Tip Sheets

How to Plan a Successful School Website Redesign

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800.443.9441 | solutions@blackbaud.com | www.blackbaud.com March 2020 1 TIP SHEET How to Plan a Successful School Website Redesign When it comes to redesigning private school websites, there are many ways to measure success. For starters, most schools are looking to boost admissions applications and yield. If we want to get more granular, increasing organic search traffic and overall website visitors is directly correlated to admissions success. Then there are the actual project objectives—did the redesign finish within the desired timeline and on budget? What's remarkable about all of these goals is that they share a single linchpin for success: planning. To ensure that your school's next redesign measures up to expectations, follow these tips from the Blackbaud K–12 eBook, How to Design the Best Private School Website. 1 Form your website redesign team. Let's face it, school website redesigns are multifaceted endeavors that take a lot of work. While marketing and communications members are typically steering the ship, stakeholders from admissions, academics, development, and IT also need involvement from the beginning to ensure buy-in and ownership of their deliverables (i.e., content). Beware of the fact that there will be differences of opinion on the committee. Overall, this is a good thing, but to keep it from derailing the project schedule, work out with your head of school in advance who has the final say over aspects such as design direction. It's also important to assemble the redesign super team at least six months in advance to work through our next tip regarding research. 2 Establish a game plan. Knowing the brand and communication goals of the website before engaging the designer will help ensure these objectives are met and keep the project moving. Pre-project research can take many forms from conducting an analytical content audit to surveying parents and holding focus groups. If your school is undergoing a rebranding initiative, make sure that is BY DAREN WORCESTER, Content Marketing Manager, Blackbaud K–12

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