Yext, Inc. (NYSE: YEXT), the Answers Search Company, and Wilkes University, a private college in Pennsylvania, today announced their collaboration to deliver accurate, up-to-date information to students and faculty on Wilkes.edu with Yext Answers, Yext's revolutionary search product.
While redesigning its website, its main channel for engagement with potential students, Wilkes University prioritized incorporating advanced, more modern search because its legacy experience wasn't powerful enough to understand nuanced queries beyond a handful of FAQs. With search activity on the rise due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wilkes University selected Yext Answers, an advanced search experience powered by natural language processing (NLP) and Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) technology, to deliver official answers to questions about COVID-19 safety protocols, virtual tours, tuition, admissions, programs of study, financial aid, and more.
Using search intelligence from Yext Answers, Wilkes University was able to identify the information that its most frequent site visitors, including prospective students, enrolled students, and faculty, were asking for, and used it to inform the site's ongoing redesign. It took the Wilkes team just 20 days to load 80 academic programs onto its Answers experience, and 25 days to launch 176 searchable FAQs. Two months after implementing Answers, the university saw a 54% click-through rate on site search results.
"Yext Answers has really helped us better understand what students are searching for — and what their expectations are," said Mandy Pennington, Director of Digital Marketing at Wilkes University. "By providing students with accurate answers and updates about COVID-19 and beyond, we're creating an infinitely better experience for them."
"The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that just being digital-first doesn't cut it — you have to be digital best," said David Rudnitsky, President and Chief Revenue Officer at Yext. "By implementing a modern search solution with Yext Answers, Wilkes University is differentiating itself from other educational institutions by meeting students where they primarily are this year — online — with the answers they need to make important decisions."