Industry Spotlight

Valuable insights from UPCEA's trusted corporate partners.

Reasons Your Website Might Be Preventing Prospective Student Conversions

A lot of time and money are invested in your website and marketing tactics to drive traffic to your site. However, if conversions don’t follow, then you’re left wondering if you’re targeting the wrong audiences or if you need to invest more money. Fortunately, the answer is usually “no” – the real issue is often the foundation and functionality of the website itself.

Your institution is no longer just competing with other schools. It’s now up against high consumer expectations for speedy and simple digital experiences set by companies like Amazon and Dominos. Below, we’ll look at what today’s prospective students expect from schools’ websites, as well as ways your institution’s website might be discouraging students from converting.


What do prospective student users expect from digital experiences?

Today’s students have high expectations around the ease of use, rapid access to information and self-service options on websites. As consumers, they expect the following:

  • A website experience that is catered to their needs and interests
  • Messages focused on what they need to know for where they are in the decision-making process
  • Self-service scheduling options that require little human interaction or effort
  • Informed discussions that happen on their terms and timelines


Is your website preventing students from converting?

If your institution’s website is experiencing low conversions and/or site traffic, it could be full of friction points. Below are three common reasons your website might be keeping prospective students from converting:

  1. No Program Finder: Program pages are the most sought-after information on a college’s website. If your institution doesn’t have a way for prospects to sort or search all programs, they may miss programs your school offers.
  2. User Confusion with Site Architecture: If your website’s programs and modality (i.e. on-campus, hybrid, online) were organized by your institution’s internal processes, not by the user experience, this may be making it hard for a prospect to find what they’re looking for.
  3. Duplicate Pages: If some of your programs have multiple web pages with nearly identical information, search engines are more likely to distrust this content and lower its position in a search engine results page (SERP).

To identify where and why prospective students might be getting hung up or confused on your website, we recommend you perform a full website audit. This can help test the user experience of your website to find and remove the faults and frictions that are inhibiting your most valuable marketing tool from performing.

Still not sure whether you should invest in updating your current website or start from scratch with a new one? Read this article for factors Collegis Education recommends all institutions consider when evaluating the need for a new website.


Collegis Education is a higher education managed services company that enables colleges and universities to meet revenue, pedagogical and operational challenges by better leveraging their technology investments. With expertise gained over 20 years working in higher education, we provide the industry’s most comprehensive and collaborative digital transformation solutions that help institutions grow enrollments, deliver quality learning experiences and manage their technology ecosystems so they can become a University of Tomorrow™.



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