An award-winning website

Focusing on what matters

 

 

The University of Gloucestershire, despite being among the smallest UK universities, had a website among the biggest – 13,500 pages of unbranded chaos. Out of these, just 350 were responsible for 95% of all site traffic. With concerning decreases in student recruitment and the need for a new digital presence, we used the opportunity to invest in a brand new website.  

Promoting what matters
We were clear from the offset that the website needed to meet the university’s most pressing goals. It needed to promote and differentiate the university brand from competitors whilst supporting the organisation to meet student recruitment goals. 

A £200,000 budget was secured and a skilled website agency was sourced. Comprehensive competitor and audience research unveiled the BBC website as a best practice model. Then we set to work,  mapping UX to develop the right structure, investing in UI to ensure interfaces (website designs) were impactful and met user needs, and working with our talented information services team to build the site. We decided to use WordPress because it allowed the greatest flexibility in terms of future development, and aligned with skills in the team.

We then collaborated with university departments – academics, professional services and student support teams – to design and produce content across just four months. We wrote lots of new content, produced new photos and video to tell powerful stories. We concentrated resources on the most valuable assets – 20 pages that were critical in securing revenue, including 12 undergraduate courses (hero courses) that made up 60% of annual intake.

Achieving outstanding results
Over a two-year period, the university’s recruitment position transformed, with a 16% increase in firm applications and even more for hero courses. Website analytics showed huge improvement also with more visitors, reduced bounce rates and significantly more time spent browsing the site.