Effective Student Marketing just released its tips for reaching your next graduating class in 2013. In addition to buying Facebook ads, creating infographics, managing your online reviews, and performing a comprehensive audit of your marketing channels, they point to the importance of ensuring mobile compatibility for your website.
ESM reported that their clients receive more than half of their traffic from mobile devices. And that number will only grow as even more kids get smartphones and tablets instead of, or in addition to, their laptops and desktops.
How can you make sure you aren’t losing this traffic with a clunky school recruitment website that doesn’t work on mobile devices?
Here are some tips to design a mobile version of your site that converts qualified visitors into applicants.
With the recent demise of unlimited data plans on most carriers, you want a site that isn’t a data hog. It will load faster, and your potential students won’t get hit with a big data overage charge just because they got engaged with your content.
Remember that mobile users are using their fingers to do the walking through your pages, and little is more annoying than teeny tiny link areas. If visitors keeping clicking the wrong link, even if they enlarge the area, they will give up. Leave a good amount of space around links and ensure that they are big enough for students and their parents.
Most smartphones have high-resolution screens that can make the most of great graphical content. When you combine that with the move among blogs and websites to include more graphics and visual appeal, you have an audience primed for pictures. Look to a good PowerPoint or poster design to give guidance: a striking visual with only the most necessary words to accompany it.
There is a divide among usability experts about whether you should design a separate mobile site or just make sure your site works equally well on mobile and desktop devices. If you decide to go with a separate mobile site, ensure that content is similar — don’t offer special content that mobile users can’t access. If there are long documents or PDFs, just tell mobile users what they will getting.
And, link back to your desktop version for users who prefer that format. Give people what they like, and they will have a positive experience.
Is your recruitment site mobile friendly? Tell us what works for your prospective students in the comments. And, find out more about ESM’s recommendations here.