Migrating your digital catalogs to a new platform can seem like a daunting task for your staff. When is an upgrade really necessary? Check out these signs your catalog is overdue for a software upgrade and the ripple effect an underperforming catalog may cause.
Low Engagement with Students
The first red flag that your digital catalog may be underperforming is that students are not using it. The purpose of your digital content is to be a resource for students, so low user engagement indicates that something is awry. Today’s tech-savvy students have high standards when it comes to user-interfaces and accessibility. Whether your catalog isn’t user-friendly or lacks important information, there is a reason your students aren’t utilizing the resource your staff works tirelessly to maintain. Upgrading to more intuitive catalog software may help to close this gap and provide more benefit to your student body.
Not Responsive to Screen Size
With mobile devices accounting for approximately 50% of all website traffic, having a mobile-friendly catalog is crucial. Students will be accessing your catalog across many devices, including cell phones, laptops, tablets, and desktop computers. When your catalog has a responsive design, it will automatically fit whatever screen size is being used. Unresponsive site designs, on the other hand, make catalog sites difficult to navigate and frustrating to use. Not only will a responsive site design encourage user engagement, it will also boost your site’s SEO. Curious how your current catalog stacks up? Use Google’s free Mobile-Friendly Test to find out!
Doesn’t Meet SEO Standards
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is an often overlooked piece of your institution’s digital content. When your catalog is not ranking highly on search engine results, inadequate SEO is to blame. This also hurts your visibility within the community, as prospective students are unlikely to see your site listed when they search “accounting programs near me,” for example. Poor SEO is also an indication that your site is not up to accessibility standards or has fundamental issues on the backend. Having a catalog built with the correct meta tags, headers, and without broken links creates a great foundation for SEO, but there are many moving pieces. All Clean Catalog sites are built to meet SEO best practices, so your staff will never have to worry about this technical aspect of your catalog.
Difficult for your Staff to Manage
Institutions commonly need updates made to their digital catalogs, whether it be new courses being added, degree pages being updated, or old content that needs deleting. Your digital catalogs are living documents that undergo many changes each academic year. If your catalog is not user-friendly on the backend, then catalog management can be a burden for your staff. Upgrading to easy-to-use software, even for the least tech-savvy faculty, will help eliminate editing mistakes and lessen the time commitment for managing digital content. In the long run, this can provide your staff with extra bandwidth to tackle other projects.
Makes Applying for Accreditation Difficult
Whether you’re applying for first-time accreditation or a renewal, organizing your catalogs for review is a massive undertaking. If your catalog does not meet accessibility standards, it may create additional hurdles in receiving accreditation. The hours spent fixing an underperforming catalog may be better spent migrating to a software platform without these issues. When your catalog sites are built with Clean Catalog software, they meet accessibility standards by default and make catalog preparation a breeze when applying for accreditation.
If you’d like to discuss the performance of your current catalog and whether migrating to Clean Catalog is the right decision for your institution, feel free to reach out to us.