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Taking Your Website Off the Back Burner

By Debra Torres

Your job is a big one, and you have a lot of things you’re responsible for each day. We get it. What you do as a WordPress or Web Manager user is probably a small percentage of the big picture that makes up your role here at Liberty University.

But, when you think about it, your department’s website is a pretty big deal. Liberty’s websites get over 130,000 page views a day. And your pages get a percentage of that. Depending on your department, people all over the U.S. and world may be visiting your pages.

That means that your website is your best marketing tool. Period.

So, being someone who can show the world all the wonderful things your department or school offers should make you into some kind of website superhero, right?

What to Do When You Have New Content

You’ve got something new to show off, maybe it’s the opening of a center, some incredible equipment, or even a new degree. It’s talked about in your meetings, and all the people in your department know about it. But somehow it gets left off of your website.

When this happens, guess who misses out on seeing what you now have to offer?

Pretty much everyone else in the world!

What should you do?

Get it on your pages!

Not too long ago, the Web Content team helped a department set up a new degree page. And within days, people were seeking out Liberty’s enrollment team to apply.

Now that’s fast!

The power your website has to quickly reach your targeted audience is well worth the time it takes to update your pages.

What to Do When You Have Old Content

You haven’t looked at your pages in a while, and someone reaches out to tell you that the 2016 event you have on there has long been over. What do you do?

Take it off the page!

I like to tell the story about the time I was on an academic homepage in July and found an announcement near the top of the page for an event in April. Depending on the school or department, this could mean that thousands of future students saw this old content.

And … maybe after seeing that, they don’t consider themselves future students of Liberty any longer.

Because we could have lost their trust.

Keeping content current is important. Think about how you feel when you go to a website and there is old and outdated information on it. Do you want to continue your journey through those pages? Would you trust that they will answer your questions accurately or provide the type of service you’re looking for?

I wouldn’t.

In her book, The Content Advantage, content expert Colleen Jones says: “… if people perceive content as accurate and polished, they are significantly more likely to perceive it as relevant and useful. If your customers are not confident in your facts, wonder whether your information is current, or trip over frequent typos or display glitches, they will have difficulty taking your content seriously.”

Yikes!

Remove Sensitive Stuff

Updates to staff pages are often made when there is a new hire, but we suggest that you comb through these pages monthly to see if there are any additions or deletions that need to be made. Not too long ago, I was going through a staff listing for a large department and saw a staff member I knew had left the university several months before.

Staff who are no longer with your department should not remain on your pages.

Who Are You Going to Call?

Keeping your website up-to-date takes time, we know. But the Web Content team is here to help. After participating in our trainings, you should know how to do simple WordPress updates on your own. But we understand that there are times when changes are significant enough, and you need more help.

Because our team is generally not notified of what’s happening in your department, you need to be the one to contact us when you have something new that requires more significant work.

Feel free to contact us at webcontent@liberty.edu whenever you have a task like this.

Your web users will thank you for your updates by visiting your cleaned-up pages and helping your department meet its goals. Believe me, keeping site updates in your daily schedule is well worth the effort.

Because, after all, that’s what a website superhero would do!


 

Meet the Author:

Debra Torres

datorres1@liberty.edu

Web Content Specialist — LU Web Content Team

 

 

 

 

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