If you are looking to improve the student enrollment rate at your college in 2021, especially after a pandemic that forced everyone to stay at home for so long, taking the digital route is a no-brainer. So, it’s no wonder that even the smallest of colleges these days have websites or social media pages (in other words, online presence) to compete with the ones in the big league. However, that is not enough. You need to have a few more tricks up your sleeve to actually get more students to apply. Here are 5 tips to improve student enrollment that will work if you don’t give up.
- Prepare your site for search engines – Have a beautiful website with great content already? Well, it will only work if Google, Yahoo or Bing ranks your site on the first page of the search results or higher than others. Because that is the only way prospective students will land on your website. So, make sure your site is search engine optimized or the content uses the right keywords that students usually use while searching for a college like yours. Also remember that unless you are a top-ranked institution, using long-tail keywords will work better than short-tail ones. For example, “best colleges for science majors in Dakota” might be more effective than “best colleges in Dakota”. Consider hiring an SEO agency if you think it is too much for you to handle.
- Get the basics right – If you are wondering how to improve student enrollment, make sure your website is informative, easy to read, and has an attractive design and layout. Jazzy colors, too small or too large fonts, lack of enough white space or structure are a complete no. Make sure the site loads fast, is easy to navigate, and clearly indicates tabs like “Majors”, “Admission”, “Contact”, “About Us” and so on. Call to action buttons should be placed strategically on each page to drive students to take a decision. Buttons like “Apply Now”, “Email Us”, “Call Us”, and social share icons should be easy to spot. Most importantly, your website should be easy to view across different devices.
- Harness the power of visuals – One of the best ways to improve student enrollment is to use visuals. A picture speaks way more than a thousand words, as the popular adage goes. And if you use videos or virtual tours, the impact can be greater. College virtual tours especially are wonderfully interactive, realistic, immersive and grab attention in seconds. You can get professionals to create one for your college as per your exact specifications. Videos can show current and past students talking about what they like the most about your campus, the opportunities you provide or how they have been able to chart the perfect life for themselves after graduating. You can also experiment with funny memes or GIFs on blogs or social media platforms. Want to present a lot of stats in a way that doesn’t bore your target audience? Go for infographics or bright charts.
Read: 6 Tips to Use Social Media for More Admissions in Higher Education
- Don’t overlook social media – Social media channels are used by students regularly and usually for a large chunk of time. So, not only can you promote your college through these, but can also find out more about potential applicants, understand their likes and dislikes, and tailor your marketing campaigns accordingly. For instance, creating polls or quizzes is a smart way to get responses from your target group and improve the engagement rate. Make sure you post or tweet fresh, useful and cool content regularly, so that students keep coming back for more. You can pay a small price to push your best posts or create paid ads for better reach. Just remember to craft your content based on the type of social media platform. While LinkedIn has a more formal vibe, Instagram or Facebook is perfect for sharing updates on fun events or parties. You can also try and start a hashtag trend that encourages students (past, present and future) to share exciting photos of their achievements, hobbies or favorite activities.
- Communicate with a personal touch – To make communication easy and improve student enrollment at your college, offer multiple channels. Include a chatbot on your website to answer commonly asked questions when no human is around or if the visitor is in a hurry. Make sure your contact information, including your exact physical location, email ID, phone number and social media icons are easily accessible. You can share separate email IDs or phone numbers for the admissions team, student counselors, financial aid team, placement cell, faculty, and the team that handles international students. While sending emails, personalize them by using the student’s name and addressing their stage in the application journey, whether they are simply browsing your site or has submitted a query or are ready to start after a few weeks. You can personalize emails or text messages based on their major chosen, hobbies or interests, and even region.
To wrap up, implementing the above ideas for improving student enrollment can be a breeze if you let your creative juices flow and get professional guidance. And if you need help to churn out awesome visual marketing materials, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.