- Demonstrate its brand
- Be easy to navigate
- Show students a clear pathway to success
- Highlight the best qualities of the school
- Provide information visitors want to find
How to Evaluate Your Site
Pay close attention to your website’s analytics. Where are visitors going? How long are they staying? When do they leave? Are they finding where they want to go while they are there? The answers to these questions will help you understand how intuitive the navigation is. If visitors are bouncing from the site after just a couple seconds, chances are you need to revisit how the navigation is set up.
Consider how a person will experience your site for the first time and on repeated visits. What do they need to see the most, and how fast can they get there? What about if they aren’t on a laptop? The experience should be seamless across devices. 92 percent of Americans 18-29 years old own a smartphone. They will interact with your site from their phone. If it is frustrating, they will be frustrated with the school. The site needs a responsive design that will allow it to adapt to the size of any screen.
If you decide to make changes to the site, implement A/B testing to make sure the new design is improving on functionality and not just aesthetics. Also, make sure your website is ADA compliant.
The website isn’t the only way a student will digitally interact with your school. Apps, social media, and eCommerce sites for course materials or apparel are also connected. Branding across of platforms should be consistent, demonstrate your mission and speak to your school’s digital fluency. Each piece of the puzzle adds another layer of digital convenience for the students.