Saint Joseph's University strives to share engaging and easy to understand digital content that meets the needs of its audiences.
Here are some best practices that content creators can follow to accomplish these goals:
- Write in a voice and tone that reflects Saint Joseph’s University.
- Follow editorial guidelines used for written content.
- Follow SJU’s brand guidelines which includes approved colors, fonts and references to University buildings, figures and academic offerings.
- Quick Color Reference:
SJU Red: #9e1b32;
SJU Gray: #6c6f70
- Quick Color Reference:
- Work within the templates or page guidelines set by web services.
- When working in WordPress, utilize all template aspects provided — like categories for posts, page titles, tags, and images when possible.
- Keep navigation consistent throughout the site. Users should always be able to return easily to your homepage and to other major navigation points in the site.
- Divide your information into clearly defined sections.
- Use logical naming conventions for page headers (H1, H2, H3, etc.), menu labels and web addresses. Always use proper semantic markup for your web content.
- Reference the web governance policy for other guidelines around the consistent display of headers, links, sections, etc.
- Use the category and tag features to help your post become more searchable.
- Write in plain language. In WordPress, take note of the readability score and suggestions offered — the goal is for all web content to be easily consumed by users.
Saint Joseph’s University is committed to providing equal access to information, programs, and activities by making our web pages accessible to everyone.
- Stick to the clean, consistent design templates provided by web services, which will make it easier for users to navigate and consume content as they switch between pages
- Ensure that all images, graphs and non-text items include "ALT" text so that non-visual users with screen reader software will have some indication of the presence and nature of your visual content.
- Use in-content text for links. Avoid "click here."
- Caption videos to benefit people who are deaf or hearing-impaired
- Keep each page’s content focused — ask yourself, What’s the purpose of this page? Stay close to the main topic so that each page has a clear and unique purpose.
- If appropriate, include a good page description. The page description is what shows up on google when search results include your page.
- Use keywords — when writing, think about the words and phrases that summarize the purpose of your page. Use these keywords in a few places on the page — like in headers, content and links — but do not saturate the page in them or force them into context that doesn’t make sense.
- Again, use categories and tags to identify your post.
- Above all, create good written content that engages the reader. Good content = optimized content.
Glossary of terms:
Accessibility: Relates to web design/coding standards and refers to how easy it is for everyone to use your website, including for people who are visually impaired, physically handicapped, limited by a learning disability or even using an older computer.
Alt text or “alternative text”: This is content that should be provided for every image or piece of multimedia included on a website. When you upload a photo or video, you will see a place to fill in “alt text.” This can a short, simple description of what the image or media conveys.
Categories: In WordPress, and other content management systems, categories are used to organize posts and help the audience understand what the content is providing. All posts should be categorized, as it helps them show up in searches.
CMS: "Content Management System" - a dynamic website that is normally database driven and which enables the owner/user to manage the content of their own website (make changes) without needing to know any coding at all.
Header: A title that separates sections of content on the website and indicates to the audience the purpose of each section. On websites, headers follow a hierarchy (H1, H2, H3) to help the audience navigate what information is most important or in what order they should consume the information.
Keywords: Particular words or phrases that describes the contents of a Web page. Keywords are intended to act as shortcuts that sum up an entire page. They form part of a Web page’s metadata and help search engines match a page to with an appropriate search query.
Meta data: This is the data contained in the header that offers information about the web page that a visitor is currently on.
Meta tag: Included in the head section of an html web page and is visible to search engines but not human visitors. Meta tags provide information about a web page, like the topic (title), keywords, description and also instructions to search engine robots and visitor browsers.
Post: A piece of writing, image, or other item of content published online, typically on a blog, social media account or website feed.
Page title: The title of the page, which should indicate what the audience can expect to find there, and should be unique to each page.
SEO: Stands for "Search Engine Optimisation" and very simply refers to the practice of tweaking website coding and content to achieve the highest possible search engine ranking. SEO practitioners are people who specialise in this (or claim to).
SEM: “Search engine marketing” is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) primarily through paid advertising
Tags: tags indicate topics that are dealt with in a piece of content or within a post. Where categories should be thought of as the genre or type of content that a post contains, tags are more specific, related to what that individual piece of content conveys. Tags can help a piece of content show up in a search result.