Expert Website Review: From a Marketing Perspective
Nothing will damage respect for your brand among potential students more than a bad first experience on your website. An expert review of your site from a marketing perspective can help you make the best possible impression when the students you hope to enroll first visit your website.
Since 2006 I’ve been visiting higher education websites in search of selections for my Link of the Week series, with more than 350 sites selected for their special ability to meet the expectations of the audiences that use them. Most visits are to websites in the U.S. but many have been to universities in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
In the course of those searches, I’ve visited thousands of sites that just don’t work as well as they might. Literally, I’ve seen the good, and the bad, and the ugly. I bring that experience to my review of your website and the sites of your competitors.
Reviews are individual, extensive, and result in 30-50 pages packed with page comments, key page screen shots, and site recommendations. You’ll have steps to take the day after the review to improve the visitor experience at your site. You control the cost with affordable pricing based on the number of pages in your review.
Your Website Review Outline
Reviews often begin at the Home page and move through primary paths of the audiences that are important to your marketing goals. Most often, the most important goal is student recruitment and enrollment.
Together, we select the pages to review that match your special interests.
In most reviews, I pay special attention to 8 characteristics of effective websites:
- Ability to find and complete top tasks;
- Quality of writing and content presentation, including reading level;
- Relevance of content to audience tasks;
- Meeting link expectations, including reports of broken links;
- Ease and brevity of form completion;
- Download speed, especially on mobile;
- Effectiveness of the search engine;
- Search engine optimization elements such as page title tags and keyword use.
What You Receive
- A detailed report on each website page included in the review.
- Recommendations for changes to achieve best practice status in online communications, often referring to my Link of the Week selections.
- A group of 5 to 10 websites at other colleges and universities with features to review for possible adoption.
Competitive Website Review
Does your website complete effectively against those of your primary competitors? A review of 3 to 5 competitors will help answer that question.
Competitive reviews start with a Google search for the name of each school included. We want to see what secondary links appear in that result in addition to a link to the home page.
The visit to the competitor websites is made as a first time future student seeking initial information about these schools. An inquiry is made at each website and the immediate on-line response and the first email response are used as initial measures of how effectively each school is using online communications.
The review includes the following:
- Analysis, including frequent screen shots, of the availability of Top Task content that is most important to first-time visitors. The review starts at the Home page, moves to the admissions page, continues with a visit to a primary academic program page, and includes a search for “affordability” and financial aid content.
- Submission of an online inquiry to the competitors, with analysis of the speed and content of the response, allowing a comparison to the relative effectiveness of your immediate inquiry responses. .
What You Receive
- A report and recommendations on areas that are most important for improved impact on student recruitment, including notable features that give your competitors a recruitment advantage.
Take the first step.
To explore how an Expert Website Review can help you meet your marketing goals, call me at 248-766-6425 or contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.