Listen up, higher education: Your website is a key marketing and outreach tool and needs individual attention.
As more high schoolers upgrade to smart phones and tablets, they’re demanding tailored mobile sites that look good on smaller screens and are functional. Simply relying on your desktop site won’t work anymore. In 2013, 68% of prospective students say they have looked at a college web site on a mobile device, according to a study from higher education consulting firm Noel-Levitz. Of the students surveyed, 73% have regular access to a mobile device and 43% use mobile devices for Web browsing. Mobile optimized websites allow users to view your site on whatever size screen they have. It improves the experience — which helps keep them on your site, increases your visibility and extends your branding.
But many sites are not responsive to devices. When these prospective students go to non-responsive college websites through mobile devices, the user experience can be frustrating. Half of the students say they’d like colleges to adapt their websites specifically for mobile use.
According to a recent study, following are the top five features students are looking for:
- Help students look at school choices and match the best options
- Help students explore scholarship opportunities
- An application for a specific school
- Complete enrollment at a specific school
- Participate in live chats or online events with a specific school
The shift to mobile is only getting more pronounced. Colleges and universities should listen to what high schoolers are looking for on mobile and be ready.
The future is now.