5 Tips for Attracting Students to Your College Website
Rather than getting bogged down in the data, use these 5 tips to help you engage and recruit prospective students to your college website.
1. Advertise on LinkedIn.
While the traditional student presence on LinkedIn is growing, this platform is where you can engage the non-traditional adult student as well as parents of prospective students.
Because 4 out of 5 LinkedIn members directly impact business decisions in their company, it makes sense to think that, if in the market for higher education, these same people will share and read your institution’s posts.
Use LinkedIn to:
- Tell your school’s success stories
- Provide data on employability of recent graduates
- Showcase how a degree can refresh an existing career or jump-start a new one
LinkedIn also provides resources to college and university marketers to help reach your various student audiences.
2. Become an Instagram addict.
A whopping 71% of 18-to-24-year-olds visit Instagram daily, so the costs of not having a consistent presence on this platform are hindering your efforts to attract students to your college website.
Keep your Instagram communication vibrant and stay abreast of web trends with posts that include:
- Attractive images and graphics
- Students participating in a variety of campus activities
- Important dates that serve as reminders
- Informal conversations in the comments to show that your department cares about student comments
To make it easy for students to find you on various social medial platforms, be sure to include buttons to each social media channel on your website home page.
3. Capitalize on influencer marketing.
In the old days, influencer marketing was the same as a celebrity endorsement. Today, influencers are people with a popular and consistent presence on social media platforms.
Increasingly, students follow influencers and rely on their tips, suggestions, and advice for everything from clothing to makeup to—you guessed it—colleges.
You have a microcosm of influencers walking around on your campus, and since they are already enrolled, you can bet they have bought into your brand. Capitalize on their audiences by asking them to become brand ambassadors or campus influencers for your college or university.
Simply develop a plan where they commit to posting consistently on given topics such as:
- A day in the life at your university
- Their favorite cheap eats around campus
- Interviews with campus professors
- Dorm room décor
Prospective students who relate to these influencers will begin relating to your brand, which ultimately leads them to your website.
4. Keep content clean and concise.
One of the key principles to effective website design is to forget the fluff content. Instead, make it worth your site visitors’ time to read and engage with the content you provide on your website.
In addition to undergraduate and graduate students, Troy’s site addresses:
- Military/Veteran Students
- International Students
- Online Learners
- Accelerate Dual Enrollment Students
It may mean that you need to create completely new content. Or you might need to simply refresh the content you have with new keywords, headings, and organization.
5. Use micro-moments to influence and inspire.
Retail marketers have known for years that a buyer’s goals and behaviors are different at various stages of the buying cycle. The same is now true for students shopping for a college.
According to the Wall Street Journal, micro-moments occur when we act on a need to:
- Learn something
- Do something
- Discover something
- Watch something
- Buy something
These are the exact moments when preferences are shaped and decisions are ultimately made. College marketers’ intent on driving traffic to their college website must tune in to the stages of the buying cycle and provide content that is personal, direct, relevant, and timely.
The process of recruiting and engaging prospective students is never-ending, and your efforts to attract students to your college website are growing even more challenging. If you feel overwhelmed, choose one tip and implement it before moving on to the next one.
If it’s clear that your school’s website needs a refresh or complete redesign, check out College and University Website Redesign: The Ulimate Guide.
Last updated: February 5, 2021