University boosts recruiting results with new digital experience
As an institution with a 200-year heritage, Norwich University is an established leader in higher education. But with increasing competition for online master’s and bachelor’s degree students, the Norwich University online marketing team needed to take the school’s brand and digital presence up a notch. The team also realized a new content management platform for the institution’s website was in order—one that would allow the university to make updates quickly and easily.
To make these changes and stay competitive, the school brought in OHO Interactive— an interactive strategy and design firm based in Cambridge, MA. A firm that designs in a Drupal environment, OHO offers clients everything from strategy to user and brand research to visual design and user experience (UXD) design and development. To meet Norwich University’s digital objectives, OHO also brought Acquia into the project.
OHO worked closely with Norwich University to create a new, easier-to-navigate website, along with a series of videos, photography, and marketing materials, while Acquia provided Drupal development tools and cloud services for the University.
The Norwich online team chose Acquia Cloud and Acquia Network services, which include Acquia’s full site monitoring—24 hours a day, seven days a week. This feature ensures University staff is alerted immediately when potential issues arise, which has been key to assisting Norwich University in identifying and addressing potential problems before they get out of control.
And, with Acquia’s superior Drupal-focused solutions, the design process for OHO Interactive was simple and easily managed, which translated into a faster progression through the design stages and a more transparent development process.
“Acquia is our ‘go-to’ partner for cloud and hosting services,” said Barry Gilbane, vice president of business development at OHO Interactive. “In situations where customers like Norwich University need the best service possible with around the clock support, Acquia is the perfect fit. Especially when the proper internal resources haven’t previously existed.”
The response that Norwich University received from the new site was almost immediate. When the site was just shy of two months live, it had received more requests for information on one of its growth-degree programs than the previous site did in 12 months.
“Using both Acquia and OHO Interactive to boost our online brand and give us an easier-to- manage site provided us with the best of both worlds,” said Sarah Gagne, web manager at Norwich University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies. “We got the creative attention to detail we needed, and we also received superior support and cloud services to provide the agility and reliability we needed for our digital properties. Given the great results we’ve achieved since implementing the new site, it was well worth it.”
The new Norwich University site now delivers an average visit time of four minutes, four seconds—nearly double the industry standard—and a low bounce rate of 34.5 percent.
With an extremely tight rollout schedule, Acquia’s administrative control panel for partners also provided a streamlined, drag-and-drop interface that saved more than 40 percent of the time typically needed for a proper deployment process.
“Working with Acquia tightened up the process,” Gilbane said. “The Acquia team is always very responsive, so together we were able to ensure a good division of labor between our two companies and address any challenges head on.”
- Founded in 1819 as the nation’s first private military college
- Established College of Graduate and Continuing Studies in 1997
- Approximately 2,300 cadets, civilian residents, and commuters, along with about 1,200 online graduate students
- More than a dozen online master’s degree, bachelor’s degree completion programs, certificates, and enrichment programs
- Average visit time: 4 minutes, 4 seconds