Your Higher Education Marketing Link of the Week… Carleton College: 6 Alumni Top Tasks… 17 May 2019

6 Key Alumni Links = Easy Top Task Completion = A Fine Visitor Experience

What makes any website visitor enjoy their experience and think well of the people who created the site? Again and again web visitors give a simple answer: “It was easy to find what I wanted to do… and get it done.” Not bells. Not whistles. Easy task completion.

Carleton College Alumni NetworkCarleton College gives us an excellent example of that simple but not-found-often enough approach to content presentation at the Alumni Network site with options that allow alumni to connect with fellow graduates in several ways.

Visitors on mobile, desktop, or laptop immediately see in 5 seconds or less the key content on the page. Taken together 6 links make it easier than most similar sites to alumni to connect with fellow alumni and to update their own information:

  • Search the directory for an individual person of special interest or update your personal info.
  • Connect with alumni “in your area.” In my case, that meant the “Michigan Carleton Club.”
  • Check on people by “class” or “era,” recognizing that some favorite friends might have graduated a year or two before or after you did.
  • Locate alumni in one of 36 career fields, presented in easy-to-scan alpha order.
  • Connect via “Interests and Affiliations” that include reading, cooking, travel, hiking… and many more.
  • Or search within your major.

And a bonus task…

Many alumni, especially the more recent who are seeking employment or headed to graduate or professional school, need a transcript. Visitors on a large screen device will see that link just to the right of the primary page content. Mobile visitors who scroll to the end of the page will find it there. No need to first visit the Registrar’s page.

On Mobile… a “slow” 3.1 seconds to download

Google in March made major changes to the “Test My Site” tool. Among other points, speed is now rated using a 4G standard rather than the 3G level that Google told us until March 70 percent of people are still using to access mobile sites. Comparison with past Link of the Week mobile speed reports isn’t valid. Speed expectations are higher now than in the 3G world.

The Carleton College alumni network page has a “slow” home page, measured by Google at 3.1 seconds.

Competitive comparison… Google now gives you the ability to add up to 9 URLs from competitor sites for comparative speed ratings. Do that. If the result shows that your site is slower than your key competitors that might give you new internal leverage to increase attention and resources to the need for a faster website.

Follow the Link of the Week…

Explore the top task pathways for Carleton alumni at the Alumni Network page.

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