in Higher Ed

“Flip This House” web strategy

So…when it’s all said and done, what’s the point of your web redesign? Keeping up with The Joneses State University? Need a company to come in and lock you in to their new, hot CMS that you’ll be saddled with like a child leash? Maybe your new hot web designer wants to show off her talents on the big canvas called the interwebs? But really, what’s the purpose of your web redesign?

Stats

I’ll answer it for you. It’s traffic.

Just like TV stations tinker with their lineups and move shows around, all of the stuff we do on the web is aimed at increasing the number of eyeballs. Period. More eyeballs, more conversions = more money and perhaps, more students going from prospect to student.

I know, I know. This isn’t rocket science. So what’s the point? To resist the urge to employ a Flip This House web strategy.

What do I mean by this semi-clever idea? Lemme tell ya.

  • Your site needs work. So you call an expert.
  • You’re on a budget, so the expert can only do what they can to help you get close to your goals, but not actually meet them.
  • You rationalize the new site not meeting your hopes and dreams, by saying “at least it’s better than the old site.”
  • You implement the new site and immediately, people are looking for ways to tweak and improve what you’ve done.
  • This storyline is more typical at small institutions where there isn’t enough internal help to make the site redesign happen. Things like redesign blogs and soliciting feedback with core constituent groups are good ways to keep people in the loop. Smart folks are starting to get this, but not everyone is on the wagon yet.

    It can be a lonely place being the “web person” when you’re the only one. It can be really easy to get sold on a web strategy that doesn’t accentuate your positives. Using sites like Google Trends can be a useful way to see how your web traffic stacks up against the opposition.

    To avoid a web strategy that’s loosely a ‘cut and run’ strategy for someone else to profit, you need to dig in your heels, roll up your sleeves and use your time wisely. It’s not always JUST about aesthetics, it’s just as much about utility and effectiveness to reach out to target audiences.

    1. There are times when holding onto the rope and “digging in your heels” results in being drug through the streets in a public spectacle of shame. I find it wise to pick my battles.

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