Education website design - is design everything?
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Traditionally education institutions would throw open their gates and invite students to look around on opening events. However, in an ever-changing world an education website is the first impression many people will get; making it vital that it’s right.
Although design is an essential cog in the wheel it can be meaningless without the right structure and framework behind it. Unless the design is responsive and designed with your audience in mind; you’re not extracting every ounce of potential from those pretty palettes of colour.
Instead it’s the things your user doesn’t see which gives an education website a helping hand in the online world.
User experience (UX) is essential to ensure your website visitors have an enjoyable experience when using your website. Aesthetics is all well and good but if your visitors can’t find exactly what they’re looking for, they’ll leave your website feeling unsuccessful and frustrated. Having a UX strategy implemented into your education website is vital to ensure your presence online is attractive to look at as well as to use.
Achieving a valuable UX website involves striking a balance between the needs of your visits as well as the needs of your company and the technology available to you. UX encompasses everything from the aesthetics on the front-end but also the interface and how your visitors will engage and interact with your site; all of this is crucial for your website to achieve its goals.
Coinciding with UX is the user journey; the route visitors to your site take to complete a task. In education websites it’s typically potential students, or their parents, registering their child’s interest in your school.
Typically planning a user journey and enhancing your education website to match it challenges the goals and ambitions of a school and can be a time consuming task for the most talented web developers.
Creating a user journey requires insight and understanding into the wants and needs of the audience, common concerns they may have, FAQs and any typical behaviours they might have. Identifying and improving the UX as well as mapping out the user journeys has been proven to improve the quality of your visitors experience and, in turn, increase conversions.
Search engine optimisation (SEO)
Another tool to have in your website arsenal is SEO (search engine optimisation). Now, while this is a hidden tool to your visitors and won’t affect the look or feel of your website, it can seriously improve the visits you have to your site.
SEO identifies key words your audience are searching for and, by including the words and key phrases into your website content, your website begins to rank higher on Google. For example, if there are several schools within your area and you’re wanting to attract the very best students, SEO will ensure your website ranks higher than your rival; making it appear in more search terms.
Although design and how a website looks is important to an education website; it’s not everything. Instead, a thorough and complex digital marketing strategy which brings together UX, user journey, SEO and many more is what adds true value to your website. Despite it being a largely invisible tool, digital marketing which incorporates all of the aforementioned ensures your education website will be optimised and primed to perfection so that, even if you can’t open the physical doors, you won’t be able to stop the stream of students coming through the virtual ones!
To talk to us about a digital marketing plan and how to ensure your education website is at the top of the class; fill in our content form or call us today.