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Content Strategy for Library Websites


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Presentation at Designing for Digital, February 26, 2015. Austin, TX.

Published in: Education
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Content Strategy for Library Websites

  1. 1. Content Strategy for Library Websites Rebecca Blakiston @blakistonr User Experience Librarian University of Arizona Libraries DESIGNING FOR DIGITAL February 26, 2015 @design4lib
  2. 2. Hello! @blakistonr Librarian Instructor Facilitator Project manager User researcher Content fanatic
  3. 3. Providing good content is an essential part of our library mission… and yet our locally-curated web content is often totally neglected.
  4. 4. Introducing content strategy “Content strategy plans for the creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content.” - Kristina Halvorson @halvorson
  5. 5. Audit By understanding what we have, we can better plan how to manage what already exists as well as plan for the future.
  6. 6. Libguides? Tutorials? Videos? Images? Online exhibitions? Digital collections? News stories? Blog posts? Social media? Catalog? Login pages? User accounts? Discovery tool(s)? Interlibrary loan system? Associated websites? Associated applications? Define your goals and scope.
  7. 7. Create a spreadsheet.
  8. 8. • Pull a page list from your content management system. • Follow links from your homepage, then follow links within web pages. Identify your content.
  9. 9. If you find a page such as See if there is a page at just: homepage child grandchild
  10. 10. Do site searches for common search terms.
  11. 11. Check content captured in Google Analytics.
  12. 12. Document your content.
  13. 13. Title Responsible Department Web Writing Usefulness Relevancy Audience Events Marketing Good Average High Community Collections Collection Managers Average High Low Faculty Newspapers Research Services Just awful Average Medium Graduate Students Evaluate your content.
  14. 14. Content Audit Questions
  15. 15. Clean up what you find.
  16. 16. Duplicate content?
  17. 17. Design or display problems?
  18. 18. ALL CAPS? Unnecessarily long page titles?
  19. 19. Unnecessary description? Outdated content? Extra spacing? Red text? Jargon?
  20. 20. Incorrect use of headers?
  21. 21. 2011-2012: 200+ pages deleted 2014: 100 more pages discovered & deleted
  22. 22. Be transparent and get buy-in. Here’s what we found. Here’s how we want to make things better. Let’s talk.
  23. 23. Analysis By analyzing our current environment and defining our website objectives, we can set a strategic foundation for future directions.
  24. 24. Content must have purpose.
  25. 25. How does your web content contribute to your mission, vision, strategic plan?
  26. 26. What do users want and need from your content?
  27. 27. Sample vision: We champion student and faculty success by giving them access to the spaces, technology, collections and expertise needed for their research, teaching, studying and collaboration.
  28. 28. Review current maintenance & oversight processes. Departments •Responsible for big sections on the website •Can draft & update pages Department webmasters •Responsible for page updates •Varies by department (not every dept. has a webmaster) Website Steering Group •Responsible for publishing and deleting pages
  29. 29. Identify any training & documented expectations or accountability for content.
  30. 30. How often is content created, updated, or deleted?
  31. 31. Create standards for your web content.
  32. 32. Strategy By establishing an effective and efficient content strategy, we ensure that our website content is and continues to be useful, usable, and findable.
  33. 33. Remember to (again) consider your scope.
  34. 34. Goals 1. Content focused 2. Accessible 3. Usable 4. Findable 5. Familiar 6. Engaging 7. Understandable 8. Credible 9. Human Write actionable and measurable* goals for your website. *Metrics for content are hard, but not impossible.
  35. 35. Further define your audience & their goals.
  36. 36. We will capture your ideas then send to all staff for a sort. helpful friendly reliable people-focused traditional unmoving fun Who we are fun Establish a voice & tone.
  37. 37. future: easy-to-use cutting-edge consistent engaging people-focused now: knowledgeable friendly helpful academic customer-focused but never: exclusive static old school traditional quirky
  38. 38. Identify the players.
  39. 39. Define content roles and responsibilities. Role Responsibility Requestor Requests new content, content edits, or content deletions Provider Provides content for publication on the web Manager Edits, improves, and manages the lifecycle of web content Reviewer Reviews content before it’s published on the web Publisher Publishes content to the web
  40. 40. All content needs a responsible party.
  41. 41. Use your content inventory.
  42. 42. Clearly define responsibilities for those who actually manage content. Evaluating Creating UpdatingImproving Deleting
  43. 43. Content manager expectations: • Stay aware of policies, procedures, standards, workflows • Ensure all content meets standards and follow standards for new content • Review all content regularly, no less than once every six months • Create new content • Use Google Analytics to make decisions • Attend trainings • Communicate changes in content • Be open to & respond to feedback
  44. 44. Requestor requests a page Provider creates content Manager creates web page Reviewer approves web page New web page is created Establish a workflow for creating a page.
  45. 45. Content Manager determines page should be deleted Content Manager communicates with stakeholders Content Manager removes or updates all internal links, determines if a redirect is necessary Content Manager sends deletion request to Publisher Publisher deletes the page Establish a workflow for deleting a page.
  46. 46. Create a process around how content gets updated. And only create what you can maintain.
  47. 47. Point People Establish workflows for specific types of content.
  48. 48. Provide resources and substantive training.
  49. 49. Communicate often. But efficiently. About important stuff.
  50. 50. Write like a human. Think like a robot. Sara Wachter-Boettcher @sara_ann_marie
  51. 51. Make sure technology (specifically, your content management system) supports it all.
  52. 52. Stop allowing bad things. • underlines • red text •large headers • Right justification
  53. 53. Enter event data once. Current events sort by date Events move when they're over You don't need to worry about formatting content - it's all handled globally. Structure your content.
  54. 54. Create a content model.
  55. 55. Relate content.
  56. 56. Learn more Library Juice Academy: Developing a Website Content Strategy (4-week online course, October 2015) Blakiston, R. Developing a Content Strategy for an Academic Library Website, Journal of Electronic Resources Librarianship, 25:3, 175-191. 2013. Halvorson, K. Content Strategy for the Web second edition. 2012. Kissane, E. The Elements of Content Strategy. 2010.
  57. 57. Questions