Noel-Levitz recently surveyed more than 2,000 high school seniors about using mobile devices in their college searches. More than half (52 percent) of those students who said they used a mobile device at least once per week reported visiting a college’s mobile site. The experience was quite positive for many of those students.
Forty-nine percent of students said that their experience on a mobile site strengthened their perception of the campus; only 2 percent said the mobile experience had a negative impression. Likewise, 47 percent of students said that they would return to a school’s mobile site.
These findings clearly indicate that providing a quality mobile site experience for prospective students can have significant benefits. It provides additional opportunities to connect with these students regardless of where they are browsing the Internet. Consider implementing the following strategies:
- Create a mobile site that is optimized for smartphones. While most phones can now access non-optimized sites, optimizing for mobile will make it easier for smartphone users to navigate and find content.
- Think like a student in terms of content. Students will be less likely to complete applications or read extensive information on academic offerings on a mobile device, but they probably would watch videos, check for key information on applying and financial aid, and request a campus visit.
- Make it easy to connect with your social media via smartphone. Have links to your social media outlets, especially if you have your own customized social networks.
- Give students a reason to return. Update content on your mobile site the same way you would your main Web site.
More information about our mobile survey will be released in January 2012. If you have any questions about providing a quality mobile experience for prospective students, please contact me. Or check out our 2011 E-Expectations report for more information on the online expectations and behavior of college-bound high school students.
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