Was it even possible for LSBU to reach the top twenty? The small web team – there were only four – was determined to find out. Their first step to improving their ranking was redeveloping the website with a student-first approach in order to hit a couple of numerical targets:
- Increase site visits by 40,000 per month
- Increase student applications by 8%
This approach gave them a significant jump up the table, reaching a ranking of 106th. To make the next leap, they reached out to Squiz for help with the web presence that was complicated and almost impossible to manage. It consisted of:
- 286,000 distinct URLs
- No structured workflow
- 130 domains and sub-domains
Squiz set out to deliver a complete transformation of LSBU’s external facing web presence. The goal was to deliver a new governance model with a clear workflow process. Simplifying the content on the homepage was important, and this needed to be done whilst maintaining the relevance and quality of information available to users. The changes Squiz made began with the home page that has:
- A multi-page carousel
- Tiles and a ‘latest news and events’ section.
- Segments that can be easily updated
- The website is now controlled centrally with content ownership distributed to relevant business owners.
The Communications Team, Marketing Officers and Events Team can all schedule updates that are managed through automated workflow and approval processes. Content updates now use an extensive array of metadata schemas. This drives dynamic content aggregation in the frontend. And it makes the discovery of related content easier for the user. To make all this content accessible, Funnelback powers the Site-Search. Across the entire website the search offers multiple options for the discovery of content. Site-Search and all the Course, People, Events, News and Case Study Finders include Faceted Browsing and Auto-Suggestion.
- Surpassed the target of 40,000 per month
- LSBU saw a 13% increase in conversions – beating the target of 8%
After the launch, LSBU’s new website reached 60th in the Sitemorse ranking, a result the team were very proud of.
At Squiz we love working with organisations that strive to improve their user experience, and a year later after partnering with Sitemorse to iteratively better their offering, the LSBU website consistently reached the top 20.
The project has resulted in the university being represented as they should be, helping to make their physical presence and culture more digital. LSBU is an organisation at the top of their game and we’ve enjoyed tackling the unique problems faced in Higher Education, together.