Websites and Brand Strength: Achieving a 90% Positive Rating


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The experience people have at your website shapes what they think of your brand. This presentation reviews how Susquehanna University achieved a 90% positive rating from future students and their parents in a Customer Centric Index (CCI) survey of 13 key website characteristics.

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Websites and Brand Strength: Achieving a 90% Positive Rating

  1. 1. Websites & Brand Strength: Achieving a 90% Positive Rating © Robert E. Johnson 2011 J.Boye Philadelphia11 - #jboye11 Philadelphia, PA May 3-5, 2011 Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
  2. 2. Major reason people go to a website… Complete a task Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
  3. 3. 6 key truths about task completion… <ul><li>People are impatient </li></ul><ul><li>People are impatient </li></ul><ul><li>People are impatient </li></ul><ul><li>People are impatient </li></ul><ul><li>People are impatient </li></ul><ul><li>People are impatient </li></ul>Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
  4. 4. The Golden Rule… 5 seconds to connect Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
  5. 5. Susquehanna University CCI Survey Responses… Future students… 182 responses Parents… 114 responses Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
  6. 6. Few negative votes in any category…
  7. 7. 15 higher education results…
  8. 8. Content areas…
  9. 9. Social areas…
  10. 10. Information Architecture areas…
  11. 11. “ If there is one improvement you could make to our site, what is it and why would you make it?” Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
  12. 12. From 109 future students… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
  13. 13. Selected future student comments… <ul><li>“ Can't think of anything to change, on other college sites it's difficult to find the courses but here it’s easy, everything is simple to find.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Make the ‘ majors and minors ’ link on the Admissions… page more prominent.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ It would be nice to see some of the things that each of the majors does in their programs.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ An area on the website where current students rate & describe their experiences with Susquehanna from all aspects of the school.” </li></ul>Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
  14. 14. From 53 parents… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
  15. 15. Selected parent comments… <ul><li>“ It is the best of all the colleges we have researched for our son this year, who will be coming as a freshman in the fall.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Drop-down menus make navigating the website easier.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ One thing that should be easier to find in all web-sites -- is the student profile of the freshman class” </li></ul><ul><li>“ More details on dates and information for accepted students…” </li></ul>Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
  16. 16. Exploring the website… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
  17. 17. Starting with a Google search… <ul><li>“ Admissions & Financial Aid” is a first choice click point </li></ul><ul><li>“ Susquehanna is a selective college that prepares students for achievement, leadership and service” </li></ul>Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
  18. 18. First impression at Admissions… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
  19. 19. Lower on the admissions page… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
  20. 20. A mix of student stories… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
  21. 21. The “Susquepedia” feature… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
  22. 22. Clean, if long, inquiry form… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
  23. 23. My favorite inquiry form… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
  24. 24. Easy-to-scan list of majors, restrained use of top-page photo… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
  25. 25. Individual academic major pages with consistent navigation… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
  26. 26. Scholarships, financial aid… Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
  27. 27. Wrapping up… <ul><li>Strong websites have marketing impact on future students and their parents </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy access to consistent academic program information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content is clearly presented, with high use of bullet points and sub-heads </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Language is for “normal human beings” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If asked, visitors suggest improvements </li></ul>Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
  28. 28. Special thanks to… Paul M. Novack, Jr. Director of Web Communications Susquehanna University [email_address] Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
  29. 29. Who is Bob Johnson, Ph.D.? <ul><li>Website research… partner w/Gerry McGovern at Customer Carewords, Ltd </li></ul><ul><li>“ Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter”… 4,100 subscribers </li></ul><ul><li>@highedmarketing… 3,600 Twitter followers </li></ul><ul><li>“ Higher Education Marketing” blog </li></ul><ul><li>Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education… chair, 1994 to 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Ph.D. UMass Amherst… political science </li></ul>Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
  30. 30. Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC Thank You! Bob Johnson, Ph.D. President Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC Marshall, MI 49068 248.766.6425 [email_address] Customer Carewords Website Research