Supporting Mobile Traffic on Course Catalogs

June 26, 2024

Is your institution’s course catalog optimized for mobile traffic? If not, you’re likely impeding both student accessibility and usage rates of your catalog. A quick walk on any college campus will show the ubiquity of smartphones amongst today’s students. These devices aren’t simply being used for social media and group texts, but are often acting as supporting resources in a student’s education. Let’s dive into why your institution should prioritize mobile accessibility, how you can boost mobile traffic, and how Clean Catalog software plays a pivotal role in achieving these goals.

The Importance of Mobile Accessibility

Today’s students are more connected than ever. The average student has multiple devices that they’ll use to support their studies, typically including a smartphone and tablet. Even faculty members and prospective students increasingly rely on mobile devices to browse and access school information. Not surprisingly, between 40-60% of all course catalog traffic comes from mobile devices, and that number is only climbing! The ubiquity of mobile devices underscores the need for institutions to tailor their digital publications to student demand.

Supporting Mobile Traffic

To effectively support and encourage mobile traffic to college course catalogs, institutions must adopt a multifaceted approach. Many institutions we work with are still using PDF or print-based catalogs, which prove nearly impossible to navigate and search from a mobile device. The first step of optimizing your catalog for mobile traffic is to migrate, if you haven’t already, to a digital catalog solution. When built and designed correctly, digital course catalogs will skyrocket accessibility for students. Users will be able to access your institution’s catalog on the device of their choosing, at any time, in any place. For many students, this will be on their mobile device.

While a seamless mobile experience is crucial for accessibility, it also plays a key role in the overall success of your course catalog. This generation of students have been exposed to the Internet from young ages and have a low tolerance for poor user design. A study by Google found that 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. It’s not enough to simply have a beautiful mobile design. The functionality and interface must promote a positive overall user experience from the backend. Ensuring that your course catalog loads quickly and displays effectively on mobile devices can significantly enhance student engagement and usage of your course catalog.

Clean Catalog Software: Empowering Mobile Accessibility

Clean Catalog software has been designed with accessibility at the forefront. This encompasses maximizing the mobile device experience and accessibility for students. From the backend to the frontend, a variety of built-in features help deliver a mobile site that surpasses modern web standards for all of our clients’ catalog sites.

Responsive Site Designs

Clean Catalog ensures that course catalogs are built with responsive design principles at their core. This means that whether accessed from a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, the user experience remains consistent and intuitive. Based on the screen size, the catalog site adjusts its text size, orientation, and visual elements to be easily readable. When viewing from a smartphone or tablet, clickable buttons are increased in size to accommodate fingers on touch screens. Responsive site designs are built-in to all Clean Catalog sites and are key in providing an optimal viewing experience to all students, regardless of device.

Fast Load Speeds

By leveraging efficient coding practices and cloud-based hosting, Clean Catalog ensures ultra-quick load speeds for all catalog pages. This not only enhances user experience but also reduces bounce rates and improves overall engagement. Optimizing page load speeds is critical for mobile users. According to a research conducted by Google, as page load times increase from 1 to 10 seconds, the probability of a mobile user bouncing increases by 123%. For the success of your catalog, you want to ensure students can meaningfully engage with your catalog site.

SEO-Optimized Content

Clean Catalog includes built-in tools for optimizing catalog content for search engines. From meta tags to mobile-friendly URLs to structured data markup, every aspect is geared towards maximizing visibility and attracting organic traffic from mobile searches. Search engines, including Google, prioritize and reward mobile-friendly sites in their search results. Enhancing mobile SEO practices ensures that course catalogs rank well in mobile search results, thereby appearing before a greater number of prospective students.

Accessible Text and Graphics

Our software ensures that all text and graphic elements within the catalog are accessible. This includes using scalable fonts, alt text for images, and adhering to accessibility standards, including WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). If your catalog isn’t optimized for mobile, the text and graphics on your mobile catalog may be too skewed or mis-sized to read.

As colleges strive to cater to a tech-savvy audience, optimizing course catalogs for mobile traffic is not just beneficial but a crucial piece of the puzzle. By adopting Clean Catalog software, institutions can ensure that their course offerings are easily accessible, engaging, and optimized for the mobile-first world we live in today. Investing in mobile-friendly designs and robust software solutions like Clean Catalog is not just about keeping up with modern students, but about providing an inclusive and effective platform for all users, regardless of the device they use. If you’d like to learn more about our mobile-friendly catalog solutions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.