S I U E Web Content Best Practices


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S I U E Web Content Best Practices

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