SERIES: Improving Web Content – Keeping It Simple

This is the third post in our blog series on improving web content in 2018. If you haven’t already, go back and read our content marketing overview and learn what content needs to be on your site.

Your website is the key marketing tool for recruiting students to attend WKU. However, research shows users only read 20-28% of what is on a webpage. This means content on your website must be easy to understand, quick to read, and visually appealing. Today, we’ll cover three ways to keep your content clear and concise.

1. Utilize design tools.

Users prefer to consume content in bite-sized chunks. Use bulleted lists, short paragraphs, and visual aids to communicate your content.

New template capabilities such as card and accordion snippets, side navigation, and call-to-action buttons make streamlining content much easier. The WKU Office of Admissions does a fantastic job incorporating profiles, calls to action, and links to other sections of their site via new template options:


2. Utilize existing content.

Spend more time creating content that’s highly relevant to your department, rather than reiterating on content that already exists. Use the search function on wku.edu to see if the content already exists (directions, general visitor information, etc.) or simply email Creative Web Services.

By eliminating redundancy, you’ll free up your time to create more strategic content and provide prospective students with a more streamlined experience.

3.Focus on your audience.

The last (and arguably most important) strategy for creating clear and concise content is to focus on your audience. Even if faculty, staff, and current students utilize your website often, prospective students should always be the primary focus.*

Your site should cater to the needs of prospective students and contain the information they most frequently seek. News, events, images, and calls to action should all support the effort to recruit new students to WKU. If you have content for faculty, staff, or current students, we recommend creating a separate landing page within your site to house content for those audiences.

Bonus Tip: Don’t overwhelm users.

While prospective students are interested in seeing alumni profiles and learning about the courses required for a particular degree, we remind you to use restraint when creating content. For example, keep alumni profiles short, providing only highlights of accomplishments and how they relate to your department. Course lists can be arranged attractively in column and accordion snippets, rather than consuming an entire page.

Remember, your site is not a place to unload every bit of information about your department. Rather, it is an important tool that should be treated with care in order to better appeal to users and attract more students to WKU.

If you are ready to make your department’s website clear, concise, and appealing to prospective students, register for a template training session by visiting http://wku.edu/apps/ouaddons, logging in, and clicking the “Site Transition” link.

Next week, we’ll dive deeper into ways to make your site easier to understand, including cleaning up navigation, wording, and more!

*Of course, if your department only services faculty, staff, or current students and has no contact with prospective students, this may vary.

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