One of the more popular benefits of joining a trade or professional association is getting access to their publications both in print and online. These magazines provide value through stories and features that give industry insight from people in the profession. Given our experience with associations, the American Counseling Association (ACA) asked our team to make some key updates to the website for Counseling Today. ACA has about 55,000 members who turn to Counseling Today as a resource for news and in-depth features about the world of professional counseling including effective techniques/strategies, federal/state regulation, developments in the profession, counselor wellness, and counseling resources. Throughout the process, we demonstrated that adding just a few key features and functionalities can make a big difference for both users and the organization.
The Counseling Today website gives the public access to monthly cover stories and features, and the full edition is available to download for members-only. The website is chock full of content, yet it was not mobile-friendly. New Target’s first order of business was to update the website’s WordPress theme to make it fully responsive. This update enabled ACA to stay within budget, and it potentially expands the audience by letting users access content on all of their devices. On the content side of the publication, we gave ACA additional enhancements including a customizable back-end that will help them keep their website current and easy to manage. We also made some small design tweaks such as fixing the search icon from overlapping the block and having the article titles within their slider be clickable.
Advertising on the Counseling Today website was rather restricted in that the staff did not have the ability to track ads and ads could only be placed toward the bottom of the homepage. We greatly increased their advertising program by adding a WordPress widget that allows their team to manually manage the order of the homepage articles and right sidebar and gives them the ability to add advertising within that layout. Additionally, we added a plugin called AdRotate that lets the staff create multiple ad sizes, run ads throughout the site, track advertising with impressions/clicks, and run ads at specific dates/times.
The Counseling Today project is a perfect example of how organizations can experience big gains with a few strategic changes. A redesign is not always a requirement to experience major benefits. On a limited budget, we were able to make the Counseling Today website responsive; provide them with tools to greatly enhance their advertising program, and enable readers to click through to articles from the slider. This resulted in an improved user experience, an optimized path for more advertising revenue, and more eyes on articles. Each of these enhancements adds value and provides significant ROI for ACA.
New Target can help you add value to the online services that you offer to clients and/or members. We can help with strategic updates, content creation, digital strategy, paid campaigns, and social influencer services. We have the tools and expertise to make it happen within your budget. To learn how we can help, fill out our project form to get started.