"We wanted a CMS that was easy not only easy to create content for, but we also needed a CMS that was quick and easy to maintain internally," Rodriguez said. "Composer is far more intuitive and makes it easy for our families and visitors to find exactly what they're looking for, and it takes a lot less time for us to maintain the website."
YES Prep launched new websites for their 19 schools in September 2019 to a community of more than 14,000 students, and the reception has been nothing short of spectacular. Internal staff has been very happy with the redesign and website structure, Rodriguez said.
Committing to an Accessible Website
In addition to a sleek new website, YES Prep wanted to ensure every one of their websites was fully accessible. YES Prep's previous website didn't meet all the requirements to be full ADA-compliant, something the needed to be addressed immediately, Rodriguez said.
As an educational leader with a focus on helping all students achieve at the highest academic levels, YES Prep needed additional accessibility guardrails. In addition to accessibility software built directly into Finalsite Composer, our content management system (CMS), YES Prep partnered with AudioEye for additional accessibility safety measures, where Finalsite and AudioEye do the heavy lifting, and the YES Prep's community reaps the benefits.
“Finalsite was the only company we talked to that really understood our accessibility goals and already had the tools in place to help us stay not just up to date with accessibility policies, but ahead of the game," Rodriguez said.
Standing Out in a Competitive Environment
With hundreds of excellent educational options scattered throughout the Houston metropolis, a population over two million, and more charters moving into the area every year, YES Prep turned to Finalsite to help build their brand and spread the message about their unique schools.
“YES Prep is in the heart of a highly competitive school environment where getting your school’s message out there has become increasingly difficult," Rodriguez said. "Finalsite works with us to ensure we have a strong central message and search presence so we’re always a part of the conversation.”
Utilizing Finalsite's search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) experts, and social media marketing services, YES Prep optimized their website for strong search performance and crafted an enduring social media campaign that resulted in increased inquiries from prospective families in Houston's most underserved communities.
“The Finalsite team has become a part of the YES Prep team! I look to them for their expertise, and they always take the time to analyze our district to make sure we meet our goals and needs. Finalsite makes sure our families and visitors see all of the content we upload to our website.”
YES Prep has a marketing and communications team across its 19 schools that is constantly pumping out new content, including an athletics department that creates its own content for the charter school's various sports teams. However, even for a charter district with nearly two dozen schools, the assistance that the Finalsite SEO, PPC, and social media teams provide has been invaluable.
“We have SEO and PPC experts ready to assist us at all times. We really do feel like Finalsite is a natural extension of our YES Prep team,” Rodriguez said.
Improved Website, Search, and Social Performance
Since September 2019, YES Prep Public Schools saw:
- A 22% increase in the number of website users
- A 2.76% increase in average website session duration
- A 298% increase in users to the website from Finalsite ads
- A total of more than 26,000 Finalsite-managed ad views
What does this data say, specifically, about the performance of the new website? In short, website visitors are spending more time on the website, and new visitors are finding YES Prep more often and more easily in search and social media. This data is proof that YES Prep Public Schools’ work is paying off for them and their community.