As Colorado’s tax-exempt 529 college savings program, the majority of CollegeInvest’s enrollments come through its website. Yet over the years the organization had added more and more content to the site, and prospective enrollees, especially grandparents, found it increasingly difficult to navigate.
The site had other problems, too. The website was not easily viewable on mobile screens. Visitors were confused about what CollegeInvest did, and what the brand stood for. In addition, the website’s content management system was outdated, making it difficult for the CollegeInvest Colorado staff to make updates. Based these issues, the PILGRIM digital team identified three goals for the project:
- Increase brand awareness and understanding.
- Make the site more user friendly.
- Increase enrollments and account contributions.
The PILGRIM digital design team wanted the audience to immediately understand what CollegeInvest is, what the brand stands for, and who it helps. So they created a design that reinforced the brand’s key attributes and personality, and mimicked the design and tone of voice of the current advertising campaign. In order to facilitate better viewing on any size device, including mobile phones, tablets and laptops, the PILGRIM digital team built the site using responsive design standards.
To make the site more user-friendly, PILGRIM simplified the navigation, condensed the content and reorganized the home page to feature large, “Quick Start” areas for the four different audiences: Parents, Grandparents, Advisors and Employers.
At the same time, PILGRIM led an extensive review of content management systems that would be suitable for CollegeInvest’s Microsoft server environment. PILGRIM recommended a Kentico CMS and selected a local development partner to implement the new system. Kentico offered several levels of features that allowed CollegeInvest to add additional functionality as its needs grow, including content personalization, campaign and conversion management, marketing automation, lead scoring and A/B testing and advanced analytics.
To highlight seasonal offers, promotions and reminders that could be updated internally, PILGRIM’s digital team created several customizable content areas on the home page. Then they trained the CollegeInvest internal marketing team and several PILGRIM team members on the new CMS, so that it could be updated internally, but in a crunch, updates could be distributed among internal and agency staff.
To drive more organic traffic to the site, especially on mobile sites, PILGRIM developed an SEO optimization strategy that included implementing the new responsive design framework and regularly updating content on the site.
Year over year, website traffic is up 15% and the bounce rate has declined 8%. Pageviews are up 7% even though the total number of pages have been reduced by 50%. Traffic from tablet devices is up 78% and mobile traffic is up 176%. Halfway through the year, the marketing campaign is 10% ahead of its financial goal and has signed up over 8,000 net new accounts, 74% of the account goal for the entire year.
To view the entire CollegeInvest website, click here. If you’d like more information on this and other PILGRIM digital success stories, contact our CEO Tom Leydon at [email protected] or 303-531-7180. Or visit our website.