Let’s talk about awards. What makes a website award-worthy? Take for example, INetU.net – a website we launched in July for our client and partner INetU, a ViaWest Company. Since launch, it’s received two international awards – why? There’s a lot of contributing factors, but I’d argue that there’s one very simple reason why this website is getting such critical acclaim – strong goals.
Set a Goal
Project goals that are determined upfront and used as a guide throughout your project will set you up for not just awards, but something much more important – a successful project. Think about it, your goals are the whole reason you’re doing this project in the first place, right? Whether it’s a new website, a digital marketing campaign, a product launch or anything else, there’s something you’re trying to accomplish by completing it. I mean, if there isn’t a point to it, why are you doing it at all?
Back to INetU… The actual goals for this project filled several pages, but to give you a basic overview, here’s a few of the key ones that were established during the discovery phase:
- Improve online presentation
- Increase visitor engagement through content and functionality
- Generate leads
Don’t Lose Focus
OK, so your project has goals. That’s great, but that wasn’t really the hard part. Our culture in particular is great at setting goals; it’s following through on them where we tend to have issues. Do me a favor, raise your hand if you made any New Year’s resolutions this year. Assuming you’re in the United States, there’s a pretty good chance that you made at least one, if not more. But here’s the bad news: your chances of achieving that resolution are pretty slim. Just 8% of Americans are successful in achieving their New Year’s resolutions. Why? Let me ask you another question. We’re 3 months into 2016. When was the last time you thought about that resolution you set? Is it a guiding force in the choices you’ve been making this year? Or was New Year’s Day the last time it crossed your mind?
That’s the kicker with goals. Setting them isn’t enough to set you up for success, you’ve got to focus on them. Repeat after me: My goals must be my guide.
When we’re creating a website (or any other project), each step of the process informs the next, and it all starts with the project goals. The goals are continually referred back to as the guide for every choice made throughout the project. Let’s take another look at the INetU goals and how they informed some of the choices made during this project.
Improve online presentation. It was crucial for the new website to be a reflection of INetU as the top-of-line, leading provider that they are. That meant responsive, modern design, and a customer-focused user experience were vital to success.
Increase visitor engagement through content and functionality. To achieve this goal, we needed to enhance the messaging of the site to communicate the INetU value proposition (their customer-centric approach) and how their business model supports that. It also involved a reorganization of content to create better cohesion across the site and make it more intuitive for people to find what they’re looking for. The new site also takes advantage of video content that is consistently integrated in product/service sections.
Generate leads. This is the big one. Getting more leads is where the project unmistakably proves its ROI. All the other goals of this project are ultimately feeding into this one. We installed proper event tracking within the analytics to capture all the necessary data to track lead generation.
Measure the Results
All that’s left now is to take your project over the finish line and see how you did. Remember – awards are great, but they’re a reflection of your project’s success, not what actually makes it successful.
The new INetU website was launched on July 22nd, 2015. It is a modern, responsive website with streamlined, engaging content and strong CTAs. Following the launch, the website saw an overall increase in user engagement and an increase in social media traffic.
Following the redesign, the bounce rate on the website decreased significantly (30.13% decrease), indicating that users are finding the pages they are landing on to be relevant to their search, and that they are engaging with the content on that page and others. Pages per session and average session duration increased (55.83% and 215.50% increases respectively), telling us that visitors are viewing more pages during a session and spending more time on the site. There was an increase in social traffic (76.01% increase), which indicates that users on social media are engaging with the content that is being posted, and are clicking through to the website for more information.
During the redesign, we integrated more event tracking to provide insight into users’ contact form submissions, quote request submissions, phone calls & email contacts and content downloads.
- Improve online presentation – check
- Increase visitor engagement through content and functionality – check
- Generate Leads – check
The goals were set, we kept them at the forefront throughout the project, and, sure enough, when all was said and done those goals were achieved. That’s what makes a successful project. But don’t just take my word for it. INetU Public Relations Manager Lindsay Glen says, “We had the utmost confidence in the team at Liquid to help us see this project through. They are a great partner and are truly a pleasure to work with.”
Let’s not forget all about those awards, either. The site received a Platinum MarCom award in the website category. In fact, it was the only 2015 Platinum award winner in the Lehigh Valley.
Additionally, the Interactive Media Awards competition recognized the website with a Best in Class award in the Telecommunications category where it achieved a score of 480 out of a possible 500 points.
Ultimately, awards are an excellent external validation of your project. The best validation, however, will always be whether or not you achieved your goals. So set them, focus on them, then measure your success.
About Laura Pruitt (Alumni)
Laura Pruitt served as Liquid’s Marketing & PR Manager. She was responsible for planning and executing Liquid’s marketing efforts, leveraging the skills and expertise available within the Liquid team.