Development Update: School Microsites 4.0

Thanks to the feedback and support by our education partners, it is with great pleasure that we can announce another major upgrade with the release of School Microsites 4.0.

Development Update: School Microsites 4.0
Photo by Joan Gamell / Unsplash

For more years than we can remember, The Rookies has been helping connect young artists with the world's best creative media and entertainment schools. Combined with our Global School Rankings and class-leading SEO content, our School Directory is a powerhouse in terms of driving new leads to school admissions teams around the world.

Thanks to the feedback and support by our education partners, it is with great pleasure that we can announce another major upgrade with the release of School Microsites 4.0.

New Features

Full integration

For a while now, School Microsites have taken a bit of a back-seat when it comes to our online platform. This was purely based on higher priority development tasks, but not any more. Schools are now positioned nicely in the main navigation bar for all to see, and we have countless new funnels driving visitors to their perfectly matched school.

Drive more leads to school admissions teams

Our research showed that the vast majority of visitors did not scroll far enough down the older designs of our school pages. The goal with the new Microsites is to provide just enough information to engage the visitors, but leave them wanting more, with the ultimate goal of driving more hot-leads to your school admissions teams to answer questions.

Smart Homepage and Advertising Options

Every school wants to be found, and our goal is to connect as many potential students with your administration teams as possible. Many will find you via our Advanced Search Capabilities, but many of you asked for more visibility which is why we have created a dedicated Editors Choice area. Not only will your school appear prominently on the main School page, but you will appear at the top of search results where applicable.

Please contact Sabrina if you'd like to learn more about our advertising packages.

Advanced Search Results and Rankings

One of the first things you'll notice is that we have improved the UX and UI of our search functionalities across the entire website. It might now appear like much at first, but there is an incredible amount going on behind the scenes to make sure the right school is suggested to visitors and members alike.

"When a visitor wants to find a Certified school that offers a Bachelor degree in Visual Effects, and also appears in the Global School Rankings for 2022. Oh, and they are a Houdini Certified Trainer. We've got your covered."

Improved Lead-Generation Funnels

The new School Microsites are all about lead generation. The number one goal is to engage with the visitor and get them across to your team. This is why we have reduced the amount of external/internal links on the pages. No more sending them to your YouTube channel, or pushing them to a lecturer's LinkedIn profile. All call-to-actions are direct and focused.

Ability to display Global Ranking Badges

One of the biggest requests we received from schools was the ability to display badges earned in the Global School Rankings. While in theory this seemed like a relatively simple task, in practice it proved to be more complicated. We struggled with this issue internally and also faced challenges in addressing it externally.

The primary question we had to answer was: Should we display every ranking for every category, across every year of the Global Rankings? We concluded that while we could do this, it would put an excessive load on our database. However, this led us to question something even more significant: is a school that ranked #15 really that much better than a school that ranked #3? The answer is no, they are not.

All schools that rank highly in our Global School Rankings are undoubtedly among the best in the world. However, to truly understand the nuances of the results, visitors can visit the Global School Rankings page at any time. But when looking for a reputable school, there are two crucial factors to consider:

  • Are they a Certified School, vetted and approved by an independent panel?
  • Have their students performed well in Rookie Awards and ranked in the Global School Rankings?

For these reasons, we made the decision to award a single official badge for each year of the Global School Rankings. This also means that visitors can filter search results more specifically and quickly, which is beneficial for everyone.

High Visibility of Certified School Badging

As mentioned, becoming a Certified School is the best way to prove that your school is reputable, reliable, and a good investment for potential students. It's a highly involved process, and involves a lot of scrutiny from our independent panel.

The importance of the accreditation, and our official stamp-of-approval means that we needed a simple way for visitors to find certified schools.

With this in mind, all Certified Schools appear higher in search results, have their own dedicated filtering options, and prominently display the official silver badge on the school card and microsite page.

Connected to Student Portfolios

One of the features I'm most excited about is the ability to showcase popular portfolio projects that have been uploaded by your students to The Rookies platform. Not only does this provide a great opportunity for your students to showcase their skills, but it also shows what type of work is completed at school.


School Admin Role

Version 4.0 Microsites are still managed by our team. We have a new triage-based ticketing system that will make updates prompt and simple, so don't worry. Think of us as your own little marketing team. New Admin roles are on our hit list and will unlock all sorts of new capabilities for a nominated user.

Analytics and Student Reporting

Everyone loves a good report. Well, at least we do. We love them. This is why we are building new monthly email reports for each School Microsite. The reports will allow you to track leads, view analytics related to engagement, and also see how many of your students have entered live contests.

Visit our new School Directory

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