Our website is a crucial communications tool.
Prospective students, alumni, staff, current students, faculty, parents, donors, job seekers, employers, colleagues at peer institutions, and the general public interact with it on a daily basis. Why? To find information.
Your job as a Content Manager is to help them find what they need and, along the way, connect with them in ways that help you achieve your own goals.
Making information easy to find takes time and the willingness to review your site with the perspective of someone outside your office and institution. Presenting that information in a way that is understandable to a variety of people takes clear and concise writing, and a little empathy.
Start by asking yourself a few questions:
- Who’s coming to my site?
- What are they looking for?
- What do I want them to know?
- Is the site content meeting the needs of my largest constituency and most important visitors?
- Do people keep calling asking the same questions?
- Is there anything on the site that could meaningfully connect with those folks—keeping them interested and coming back again?
More and more, websites must go beyond providing information; they must cultivate, maintain, and grow relationships.
This Best Practices section offers some basic advice about how to evaluate and improve web content (Content Strategy) and site organization (Information Architecture). It also covers web writing and the importance of sharing content.