What you think you know about your #HigherEd website is probably wrong

Download the "Mythbusting Websites" white paper
Download the “Mythbusting Websites” white paper

We all know that today’s prospective college students are hungry for videos and paudio no attention to boring old text on a website, right?

Not exactly. According to new research shared today at the American Marketing Association’s Sympsoium on the Marketing of Higher Education (#AMAHigherEd), that notion is one of many myths about higher ed websites.

In “Mythbusting Websites: What Prospects Value (and Don’t Value) About #HigherEd Websites,” presenters Michael Stoner, cofFounder and president of mStoner Inc., and Gil Rogers, director of enrollment marketing at Chegg, shared new research about what college-going teens look for on .edu websites and what content is most important to them.

Stoner and Rogers compared the perspectives of higher ed professionals and prospective students and found some notable differences in the way they viewed and thought about websites.

For instance, “teens were much more interested in ‘compelling text’ than professionals thought they were (54 percent for teens, 37 percent for professionals),” according to the mStoner/Chegg “Mythbusting” white paper, which Stoner and Rogers also announced at today’s conference session.

“And, in a separate question, we also asked teens how they prefer to consume content on a college website. Surprisingly, “text and articles ranks highest (at 64 percent), although photography is close (at 60 percent).”

And video? “Videos rank fifth (at 40 percent), though professionals said they believed that teens prefer it to any other form of media (76 percent believed this to be the case).”

If you missed their session (as I did, en route to the conference a bit later than most), don’t despair. You can sign up here to get a copy of the white paper. It’s worth a read — and the research may make you reconsider how you think about your website goals in the future.

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Author: andrewcareaga

Higher ed PR and marketing guy. Communications director for Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) in Rolla, Missouri, USA. Slow runner, mediocre guitarist, lover of music and puns, and an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. I blog and Tweet about #highered, #music, #gocards and #random stuff.

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