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Best Practices: Measuring the Success of Your New Website
Mia Major

Six months, hundreds of emails and messages, and at least a dozen all-nighters have led to this moment: you're finally ready to hit "Publish" on your school's new website.

And in a single click, your school's new website flawlessly goes live.

But just as you're about to pop the champagne with your web team and celebrate months of hard work and effort, it hits you: I need to prove all this hard work (and financial investment) was worth it.

Don't worry, you still can. Here's how.


What's the word on campus? Have you and your team received applause from constituents? Have you had any serious complaints?

Gathering some buzz and positive feedback on your school's website launch will provide you some peace of mind, and prove to your Board and administration that the school's new website is well received among constituents.

If you need some hard evidence to make your ROI case, conduct a survey among constituents asking their opinion of the new site. Ask them to rate key website features like navigation, mobile experience, user experience, and media on a scale of 1-5, 1 being "poor" and 5 being "beyond expectations."

If you haven't launched your new site yet, conduct a survey before your website launch as well. Ask constituents what they like and dislike about the site, as well as to rate key website features on the same scale. This way, you'll have a point of comparison to share at meetings.

SEO Services

Decreased Spending, Improved Rankings

Here's one you'll have to watch over a period of time. If you're spending less money on advertising, but you're seeing an increase in traffic to your site, your new website is paying off. Responsive websites are favored in search engines like Google — meaning, your new website may get bumped up in search engine results, just because it's mobile-friendly.

Short Term Website Traffic Data

Using Google Analytics, you'll be able to easily track traffic to your school's site. Look for spikes in website traffic and mobile visitors to see how your new site is piquing interest among constituents and prospects. If you launched a responsive website, comparing mobile traffic to desktop traffic will provide insight as to where your school's total overall website traffic comes from.

Long Term Website Engagement Data

We know you love immediate gratification (and your Board does too) but when it comes to truly prove the ROI of an investment like a new website, gathering some data takes time. Whether it's site traffic from social media and mobile devices or an increase in inquiries, you're going to want to keep track of all website data post-launch.

Here are some key metrics you'll want to keep an eye on over the next 6-18 months:


Number of inquiries since site launch

Number of applicants since site launch

Total enrollment for the upcoming school year compared to prior years


Total website traffic

Website bounce rates

Website entry points (ex. Do website visitors enter through your athletics or admissions page more often?)

Academics (if you launched with an LMS)

Number of homework submissions made on DropBox

Dollars saved on printing costs

Student attendance and grades

Benchmark Comparisons

You can pull data and analytics all you want, but how do you assign meaning to them? Besides comparing your website data to previous metrics, comparing how your school's metrics compare to schools like yours can give you a good idea as to whether or not those metrics are "good."

Finalsite's Dashboard provides benchmark data from more than 500 schools around the world to provide our clients with an inside look at how their school's data compares to schools like theirs.


Free School Website Audit

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