Bob Johnson's Blog on Higher Education Marketing

Recently in Writing Right for the Web Category

Making Website Life Easier for Faculty & Staff and Students

Faculty and staff are more dissatisfied with college and university websites than any other group using them. Current students are not far behind.

That's been the result of every CCI (Customer Centric Index) satisfaction survey that we've done with faculty over the past 10 years. The primary reason has always been the same: confusing menus and links make it difficult for people to find and complete their top tasks on a website. 

William & Mary may have the solution in the highly visible link paths that start on the "myWM" page. Just below entry points to Banner and Blackboard are 12 links that likely are of use to both faculty and students. 

Just to the right of those 12 links are large "you can't miss this" boxes leading to "Faculty & Staff Links" and "Student Links."

High Visibility for Key Link Collections

Faculty and staff can follow their path to a page with links grouped under 7 headings:
  • Academics & Research
  • Working at W&M
  • Technology
  • Campus Services
  • Professional Organizations
  • Wellness & Safety
  • News & Events
Current students have 9 headings. Some duplicate those for faculty & staff, some are unique. All promise an easier pathway to task completion. 

If you were doing a top task research project, most of the links you'll find here would be included in the survey to sort out the top 3 to 5 that always exist from the rest. Those could appear at the top of the faculty & staff and student pages, above the rest for even faster access. Meantime, this is a fine alternative.

On Mobile

On Google PageSpeed Insights, the page receives a relatively high 71/100 for Speed and a strong 98/100 for User Experience. The mobile site skips the rotating photos that open the large screen version. Those images contribute to an unusually low 63/100 "Desktop" score. Removing them would position the key links even higher on the page.

Follow the Link of the Week

To review a strong presentation of the links that make website life easier for faculty & staff and current students, visit the William & Mary "myWM" page at http://my.wm.edu/

Original Link of the Week Page

Regular readers will notice that we are again posting a Link of the Week selection within the blog. I've decided to continue posting new Link selections here. Each week's description is available to future visitors and the blog, unlike the website, is searchable.

To review earlier selections for 2016 and previous years, visit the this Link of the Week page.


November greetings. Hoping to see many of you at the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education in December in Orlando just a few weeks from now.

Our Top Tasks: Higher Education Website Content group on LinkedIn continues to grow, with over 40 new members since the October newsletter bringing the total to 267. If you are on LinkedIn and work at a college or university, join us by requesting membership at bit.ly/2cyyLs5 

New to "top tasks" strategy that will increase the marketing strength of your website? My workshop presentation from the eduWeb Digital Summit in August, Top Task Content & Design: A Strategy for Website Marketing Success, is at bit.ly/2aDS5BV 

How well do future students, current students, faculty and staff, and alumni like your website? Now you can do our basic Customer Centric Index survey at no cost. Details at bit.ly/2f2g5VF 
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Conference Event in December

December 4-7, Orlando: Digital Marketing Strategy: Surviving and Prospering in a Changing World, pre-conference Tutorial E at the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education. The tutorial description is at bit.ly/2buWkQM Early registration discount is open until November 6.

Join 7,300+ followers on Twitter at twitter.com/HighEdMarketing for daily marketing updates.

And now here are your November marketing news and notes.
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Cartoon of the Month: How Much Content Marketing is Just "Crap"?

Not long ago Mark Pritchard, chief brand officer at Procter & Gamble, referred to a "content crap trap" created by a huge increase in "content marketing" production that overwhelmed the people receiving the deluge of resulting messages. 

Tom Fishburne took inspiration from Pritchard's comment (and research reporting that a 35 percent increase in brand content happened in the same year as a 17 percent decrease in brand engagement) in a new cartoon at bit.ly/2f9JucT 
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Gen Z and the Future of Marketing: 5-Minute Video with Wunderman CMO

Gen Z, including college-bound folk under 18 years of age, is a key focus of an interview with Jamie Gutfreund, CMO at the Wunderman agency, about new challenges that marketers can expect. Anyone recruiting traditional students should invest 5 minutes to watch the video.

Key points: Gen Z is very marketing-savvy, very practical, and very much in search of transparency from brands that interest them. Find more to help improve your recruitment communications and website content at bit.ly/2f4L80Z 
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Promoting Early FAFSA Benefits: Moravian College

Here is a rare example of gaining marketing advantage from creating new content around the benefits that potential students might expect to receive from the early FAFSA opportunity that started this fall.

On a page that makes strong use of headings and an easy-to-read text size, the college explains why early FAFSA "makes things easier for students and their parents."

Moravian noted that students who file early will receive financial aid award letters in November or "three months earlier than in past years."

For more on an unusually strong effort to take marketing advantage from early FAFSA visit bit.ly/2dUQGd2 
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Branding with Substance: Furman University

New branding efforts often fall primarily into the "promotion" part of the 4 marketing Ps and less often on major change in product.

Furman University offers a different example. A new "Furman Advantage" program, fueled by a $20+ million-dollar donation, will create an elaborate array of mentors, internships, and research opportunities to strengthen the connection between a liberal arts degree and career success.

For more on how one liberal arts university seeks to strengthen brand position and increase first-year enrollment despite a less than ideal geographic location visit bit.ly/2fxF9Em 
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Ranking Canadian Universities: The 2017 Maclean's Magazine Report

The top "comprehensive" university this year is Simon Fraser, followed in the Top 5 by Waterloo, Victoria, Guelph, and Carleton. Sort schools by student satisfaction and reputation ratings as well when you visit bit.ly/2farKhq 
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Virtual Reality: Explore a New Shiny Object

If you are talking on campus about how to add virtual reality to your tactical marketing mix, add this Adweek Brand Share infographic article to your reading list. Spoiler: VR developers think this is a very good idea. If you are not a VR developer, move with caution as you explore.

My favorite point: "A lot of companies that are eager to dive into VR still have islands on Second Life they no longer use." You do remember Second Life, yes?

Explore more in "For Brands, Virtual Reality is All About Genuine Connection" at bit.ly/2esjyJC 
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Web Design: Top 10 Enduring Mistakes from the Nielsen-Norman Group

Some design mistakes persist through each new generation of creativity and so the visitor experience does not improve. And so, it is always good to check your web site performance against the warnings you will find here. 

My favorites are #5, "Hidden Fees and Prices," and #7, "Poor Search Results." See the other 8 mistakes that endure at bit.ly/2fwJh7A
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Digital Marketing Glossary: Quiz Yourself on 18 Terms

How expert do you want to be on marketing in the digital era? Test yourself on 18 terms from AdAge starting with Attribution and ending with Trading Desk at bit.ly/2fxBab2 
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Writing Right for the Web: A to Z Guide to Effective Language 

Making the words on your website as quick to read as possible should be an important content marketing goal. Alas, too often we cannot escape phrases that our bureaucracies seem to love but real people do not often use. 

To explore how well your website content, emails, and blogs use "real people" language, scan the A to Z list of "Simple Words and Phrases" at bit.ly/2efBCsB 
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Football Coach Salaries: 72 at $1 Million or Higher

How does the compensation of your head football coach compare with the top 119 reported by USA Today? 

University of Michigan leads the pack at nearly $10 million. See the rest at usat.ly/2erCGXW 
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Most Popular Topic in October Newsletter: Strong Graphic on College Ranking Press Release

Higher education folks often dismiss and disdain college rankings. Unless, of course, a college or university does especially well. 

Centre College created a strong graphic image to introduce a press release reporting how well the college did on a new ranking system from the Wall Street Journal. Check the image at bit.ly/2dopyWg 
________________________________
Be a marketing champion on your campus.

Bob Johnson, Ph.D. 
President
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
__________________________________________
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

Increase your marketing success with one or more of these 5 services. Contact me for details at bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com 

Top Task Website Design Research with Gerry McGovern
Communication Audits
Expert Marketing Communications Website Reviews
Writing Right for the Web: Webinars, Conferences, and Campus Workshops
Competitive Website Reviews and Secret Shopping
Hello in May. Now that the traditional May 1 enrollment deposit date has passed, many of you are entering the "summer season" devoted to controlling the number who might melt away and adding new people to the total. Best wishes for success to everyone.

If you work at a college or university, ask me for an invitation to join the "Top Tasks: Higher Education Website Content" group on LinkedIn. We have 116 members, most from the U.S. with others from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden, and Trinidad and Tobago. Discussions are an eclectic mix: raising money, academic program pages, strategic plans, library tasks, and more. 

Reply to this email and ask me to send you an invitation to join the top tasks web content group. 

Preparing an RFP soon? Visit my "6 Quick Steps to Better RFPs" at bit.ly/244kECK 
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Conference Events in June, July, August

"Improving Your Student Recruitment Communication Plan" is an Academic Impressions conference June 6-8 in Atlanta. Review the agenda and register at bit.ly/1Tf5xje to improve your enrollment conversions. My two sessions: website evaluation and affordability content.

July 20-21 I will be in Louisville at the Connect Higher Education Summit sponsored by Learning House for a presentation on "Best Website Elements for Recruiting Online Students." Check the program and register to join us at bit.ly/1PPWYt0 

The eduWeb Digital Summit is set for August 1-4 in Denver. Early discounted registration is open until May 9. Most sessions are online now at bit.ly/1Y4lXdt 

Join 7,200+ followers on Twitter at twitter.com/HighEdMarketing for my daily marketing updates.

And now here are your May marketing news and notes.
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Cartoon of the Month: Customer Journey Mapping vs. the Marketing Funnel

The marketing funnel concept was created in 1898. More than 115 years ago. Might it be time to move away from the funnel concept in admissions?

See the Cartoon of the Month at bit.ly/1XYIBEf 
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Emoji Marketing: Innovation at the New School

Can emoji carefully created to represent what is best about your school help your student recruitment communications? Objective evidence is not in yet, but if you like to stay abreast of new ideas you will want to learn more about the new emoji venture at the New School.

Read the details of how it was done using Snapchat and download the "NEWmoji" board for iPhone or Android when you start at bit.ly/1pX9BZ9 
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10 University Website Design Guidelines: Update from the Nielsen Norman Group

The people who have spent as much or more time as anyone on the planet studying what makes websites work and what does not have just updated an earlier report on "University Websites: Top 10 Design Guidelines." Must reading for your marketing team.

Some things have changed, some have not. My new favorite, but not new to the guidelines: the perils of being "cool." You will also find advice on "about" content, academic programs, photos and more at bit.ly/1VHloJ6
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Content Strategy: Take Note of the "Most Career-Minded Generation"

The Atlantic reviews the results of research from the venerable UCLA survey of new freshmen: today's generation of college students is more interested than in the past in the monetary results they can expect from their college degree. That means more than restating the higher life-time earning potential of a college graduate vs. a high school graduate. 

If you need more evidence to convince people on your campus to create more easily accessible content about the jobs and earnings of your students in the years after graduation, start with The Atlantic article at theatln.tc/1SzHvPd 
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Perils of Testing a New Logo: The Emerson College Video

Emerson College had an itch to create a new logo. And as usual, not everyone was pleased at the result. Two enterprising Emerson students took to the streets of Boston to ask other Emerson students what they thought of the new image. The comments will make the creative folk cringe. 

Watch the "Emerson Reacts to New School Logo" video and decide for yourself if the investment was worth the result at bit.ly/1rrcv9M 
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Blessedly Brief Inquiry Forms: A Professional School Example

The longer you make an inquiry form on your website, the fewer people will complete it. Forms that require only basic information to respond to a potential student will do best. Undergrad forms, for example, often ask for far too much personal information. Graduate and professional schools set a better example.

A recent online ad from the Medill School at Northwestern University took people to a very simple form: First and last name, phone and email, and planned date of entry. That was it. See a blessedly brief inquiry form example at bit.ly/1Yty4B1 
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Website Speed: A Financial Times Test

The Financial Times is planning for a new website. As part of that plan, research was conducted on the impact of various reductions in site speed on visitor engagement, measured in part by the number of articles read. Results for smartphone, tablet, and desktop visitors were gathered.

Overall, slower speed indeed reduced visitor engagement. Results differed somewhat by device. Mobile users, for instance, were somewhat more patient than desktop users. For details of the study to share with your web team visit bit.ly/1Y3w0jk 
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Marketing Campaigns: No Longer Relevant?

Victoria Grieshammer wants us to abandon traditional marketing campaigns and adopt the idea of continuous conversation with the people we hope will enroll with us. And she makes a convincing case for why the idea of a "marketing campaign" locks us into thinking in a way that does not work well in this digital era.

See her 7 points about "Starting Conversations with Your Audience" at bit.ly/1SVhtoq
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Usability Testing: 8 Variations Defined

If you are thinking about website upgrades or just want to review your options for a continuing review of your site, the Optimal Workshop web usability guide is a great place to start. 

You will find a 5-point definition of "usability" followed by brief and clear definitions of 8 types of usability tests, including recommendations on how to best combine various approaches.

Author Alan O'Neil makes this important point: No matter the resources you have, "there is always something you can do." Check the possibilities at bit.ly/1rOgQob 
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Transfer Students: 10 Schools that Enroll the Highest Numbers

US News is issuing a serious of short reports culled from the data collected from their annual ratings survey. And thus, this report.

The University of Central Florida leads the way with 6,299 students after a 65 percent acceptance rate. In 10th place is the University of North Texas with 3,756 students and a 76.4 percent admit rate. Most selective is Cal State - Long Beach, enrolling 3,833 transfers after a 33.3 percent acceptance rate.

Check the full list at bit.ly/1ObYe5S 
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A "Dangerous Obsession" with Elite Universities: Only 4 Percent Attend Them

Jeff Selingo draws attention in the Washington Post to the "dangerous" results for higher education policy of an excessive fascination with the practices, including admissions rates, of a very small number of schools that enroll a very small percent of the people going to college. Elite schools, in his definition, admit 25 percent or less of their applicants.

Actual admit rates are rising at more schools. Regional public universities enroll 40 percent of the people attending college. All public universities enroll 80 percent of the U.S. college population. Find more data to bring us down to earth and closer to reality at wapo.st/26LRjvC 
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Most Popular Topic in April Newsletter: "Ultimate Web Writing Cheat Sheet"

Good to see that last month people were in the mood to improve the quality of their web writing. Tips start with the value of page title tags for SEO results and move on from there atbit.ly/1M7rI9o 
________________________________
Be a marketing champion on your campus.

Bob Johnson, Ph.D. 
President
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
__________________________________________
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

Increase your marketing success with these services. Contact me for details at bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com 

Communication Audits
Expert Marketing Communications Website Reviews
Top Task Website Design Research with Gerry McGovern
Writing Right for the Web: Webinars, Conferences, and Campus Workshops
Competitive Website Reviews and Secret Shopping Projects

An April hello to everyone. And best wishes for a successful enrollment deposit time as that traditional May 1 date approaches colleges and universities here in the U.S.

Are you interested in content marketing strategy and web design to quickly and easily meet visitor expectations? Do you work at a college or university?

If "yes" is your answer to both questions, ask me for an invitation to join a new LinkedIn group,Top Tasks: Higher Education Website Content. We have 102 early members, most from the U.S. with others from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden, and Trinidad and Tobago. Discussions underway include alumni donations, library tasks, top task results for student recruitment, and the tension between strategic plan priorities and website content task priorities. 

Email me at bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com and ask me to send you an invitation.
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Conference Events in June, July, August

Improving Your Student Recruitment Communication Plan is an Academic Impressions conference June 6-8 in Atlanta. Review the sessions and register at bit.ly/1Tf5xje 

July 20-21 I will be in Louisville at the Connect Higher Education Summit sponsored by Learning House. Check the details and register to join us at bit.ly/1PPWYt0 

The eduWeb Digital Summit is set for August 1-4 in Denver. Early discounted registration is open and most sessions are online now at bit.ly/1Y4lXdt 

Join 7,200+ followers on Twitter at twitter.com/HighEdMarketing for my daily marketing updates.

And now here are your April marketing news and notes.
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Cartoon of the Month: Virtual Reality as a Shiny Object

Are you talking on your campus about the potential of VR as a marketing tool? 

Cost to purchase the headsets aside, circulate this Tom Fishburne cartoon before you chase too quickly after the latest shiny new object from SXSW. Laugh and think about the future atbit.ly/1RQPWAZ 
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300 Best Value Colleges: The New Forbes Ratings

Forbes is out with the 2016 listing of 300 "best value" colleges and universities. While public research universities dominate the top levels, you will find a much more varied list as you scroll through to see how you and your competitors fared.

You can sort by public or private sectors, bring up an alpha list that includes individual rankings, or search by name for a school of special interest when you visit atonforb.es/1X4bQ8g 
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April Fool's with a Bite: Difficult Website Designs Are Better 

April Fool's day is past but the 5-point Nielsen Norman Group critique of website designs that are too simple has lasting value. Struggling with difficult design elements will make people better humans. And is that not a worthy goal for colleges and universities? 

Start with "Make navigation joyfully surprising" and end with "Gamify the user experience" atbit.ly/1Y4Bmum 
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March Madness: 2016 Net Price Madness Bracket

Robert Kelchen, assistant professor of higher education at Seton Hall University, has a special interest in pricing, costs, and discounts. For the 4th year he has created a March Madness basketball bracket based on the invited "colleges with the lowest net price of attendance."

Over the first three years his picks have won just two games (Wichita State in 2015). See how he did this year when you check his bracket at bit.ly/1X6Smjt 
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Too Many Student Inquiries: 3 Steps to Reduce Your Numbers

If your future student inquiry pool is too large, these 3 steps will help reduce the number using your online inquiry form. First, require a user name and password before starting the form. Second, ask people for the exact date of their high school graduation. Third, require the high school CEEB code.

If you would like more inquiries from potential students who visit your website, copy this blessedly brief "Request Information" form from St. Mary's University at bit.ly/1UuX7W6 
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Student Recruitment: Does the Admissions Funnel Still Make Sense?

The funnel concept survives and thrives in student recruitment conversations and plans despite the advent of stealth applicants, digital communications, rapid-response expectations and more. But should it?

In an AdAge article Jason John argues that "In Today's Digital World, the Sales Funnel is Dead." Yes, the focus of this article is on consumer sales. But the primary point is applicable to higher education: we can no longer control the order in which a person seeks information for a enrollment decision or when they will seek it. Old style marketing communications plans, designed to create movement through a funnel from awareness to enrollment, no longer work as well as they once did.

Find more on how people think and act in the digital era and the adaptations we must make to influence them at bit.ly/21Xs301 
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Writing Right for the Web: An "Ultimate Web Writing Cheat Sheet"

Here is a quick easy-to-review list of the basics from Aimee Beck. Print copies or send the link to anyone on your campus who prepares web content, especially the people in various departments who do not do this on a regular basis.

This is especially valuable if you are interested in search results. The cheat sheet starts by reminding us that the title tag on a web page remains the most important element in getting a good search response. Anyone responsible for content on a web page should also be responsible for the title tag on that page.

See more good tips at bit.ly/1M7rI9o 
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College & University Presidents: Inside Higher Ed 2016 Survey Results

What do 727 public and private sector college presidents think about these 6 topics: Race relations, Presidential selection, College Scorecard, President Obama and higher education, Guns on campus, and Budget and finances?

Opinions differ more in some areas than others. Most presidents (84 percent) believe that race relations on their campuses are good to excellent. And most (88 percent) do not believe that letting students carry concealed guns on campus will make them safer. Opinion is more divided on whether or not President Obama's "overall treatment of education" has been good, with 41 percent giving the president an A or B and 29 percent a D or F. 

Read a summary of results and download the complete 27-page PDF report at bit.ly/1Y6wxAt 
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Faster Website Speed: 8 Tips from Target Marketing

Kylie Lobell does not think we pay enough attention to website speed as an important marketing element. I agree.

In her article for Target Marketing, Kylie reviews 8 steps that taken together can improve the speed and thus the visitor experience on a website. My two favorites were the 1st (Identify Speed Issues using Google PageSpeed Insights) and the 6th (Forget the Fancy Home Page).

The complete array of 8 tips to improve your website speed is at bit.ly/1SvajEn 
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Digital Marketing: 5 Myths to Remember

Do you agree with Benny Coen that your website and your email are more important for your marketing success than your social media presence?

Social media is not unimportant but controlled expectations and attention to website and email will produce happier marketers. Coen notes that when top brands post on Facebook only 6 percent of their followers see the posts. 

Wise words to help you plan more successful marketing in the digital era at bit.ly/1RCYv2U 
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Most Popular Topic in March Newsletter: 22 Higher Ed Top Task Websites

"Best Practices for Top Task Web Design: 22 Higher Ed Examples" was the most popular item last month. Visit the presentation slides at bit.ly/1Rr78Qb 
________________________________
Be a marketing champion on your campus.

Bob Johnson, Ph.D. 
President
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
__________________________________________
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

Increase your marketing success with these services. Contact me for details at bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com 

Top Task Website Research with Gerry McGovern
Communication Audits
Expert Marketing Communications Website Reviews
Writing Right for the Web: Webinars, Conferences, and Campus Workshops
Competitive Website Reviews and Secret Shopping Projects
March greetings. Today's newsletter arrives while I am at an Academic Impressions conference with old colleagues and new friends as we explore the best steps forward in a website redesign. Follow along today and tomorrow morning on Twitter at #aiWebRedesign. 

My presentations from the website redesign conference are online now. "Best Practices for Top Task Web Design: 22 Higher Ed Examples" is at bit.ly/1Rr78Qb and "Key Web Writing Principles for Higher Education" is at bit.ly/21kE1pJ 

Either session is available in a version customized for presentation on your campus. Contact me at bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com 

Last week I finished the second of a two-part interview with Rob Liesland at Xavier University on how Xavier came to create the most unusual website home page in higher education. Start with the Part 1 at bit.ly/1OiKfJY and continue to Part 2 at bit.ly/21uHv5q 
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Conference Events in June, July

"Improving Your Student Recruitment Communication Plan" is the topic of an Academic Impressions conference June 6-8 in Atlanta. Review the session and register at bit.ly/1Tf5xje 

July 20-21 I will be in Louisville at the Connect Higher Education Summit sponsored by Learning House. Check the details at bit.ly/1PPWYt0 

Join 7,135+ followers on Twitter at twitter.com/HighEdMarketing for my daily marketing updates.

And now here are your March marketing news and notes.
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Cartoon of the Month: Personas, Helpful or Silly?

They can be either one, of course. If not done with restraint, they can reflect what marketers think they should reflect rather than reality. 

Wise words from marketing cartoonist Tom Fishburne after his "Buyer Personas" cartoon are atbit.ly/1oKRHZX 
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Increasing Online Inquiries: 7 Landing Page Flaws to Avoid

If you are not getting as many online enrollment inquiries as you wish, check "Landing Page Flaws that Kill Your Conversions" from Kissmetrics. 

The first flaw is especially important and often found in higher education: Too much information required. Two others included here: too much text and, especially for mobile, too slow to download.

For the complete list to check to start increasing your landing page conversions, seebit.ly/24t28l5 
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Breakpoint: Reviewing the Changing Higher Education Marketplace

Here is a new book from Jon McGee, vice president for planning and public affairs at the College of St. Benedict and Saint John's University, on change faced by public and private sector schools. 

Books on change in higher education certainly are not scarce. I have not yet read this one but am including it here after reading an interview with the author that included questions on pricing (complex and not seldom understood by people outside admissions and financial aid) and probable closings (not many likely but expect severe strain on quality of life elements). 

Decide if you want to read "Breakpoint: The Changing Marketplace for Higher Education" after checking the interview at bit.ly/1QBReit 
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Financial Aid Awards: 3 TV Shows Include Family Reactions to Awards

Laugh or cry as you read the script from 3 TV shows with episodes about the family reaction to opening a financial aid award package in a newsletter prepared for clients by a college counselor.

Note that the counselor, in responding to a comment, advises that "There is no rhyme or reason to how financial aid departments disperse aid" that lets people compare awards from different schools.

Decide how real the TV scenarios are when you visit bit.ly/24thea6 
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Admissions Applications: Before Sending Get a Review from Admission Counselors

People who want extra advice about the strength of an admissions application can get it from an "Admissions Checkup" service.

For $399 for a first application and $179 for additional apps, 3 former admissions counselors will read an application and provide advice on how to make it stronger. People in a hurry can add $175 for expedited service in 24 to 36 hours.

Admissions officers doing the review have worked at the 49 public and private sector schools you can see on the site, starting with Assumption College and ending with Yale University.

Start your visit at bit.ly/1LKjMW2 
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Muhlenberg College: Mandatory Mentor Program for New Students

Retention rates have assumed new importance in higher education marketing. A new program at Muhlenberg College offers an interesting option other schools might consider to have a positive impact on retention early in the college experience.

The Muhlenberg plan requires every new student to have a parent or alumni mentor who matches their career interests. The program is mandatory for a single course but students can continue on after that if they wish.

While this seems a challenge to organize and execute, the potential is high. The plan was introduced by the college's new president. More details are at bit.ly/1UoEwJU 
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Writing Right for the Web: New Typography Trends

Stay up-to-date with what you might expect to see from your creative design friends and agencies by reviewing "Typography Trends Every Marketer Should Have on Their Radar."

Remember 3 basic points: accept only fonts that people can scan quickly when a page opens, do not use a font size so small that you make people squint to read them, and make sure you have high contrast between text and background. And you might want to avoid the "swirly and curly serifs" included here.

More on what to expect in 2016 at bit.ly/1UoDg9E 
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Website Design: Nielsen Norman Group on Thriving in the Mobile World

With the initial rush to convert large screen sites to responsive design sites for mobile viewing behind us, the Nielsen Normal group is here with a review of the present-day options for website design. You'll find mobile apps, mobile-only sites, responsive design, and large-screen only sites covered here.

For insight into the usability pros and cons of the various approaches, including 8 comparison points between "mobile-dedicated" and responsive sites, visit bit.ly/1LKgAcQ 
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Most Popular Topic in February Newsletter: For the First Time, a Tie

An equal number of people clicked to visit the Cartoon of the Month on the challenge of matching creative efforts with brand reality (at bit.ly/1nqNMQJ) and my LinkedIn article on "6 Great Website Examples for Engagement and Top Task Completion" (at bit.ly/1mfWFMl). 
________________________________
Be a marketing champion on your campus.

Bob Johnson, Ph.D. 
President
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
__________________________________________
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

Increase your marketing success with these services. Contact me for details at bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com 

Communication Audits
Expert Marketing Communications Website Reviews
Top Task Website Design Research with Gerry McGovern
Writing Right for the Web: Webinars, Conferences, and Campus Workshops
Competitive Website Reviews and Secret Shopping Projects




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