For the past 12 years, the W3 Awards have recognized the power of web creativity. Each submission is sanctioned and judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. The Academy is an invitation-only body consisting of top-tier professionals from a “who’s who” of acclaimed media, interactive, advertising, and marketing firms.
Change the way a major university approaches its web presence by demonstrating best practices and including stakeholders across the institution in the rollout of a modern, competitive, and beautiful new site.
According to SLU, a top 100 research university, “Discoveries — big and small — happen here every day.” Sharing those discoveries in an engaging way with prospective students was the main priority for Vice President of Marketing and Communications Jeff Fowler in relaunching SLU.edu.
SLU is regarded as one of the country’s most prestigious Jesuit universities. However, as Fowler said, the “old website was designed like an org chart. It was very siloed and didn’t make sense to someone from the outside. It was just not competitive or modern for the audience we wanted to reach.”
Since the launch of the new site, prospective students are accessing information and engaging more than ever. The number of sessions have increased by 7 percent, page views have increased by 3 percent, pages per session have increased by 43 percent, and time on site has increased over the same period a year ago.
Translate the magic of a campus culture to every screen and showcase an impressive array of academic programs to attract prospective students.
An important measure of a redesign project’s success is how it affects a marketing team’s communication with other units and departments. In Fisher’s case, the project created stronger relationships and more cooperation.
Kate Torok, director of marketing and communications at St. John Fisher College said, “Right off the bat, what the new site has done is rejuvenate the idea that we are all responsible for it, that everyone needs to own a piece of it.” “People are paying attention to the site now. The redesign has opened the lines of communication with certain programs. People realize that they are not alone in struggling to keep things up to date and that our information is only as good as what we receive.”
An interesting point: The site is getting a lot of traffic from students who are already accepted. The analytics suggest new students are spending time dreaming about what it’s like to be on campus and getting more and more excited to attend. For Fisher, this means better word-of-mouth publicity and strong numbers of natural brand ambassadors.
Check out Wheaton’s beautiful site, launched in September 2017. A case study on this project is coming soon.
About the W3 Awards:
The W³ Awards honors creative excellence on the web, and recognizes the creative and marketing professionals behind award-winning sites, videos and marketing programs.