Prospective undergraduate and graduate students judge you by your homepage. Donors use your site’s content to decide whether and how to give. Prospective faculty and staff use your site to find relevant information about the hiring process. Members of the local community visit your site for timely news and helpful resources. Your website must be excellent.
The foundation of an excellent website is an excellent web strategy. A web strategy provides a roadmap and a compass. It identifies priorities and makes choices. It identifies what you’ll do and, importantly, what you won’t do.
What does a good web strategy include? All of the following:
- A keen understanding of your target audiences — their expectations, needs, thought processes, and emotions.
- A real commitment to leveraging your site to meet your institution’s strategic goals and address its your core challenges.
- A clear sense of how you want to move your audiences to exploration, engagement, and action.
- A strong awareness of your brand and the competitive advantages of your programs, resources, and student experience.
- A realistic view of the resources that you currently have to create and sustain content, both in your area and across the institution.
- A deep knowledge of how you can implement and integrate technologies to help you meet your goals.
- A wide and deep view of industry standards, best practices, and emerging technologies.
- A concrete plan for measuring success and making data-driven decisions in refining your site over time.
Need a plan? We’ve been developing smart, sustainable, and tailored strategies for education institutions since the web was young. Our Co-founder Michael Stoner wrote the first higher ed web strategies for UCLA and the University of Missouri in 1995. While the state of the web has changed dramatically since then, the need for a strategic plan for your site has not. That’s why every web project we tackle is still based on a thoroughly strategic approach and collaborative process.
Our strategists are leading experts in helping education institutions use the web to recruit and retain students, cultivate donors, engage alumni, and build institutional reputations.
"We hired mStoner because they were very focused on who we are as an institution. Community colleges (and Oakton in particular) are such amalgams of many different things. mStoner did a fabulous job of reflecting that."