HighEdWeb Assocation
The Annual Conference for Higher Education Web Professionals, Austin, Texas, October 23-26, 2011

Session Details

A Data-Driven Content Strategy Idea for Redesigning the Institution's Website (work in progress)

TNT43 Content Track

Foothills II


As the only web professional at my institution, the idea of coming up with a strategy to redesign the institution's website seemed ridiculous, so I took a few steps back and looked at what I was already doing: (1) Google Analytics had been in place for five years collecting data; (2) Google Site Search - the free one - was integrated with those Analytics and had been online for nearly the same length of time; (3) I have an online FAQ/Knowledgebase system that's been running for more than two years now with its own reporting/analytics data, but I needed a bit more info. to bring context into the mix of this sea of data - a website satisfaction survey! I now have thousands of contextual responses from site visitors to go along with the other three data sources, and now I know the following: (1) What users are doing - ANALYTICS; (2) What users are searching for - SITE SEARCH; (3) What users are asking about and the answers they're most interested in - FAQ/KNOWLEDGEBASE SYSTEM; and (4) What users think of our website, whether they are satisfied with it, and whether they have been able to do what they came to the website to do - SATISFACTION/PURPOSE OF VISIT SURVEY. Putting that all together, I now have a solid base of statistical information with which to 'argue my case' to administrators, and with which to build a solid, usable, 'requested' site structure for our site visitors. The best thing about all of this is that three of the four systems I’m using are totally FREE and easy to setup/implement. (only the FAQ system is vendor-provided, but it’s inexpensive, and there are open source solutions that could provide that functionality). I will present the steps I have taken to evaluate/analyze the data I’ve collected, and demonstrate how that data is helping me to put together a content strategy that is backed up by solid statistical information that is enabling me to get administrative buy in as well.