Last year, we gave you eight reasons why the new National Trust’s website is funkier than the average.

With its stunning visuals and personal tone of voice, it’s certainly an impressive relaunch.

But how exactly did the organisation manage such a big overhaul of its content? 

We recently sat down with Tom Barker, Head of Digital for the National Trust, to hear how his team planned and executed a winning content strategy.

You can read a summary of what he said below, or watch these videos to see what he said in full.

Out with the old

The National Trust’s new website launched in November of 2015, but involved months of planning and preparation prior to this.

With an old and clunky website consisting of around 50,000 pages, the challenge was finding a way to condense such a large volume of information into a concise and user-friendly amount. 

Even after stripping out a large portion of the old site, it re-launched with the hefty sum of 9,000 pages. 

If you think not just about our national cause and the various elements of membership and fundraising, but the sheer number of places we have.

So, that’s over 350 properties, 200 more major pieces of outdoor landscape and coastline… it becomes a huge website with lots of content.

Updating the new site

As well as the amount that needed to be included, Tom highlights how the seasonal nature of the Trust requires content to be continuously updated and refreshed. 

For the launch of its new site, 500 National Trust employees were trained on the content management system to ensure that content would be ready by launch day, as well as updated according to seasonal calendars. 

We have a distributed marketing model, so for each of the seven regions that the National Trust covers we have a regional digital lead, but also web editors at each of the properties and places.

With news featuring heavily on the site, it is imperative that staff are able to update at a property-level as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

How success is measured

With a brand new site, the National Trust now has a far superior analytics set-up. However, despite knowing how it is being used, it is yet to discover who is using it. 

A new sign-in capability will be added later in the year, and is going to be a big focus in future.

Success for me, yes it could be the traditional metrics such as visits to the site and bounce rate etc.

But when we are able to see who is using it, we can determine whether the touchpoints match up, which means no longer means having a website or mobile app that exists in silo.

For the National Trust, a seamless user experience across all channels is the ultimate sign of success.