Infographics: they're cool, trendy, and popping up across independent and public school websites everywhere. But in order to create an infographic that's effective, it needs to be more than just a mash-up of random numbers. Your school's website needs to use infographics to tell a story, create meaning, and highlight the most special aspects of your school in a logical, visually appealing, layout.
First things first — why use infographics?
Infographics are considered a best practice for content marketing because they're captivating, to-the-point, and easy-to-digest. Using them to your advantage can improve the user experience, and your website's conversion rates.
It's a well-known fact that people enjoy watching videos and looking at images way more than they like reading — especially on the Internet. But it isn't just a phenomenon of human nature — it's science:
- 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual
- Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text
- 40% of people will respond better to visual information than text
- People remember 80% of what they see and do, and only 20% of what they hear
That last statistic is key.
With 72% of education search query sessions (AKA the time spent on your school website from search) not ending with a conversion, your job is to create a memorable experience. And today, text just won't cut it.
Here are a few ways you can use and integrate infographics on your school's website to create a memorable and enjoyable experience.
Website Content Planner
Replace your Facts & Figures page.
Visit almost any school website, and you'll stumble upon a Facts & Figures page. The page, in most cases, will consists of 10-20 statistics about the school — when it was founded, enrollment, number of AP classes, etc. But even if the statistics are impressive (which in most cases, they always are), they often get over-looked or forgotten because they're formatted as a list of bullet points.
Let me be frank with you: your school is so much better than a bulleted-list.
Follow suit with Thayer Academy, who takes an oh-so bold approach by using organized and color-coded infographics on their Facts & Figures page.
With 40+ stats about their community, academics, arts, athletics, and facilities, it's easy to find and digest the vast amount of impressive information about the school. Most importantly, Thayer uses this opportunity to make their value easy to remember.
From noting ample transportation and financial aid to boasting AP exams taken and their large alumni community, Thayer makes a pretty hard-to-resist value proposition using infographics alone.
For your own school's website: Think about every statistic that sets you apart. Then, organize them into lists by category. Once you have 5-6 statistics per category, you're ready to transform them into an infographic.
Jazz up your homepage.
You only get one chance to make a first impression, so use an infographic to help make it a good one! Infographics are commonly used as a panel on a school's homepage as a way to display some facts and figures, as well as add some variety to the homepage. Since people remember visuals better than text, you'll be able to capitalize on first-time website visitors looking to learn more about your school.
Here is a great example from Westtown School. The infographic is the third panel on the school's homepage, and it surely makes you stop and read.
Use them to drive a conversion.
Any engaging piece of content placed on your website that doesn't initiate a next step is a wasted opportunity.
It's like a joke without a punchline.
A statistic is only a portion of the story you have to tell. Use infographics as the teaser to what your school has to offer, and invite website visitors to learn more.
Charlotte Country Day School's homepage features three infographics to describe their achievements, outcomes and academics. And each one of those infographics is followed by a related call to action, which brings them to a related landing page that expands upon the impressive statistics outlined on their homepage.
This is an effective strategy because it achieves three main goals: First, it educates the website visitor. Second, it engages them and invites them to learn more. Three, it encourages them to dive deeper into your website pages and explore.
For your own school's website: Consider what special programs or academics you offer that would entice prospective families to learn more. Then, feature those on your homepage — and always use a call to action to guide website visitors down the path to inquire or apply.
Describe one of your school's programs.
Education is all about the evolution of a student. And sometimes, it's hard to translate that to a website because it is so complex, and in many cases, extremely individualized.
However, the French American International School in San Francisco uses an easy-to-understand Academic Roadmap infographic that visualizes how students become bilingual throughout their course of Pre-K through high school. Their unique approach to student language development is simplified in this infographic:
This infographic is effective because, as a parent, the education becomes extremely transparent, and it's plain to see how well-rounded and experienced graduates become.
For your own school's website: Think about what programs your school offers that are special to you — and how you can use an infographic to detail that journey. Sometimes STEM, language, and other signature programs are slightly more complex than a sentence or two.
Combine related statistics to tell a more specific story.
York School in Monterey California's homepage is unique because each time you land on it you're greeted with a different set of statistics about the school's athletics, academics, arts or community. Each set of statistics has four pretty awesome statistics that tell a story about a particular segment of the school.
And, if you want to learn more, you can simply click the arrow to be brought to an interior page that has all of their impressive stats.
Montclair Kimberley Academy in New Jersey takes a similar approach. The school's website features this bold and colorful infographic on their homepage, introducing some of the school's most outstanding and unique stats (like 16+ varieties of fresh veggies harvested and enjoyed by students):
But they also use this same style on each of their landing pages for Admissions, Academics, Supporting MKA, and Alumni. Here's an example from their Supporting MKA page:
This strategic placement works because it targets a captive audience with compelling statistics. Rather than grouping statistics together on a single page, MKA displays their value proposition in little bites site-wide, making them easy-to-digest and relevant to the rest of the content on the page.
For your own website: Landing pages are an ideal opportunity to outline some of the most outstanding statistics about your admissions process, academic offerings, extracurricular, and more. For example, on your main page for admissions, create an infographic that outlines impressive financial aid and scholarship statistics; then on your athletics page, use a separate one to discuss athletic achievements, and so on. This way, you can engage users with fast facts about a subject they're already interested in.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As Finalsite's Content Marketing Manager, Mia plans and executes a variety of inbound marketing and digital content strategies. As a former TV and news reporter, freelance cinematographer and certified inbound marketer, Mia specializes in helping schools find new ways to share their stories online through web design, social media, copywriting, photography and videography. She is the author of numerous blogs, and Finalsite's popular eBook, The Website Redesign Playbook.