Your Higher Education Marketing Link of the Week… Carleton College: “What do you want to know?” asks the Home Page… 25 June 2021

Carleton College puts visitors first on the Home Page: ‘What do you want to know”?

Carleton CollegeIn an era when most colleges and universities seek to make an significant marketing statement as the home page opens, Carleton dares to be different. When you visit from a desktop or laptop computer the first thing you see is a search box with a simple question inside: “What do you want to know?”

Yes, there’s marketing content here, right after the opening, as Carleton highlights 4 points to answer another question: “What sets Carleton apart?”

But most visitors, including potential students, come to a website to exit the home page as quickly as possible to get along to the content that’s of most interest to them. A website that helps them do that is a website that people will like. And return to for another visit.

And of course, this is an important marketing research element. If visitors are asking about topics that are not well done on the website, the questions here will give priority to creating that content. Ditto for measuring well the “search” function works on the site. My search for “pre medicine” content worked well.

On mobile, a difference…

In the mobile image you seen here that opening question isn’t visible until you open the search box. The “Carleton apart” element takes a stronger immediate position.

The four elements that “set Carleton apart”…

Including links to more information about the 4 characteristics that set Carleton apart for those who scan them on the home page lets Carleton track which ones draw the most attention, especially from new visitors:

  • Unmatched teaching
  • Close-knit community
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Life time of exploration

All in all, a simple, recruitment oriented home page that gives priority to those who visit. Simple. But judged by most higher education websites, difficult to do.

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