My inbox was full, and I was having a hard time staying on task.
What was wrong with me?
My mind kept floating to topics like content strategy, multimedia storytelling, and accessibility. I had pages and pages of highlighted notes on my computer and a head that was completely stuffed with knowledge.
Was it the aftereffects of another online webinar? No, I had just returned from the Confab Higher Ed conference!
Confab, a web content strategy conference, focuses on the techniques that can make content more usable.
At Confab, I joined hundreds of colleagues who also work on higher education sites nationally and globally. I found that I had so much in common with them that they quickly became “my people.”
Strategizing and learning from one another were some of the best parts of the conference. And I also gleaned from the experts in the field of Web Content Strategy.
At Confab, I attended workshops and sessions covering exciting topics like:
It was a lot to take in, and now I'm taking what I've learned, sharing it with others, and applying it to Liberty’s websites.
You might feel like your web pages look pretty good just the way they are. But with the web, there’s always room for improvement because things are always changing. And keeping up a compelling higher education website is crucial when you consider the number of prospective students who are using it.
Did you know that today nearly 80 percent of high school juniors and seniors consider a college by visiting its website?
And it's highly likely that they are using their phones to do it. (This is why Liberty is making the important switch to responsive design.)
Here’s what Kristina Halvorson, founder of Confab and co-author of the book “Content Strategy for the Web,” says about college sites:
“Your website is really the hub of digital communication. When people need substantive info about a course, your professors, whatever, they go to your website.”
So, you get it, I’m sure. Your website is pretty important. This is why you’re a Web Manager user/editor/publisher at Liberty University. You’ve taken on the charge of developing an effective website for your department’s users. And it’s our team’s job to give you all the training, tools, and guidance you need to do it.
Over the next couple of months on the Web Content blog, be on the lookout for current content strategy issues that just may bring in quotes and teachings from the experts at Confab.
Strategizing how to best create and display your content isn’t hard, but it does take thought, research, and some effort. Today, I leave you with this tip:
Always put your users first.
It’s so tempting to add content to your pages that makes sense to you. But you have to keep in mind the high school junior/senior or current student who is looking at the page. Most likely, they have a completely different perspective. And in most cases, they probably know nothing about your content. What they want are some quick answers written plainly in a way that they can understand.
It’s when you clearly answer your user’s questions and help them easily take an action, that you help to meet your department’s goals.
And when web goals are met at Liberty, this helps the student body continue to grow and develop in a positive way.
All good things for a content strategy rock star – like you!
Web Content Specialist — LU Web Content Team