Your institutional website is a crucial extension of your institution’s brand and a marketing machine that works 24/7 to share information, facilitate recruiting and enrollment, support students, connect alumni, and more. With such an important job, maybe it’s time to show your website a little love this Valentine’s Day. Here are 10 ways to do just that:

  1. Be Responsive: If your college or university website isn’t mobile-friendly, don’t break up—make up! Lead the charge to develop a responsive site that can keep pace with a world that’s on the move.
  2. Stay True: When designing a new website or redesigning an existing one, remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Rather than trying to replicate another site, stay true to the aesthetics and voice of your institution. Users will appreciate your authenticity.
  3. Don’t Take Your Content for Granted: Your website comes alive through text, images, video, applications, and other creative elements. Work to ensure that every piece of content on your site is well-crafted, brand-aligned, and purposeful.
  4. Listen and Be Heard: Leverage the power of social media to connect with those who matter most— and help the people who care about your institution communicate with each other, exchange information, and share the love!
  5. Get to the Heart of It: Declare your ardor for academic programs by featuring them prominently on your site’s home page. If you have a slideshow, then showcase three or four example programs in a carousel or slideshow that highlight benefits and outcomes.
  6. Navigate the Journey Hand-In-Hand: Focus on user experience and prioritize the task-based needs of current students, prospective students, and other key audiences. If necessary, correct and clarify ambiguous calls-to-action.
  7. Keep Things Fresh: Your institution is a dynamic place and that energy should be reflected in your website. Keep things fresh, fun, and relevant by updating content regularly.
  8. Show You Care: Think of your institutional website as a living, breathing extension of your college or university. Show you care by monitoring its performance via Google Analytics and regularly assessing what’s working and what can be improved upon.
  9. Mix and Mingle: Already hopelessly devoted to good data? Join other colleges and universities by participating in this year’s Love Your Data (LYD) week. LYD is a five-day international social media event organized by research data specialists who work in academic and research libraries or data archives. The campaign is designed to build community and promote topics related to research data management, preservation, sharing, and reuse.
  10. Share What’s Important: By integrating tools such as Box, Dropbox, or Google Drive with your institutional website, students and instructors can share homework assignments, study guides, and other academic documents. Besides being convenient, the increased functionality improves engagement, encourages collaboration, and helps everyone stay on-task during weather-related closings.

Does your institutional website need a little TLC? Find out how Stamats’ team of consultants, web developers, writers, designers, and user experience (UX) professionals can help. Call us at 800-553-8878.

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