We all want to promote our academic programs, especially when data tells us that 67% of high school seniors and 77% of juniors search our websites for academic programs and degrees (Noel Levitz, 2018). But how can we successfully promote our programs online when deans and department heads (and graduate assistants) are in control of their departmental websites and don’t truly understand the meaning of marketing to students? In a decentralized web structure, how can we convince a dean that a prospective student does not want to read a “letter from the dean” on the Biology or Criminal Justice homepage? This was an ongoing question and roadblock at UA Little Rock. The web team finally realized that everyone can win. In fall 2018, we organized a plan to create new “marketing-focused academic program pages.” This allows the dean (and GA) to keep control of their departmental, internal-focused sites, while the web team manages the design and content of the external-focused pages. We all win! All digital marketing links to these pages, which includes the content that prospective students are most looking for along with a simple RFI (request for information). The goal is for each program page to utilize meta tags and keywords to enhance SEO. Higher organic search rankings lead to more website visits which leads to more inquiries, more applications, and finally greater enrollment!
This session will highlight the data that shows your academic programs are one of the top drivers to your site, how to use that data to get buy-in, and how to launch the process of creating a separate space for program pages that will support your digital marketing efforts. I will also share the results of our first campaigns that connected to these pages.
Meaghan MilliornWeb Communications Manager
Meaghan Milliorn is the online marketing manager at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where she manages the web team and oversees the university's social media accounts. She loves finding ways to connect with UA Little Rock's diverse audience. Whether it's through an Instagram story or a compelling image on the ualr.edu homepage, she hopes to strategically and thoughtfully tell the university's story on a daily basis. She has more than 10 years experience in higher ed and is an alum of UA Little Rock. When she isn't tied to her iPhone or laptop, she's chasing her three sons around. Or she's napping.