S I U E  Web  Content  Best  Practices
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S I U E Web Content Best Practices Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Communication with an Impact
    SIUE Web Content
    Best Practices
    05.12.2009
    Prepared for:
    SIUE Faculty & Staff Content Managers
    Prepared by:
    Joy Milkowski
    joy@accessmarketingcompany.com
  • 2. Communication with an Impact – Welcome!
    Before we get started…
    • This class in interactive – feel free to ask questions and solicit feedback for your ideas
    • 3. There is one scheduled break
    • 4. You will NOT need your laptop during the class – just a sharp pencil!
    • 5. And please put cell phones on vibrate!
  • Communication with an Impact - Overview
    • Shift Toward Students
    • 6. 3 Basics
    • 7. Geek Speak
    • 8. Who Cares?
    • 9. Text for “Bots”
    • 10. Content for People
    • 11. Messaging for Success
    • 12. Landing Pages Explained
    • 13. Social Proof
    • 14. Hands-on
  • Marketing Shift
    New Paradigm : You Marketing
    Traditional : We Marketing
    Focus on PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS & PARENTS
    ACADEMICS
    STUDENT LIFE
    FACULTY/STAFF
    Let us tell you all about us and how
    wonderful WE are. You will want to attend because we are great.
    CULTURE
    The Past : Institution-centric Marketing
    Moving Forward : Student-focused Ideas
  • 15. Communication with an Impact – 3 Basics
    Your website is not just a static brochure but rather an interactive “conversation” with your users consisting of three key elements:
    • Findability
    • 16. Usability
    • 17. Personality
  • Communication with an Impact – 3 Basics
    Findability
    Search engines
    • Google
    • 18. Yahoo
    • 19. MSN
    • 20. Ask, Alta Vista, etc..
    Social Media
    • FaceBook
    • 21. MySpace
    • 22. Flickr
    Other interactive outlets
    • Media
    • 23. Blogs
    • 24. Mobile
  • Communication with an Impact – 3 Basics
    Usability
    Focus the user
    • Whether direct or clever, use plain language, short sentences and bullets
    • 25. Give the user choices, as if having a conversation
    • 26. Let the user decide what’s important on your site
    Facilitate a positive user experience
    • Clear, consistent navigation across the site
    • 27. Distinct value proposition: try to convey WIFM – what’s in it for the visitor
    • 28. Utilize images and video to tell the story – more than words!
    Make it easy to take the next step
    • Talk with us or schedule a face-to-face visit
    • 29. Sign up for E-newsletter
    • 30. Download information
    • 31. Connect with us on social media/bookmark the page
    • 32. Tell-a-friend!
  • Communication with an Impact – 3 Basics
    Personality
    Communicate the spirit of the school
    • What would you tell a prospective student who was visiting?
    • 33. Create feelings which become thoughts/actions (with images and minimal text)
    • 34. Engage them and inspire them
    Represent the people at the institution
    • Faculty/Staff
    • 35. Their fellow students
    • 36. Suggest related items you offer and link to them
    Appeal to multiple audiences
    • Depict various demographics in images/video
    • 37. Showcase a variety of activities and student life elements
    • 38. Highlight resources and student services
    • 39. Engage parents!
  • Communication with an Impact – Geek Speak
    Geek Speak = the terms and crazy jargon you’ll hear throughout the session
    Value proposition – the unique advantages or “selling points” of your department that students and parents would find compelling when choose whether to attend school
    Differentiation – the characteristics that set your department apart from other institutions
    SEO – Search Engine Optimization – the art/science of affecting the search engines to consider your pages most relevant for a given search
    PPC – Pay per click –the method of paying for ad space on search engines for placement on desired key phrases
    Keyword/Key phrase – a word or phrase that students/parents might use to search Google, Yahoo or other search engine for education-related information
    Meta tags – (a/k/a meta data) words used in the building of the pages that help search engines determine what your page is about
    Keyword Density – the ratio of keywords to total word count; ensuring proper keyword density will help search engines find your pages and deem them relevant
    Landing page – a page created specifically for a certain audience, message or marketing purpose; can be linked within your navigation structure or not
    Social Media – websites or platforms used for relational connections, entertainment, opinions/recommendations, etc. ; ex: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Digg, De.licio.us, StumbleUpon
  • 40. Communication with an Impact – Who Cares?
    • How will the students know unless you tell them?
    • 41. Signal: noise – rising above the noise connects you with prospective students
    • 42. In an age with so many choices… you can affect the students who choose your programs
    • 43. No one tells your story and your value better than YOU, so share with students and parents
    • 44. What you portray to prospective students and parents AFFECTS THEIR DECISION to enroll!
    • 45. Each of us can impact the success of SIUE
    • 46. What are your goals for your pages?
    • 47. What are you hoping to learn today?
  • Communication with an Impact – Text for Bots
    Search engines “crawl” your pages looking to establish what they are about so that they can display YOUR pages to searchers. What are they looking for?
    • Meta tags/data – title, keyword and description tags
    • 48. Content with keyword density for search terms relevant to the page
    • 49. Human readability
    • 50. Hyperlinks to relevant content within your site (a/k/a “cross links”)
    • 51. Hyperlinks from outside websites linking in to your site with specific keywords
    • 52. “Fresh” and updated content
  • Communication with an Impact – Text for Bots
    mba programs stlouis
  • 53. Communication with an Impact – Content for Humans
    Your future students read your pages to find out more about your department and why they should attend. What are they looking for?
    • WIFM – Rule #1
    • 54. Personalization – which means you give them their choice of info
    • 55. People they can connect with – images, video, audio
    • 56. Stories of other students who have done it before and succeeded
    • 57. Real answers to their actual questions
    • 58. Future job outlook and opportunities
    • 59. Data to substantiate your information
    • 60. Social proof (we’ll get to that later)
  • Communication with an Impact – Messaging
    Sound hokey? Not really. Content is words on a page. Messaging is more than the words you write…
    • It is your promise to the students and parents
    • 61. It is the logic-based value you can provide
    • 62. It is the emotions are you creating to “connect” with your prospective students
    • 63. It is your opportunity to tell stories and share ideas rather than talk AT your future students
    • 64. Your willingness to listen is important; invite participation where appropriate
    • 65. How would you define your KEY messages?
  • Communication with an Impact – Landing Pages
    Goal for landing pages should be “relevancy”
    • Create and maintain pages by segment or area of focus
    • 66. Pages can line up with traffic sources you’ve created
    • 67. Keywords are a must to affect search engines
    Make your page clear and easy
    • Most of info “above the fold” & use bullets!
    • 68. Distinct value proposition (as specific as possible)
    • 69. Highlight department characteristics and appeal
    • 70. Suggest related topics you offer and link to them
    Offer several calls to action – ways to interact
    • Get to know us – simple contact info/form
    • 71. Talk with us or schedule a face-to-face visit
    • 72. Friend us on Facebook/Follow us on Twitter/Bookmark the page
    • 73. Tell-a-friend/E-newsletter
    • 74. Download a ____ (research brief/capabilities paper/staff bios)
  • Communication with an Impact – Social Proof
    Your future students are interacting with social media daily, hourly – and in some cases by the minute!
    • Go where the students are – but have a plan
    • 75. Be purposeful and control your message
    • 76. Participate in the conversation, starting with LISTENING & OBSERVING
    • 77. Encourage your current students to get involved
    • 78. Don’t be afraid of video, podcasting and more
    • 79. Link back to relevant pages on your site
  • Communication with an Impact – Sitemap Logic
    Imagine a real life prospective student conversation
    • What questions do you ask students and their parents? How do they respond?
    • 80. And what do they ask you? How do you answer them?
    Pictures are worth a thousand words
    • Review your media gallery for images that support key ideas that matter to prospective students
    • 81. Never stop taking new pictures – even if they’re not professionally shot
    Be sure to address fears and concerns
    • Open honest communication is just as important on the web as it is in person – students and parents appreciate transparency
    • 82. Concerns are usually a signal that more information is needed – this is where the site can become more deep with content
    Let’s create your sitemap – and Jim can work
    with you on developing your sitemap further.
  • 83. Communication with an Impact – Hands-on Exercises
    Create three concise ideas for why a student should choose your programs
    • Try to make a “you” statements
    • 84. Think about what’s important to the students and their parents
    Think of at least two points of differentiation from other nearby institutions
    • With which specific schools does your department “compete”?
    • 85. How are you better than them?
    • 86. Can you quantify the results?
    Think outside the box…
    • When developing these lists, what other creative ideas, images, student stories, etc. come to mind?
  • Communication with an Impact – Thank you!
    For more information on the information in this session, please feel free to contact me @
    Joy Milkowski
    Access Marketing Company
    720-536-8650
    Email: Joy@AccessMarketingCompany.com
    Follow: www.twitter.com/joym
    Connect: www.linkedin.com/in/joymilkowski