What happens if I remove 20% of my website?

As I’ve noted, our organization has lost our government contract (they’re taking it in-house). One of the services we provide is that we host a list of approved professionals, the “RASP”. We have several pages on our site on this topic (how to search and how to apply for example), and this accounts for 22% of our landing pages in 2016.

Of all our visitors, 22% start on one of these pages, and while some move to non-RASP related pages, many don’t (these are task-oriented visitors). That’s going to be a significant loss in visitors; but will it impact the rest of our services?

I’m trying to look at our Analytics stats to figure out what we can learn to help new viewers find our website, and to organize and streamline the website. This is part of my Board Report, to show how we will be planning for life beyond the government contract (I also won’t be employed by the much smaller organization, so we want a really streamlined website). So what am I asking from the stats?

  • how do people arrive at our website?
  • what pages do people visit?
  • what pages do people land on?
  • how many people visit the donations pages specifically?

What do we do with those stats once we have them?

  • plan to increase visitors nationally and internationally
  • plan increase visitors from “not Google”
    • Social Media
    • Emails
    • Links on other sites
  • target topics in which to develop or link to more information
  • create targeted GoogleAds

 

This is my starting place: what am I missing?

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April 2 -8

Work

I’ve been thinking about the upcoming changes at work; keeping up with the ongoing demands (reaction), but also trying to pave the way for after our contract formally ends, and the office is reduced to two.

I’ve started a content audit of the website; part of this is brute force. I have a list of the pages we host in WordPress, and the rough outline of hierarchy. I’m now brainstorming which ones will be deleted, and which ones can be amalgamated or re-written to clean up language. With that outline, I will share with my colleagues for their input. My experience is that it’s easier for colleagues to edit and comment than to start from scratch.

Reading

Feedly (my RSS aggregater) has introduced some new features, so the next step is to learn what “boards” are.

In the meantime, I need to read Nancy White’s post on Technology or Preparation (itself a response to Clark Quinn) in more detail.

And this article on beliefs and blinders from the Atlantic gives pause when considering the Fake News posts on Facebook, my own biases, and the “gut feelings” that drive people to make decisions that are not based in any evidence. How DO we change people’s minds?

March 27 – 31

Work

This week was about tie-ing up the loose ends. Final reviews on the newsletter and the videos handout.

I also drafted a stand-alone page on our non-English resources (to reach new Canadians or international readers), and creating a plan to do a content audit to help us with our website redesign and transition.

 

Reading/Learning

Some of the audit reading: https://raventools.com/blog/prepare-link-building/

Visualization inspiration:  http://flowingdata.com/2017/03/15/visualization-choice-depends-on-the-data-and-the-questions/

I’m refreshing my desktop publishing skills, and Lynda.com has a wealth of resources to browse and work through, available through the VPL.

 

Misc

Saw Angels of America (pt 1) this weekend – I had somehow missed all stage and screen productions until now. It was written 25 years ago, and set about 30 years ago, but the central themes stand up very well.

We’ve got mail

We’ve moved to a new mass email system very recently, replacing an old system that was not being updated anymore by the company. I had advocated for this move, arguing that we’d get better data and that our emails would be sent out faster. I knew I was right, but what a difference! Our last email went out in five minutes instead of eight hours to start with.

The number of subscribers on our email list will go down – and that’s okay.

We’re able to track bounces now, and most importantly, we’ll be able to clean our list regularly of email addresses that don’t exist. It will become a smaller list, but with people who are interested.

March 13- 17

Weekly work update:

Work 

Drafted the new videos handout. The addition of 5 new titles and the upcoming transition means that we have to rethink layout, organization, and the inclusion of additional information. This one had to be an additional four pages (or one 11 x 17 folded in half of course).

Drafted my section of the Board report, which requires one of my favourite tasks; exploring the online stats (video, website, social media) to see what’s going on. I found some huge increases in video stats (due to more marketing in social media, our newsletter and some test GoogleAds), and significant increases in the website visits, unrelated to the video increases. These are in part because news of the transition means that people are curious, but also some impressive increases in acquisition due to social media, AdWords and newsletter mentions of different products.

Learning/reading

Non-work focus has been divided in applying for jobs, self-motivation, and reading a novel.

Self-care

A massage to open up my diaphragm so I can work on my breathing. Terrible sleeps this week.

Increased awareness

We increased awareness of the Autism Videos @ ACT project this year. Comparing Jan 1- March 10th 2016 to Jan 1- March 10th 2017:

  • 250% increase in videos played (users clicked “play” 3,700 times)
  • 309% increase in video finishes (1,800 users watched to the last frame)
  • 191% increase in the number of hours of videos watched; (users watched 22 days and 7 hours of video)

The old platform was too many clicks,so we replaced that in January with a much simpler platform. I’ve also been increasing marketing through our newsletters and social media, and that’s paid off.

Giving myself a gold star for this one.

 

A year in the Yukon

When I was younger, I spent a year in the Yukon, working for what was then called Department of Indian and Northern Affairs. What started as a three month co-op term was renewed until we hit the maximum. It was a transformative year for me. I loved living up north; the city transformed in the spring time, I learned to cross country ski, and I lived in a cabin without heating or running water.

I had studied First Nations at school, doing the Arts One program at UBC with a focus on First Nations history, practices and tradition. But being up North personalized both the challenges and the deep history. There are actual negotiated treaties (self-governance agreements) with First Nations in the Yukon, unlike the lands I sit in right now. I learned much about the diversity in communities there. I knew intellectually that cultural groups are well, different. But then to see how different communities reckoned with self-governance and a changing relationship with DIAND (now INAC) made my understanding of First Nations more uncertain and more complicated (my mother used to say that the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know, and she was right).

That was where I first did media management, making sure that the journalists got access to specific elders and spelled names correctly at a ceremony with the Minister, and that photo ops were arranged. And the drudge of the weekly ads we had to purchase as part of land transfer (?), and the value of newsletters, even if everyone claimed not to read them.

And I saw the Northern Lights.