I was recently looking back at some video work I did years ago. At the time I thought I was the coolest guy on the block. The work isn't totally cringeworthy. Okay... maybe it's pretty cringeworthy. Let's just say I would approach the project very differently today.
Chances are you know what I'm talking about: big projects evolve over time and we make decisions based on the best available evidence and prevailing wisdom. As our skills and experience grow our work gets better.
Your website is no different. To work effectively as an admission and development engine your site needs to balance structure, design, and content. Competing voices within your organization may wage a turf war over individual pages even as the board wants to know your broad ROI.
Here are three clues it might be time to take a step back and think strategically about your website. If you find any of these apply to your site check out the free white paper I wrote with Scott Allenby!
- No Dogs Past Here - The photo at the top of this post is amusing but also a symptom of a wider communication problem. Clearly officials at this town park aren't working together as well as they might. Do you have any content on your site that is outdated, conflicting, or just broken? Do you have a mechanism for avoiding this in the future?
- The Grandmother Test - Odds are your grandmother is sweet... but perhaps not very technically savvy. She knows you work in education but might be fuzzy on the details. If you show your grandmother your website how long will it take her to discover what grades you serve, where you are located, and something about your philosophy? Will she be able to figure it out on her snazzy new smart phone or tablet?
- Inbound Engine - Your website should be the engine driving your admission and fundraising efforts. Is your site speaking to the audiences most likely to respond to your message? Do you have ways of guiding users through the discovery process? Do you have the right kinds of content in the right places?
What do you think? Do you find you have time to think strategically about your site at this time of year? Do any of these three clues resonate with you? If so check out our free white paper or let us know your thoughts in the comments!