How to design a great training company website
What makes a good training provider website? What are the simple things you can do to reach more learners and employers and in the end convert more website visits into course enquiries and bookings?
Here are some suggestions to help you build a great training company website.
1. Streamline navigation and make sure it works for your different audiences
Organise your website navigation so that each audience knows exactly where to go to find the content that you have created for them. And it goes without saying that you have to write different content for different audiences.
Understand your audiences and remember, many training companies have more than one:
The simplest way to provide clear navigation for multiple audiences is to put buttons at the top of your homepage.
2. Go big on testimonials, case studies and reviews
Testimonials, case studies and reviews are your social proof. They are the best way to sell the benefits of your training courses. And again - match the content to the audience and make it easy to find.
What happens to the young people who do your courses? Write some case studies - with photographs and highlight positive outcomes.
Do you sell continuing professional development courses to schools and teachers? Can you write some case studies that showcase the positive impact of your training? People want to read positive stories about what happened to other learners who have completed the same course.
3. If you can, integrate your course booking and CRM system(s)
Make your course enquiry and booking processes as frictionless as possible. If you can, integrate your course booking/CRM system with your website. Learners may be put off if they are redirected to a 3rd party website or have to phone or email to make a booking.
Tighter integration between your website and course booking system should increase the number of bookings you receive. You also save admin time if the information you capture on your website can be automatically stored in your CRM system.
You save time on manual data entry and your important data is held securely in one place.
4. Design for mobile first - build a responsive website
Courses in the Coursedate course booking system get over 60% of their views from people on mobile devices. Many people - and it’s not just younger people - will by default do most of their browsing on their phones.
Your website design must be responsive - that means it automatically resizes for different screen sizes. Things like headings, logos and images are automatically adjusted to give the best user experience - depending on the device being used.
Get your web developer to build a fully responsive site - and by default, design for mobile first.
What does design for mobile first mean? It means mobile isn’t an afterthought. The first time your web developer/designer shows you your new site - it should be on a mobile phone.
6. Follow these basic principles of good landing page design
This is good advice from:
You should read and understand it - even if you’ve outsourced the design (and content creation) of your website.
Here’s a quick summary of the main points:
- Landing pages can include - Homepage, Persona landing page (e.g. learners) and Product page (e.g. a specific course page).
- Good landing pages follow the same basic structure.
- The Hero section consists of a header and subheader - the most important text on the page. The header has to explain what you sell.
- Social proof matters - customer logos, testimonials, links to reviews.
- Add one or two ‘call-to-action’ buttons to your pages - what do you want the visitor to do next after they’ve looked at your page?
- Features and objections - this is most of the content on your homepage/landing page.
7. Your course categories must make sense to your customers
This sounds obvious - use course categories and course names that make sense to customers. Sometimes in the training world - particularly in the FE/vocational sector - there is sector specific language that doesn’t always make sense to learners (and their parents).
Do you know what search terms are being used to find your courses? A good training provider website will support free text searching and browsing by category - categories that make sense to learners and employers. Coursedate has a useful feature - we log the search terms people use when they browse your courses. You can see those search terms and then tweak the language you use to name and describe your courses.
Small teasers under each course in the directory are a good idea too, giving information about course costs, length, level etc. Think usability - you don’t want learners to look at each individual course page, they will become frustrated and bounce out of the site.
Finding and booking/enrolling on a course on your website should be as frictionless as possible.
Start with clear signposting to content for different audiences, an integrated course directory, a simple course booking form and a fully responsive, mobile first website design. Read the advice on landing pages at julian.com.
And finally, you can talk to us for advice. Sheaf Digital (we designed and built Coursedate) are a software consultancy for the education & training sectors. We offer targeted website and technical consultancy for education and training providers.