For nearly a century, National Garden Clubs has provided education, resources, and networking opportunities to its 165,000 members across the globe, helping to promote a love of gardening, floral design, and civic and environmental responsibility. Headquartered next to the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis, National Garden Clubs is a not-for-profit organization that also offers multiple scholarships, grants, and awards to students interested in choosing “green” hobbies and professions.
Supporting and promoting garden clubs around the world, the National Garden Clubs website is an essential tool to help novice and expert gardeners, floral designers, and horticulturalists learn about NGC, engage with their local garden club, and join in the organization’s mission to create a greener, more sustainable world.
With long-time members ready to pass their interest and skills to young gardeners, and to prepare NGC for the next generation, National Garden Clubs knew it was time to create a modern, mobile-friendly website. Their goal was to create a site that was user-friendly, made resources easier to find, and enhanced the member experience while boosting the organization’s reach.
Serving as the main resource for garden clubs, the National Garden Clubs website held hundreds of pages of content for members and non-members, yet it lacked the organization, navigation, and site structure to make it easily accessible. Additionally, NGC members were having a hard time finding accurate, up-to-date information on membership benefits, as well as the courses and programs NGC schools offer.
Another major challenge was creating a website that appealed to people of all ages, especially children and young adults, in order to build new membership and drive interest in the clubs, programs and events, contests, and financial aid NGC provides to students.
After extensive audience research, data analysis, and in-depth interviews with NGC leadership and club members, our team created a digital strategy that would leverage Acquia to enrich the member experience, streamline the sign-up process, and make it easier for members and non-members to find and access content.
In order to provide members with a richer on-site experience, we drew on the power of Drupal 8 and the Acquia Cloud Platform to deliver custom headers and visuals, notifications, and a user menu designed exclusively for members.
To simplify new member registration and boost sign-up opportunities, a landing page was created showcasing the benefits of becoming a member while providing quick and easy access to all the resources, support, and educational opportunities provided by NGC.
Additionally, a new site architecture helped guide an extensive content reorganization, providing new pathways for members and non-members to discover relevant content and find ways to collaborate with NGC at the local and global level. Moreover, this effort involved bringing content aimed at kids and students into the main navigation, bringing forward information about NGC’s youth awards and scholarships.
Lastly, a new blog was launched to improve time-on-site metrics, boost the organization’s organic rankings, and enable NGC to update website content regularly.
While the new website only recently launched (August 2020), it’s already showing some positive signs of new growth:
- Pages Per Session: Increased from 1.42 to 3.29
- Organic Bounce Rate: Decreased by 22%
- Mobile Device Usage: Surpassed desktop usage for the first time due to mobile optimizations