Colleges and universities want their websites to attract prospective students, but too often fail to make a good impression, according to a new report from the higher-education web development firm KDG.
“Our research revealed five mistakes that colleges often make on their website,” Kyle David, CEO of KDG, said in an article for eCampus News. “These mistakes may seem trivial, but they are the primary reasons many students often choose an inferior college that just happens to have a better website.”
The first problem for many college websites is that most incoming freshmen use social media regularly and have become accustomed to reading short chunks of information. Long forms that must be filled out are another issue that prompt prospective students to leave a website.
Institutional sites should guard against cluttered home pages that force students to click several times just to find out about a single aspect of the college. Fake imagery of college life and clichés can also send students looking elsewhere.
“A poorly organized site loses visitors and applicants, and you can ill afford to lose either,” said Rick Martin, a writer for the KDG blog. “Your biology department may be on the verge of curing cancer, but if your website wastes students’ time, you will fail to attract the bright minds that you need to keep your college strong.”