Our clients often ask us the best way to incorporate a virtual campus tour into their school website.
Since Circlescapes virtual tours are best viewed in a dedicated browser tab, we don’t actually need to touch your primary website at all. All you need to do is add a link (or links) to your website to launch the virtual tour in a new window.
Where you place those links is up to you. Is it more relevant to the “Student Life” section? Would it fit in under “About Us?” How about a big button on your home page so it is sure to be seen? Well, there are no right answers so I want to share with you what some other schools are doing and where we see the best returns.
Most schools feature a revolving banner on their home page. This is a great way to showcase the virtual tour when it is newly launched. You could take a screen shot of the tour and add that as the visual, or use another image of your campus with a link that says: “Check out our new 360° virtual campus tour!”
Many schools have highly interactive home pages with lots of great information as you scroll down the page. This is a good opportunity to feature the tour on your “Home” page like Pennington and the Oregon Episcopal School:
We recommend that you have more than one path to get to the virtual tour. For example Oregon Episcopal School also has a button on their top nav bar that is accessible from anywhere on the website:
A natural place to put a campus virtual tour is on your “Admissions” page or in that section of your site. Some examples of this are The McCallie School, Lake Forest Academy and Brewster Academy.
Brewster has their tour available in a few places in the Admissions section. It is a button on their “Your Campus Visit” page.
And it is a ”Helpful Link” on the “International Student Programs” page.
You might have a special page dedicated to your campus. That is also great spot to add a text link or button to your virtual campus tour, like Chadwick International:
Your “About Us” page or section is one frequently visited by prospective families, students and faculty to get introductory information about your school. This is also a great place for a link or button. An example of this is Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Brooklyn:
Even if your tour is featured as a button on your home page or in various other subsections, it is good to have a link in your Quicklinks drop down list, on your site map, and available in search:
You can also feature the panoramas from your tour on Google Maps, like in the following example of Brewster Academy. This is what you will see when the user searches your school’s name:
And when “See photos” is clicked, a tray of 360° photos pulls up:
You can also post individual panoramas on Facebook or deep link to relevant panoramas. For example, you may only want to show 360° images of your dorm rooms on your “Residential Life” page or show off your new Aquatics Center on your “Athletics” page.
To recap, here are some recommendations for where to feature your tour and remember, multiple locations is best!
- Home page
- About us
- Residential Life
- Facility Rentals
- Visit Us
- International Students
- Google Maps
Let us know if you have other ideas for your tour or if you would like more information on creating an interactive campus tour for your school: Circlescapes Virtual Tours (firstname.lastname@example.org).