Browse by Professional Interest
Site Management

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The Case for User-Friendly Web Content
Advancement Weekly Article Quality website content improves your site’s search engine rankings—but the argument for thoughtful web information goes far beyond that, writes one marketing expert.

Bringing Order to a College Website
Article,  Community College News Article To ensure their websites stay fresh and focused, community colleges should adopt a governance policy for those who manage and publish content, says a marketing professional.

Managing Content, Managing Change
CURRENTS Article This article explores the importance of an institutional content strategy and how institutions can develop cross-platform strategies and repurpose content. What is content strategy, and how are institutions approaching it? How is this changing the role of higher education communications professionals?

Behind the Numbers
CURRENTS Article This article by Web strategist Shelby Thayer looks at the importance of applying Web analytics to higher education websites and discusses how the data from analytics can inform and improve strategy for admissions efforts and marketing campaigns and help drive traffic to a website. The article delves into why website managers and higher education leaders should be interested in this data, particularly as it relates to outcomes or conversions.

Detrás de los Números
CURRENTS Article En este artículo, la estratega web Shelby Thayer de Penn State expone el caso por lo que una institución debe contar con una analítica web.

Core Communications
CURRENTS Article In this article, three communications professionals from San Diego State University, Hamilton College, and Michigan State University, respectively, describe the processes their campuses went through in redesigning their websites and the issues they had to address, including content management systems, accessibility for people with disabilities, what should be included on the home page and why, and training campus site editors to maintain site consistency as well as ease of use.

Advance Work: Optimize Primer
CURRENTS Article As SEO becomes a larger part of communications and marketing, institutions need to reevaluate their own Web sites.

Office Space: Show Don't Tell
CURRENTS Article In such a crowded digital world, institutions' Web pages need to be the providers of fresh and interesting content.

Operation Reputation
CURRENTS Article In today's world of social media, users can post their own thoughts, comments, and content, and readers can take it as fact. So how do institutions navigate the networks and find fact rather than fiction? Take a look at how you can police the posts and still maintain credibility.

Click This Way
CURRENTS Article Campus Web sites are the first place most people turn for information of all kinds about an institution—admissions requirements, program details, course descriptions—but they probably aren't the first place people turn to learn about a particular subject or topic. But they can be. This article describes how to market campus Web sites that aren’t admissions-related—institution sites with more of a specialized appeal: an online gallery of comics, a database about classical music, library special collections, art exhibits, etc. This article describes Duke University's experience with such sites and its strategies to get news outlets, blogs, and other online publications to link to and cover them.

Second Site
CURRENTS Article Campus Web sites are most effective when they're well-organized, easy-to-use tools with a consistent look and feel. Content management systems help campuses to create and maintain effective Web sites and offer a checks-and-balances approach that allows people from all parts of the institution to contribute. This article describes St. Boanventure University's decision to redesign its Web site using a CMS and the process the campus went through to implement the system. A related sidebar ("Look Before You Leap") contains additional advice to consider before investing in a CMS.

From Traffic Jam to Easy Street
CURRENTS Article To do a better job of maintaining an institutional Web site’s appearance, speed, comprehensiveness, and accuracy, campuses might want to consider installing a content management system. A CMS is a back-end database combined with a suite of software tools that give staff without programming expertise the ability to manage, maintain, and change a Web site’s content. This article outlines the typical features of a good CMS, how to assess readiness to install a system, the pros and cons of building from scratch or buying ready-made, typical costs, and questions to help select a vendor. Also included is a list of 12 CMS vendors. The article is of interest to communications staff who work with campus Web sites and advancement managers concerned about technology.

Hot on the Cybertrail
CURRENTS Article Officers in alumni affairs, development, public relations, and admissions at the University of Dayton use statistics on user access to guide their decisions about the structure and content of their Web site. The article describes how to interpret log files to find out who your users are, how they view the site, and what pages they find most interesting. Similarly, redirect links can help measure the effectiveness of targeted e-mails.

AdvanceWork: Boost your site's prominence in Web search results
CURRENTS Article Search optimization tips

Tech Support: Is Your Web Site Media-Friendly?
CURRENTS Article Public relations staff should ensure that their media Web sites meet the needs of reporters and editors. The site should be easy to search and navigate and quick to download; content must be up to date, well organized, and simple to skim, with contact information integrated throughout.

Make Managing Your Web Site a Mission: Possible
CURRENTS Article Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to seize control of your Web site.

AdvanceWork: Is Anybody Out There?
CURRENTS Article Problem/Solution

Tech Support: Untangle Your Web
CURRENTS Article Good management, not clever design, is essential to an effective Web site. Nielsen, a corporate Web consultant, cites nine classic Web site management mistakes: 1) not knowing why the site exists; 2) designing the site to please only internal audiences; 3) structuring the site to match the structure of the organization; 4) lack of a consistent look throughout the site; 5) underbudgeting for site maintenance; 6) using content that is just a rehash of printed materials; 7) weak links; 8) relying on what users say they want rather than what they need; 9) underestimating the strategic impact of the Web.

Battle Cry of the Web Managers
CURRENTS Article Cornforth looks at how public relations directors take on the task of building a web team and managing their campus web site. Before pulling together a team, it is important to understand and be able to estimate the number of staff and the skills that will be needed, the appropriate hardware and software support, and the financial resources needed for training and equipment.

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