Davidson Academy SEO Audit and Website Redevelopment

Davidson Academy, located in Nashville, Tennessee, is an interdenominational, college preparatory school that offers students from preschool through Grade 12 rigorous academics, a variety of extracurricular activities to develop their talents, and a Christian environment to learn and grow. Founded in 1980, Davidson Academy's graduates have attended MIT, Rhodes, Vanderbilt, Tulane, DePaul, and other national and international universities.

The Challenge: Optimize Website for Modern Marketing photo_4-1

Davidson Academy knew that it needed an upgraded website to attract students, faculty, and donors. Its existing website had been built by in the early 2000s, and while the school had seen some success, it couldn't keep up with the needs of modern inbound marketing with the awkward navigational structure and old-fashioned design. While the Davidson Academy website was running on HubSpot, the old visual structure had been ported over from the previous content management system. Additionally, the amount of content on the site itself was too much for the old website navigation structure. Davidson Academy knew it needed to rethink and redevelop its website to grow student enrollment and use the site as an effective marketing tool.

The Solution: SEO Audit and HubSpot web development with ClearPivot

Since Davidson Academy was already using HubSpot as its website platform, it began searching for a HubSpot-certified web development partner. One of the firms it interviewed was ClearPivot. Impressed with ClearPivot's HubSpot development experience, inbound marketing acumen, excellent communication, attunement to the school's needs, and prompt follow-up, Davidson Academy chose them to redevelop its site. ClearPivot was also flexible enough to work within Davidson Academy's timeline, following the academic calendar and financial calendar.

ClearPivot started off with an SEO audit to examine on-page and off-page factors like how relevant the website content is, what kind of inbound links were attracting visitors, and what kind of coding and technical issues existed. ClearPivot then created a content roadmap for the website's content and structure, which included headlines, titles, URLs, page redirects, and other factors that would affect SEO. ClearPivot also provided several hours of SEO and inbound marketing training to the Davidson Academy staff as part of the SEO audit so that Davidson's internal team could maintain good SEO practices after the site launched.

After the SEO audit was finished, the next step was a full website redevelopment. ClearPivot restructured the website's information architecture, redefined page and navigation hierarchy, and mapped out the user interface for the on-page elements of the site. One of the issues that ClearPivot uncovered was that an entire part of the school — the preschool and kindergarten — had been completely invisible on the previous website and nobody had ever noticed. They rectified this and other issues in the new site, to make all the key content for all the school's prospective parents easily findable. The website was redesigned and redeveloped to take full advantage of the HubSpot COS, HubSpot's new content management system. It was also built with full responsive design to ensure it is just as easily usable on both mobile and desktop devices.

The Results: 65% Increase in Online Lead Generation


The new site launched in January 2014. After launch, the upgraded site achieved a 35% sustained month-over-month traffic increase. It also achieved a 65% increase in lead generation in the spring compared to previous months — even in spite of the fact that it launched at the slowest season of the academic year. Davidson Academy's website is now a robust recruitment tool that allows it to provide information and build trust with parents of prospective students and is the anchor for its lead generation programs. Vivian Penuel, Davidson Academy's Director of Communications and Marketing, states as much:

"In revamping our website, our priority was using a company that understood our site's critical function around HubSpot, and that was affordable for us as a not-for-profit organization. The ClearPivot team did exactly that — and in a well-communicated and well-organized way."

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