Website Design & Development for Higher Education

Your website is your college or university's most essential marketing, brand, and enrollment tool, yet many higher education institutions struggle to appropriately utilize it as such. Building a website—whether from the ground up or as a reimagined version of what currently exists—requires far more than the technical skills needed to design a user interface, install a Content Management System (CMS), add content, and deploy page templates. At Carnegie Dartlet, we take an integrated strategy-first approach—specifically, a distinct higher education strategy that’s driven by data and uncommonly comprehensive. What results is the perfect integration of our research and analytics, human-centered storytelling, enrollment ecosystem approach to student engagement, personality-driven design, and optimization-driven digital marketing.

Website Audits + Planning

Planning for a website project is complex—there’s no avoiding it. Between managing stakeholder engagement, audience prioritization, thousands of legacy pages, and decision-making fatigue, the challenges needing solutions are mountainous. Thankfully, we’ve faced them all, either when we were in your shoes or alongside our 600+ higher education clients. Our process for investigation and planning puts your enrollment, marketing, and brand strategy goals front and center. Upfront data collection through an SEO technical site audit and ADA compliance audit provides critical guidance for our team (and yours) in understanding what’s “under the hood.” Our expertise in Google Analytics and Google Search Console propels our information architecture assessment, sitemap design, URL naming, and redirect planning. And data benchmarking ensures that you’re set up to track progress against your key performance indicators post-launch—the numbers you need to demonstrate success and guide future optimization.

User Interface Design

Our experiences with each other and with brands drive excitement levels, our ability to be inspired, and our motivation to take action. These feelings enable human connection—the power of which drives our design and content work, establishing an authenticity for your site that aligns with your brand strategy. Our user interface design is human centered, utilizing UX and ADA compliance best practices as a foundation but focused on using brand personality for resonance and consistency across the site. While we won’t shy away from our expertise in this space, user testing of clickable prototypes ensures we’re gathering data on our work from unbiased input to create an engaging and easily navigable site. 

Content Creation + Management

Where your storytelling execution delivers a compelling first, second, and third impression of your site, users won’t find your site in the first place if you don’t have effective SEO strategies in place. Our digital copywriting prioritizes both SEO best practices and your brand story to deliver compelling content that is findable, searchable, and accessible. Beyond simply creating and optimizing content, however, the auditing, organizing, populating, and migrating of the content requires a dedicated team and a thoroughly organized process. We happily supply both to take the lift off your shoulders.

Website Personalization

As users—known or unknown—navigate your site, we are able to deliver personalized content based on a number of factors, but most commonly their funnel location and academic interest. This proprietary website personalization and attribution tool is what we call Carnegie ClarityTM. Clarity is powerful in its ability to customize content, but even more so in its ability to track affinity and demonstrate ROI. Clarity becomes even more lucrative in its ability to integrate with CRMs like Slate and Salesforce, offering a two-way sync to enrich profiles and CRM records. And with no cookie expirations or first-touch, last-touch bias, the longevity of insight provided by Carnegie ClarityTM ensures data-informed decision-making throughout the entire length of any enrollment cycle.

Website Development

Ultimately, the careful strategy mapping and attention to detail in the website investigation, planning, and design stages result in a straightforward and well-documented development plan. Your site is built to be responsive, intuitive, and organized so that your life post-launch becomes easier. Through modular content, user roles/permissions, or content workflow solutions, we put the long-term maintenance and sustainability of your site at the forefront of development. Our quality assurance testing phase underscores our commitment to site accessibility, functionality, and Search Engine Optimization. We’re not CMS specific, nor do we mandate a hosting solution. What’s more, after launch, you’ll have full access to your site and control over how it’s supported.

Ongoing Support

We know what a website launch entails—and the operational effort it takes to ensure your new site is set up for long-term success. We’ve developed best practice guides, Google Analytics Assessments and Consulting, and multiple training workshops to empower staff members to make smart decisions as they govern the maintenance of your content. We’re also available for ongoing optimization and consulting to help you take the next steps for the best results in response to your ever-changing analytics. Consider us a ready candidate to be your long-term resource, sounding board, and strategic partner.

Your website is your best opportunity to build your reputation and engage your audience. Trust its redesign to a higher education thought leader that puts your reputation and enrollment goals at the center.

Request Information