Web Content Tips
Seven Steps to Smarter Content
You only get one first impression. Make sure it’s flawless.
Step 1: Write for Prospective Students
Your site’s content helps a prospective student decide to enroll, so it must be engaging to 18- to 25-year-olds. Your goal is to help them accomplish their tasks quickly, and you can do this by answering three questions:
- What problems are they trying to solve?
- What information are they searching for?
- What do students need most?
Step 2: Check Grammar, Spelling & Punctuation
Whether it’s a misplaced comma, an omitted letter or a subject and verb that don’t agree, simple errors that are often just typos can undermine all the hard work you’ve put into your content.
Step 3: Be Thorough but Brief
Users can form their impression of your website in seconds, so it needs to look clean and be easy to follow. How do you do this? Make your text scannable by adding
- bullet points
- relevant subheadings
- engaging elements like photos and infographics
Attention is a commodity, and you’ll lose it if your content doesn’t meet students’ needs quickly.
Step 4: Be Accurate
You can’t afford to publish information that isn’t entirely correct. Keep your (and the University’s) credibility intact by double checking your facts and making sure your information is current before your content goes live.
Step 5: Be Consistent
Part of looking smart is establishing a style and voice and sticking with it. Keep your writing conversational and concise with clear points of interest. When you lack consistency, it detracts from your content’s value, and when your content lacks value, you lose your audience.
Step 6: Be Accessible
Keep your content simple and intuitive. Don’t make your audience overthink when they’re visiting your page. Little things like adding “alt text” to your images and making sure your hyperlinks are active can go a long way toward providing an equitable user experience. This will also help viewers find your content through searches.
Step 7: Get a Second (or Third) Set of Eyes
We all want content to be perfect, and the best way to achieve this is to ask an editor to review everything before you publish. Even the smallest mistakes can damage your credibility.