Before Redesigning Your College Website, Read This!

Revolutionary Website Redesign vs Evolutionary Website Redesign

 

Before redesigning your college or university website, read this! This is pin worthy.Now, let’s ask yourself this: Why are you considering a redesign? Are you redesigning your college website because it’s been a few years and it needs a facelift? This is the most common form of a redesigning strategy called “revolutionary site redesign.”

 

The other type of redesign is called “evolutionary site redesign” or ESR versus a complete redesign. ESR allows website owners to test each and every variable on their website. This type of redesign can be much more expensive and requires the website owner to have a lot of website traffic coming to their website on a monthly basis.

 

What Constitutes A Lot of Traffic?

As a general rule, you would need a couple hundred thousand monthly visitors to be able to turn around your tests quickly enough to be actionable. As a minimum, I would say 50,000 monthly visitors.

The next consideration needs to be your budget, which has nothing to do with traffic, but everything to do with ESR. In the short run, ESR can cost you considerably less than a full website design, but in the long run it can cost you 5, 10 or 15 times more money. Both types of redesigns have pros and cons, which we cover below.

Both revolutionary site redesign (redesigning every couple of years) and evolutionary site redesign requires a budget, goal documentation, project planning, etc.

 

Deciding Between ESR or a Revolutionary Site Design? Pros and Cons

 

The Pros of ESR

  • You can reduce the chances that your redesign will hurt your traffic numbers or user-experience
  • You should be able to learn which changes make the biggest impact on conversions
  • If done continuously, as required for ESR, your website should never feel dated
  • Since you will be making continuous small improvements overtime, you may not need a lot of approvals or committees to make these decisions
  • Everything should be viewed as a test, so there is no need to argue about fonts, colors or sizes. Test it all.

 

The Cons ESR

  • Depending on your traffic it can take a long time to make wanted changes to your website
  • It can cost you 5, 10 or 20 times more money to redesign using the ESR method over the long-term
  • You will probably need the guidance of outside firm(s) to help you set up and test each variable
  • You will need access to copywriters, designers, developers on an on-going basis
  • This continuous cycle of improvement can take up your staff’s time on a daily, weekly or monthly basis
  • Your IT Department will need to be on board, allowing you to test a variety of variables that may affect other systems and their workloads
  • Since Higher Education is cyclical in nature, certain times of year, traffic goes up and down, it may be hard to know if a test was successful or if the time of year made a big impact
  • Your staff can lose interest in the constant testing mentality and move on to other projects
  • You can have staff turnover and lose many of your learns, if your team does not document well
  • If it is an uphill battle to set up tests because of internally department bickering, bureaucracy, or management requests, your staff will lose interest and the initiative will probably fail.

 

Here is just a short list of what you should be testing using Evolutionary Site Design (ESR):

 

  • Design styles and webpage templates
  • Call to actions
  • Header and footer designs
  • Search results
  • Filter for search design tests
  • Logo, header and tagline
  • Program page templates
  • Course page templates
  • Landing page design, content, form and call to action
  • Your program value proposition statements
  • Lead generation forms and online applications
  • Homepage design and eye-flow
  • Branding impact
  • User-flow
  • Conversion funnel
  • Imagery, copywriting, calls-to-actions, and enrollment offers

 

And don’t forget to include everything in-between!

Learn more about getting into the testing mentality by reading You Should Test That, Convert! and/or Conversation Optimization: The Art and Science of Converting Prospects to Customers.

 

Considering a Redesign? Contact Us Today.

If you are considering redesign your website or setting up testing on your website contact Tribeca Marketing Group to see how they can help! Or call 866-255-4955 for a customized quote.

 

Website Redesign for Higher Education

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