Building Websites to Better Serve Prospective Students
At Continuum College, the marketing team understands how key it is to reach the right individuals at the right time and inspire them to connect with key representatives who know the program best. The one channel every prospective student will encounter along the way to making that connection and applying is the program website.
Today’s prospective students are busy, typically juggling a job, family and other commitments. They’re also savvy consumers who research their options, often using multiple devices. Before ever engaging with you, they’ve navigated your website, along with the competition’s, and made some basic assessments. The question is, what kind of impression does your website make?
Producing Powerful Websites
To help our degree partners make that critical connection with prospective students, we’ve assembled a team made up of a content strategist, a designer, writers, editors, a project manager and a developer who, collectively, bring experience from Microsoft, Amazon and other leading organizations. Together, we’ve built and maintain websites for 24 different bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs, as well as sites for a number of other non-degree programs at the UW.
Example of a responsive degree website.
Our skilled team creates websites that are easy to navigate and convey each program’s value in authentic ways. The sites we produce and manage all feature:
- Responsive, mobile-friendly design
- Search engine optimization (SEO) elements to boost rankings in organic search
- High-quality content, intuitive navigation and prominent calls to action
- A simpler, cleaner design with less text and more compelling imagery
- The UW Boundless template, creating consistency with other websites across campus and helping leverage the powerful UW brand
- Lead generation tools to simplify email signups and other information collection
Tapping Into Modern Tools
Several years ago, Continuum College implemented Kentico, a powerful content management system. We recently completed a two-year effort to bring all of our partner websites (formerly built in HTML) into this flexible CMS, which enables us to update websites quickly and easily.
This means site changes that previously might have taken weeks can now be completed in a much shorter turnaround time. We’re also developing an automated tool for our partners to submit their web changes, which will allow us to more efficiently track and complete web updates.
As we moved all of our websites into Kentico, we also implemented a new site structure that is easier to navigate and elevates the most important content. It all adds up to a better web experience for the user.
Telling Authentic Student Stories
Example of student testimonial callout.
Every college degree website makes bold claims about the quality of the program, but prospective students increasingly want proof — stories of program graduates that illustrate how earning this degree propelled them to new levels of achievement.
Neuroscience research has shown that people make decisions based on emotions rather than facts. Some of the most compelling student stories show people overcoming barriers and transforming their lives and careers through education.
We rely on our degree partners to identify these unique students and help us tell their stories. Here are a few examples of great testimonials we’ve produced for our partner websites:
We’ve been able to raise the visibility of these stories by placing quotes and links on the home page and on other relevant pages throughout the site. This strategy allows the user to more easily discover this valuable content.
More Web Service Offerings
In addition to creating and maintaining program websites, Continuum College offers web consulting services to our degree partners, including content development, content strategy, SEO insights, analytics expertise and more.
If you’re interested in learning about any of our website services, please contact your Continuum College marketing manager.
Since 1912, University of Washington Continuum College has provided innovative learning paths that boost career success and inspire more meaningful lives. With a flexible approach to delivering the right programs for the right people at the right time, Continuum College provides over 50,000 students each year with a high-quality University of Washington education that’s relevant for today’s world and accessible to learners in Seattle and around the globe.