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Monday, July 28, 2014

Top 5 Social Media Tips

When it comes to social media, we all want to use it to the best of our ability. So for this Web Manager Blog post we decided to give some tips on how to improve your use of social media. Don't hesitate to contact socialmedia@liberty.edu if you have questions about your accounts or you can reference the Social Media Policy

1. The Shorter the Better. Research shows that posts that are around 100 characters tend to see better reach than longer posts (meaning that many of you quit reading this after 100 characters).

2. Post Consistently. When people see an account that has up to date information, photos, and posts they are more likely to follow/like! But, don’t over post! Find the happy medium.

3. Ask Good Questions. If you want to increase engagement, ask questions that people will really answer. It's always a great idea to respond as quickly as possible. 

4. For Facebook, constantly check insights. Look at what posts have the highest reach and who they are reaching. Then tailor future posts to those people based on what has worked in the past.

5. DON’T post identical content to Facebook and Twitter. These two social networks are very different. Find out what works for each respective platform and post unique posts to each of them.

Posted at 11:47 AM | Permalink

Friday, July 11, 2014

Understanding keywords

To make your web page more findable, it’s important to understand how and where to use keywords. A keyword is simply a word or phrase that describes your website, web page, or document. It’s what someone would type in a search box if they were looking for your content.

  Keyword is a term that describes your web content

You can make your page more findable – also known as search engine optimization or SEO – by putting keywords on your page in strategic locations:

  • Page Title
  • Heading 1 (h1 tag), Heading 2 (h2 tag), etc.
  • On-page text
  • File names and alt tags

Your entire website or department pages might have many important keywords, but each individual page will only have a few. You should place important keywords at the beginning of the page title and the H1.

Examples

Here are some examples of titles and headings where the keyword (in bold) was placed at the end or left out entirely. 

Bad keyword placement or missing keyword

Don't do it this way

Mark your calendar for this year's Homecoming event
Liberty University School of Law Awarded Full Accreditation Approval by the ABA
We want to honor you for your service

Now look at those same examples where the keyword has been placed at the beginning of the title or heading.

Good keyword placement

The right way

Homecoming 2014 Dates
ABA Accreditation approved for Liberty University School of Law
RSVP for Military Appreciation Day

You can also use keywords in your image file names and alternative text. (Review our blog post Get the Most from your Web Images to learn how. If you must link to a PDF, make sure you use best file naming practices when saving files.  Of course, your on-page text should include keywords.

Think like your visitors

To use keywords effectively, you have to think like your visitors do. That means you’ll have to use the keywords they are searching for. Usually, that means using simple language. For example, a web page about bus routes should be called “Bus Routes,” not “Mass Transit Configurations.”

If it turns out your audience is not finding the information they are looking for, even though your web page has it all right there, the problem might be that you’re not using the right keywords. Listen to the words they use when they tell you they can’t find something and then check your page to see if you’re using the right terms in the page title, headings, and on-page text.

Get help

If you need help making your content easier to find, contact the Web Content team. It's our privilege to serve you. 

Posted at 9:06 AM | Permalink

Monday, June 9, 2014

Get the most from your web images

Images can make your web page more visually appealing, and add interest and information that text alone can't. Sometimes, "a picture is worth a thousand words." (Don't forget to size and optimize your images for the web, using this Tutorial: Preparing Images for the Web.) 

But, you can get even more benefits from images on your web pages by adding Alternative Text.

SEO boost

Adding alternative text, or alt text, to your images is an easy way to improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your web page. It can also make your page more accessible to visually impaired visitors.

When most people look at this degree page, they see a photograph, text, and a button:

Alt text helps search engines identify the content of images

When search engines visit or crawl your pages, they only see code and text:

search engines see code and text

Search engines use two clues to understand images, and you control both:

  1. image file name
  2. alt text

You can review best practices for naming your files in our blog post, "Improve your file names and reap rewards."

You can add alt text to images in Web Manager through the image properties tool. 

Adding Alt text

By using relevant keywords in your alt text and image file names, you help search engines understand your content and make your page more findable. This is true both for on-site search and on the World Wide Web. 

Accessibility for the visually impaired

People with vision problems often use screen readers to tell them what is on your web page. Screen readers can tell if an image exists, but they can't get any value from the image unless you add alt text to let them know what it's about. If the image is purely decorative, it's OK to leave the alt text blank. 

Posted at 8:13 AM | Permalink

Monday, May 26, 2014

Navigation Sets (those left-hand links)

The navigation set is the set of links on the left-hand side of the page. The purpose of the set is to show users the available information within a section of pages, and provide a way for them to view it.

Navigation sets can be applied to pages in the Page Properties.  Publishers can edit navigation sets. 


Process for updating and creating

Publishers

Web Manager Publishers have the ability to update and create navigation sets.

Normal Users and Editors

Normal Users will need to contact their publisher to edit or create navigation sets.

Users in academic departments have two options, depending on the size of the update:

  • For small navigation updates, such as link title change or link change, you can email the contact on the Web Manager homepage.
  • For large navigation updates, such as creating a new set or making multiple changes to a set, you can Request a Marketing Project on the Marketing homepage.

Dos and Don'ts

Good practices

  • Navigation sets should only include links to pages that also have that navigation applied to them
    • A good test for this is to click through all of the links and make sure they don't change from page to page
  • Link titles should be clear and condensed. As much as possible try to keep the title on one line in order to avoid the link appearing as though it is two separate links.
  • Multiple headers and groups of links can be included in the set (see image above), but there should be no more than 7 links (or lines) under each header. This way the links are separated into groups and easy to read.

Bad practices

  • Links to resources, such as PDFs or pages from different departments/websites, should be in the body of the page, and not in the navigation.
    • The navigation set is meant for users to be able to navigate a particular set of pages, so it is confusing for users when they click on one of the links and then the navigation set disappears.
Posted at 12:38 PM | Permalink

Monday, May 12, 2014

Using the Editorial Style Guide

Not sure if you should use "theatre" instead of "theater"? Do you know if it's "East Campus" or "Campus East"?  You can find the correct terms and their descriptions in the Editorial Style Guide

The Editorial Style Guide is the official source for:

  • Grammar and spelling
  • Liberty-specific terms and phrases
  • Term descriptions and requirements of how to use them

Also, remember to always use the Web Manager spell check tool before publishing a page! The spell check tool is found on the top row of the WYSIWYG toolbar in Web Manager and it looks like this:

Web Manager Blog - Spell Check Tool

Posted at 9:33 AM | Permalink


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