What Colleges Need to Know about Google’s Latest Chrome Update
By: Christopher Tashjian Jul 03, 2018
Arguably the most important thing a prospective student looks for when searching for a college is a relationship built on trust. They are entering a contract with your institution to learn and better themselves. All of the other aspects like cost, time to completion, reputation, etc all fall back to TRUST. Since 2017, Google has been rolling out visual cues that allow their users to know whether sites are HTTPS secure versus the less secure HTTP extension. For more background on the Hyper Text Transfer Protocols, look here. What do marketers, admissions directors, and enrollment managers need to know? Just that Google Chrome users will now see right away whether your websites are secure. While not the end of the world, getting a message stating the site is “Not Secure” will certainly do more harm then good. There are two negatives here:
It’s a bad user experience and you may see higher than normal bounce rates. That means less leads and possibly current students being turned off. On your paid search campaigns, this will negatively impact your quality score and ultimately increase your cost per lead. Learn more about paid search best practices in our guide: The Essentials of PPC Marketing for Higher Education
You may also take a hit on your SEO rankings. According to Google, 81 of the top 100 websites use HTTPS. Suffice to say they hold it in high regard as far as search engine rankings go.
A migration from HTTP to HTTPS does not need to be daunting project. Our suggestion is to start focusing on your most front-facing properties like landing pages, microsites, and alumni portals. Existing EducationDynamics clients that use our landing page engine, creative services, or hosting don’t need to worry. We began the migration in 2017 and all of your sites will be fully up to date. They look like this: We will be working with clients and advertisers that have not made the switch yet to audit all pages that are used in our marketing campaigns. We can also provide your institution with the resources needed to make the switch or even move them onto our network of hosted sites.
Want to see your university grow with more targeted marketing? Partnering with EducationDynamics allows you to grow without having to expand. Learn more about EducationDynamics’ Marketing offerings today.