Your Higher Education Marketing Link of the Week… University of Ottawa home page… 24 June 2022

University of Ottawa home page asks “what makes uOttawa different”?

University of OttawaUniversity of OttawaMarketers often recommend that universities set their brand apart by showing what makes them different from other universities. In the higher education world that’s not an easy thing to do. Few schools actually attempt to do it with home page content.

In the opening home page content, Ottawa first asks “Why choose uOttawa?” Just below that it gets right to the point: “With close to a hundred universities in Canada to choose from, here’s what makes uOttawa different.”

Showing the difference relies on 3 blessedly brief YouTube videos featuring students introduced under the topics:

  • Community: A sense of belonging
  • International: A global perspective
  • Opportunities: Hands-on learning

Home page content is available in either English or French. As are the videos.

How well do the videos indeed set University of Ottawa apart from those other near 100 Canadian universities? Decide for yourself after you take a few minutes to watch them.

Other universities could also make similar claims. But none put them on the home page. And so that content placement by itself sets Ottawa apart from the others.

A note on home page “news” content…

In visiting most Canadian university home pages we noticed that many put links to news stories or a single news event at the top of the home pages. Others, but not as many, start with academic program content.

Here’s the note: “news” content is not a top task for potential students to either undergraduate or graduate programs based on several top task research surveys. Yes, avoid needless content wars by including “news” on the home page. But for a student recruitment emphasis, put it below top task content that guides people to academic program content as soon as the page opens. Many universities did that just that. And thus gain a recruitment advantage of those that do not.

Speed on mobile…

Google PageSpeed Insights measures the Ottawa page time to first view on a mobile phone at 3.7 seconds and time to full interactivity at 9.4 seconds.

The first change for faster download speed: “Serve images in next-gen formats.”

Website Carbon Calculator…

Thanks to Gerry McGovern and his efforts to reduce “world wide waste” for the referral.

Ottawa can do better here: “This web page is dirtier than 59% of web pages tested.”

See the carbon use details for University of Ottawa and test your own website pages at “Website Carbon Calculator.”

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See how well you think University of Ottawa did at showing “what makes uOttawa different

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Always eager to get recommendations of websites that dare to be different… or just do something ordinary in a special way. Write a comment with link here or send me the link at bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com.

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