Happy new year! I hope everyone had a good break and is feeling refreshed and energised.
It is that time of the year for making all those little promises to yourself like shedding those extra Christmas pounds in the gym, quitting a bad habit or learning another language. If those sound like hard work, then you could make some content resolutions to improve the pages you look after. Here are a few suggestions to make the web a better place in 2019. I promise that none of them involve eating kale!
1. Run an audit of your web pages
Okay, I know I am always banging on about audits, but they are really important for understanding about the content you have on your site, particularly if you have pages that have been written by lots of different people over the years. Once you have a list of all the pages, you can decide which ones need improving and better still, remove those which are no longer useful or relevant. If you want some further advice about audits then see my previous posts:
2. Make sure any new content is user-centred
By creating content that is designed around the intended audiences, your website will be more relevant and useful.
Here’s a few things you can do to create more user-centred content:
- Do some research. This could be involve looking at searches that users type or running a survey. Another useful source of research is to talk to the people in your team that interact with those audiences to see what questions people ask.
- Have user or job stories for each piece of content. This ensures your content has a purpose.
- Don’t use internal jargon or acronyms. You should always try and speak the language of your audiences. Remember your content is for them, not you.
3. Spread the word!
So, you have spent all that time auditing your site and creating some amazing user-centred content with lovely images and beautifully crafted words. That’s great, but if you don’t tell anyone you have updated your website then how will they know? We should not rely solely on people finding our pages, so if you have made some changes to your site that you are proud of and will be useful to your audiences, then share this through your other channels e.g. newsletters, email lists, social media etc.
4. Improve your writing for the web skills
By attending the Writing for the web course you will learn some useful skills about how to craft content to make it more effective online, whether that is on a website, blog post, news article or social media. The course is free for all Imperial staff to attend and will really make a difference to how you plan and write online content. Find out more about writing for the web training.
5. Make your content more accessible
We all have an obligation to make sure that the content we put online is usable for everyone. We have recently added some accessibility advice to the web guide. We will be adding more to these pages over the coming months, covering topics such as online documents and video. It really is easy to improve the accessibility of your pages so there’s no excuse.
If you need any advice on any of these then get in touch