It has been 6 months since we completely re-designed the internationally focussed StudyLink.com website, and throughout this period we have seen a significant increase in our-site conversions, including:
- Total searches
- Course impressions in search
- Student referrals
The biggest improvement we have seen is the 64.6% increase in student referrals we have served to our clients in the last six months*. Other notable benefits have included an increase in course search impressions by 15.9% and a growth of total searches performed by 5.4% in the last six months*.
*Compared to the previous six months
So, how exactly did we do this?
We hid the top menu bar
The top menu bar was condensed and moved to a toggle-able panel to the left. Students can use the search function on all pages, and can access the search bar at any time by accessing the search panel to the right using the search icon in the top right corner.
The rationale behind this exercise was to reduce the number of visible links on any given page, allowing users to focus on the content rather than excessive navigation controls.
We cleaned up the search results page
The search results page is now cleaner than ever before, with ten results displayed on every page. Adverts are unobtrusive and shown based upon the users display size, so they support the results rather than dominate. The course listings in the search results have also been refined, with five key calls-to-action per course listing. Students are encouraged to visit your institution profile and course profile from the search results page, and are also able to store a course they like in their own personal short-list using the “Shortlist Course” button. The search results page now also features prominent outbound click-able links sending students direct to your institution’s website.
These changes simplify the way we display your data on the search results page, and are designed to support the key behaviours we identified as crucial for this page.
We improved the layout of profile pages
The profile pages have adopted a layout that was designed to be optimised for student referrals to your website. Towards the top of each profile page you will see multiple opportunities for students to click through to your website, as well as engaging media slots towards the right of the page including a video/photo gallery and location map powered by Google.
The content in the main section of the page is designed to divide your institution information into different sections, allowing students to browse courses without being overwhelmed by data at first sight.
An all-courses link follows logical breadcrumb navigation that makes it simple for students to quickly traverse all your courses in an A-Z list, no hiding your courses behind layers of navigational complexity.
We went mobile-first with a responsive design
Monitoring the user data generated by StudyLink.com showed us that more and more students are using tablets and phones to search for courses. To cater for all types of devices, we moved to a fully responsive design that adapts its layout based upon the size of the screen used. This allowed us to keep the important information visible on screen as well as tailor call to actions and buttons to be just right for every screen. Go ahead, resize your browser window when viewing StudyLink.com and play around to try it out.
We haven’t stopped
We know that a website should never be regarded as a finished product, rather it should be in a state of continual improvement. Usage trends and methods continually change and to stay still would be to fall behind. With that in mind we always keep on eye on our data to identify areas for improvement.
The increase in student referrals for clients that we have measured is vindication of the design decisions we have taken, but we aim to keep improving in the future, so keep checking StudyLink.com to see what we come up with next.