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3.1 Getting Started With Your Website

So you need a website for your department. Where do you start?  The best idea is to begin by developing a Content Strategy.

What Is Content Strategy?

Content strategy involves identifying the type of content (words, photographs, graphics, forms) that will best help you communicate your department’s most important messages and achieve your department’s goals.

It combines writing, organizing and prioritizing copy and placing it in a navigational structure that will guide users to what they seek on your site, and what you want them to find and do on your site.

Your site content is just as important, if not more important than its design, and it must reflect the strategic objectives of your department, as well as the university as a whole.

Without a strategy  – a goal –  for your program's webpages, you will be simply creating a lot of content that no one really needs or wants. University web content managers are the filter on the fire hose. They set priorities for what the web user will experience.

Questions to Ask as You Develop Your Content Strategy

  • What is the goal of your site? What strategic objectives of your department are you expecting your site to help accomplish?
  • What are the key themes and messages you want to convey – both about your department and the university?
  • Who are your most important audiences?
  • What do those audiences seek on your site or your pages? What do you want them to find?
  • Does your existing content address your site's goals as well as what your audiences want to see and do on your site?
  • What is the most important content to your users on your current site or pages, and is it easy to find that content?

Helpful Content Strategy Tips for Your Web Pages

After creating or editing for your site content that conveys your department’s or program's key messages and serves the needs of your audiences, there are several follow-up steps to ensure your website is effective.

  • Make your content web-friendly by adjusting writing style. Offer small chunks of information that are easily digestible by readers with short attention spans. Structure your page to facilitate scanning.
  • Drive traffic to your pages. Consider various marketing vehicles, such as email newsletters, printed materials, advertising, etc. A direct link to your pages from the home or landing page should not be the only way to find your departmental pages. Add links to a key page or pages in your email signature. Create news about exciting happenings, awards, promotions, student activities, etc., relevant to your department or program.
  • Include multimedia. Once your core content is in place, consider additional types of content to give your audiences a fuller experience and keep them coming back.
    Examples: video, student success stories, faculty spotlights

General Recommendations

  • Employ calls to action rather than bulleted lists when possible.
  • Limit extensive blocks of content and use imagery, quality photography and videos, where appropriate.
  • Break up content using headers, lists, columns, etc... to present more manageable chunks of information.
  • Limit the number of items/pages in a sub-menu to eight or less, if possible.
  • Keep users within the same browser window as  much as possible for best usability on mobile devices.
  • Minimize downloads (PDF files) to ensure a smooth browsing experience.

Home Page Templates

UNG has created standardized templates for unit home pages to both help our visitors find consistent content and help our units know what types of information needs to be on the home page of their site.

  1. College home pages
  2. Academic department home pages
  3. Administrative unit and other site home pages
  4. Individual degree pages
  5. Profile Pages

Contact the Webteam

After you have developed a sense of the goals of your site and a draft of the content you would like to include, submit your request via ServiceNow (login required) and get your project added to the webteam queue.

UNG follows Section 508 Standards and WCAG 2.0 for web accessibility. If you require the content on this web page in another format, please contact the ADA Coordinator.

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