Here’s a fun exercise: Put yourself in the mindset of students who want to order their credentials: ie. transcripts and diplomas, online, possibly to send to college or an employer. Head to your school’s homepage, then navigate to the part of the site where you can order transcripts.
Was it easy? If so, congratulations! Your school knows how important digital transcripts are and makes them easy for students to order. If you struggled, don’t worry. Yours isn’t the only school that makes its transcript ordering feature difficult for students to find. Here, we’ll talk about best practices for website placement and share tips for getting your web and marketing teams on board with Parchment.
Web design that features digital credentials
It’s no secret. School websites can be challenging to navigate. It’s a common joke that students can never find what they’re looking for, even when what they want is simply the school’s address. Instead, all they find are prominent alumni, testimonials, faculty accomplishments, upcoming events – things that promote the school. This isn’t bad, of course, but it does make the transcript-ordering process more difficult for students. As someone whose job is to help students succeed, that’s the last thing you want.
So how do you make ordering transcripts and other credentials easier? These tips can help:
- Include a prominent button on the homepage. This way, current students and alumni can easily find what they’re looking for.
- Link to credential ordering in the main navigation. A top navigation bar lets you link to necessary resources without intruding on the details the school wants to promote on its homepage.
- Create a landing page that links to your storefront. Students who search Google for “order transcripts for [your school]” or a similar term will be directed here.
- Keep all transcript links above the fold. This means students shouldn’t have to scroll down the page to find a link to credential ordering. People are far less likely to engage with content if they have to scroll down to see it, according to Nielsen Norman Group.
You may still need to help students through the process of ordering digital credentials at some point, but improving this first step is a great and necessary start.
Convincing web and marketing teams to prioritize Parchment
As a school registrar or counselor, website development is probably nowhere on your list of duties. That job falls to your web and marketing teams, and they have their own priorities – namely, promoting whatever the school wants them to promote. As such, you may have trouble convincing them to implement the ideas above.
Not to worry. We’ve got your back. Here’s how to make your case:
- Bring statistics. Tell your web developers how much digital transcript ordering has increased since your school implemented Parchment.
- Talk about social media. Parchment allows students to share their achievements on Facebook and other platforms – free advertising that your marketing team might not be aware of.
- Collect student testimonials. Web developers may not take your word for it, but they should be convinced by the statements from your students.
If you’ve tried these tactics but still can’t convince your web team, ask your Parchment rep for help.
Want more insights on making the most of your Parchment partnership? Check out our blog for the latest insights and tips!