Websites are often the first interaction your audience has with your school, and we all know first impressions are everything. If you’re considering investing in an updated website, how will you calculate the ROI once it’s complete?
There are several ROI calculators available online or formulas you can follow based on the number of applications, alumni donations or contact forms filled out – these are easy to follow and calculate. But what about the intangible benefits that come with a website re-design that do not fit into a formula or calculation? Here are a few of the most important intangible benefits and how to measure their success.
Better User Experience
A website update isn’t just about looking good; it’s about being able to use the site. You can have a great looking site with lots of images and a new design – but if users can’t navigate and find the information they need to, then how is that helping your audience? It’s important to create an improved user experience, through site organization and content structure – having information that is relevant and easy to find.
How to measure: While not all aspects of the user experience are easily quantified, there are a few ways you can measure using your analytics reports. Using event tracking and goals will allow you to track different points along the user’s journey on your website (These reports are in Google Analytics; if you use another analytics tool, there may be similar reports available). This allows you to track pages visited, how often someone interacts with your navigation, and much more. Using the site search report will give you an idea of which content users are having trouble finding on your site, so you can make further adjustments and help streamline the user experience.
Increased SEO Rankings
Updating your website doesn’t necessarily mean your SEO will skyrocket, but it will certainly help. Search engines examine your site for new content and look at how often you update your site. If you’re adding a blog or other regularly updated features to your site, this will help your SEO rankings.
Note: Google is constantly changing their algorithms; keep track of these updates with resources like Search Engine Journal.
How to measure: There are several SEO tools you can use to track your rankings, but your analytics will give you the basic information you need to know. Start by looking at your organic search traffic, then you can dive deeper into looking at the phrases and keywords users searched that led them to your site. These terms and phrases will help you plan your content and optimize your site accordingly.
Stronger Brand Credibility
When you look good, people notice – if your website is outdated and hard to navigate people notice that too. Re-designing your website with current content and a fresh look that is easy-to-use will not only provide a great user experience, it will give your credibility a boost.
How to measure: Brand reputation can be tricky to quantify. A few basic metrics to analyze are mentions on social channels, backlinks to your website and referral traffic.
Ready to create a great first impression through a website redesign?