Web Authoring Principles For Focused And Effective Content  Eric Hodgson October 25, 2007
Find This Presentation <ul><li>http://hodgson.edvangelist.com/ </li></ul>
<ul><li>We have authors all across the institution that follow central processes. </li></ul><ul><li>We have authors all ac...
Critical Web Principles <ul><li>Web sites are built for visitors — plain and simple </li></ul>
<ul><li>A Web site must serve a purpose.  </li></ul>Critical Web Principles
<ul><li>Set clear goals for the institutional Web site </li></ul><ul><li>Understand content publishing processes and conte...
Key Takeaway from Today: Scannable Searchable Focused Driven
“ Your job is not to put content up on your Web site. Your job is to help your customers complete common tasks quickly and...
<ul><li>Locate information </li></ul><ul><li>Complete a task </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate </li></ul>Reasons for Web Visits
<ul><li>Institutional speak </li></ul><ul><li>Poor organization </li></ul><ul><li>Poor writing  </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of ...
 
<ul><li>Base goals on departmental direction </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t state the obvious (“better navigation”) </li></ul><ul...
Let’s take some questions ?
Content is King
<ul><li>Importance </li></ul><ul><li>Relevance </li></ul><ul><li>Distinction </li></ul><ul><li>Drive to action </li></ul>C...
<ul><li>Page Focus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Main content is a single topic </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Next Step Navigation </li><...
 
<ul><li>Messaging – top level influence </li></ul><ul><li>Releases – relevance from many sources </li></ul><ul><li>Actions...
 
 
 
 
Let’s take some questions ?
Making a Searchable Page
<ul><li>Outdated content is not archived properly </li></ul><ul><li>Wrong type of content is being entered </li></ul><ul><...
<ul><li>Page titles </li></ul><ul><li>Key words and phrases </li></ul><ul><li>Subheads </li></ul><ul><li>Links </li></ul><...
 
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
 
<ul><li>BAD:  </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.your.edu/cgi-bin/site.pl?3208&dwContent_ID=744&menuID=4 </li></ul><ul><li>GOOD:...
Let’s take some questions ?
Making a Scannable Page
<ul><li>Readers are scanning pages to find relevance </li></ul><ul><li>50% of your site visitors are searchers, 50% are na...
<ul><li>Users first read in a horizontal movement, usually across the  upper part  of the content area.  </li></ul><ul><li...
 
<ul><li>Be direct with page titles and link labels </li></ul><ul><li>Keep paragraphs short </li></ul><ul><li>Bold keywords...
 
 
<ul><li>Explain the unknown </li></ul><ul><li>Use a glossary </li></ul><ul><li>Link to related content throughout your sit...
<ul><li>Sign up for FreshO Days! On Tuesday, October 28th, there will be games on the Landing, refreshments from OCD, and ...
<ul><li>Sign up for Freshman Orientation (FreshO Days)! On Tuesday, October 28th, there will be: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gam...
<ul><li>The site is about your visitors, not about you </li></ul><ul><li>Be direct </li></ul><ul><li>Be a community </li><...
Find This Presentation <ul><li>http://hodgson.edvangelist.com/ </li></ul>
Thank You! <ul><li>Eric Hodgson </li></ul><ul><li>Consultant </li></ul><ul><li>edVangelist </li></ul><ul><li>319.651.5564 ...
Let’s take some questions ?
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Web Authoring Principles for Focused and Effective Content

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Make scannable, searchable, focused, and driven content for your site.

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Web Authoring Principles for Focused and Effective Content

  1. 1. Web Authoring Principles For Focused And Effective Content Eric Hodgson October 25, 2007
  2. 2. Find This Presentation <ul><li>http://hodgson.edvangelist.com/ </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>We have authors all across the institution that follow central processes. </li></ul><ul><li>We have authors all across the institution, but it is “every man for himself”. </li></ul><ul><li>We have a handful of people controlling content. The rest of campus provides updates. </li></ul><ul><li>Authors? We don’t have those. Our site is still promoting Homecoming from 2004. </li></ul>Quiz Time: What is your current approach to content authoring?
  4. 4. Critical Web Principles <ul><li>Web sites are built for visitors — plain and simple </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>A Web site must serve a purpose. </li></ul>Critical Web Principles
  6. 6. <ul><li>Set clear goals for the institutional Web site </li></ul><ul><li>Understand content publishing processes and content types </li></ul><ul><li>Select your authors carefully </li></ul><ul><li>Train, train, train </li></ul>Highlights from Part 1: Changing Campus Culture for Successful Web Content
  7. 7. Key Takeaway from Today: Scannable Searchable Focused Driven
  8. 8. “ Your job is not to put content up on your Web site. Your job is to help your customers complete common tasks quickly and easily. That’s how you measure success.” Gerry McGovern
  9. 9. <ul><li>Locate information </li></ul><ul><li>Complete a task </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate </li></ul>Reasons for Web Visits
  10. 10. <ul><li>Institutional speak </li></ul><ul><li>Poor organization </li></ul><ul><li>Poor writing </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of audience understanding </li></ul>Typical Gaps in Expectations
  11. 12. <ul><li>Base goals on departmental direction </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t state the obvious (“better navigation”) </li></ul><ul><li>Define metrics </li></ul><ul><li>Be consistent </li></ul>Web Site Goals
  12. 13. Let’s take some questions ?
  13. 14. Content is King
  14. 15. <ul><li>Importance </li></ul><ul><li>Relevance </li></ul><ul><li>Distinction </li></ul><ul><li>Drive to action </li></ul>Content Success Response Action Value
  15. 16. <ul><li>Page Focus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Main content is a single topic </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Next Step Navigation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Related links </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drive to action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personality </li></ul></ul>Content Chunking
  16. 18. <ul><li>Messaging – top level influence </li></ul><ul><li>Releases – relevance from many sources </li></ul><ul><li>Actions – most common purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Personality – key selling points </li></ul>Content Categories
  17. 23. Let’s take some questions ?
  18. 24. Making a Searchable Page
  19. 25. <ul><li>Outdated content is not archived properly </li></ul><ul><li>Wrong type of content is being entered </li></ul><ul><li>Pages are not set up correctly </li></ul><ul><li>Content is not re-used throughout the site </li></ul><ul><li>Rarely is the issue technical </li></ul>“ Our Search Sucks”
  20. 26. <ul><li>Page titles </li></ul><ul><li>Key words and phrases </li></ul><ul><li>Subheads </li></ul><ul><li>Links </li></ul><ul><li>External sources </li></ul><ul><li>URL (including dashes) </li></ul>Improving Search Results TIP: Pick a word or phrase per page and re-use it as often as it makes sense
  21. 28. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
  22. 30. <ul><li>BAD: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.your.edu/cgi-bin/site.pl?3208&dwContent_ID=744&menuID=4 </li></ul><ul><li>GOOD: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.your.edu/requirements </li></ul><ul><li>GREAT: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.your.edu/admission/admission-requirements </li></ul>URLs
  23. 31. Let’s take some questions ?
  24. 32. Making a Scannable Page
  25. 33. <ul><li>Readers are scanning pages to find relevance </li></ul><ul><li>50% of your site visitors are searchers, 50% are navigators </li></ul><ul><li>You have very little control in how a reader was brought to your information </li></ul>Web Content Properties
  26. 34. <ul><li>Users first read in a horizontal movement, usually across the upper part of the content area. </li></ul><ul><li>Next, users move down the page a bit and then read across in a second horizontal movement that typically covers a shorter area than the previous movement. </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, users scan the content's left side in a vertical movement. </li></ul>F-shaped Web Scanning Source : Nielsen Norman Group – Eyetracking Study April, 2006, http://www.useit.com/eyetracking
  27. 36. <ul><li>Be direct with page titles and link labels </li></ul><ul><li>Keep paragraphs short </li></ul><ul><li>Bold keywords in a paragraph </li></ul><ul><li>Use bulleted lists when possible </li></ul>Developing Scannable Pages
  28. 39. <ul><li>Explain the unknown </li></ul><ul><li>Use a glossary </li></ul><ul><li>Link to related content throughout your site </li></ul><ul><li>Talk like them </li></ul>Write for your Audience(s)
  29. 40. <ul><li>Sign up for FreshO Days! On Tuesday, October 28th, there will be games on the Landing, refreshments from OCD, and plenty of time with other matriculants. Go to Brooks Hall to meet with your VDC to register. </li></ul>Write for your Audience(s)
  30. 41. <ul><li>Sign up for Freshman Orientation (FreshO Days)! On Tuesday, October 28th, there will be: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Games at the center of campus (we call it the Landing - linked to campus map), </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Refreshments from On-Campus Dining, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plenty of time with your future classmates. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Go to Brooks Hall (linked to campus map) to meet with your counselor to register, or register by phone (555-555-5555) or online (linked to registration form). </li></ul>Write for your Audience(s)
  31. 42. <ul><li>The site is about your visitors, not about you </li></ul><ul><li>Be direct </li></ul><ul><li>Be a community </li></ul>Remember…
  32. 43. Find This Presentation <ul><li>http://hodgson.edvangelist.com/ </li></ul>
  33. 44. Thank You! <ul><li>Eric Hodgson </li></ul><ul><li>Consultant </li></ul><ul><li>edVangelist </li></ul><ul><li>319.651.5564 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
  34. 45. Let’s take some questions ?

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