School website projects are massive. From choosing the right platform, to creating your new site map, to perfecting your design, there are tons of variables that all need to come together before your new site can launch.
The last thing you want to happen during this process is to allow old, bad content to sneak onto your new, sparkly site. Because remember: users have time to read at most 28% of the words on a web page during an average visit; 20% is more likely.* So you want the words that they DO read to be the RIGHT words.
It’s time to be ruthless with that red pen! Here are key factors to consider when deciding if your current school website content deserves a spot on your new site:
We divide content types into three categories: KEEP (content that can move over with little-to-no editing), SAVE (content to remove from the site but save/update for later use) and TRASH (content that doesn’t belong on your site).
Keep it if it’s…
- Unique. Your school website content — especially your About Us content — should truly differentiate you from your competitors (both public and independent).
- Convincing. If it’s information that will help your audience move forward in their decision-making process, it stays.
- Actionable. Content that clearly lets readers know how and why to take the next step is key.
- Popular. Keep content that answers any common questions new or prospective students have, and consider your analytics when deciding if content should stay or go.
Save it if it’s…
- Down-the-line. Remember: your website is the hello, not the conversation. If the content is more suitable for your audience once they are already engaged, save it as something to be delivered at a later stage.
- In-depth. If it provides valuable in-depth advice or procedures, it may be something to turn into gated content later.
- Old, but good. Past content like brochures and newsletters can be edited into new stories for blogs or eNewsletters.
Trash it if it’s…
- Outdated. This may seem obvious, but many sites have old and irrelevant materials hidden amongst their pages. Check your old press releases, brochures, admissions materials and academic program overviews to ensure everything is up to date.
- Appeasing someone. If it was included as a “favor” to someone, it probably doesn’t deserve a spot on your site. Your website is your main marketing tool online, not a catch-all for all school communications.
- Jargon. Cut out all words and phrases that mean something internally to your school, yet mean nothing to your audience. (Need help with this step? Grab our free ebook here.)
- Ignored. If no one is reading it, watching it, or filling it out, it’s time to rethink its purpose. So check those analytics!
We’ve created a simple, FREE template outlining the 5-step way to write a website page. Download it, print it, and use it to help write your site. Happy writing, friends!
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