The Gow School
From Playbook Redesign to Website Overhaul
The Gow School’s partnership with Finalsite began more than a decade ago when the New York-based independent school partnered with Finalsite back in 2005, but the school's most recent website redesign began in 2017 when the school was looking to update their website playbook.
“We were already interested in a website redesign or refresh, and had been for quite some time, as we wanted to move our website in the direction of a more user-friendly look and feel for both new visitors and our current community," said Jenn Bamann, Associate Director of Marketing & Communication at The Gow School.
The Gow School specializes in teaching students with dyslexia and other similar language-based learning differences, so a clean, simple aesthetic was paramount for Gow as the website needed to be equally accessible for their current student community and approachable for prospective families.
The Gow School's current website redesign uses the Avon Theme, one of Finalsite's 30 available Theme website designs. Bamann said Composer, Finalsite content management system (CMS), has been "more easy and efficient to use than any other CMS we've used in the past."
The Gow School serves around 140 students grades 6-12 on 100 acres of woodlands just 30 minutes outside of Buffalo, New York. The independent school employs more than 40 full-time staff members, with a 4:1 student-faculty ratio and average class size of three to seven students. Since 1926, Gow has been a leader and innovator in dyslexia education with a commitment to the values of kindness, respect, honesty, and hard work, and a passion for helping those with language-based learning differences develop academic, social, and creative skills to succeed in higher education and beyond
“We love the new website! Feedback has been great so far and overwhelmingly positive from both staff and the school community. They love the clean and simple aesthetic, and the website is now more user-friendly and easier to navigate."
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS
Making Mobile Connections with the Finalsite App.
“I have to say that I was really impressed with the new mobile app. Not only does the app look great, but it's easy to use and seamlessly connects to our website. And the ability to launch the app in just three weeks from that first conversation was incredible.”
The Gow School previously used the old Finalsite Mobile App, but hardly anyone in their school community actually used the app, and the staff stopped updating it shortly after launch. When it came time to talk about the latest redesign, Gow's client success manager mentioned that a new, completely revamped mobile app would be available to launch right around the time Gow was scheduled to launch their redesigned website.
Intrigued, Gow signed on for the new mobile app and launched their overhauled mobile app just three weeks later early in October 2019. The new mobile app was an instant hit with Gow's school community.
“We primarily use the mobile app as a re-enrollment tool to engage with our current school community, keeping students and parents engaged with content inside and outside the classroom,” Bamann said.
Gow was particularly impressed with the App's ability to seamlessly take content directly from the website and quickly reuse that same content for the mobile app, saving the marketing and communications team the time and hassle of managing two platforms at once.
Finding a Digital Advertising Partner in Finalsite
The Gow School knows how important getting found in search and maintaining a strong social media presence can be for school marketing — which explains why the school partnered with Finalsite to work hand-in-hand with our pay-per-click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), and social media advertising teams to build and maintain a strong and consistent digital advertising strategy and brand.
Together, Finalsite and Gow have leveraged industry best practices and strong storytelling to build Gow's brand as the educator for students with language-based learning differences and an overall leader in independent school education across the search and social media platforms where prospective families are most likely to discover the school, and where current constituents are most likely to remain engaged.
"I really cannot speak highly enough about Red's SEO and PPC team and their ability to consistently impress us with increased search and social engagement and exposure," Bamann said. "They are always there for us with an immediate response to any question we have."
Bamann said that Red Abbott's team is always proactive, not reactive, in creating and shaping the school digital advertising strategy, working closely with the school and doing everything possible to get Gow's name out through search and over social media to the masses.
“Beyond the website, the thing I have always been impressed by is the SEO, PPC, and social team we work with. They are knowledgable and are always looking for ways to get Gow more exposure. I really do feel like Finalsite knows our school inside and out, and they've become essential to our digital marketing strategy,” said Bamann.
Improved Website Performance
In a year-over-year comparison of page performance, The Gow School saw:
- A 39% increase in the average time spent on page
- A 39% improvement in bounce rate site wide
Numbers are nice, but what do they say about Gow School's performance? Well, not only are website visitors spending more time on each page they visit, but they are also less inclined to just visit one page and leave. Combined with a 14 percent increase in the pages visited per session, these numbers are proof that The Gow School's investment in SEO campaigns and PPC advertising with Finalsite is generating interest in their school and creating a more engaged community.
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