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Case Study

Butler University's Strategic Redesign

With a focus on content strategy and user personas, Butler University’s new website is positioned to attract prospective students, increase enrollment, and engage current students.

 

 

Project Highlights

Located in Indianapolis, Indiana, Butler University is best known for its academic excellence and the success of their men’s basketball team. When it was time to redesign their primary website, Butler tapped Mediacurrent’s digital strategy, design, and Drupal development talent. The outcome is measurable results and a meaningful student experience.

  • 94 %

    Increase in the number of non-branded keywords in the top 10 rankings on Google.

  • 25 %

    Increase in referral traffic.

  • 31 %

    Decrease in bounce rate.

Development

Migrating to Drupal

Before, Butler used a .NET-based open source content management system that was difficult to customize and made new feature deployment time consuming and restrictive. In a big leap toward scalable, customizable content, multiple websites were consolidated into a single Drupal installation.

Digital Strategy

Hitting the Mark with Target Audience

In-depth research on target audience groups and user personas let us evaluate the current content on the website and help the Butler marketing and IT teams understand what content was compelling, missing, or confusing. The personas became the foundation of our targeted digital strategy and informed UX, design, and development choices.

Persona

Connecting with Personas

To avoid generalizing site content, information architecture was built around very specific pathways for each persona type.

Analysis

Competitive Advantage

To learn how Butler stacks up against the competition, we compared their online reputation, social media presence, information accessibility, and inquiry response rates with those of similar schools.

Conversion Funnel

Top Keywords for SEO

To reach prospective students, we gave keyword suggestions based on competition, persona goals, and the likelihood of action, such as a prospective student filling out an application.

Colorful graphic with digital strategy drawings

Digital Strategy

Content Marketing

  • Content editors across multiple university departments are empowered to create custom landing pages — within brand guidelines and without developer assistance.
  • A tailored editorial calendar guides new content from creation to approval, with tips on how to write for each persona.
  • The Google Search Appliance Module was integrated to increase content search capability and performance.

Design

A Responsive Rebrand

Before, a dated user experience and large quantities of stagnant content (content that’s hidden, outdated, or lacking visual appeal) stood as barriers to engagement. Now, the new content-focused navigation and visual design speak to Butler’s new, modern brand. A fresh, mobile-responsive user interface design offers quick navigation and robust search.

Butler University redesign, before and after homepage screenshot show on desktop and mobile screens

Final Thoughts

Content strategy is a vital precursor to a website’s visual and interaction redesign. Now that the Butler team has a global understanding of the current content on their website and where it should go in the future, that knowledge can be combined with information from the branding team to form a holistic picture of who Butler University is to users and who the users are to Butler University.

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