In present day, a website is fundamental to a college or university’s success. Without one, you may as well be invisible when it comes to prospective students. Many institutions are leaning toward complex, flashy, and modern designs, putting much of their focus into the aesthetics. This is certainly helpful and catches site visitors’ attention, but it’s important not to overlook the most crucial component of the website: the content. It doesn’t matter if the button on your home page performs a smooth animation once clicked; what matters is the quality and relatability of the content the visitor is taken to. Blogs are a fantastic way to continuously produce content that captivates and inspires while simultaneously establishing your presence on the web. Here’s four reasons why you should get started blogging if you aren’t already:
1. Blogging Gets Your School Out There
Maintaining a blog is a great way to consistently output fresh and up-to-date information that will keep your institution included in organic search results. By covering topics that prospective students will naturally search for, you are far more likely to appear in search results without the traditional meticulous monotony of SEO. As your archives continue to grow, your institution’s positive digital footprint will drive more traffic to your website.
2. Social Media Needs Content
Social media platforms have the largest and most accessible audience available. According to www.smartinsights.com, Facebook alone has almost 2 billion active users as of January 2017. It follows that a strong presence on this platform can significantly benefit any institution. To develop this presence, contributions to social media must be frequent, relevant, and attention-grabbing. Blogging is one of the best ways to produce content that meets these criteria. Most college or university website content is specific to the institution, consisting of class schedules, faculty contact information, admissions, and the like, none of which is very suited for social media. Blogs, however, allow the expression of opinions and may cover a plethora of topics relevant to far more than just prospective students. The web of social media, when coupled with the content generation of blogs, translates to a fire of awareness for your institution.
3. Blogging Provides a Voice for Students
The difficulty in finding topics to write about consistently often prevents a group or individual from getting started with blogs. Thankfully, higher ed institutions have one of the most effective resources available: their student body. Offering students the opportunity to blog does as much for your school as it does for the students themselves. Bringing student writers aboard is incredibly helpful in producing content consistently and lets these students explore new ideas, engage in open reflection, and learn to express their opinions effectively. Not only does this creative outlet make students feel like they are part of your school, but it also allows the faculty to better understand the student body, opening a new source of mutual learning between the faculty and student body.
4. Blogging Gives Prospective Students More Insight
Once the student community can vocalize their opinions, a window is opened into life at your school. Current students of your institution can provide deeper insight to prospective students from their personal experiences. Student clubs can have their own subsite blog to spread information and share what it’s like to become a member. While we all respect our elders and the wealth of wisdom they retain, it is often the opinions of peers that will influence students’ decisions the most. With blogging, one student’s shared experience can become a spike in student enrollment.
Since your website is the face of your institution, it is also the first impression your institution shows to the outside world. While ensuring the aesthetics are not too far behind the most modern designs shows an effort to maintain appeal and professionalism, blogs are the touch of humanity that can make your institution stand out. They transcend the feelings of targeted marketing and leave ideas that resonate with your site visitors. It’s not too late to start taking advantage of this powerful tool!
Need blogging software to get started? Check out OU Blogs™! The tool integrates the power of blogging with OU Campus, giving you the same great CMS functionality for all your blogging needs.