Consistent website experiences with intuitive navigation

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A college or university's website is of principal strategic importance for engaging with a multitude of demanding audiences in an ever more competitive environment.

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Consistent website experiences with intuitive navigation

  1. 1. Consistent Website Experiences with Intuitive Navigation Slide 1 Consistent Website Experiences with Intuitive Navigation
  2. 2. Consistent Website Experiences with Intuitive Navigation Slide 2 1) Following the Prospect’s Path 2) Homepages Are Your Ultimate Brand Statement 3) Landing Pages, Not Crash Landings 4) Intuitive Navigation 5) Content Management Strategy 6) Testing and Optimization Overview Source: Higher Education Marketing – Consistent Website Experiences with Intuitive Navigation
  3. 3. Consistent Website Experiences with Intuitive Navigation Slide 3  A useful exercise for any web designer is to trace the path backwards from desired action to undecided target market.  For higher education recruiters, the key demographic tends to be tech-savvy teens, but this can be segmented further according to various factors, such as your audience's age, level of education, consumer and social media habits, and perceived preferences.  The importance of a visually appealing website can't be underestimated.  Particularly for international students with potential language barriers.  Emerging best practice demands a mobile-first mindset for student recruitment, recognizing that design must be optimized for smart phones and tablets. 1. Following the Prospect’s Path Source: Higher Education Marketing – Consistent Website Experiences with Intuitive Navigation
  4. 4. Consistent Website Experiences with Intuitive Navigation Slide 4  A university's homepage is the hub of its web presence and in attempting to appeal to a diverse range of visitors.  The challenge is staying intuitive and uncluttered.  A popular format is to feature a revolving slideshow, each slide representing a story that appeals to various target markets with engaging visuals and always prominent calls to action, i.e. "Apply Now.”  Well-placed navigation bars offer a minimal number of options to high-value landing pages, such as About, Admissions, Academics, and Student Life, and should be easily accessible anywhere on your site. 2. Homepages Are Your Ultimate Brand Statement Source: Higher Education Marketing – Consistent Website Experiences with Intuitive Navigation
  5. 5. Consistent Website Experiences with Intuitive Navigation Slide 5  Bring down your bounce rates with landing pages that clearly present a manageable amount of focused content (150-300 words is usually sufficient) in visually engaging ways.  Capture attention and engage motivation with a large, concise headline, then get right to the point with a unified goal, message and desired action.  Your most important messaging and call to action must be "above the fold" so users can quickly find what they're seeking with a minimum of reading or scrolling.  Creating a landing page for each segmented user-type eases performance measurement with analytics while providing paths to action undiluted by unnecessary distractions. 3. Landing Pages Not Crash Landings Source: Higher Education Marketing – Consistent Website Experiences with Intuitive Navigation
  6. 6. Consistent Website Experiences with Intuitive Navigation Slide 6  Developing efficient internal navigation is not always easy to do well, but it is particularly important for higher education websites with extensive information to convey.  If visitors have to go back to your homepage every time to find the content they're seeking, they aren't likely to stay on your site very long.  Many university websites feature a main navigation bar near the top and even a second or third row of navigation options to ensure visitors can quickly move through the site and search for desired pages.  Each top navigation bar features four to ten options, which may have dropdown menus, and are constantly visible throughout the site. 4. Intuitive Navigation Source: Higher Education Marketing – Consistent Website Experiences with Intuitive Navigation
  7. 7. Consistent Website Experiences with Intuitive Navigation Slide 7  Centralizing and coordinating the web content authoring process promotes a consistent and compelling experience across the website.  Without coherent content strategy and development, visitors are often left with the impression that the university site is only a disjointed collection of departments, lacking a shared identity, common vision and commitment to students.  Establishing publishing guidelines, policies and website governance procedures with standardized branding, process automation and a preformatted design framework ensures greater efficiency and consistency on every page of the site. 5. Content Management Strategy Source: Higher Education Marketing – Consistent Website Experiences with Intuitive Navigation
  8. 8. Consistent Website Experiences with Intuitive Navigation Slide 8  Analyze from a prospect's perspective to eliminate distracting elements, extraneous data and complex forms.  Before making changes live, a good rule of thumb is to show an objective volunteer the screen for five seconds, then ask what the purpose of the page was.  Validate decisions with A/B testing to compare alternate designs and messaging, or with and without videos, testimonials and images.  Google Analytics is an excellent tool for tracking website performance, showing where traffic originated, most popular landing pages and navigation patterns.  Better design and navigation not only attracts more visitors to your website and increases conversions, but also improves organizational effectiveness and promotes the image of a coordinated and effective institution. 6. Testing and Optimization Source: Higher Education Marketing – Consistent Website Experiences with Intuitive Navigation
  9. 9. Consistent Website Experiences with Intuitive Navigation Slide 9 Questions? 1.514.312.3968 info@higher-education-marketing.com Visit our Website: Higher Education Marketing FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOLLOW US ON LINKEDIN FOLLOW US ON TWITTER FOLLOW US ON PINTEREST FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE+

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