Academic programs & web visibility… Emerson & DeVry get it right

How visible are academic programs at college and university websites?

Yesterday I finished preparing a webinar for next Tuesday, “Key Website Features for Better Adult Student Recruitment.” The details are at here.

What struck me in reviewing a great variety of college and university websites is that most do not yet give a really prominent position to the academic programs that are available. From a marketing perspective, a student browsing, let’s say, for programs offered at a school near where they live might well make the rounds of several institutions to see which ones offer programs of interest.

It is rare when this content is prominent immediately when a “start” page opens.

Two of the schools visited were strong exceptions to this.

Emerson College

Emerson College continues to make 10 areas of graduate study the most prominent thing you’ll immediately see when you start here to explore what’s available. I’ve used this example for several years now and it is good to see such stability. No reason to change this anytime soon. The pages more than meets the “5 second rule” for a quick scan and immediate engagement.

Click on the program that most interests you and you’ll go direct to more content about it.

DeVry University

Devry University also does this well, with a high visbility row of the 6 academic programs areas across the bottom of the home page. Each one opens to a list of the specific majors offered. Like Emerson, you can link from any one of these direct to more information about that program.

The Marketing Rule

What very many potential students of any age and degree level want to know first about a college or university is not the brand statement, the color of the brick used on the building, how widely students can smile for the camera, or the general “about us” page with links to mission and philosophy statements.

What they want to know first is whether or not you have the program of primary interest. If that looks good to them, potential students will double back to other content.

Emerson College and DeVry University are two places that get that right.



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