Maintaining a website content plan is an important activity. MSU websites that have accurate, timely, and engaging content enable visitors to understand and form a positive opinion of the university's academic programs, services, research innovations, faculty, staff, and more.
In addition, keeping website content up to date can boost user experience and search engine optimization.
10.1 Website Content Audits
When preparing to redesign a website or integrate new features or functionality:
- Familiarize yourself with what your website currently includes by reviewing pages, sections, images, photographs, and multimedia.
- Check for broken links (outbound links to other websites often change).
- Review content performance by analyzing server logs and web analytics.
- Identify content that is out of date, under performing, or low quality (e.g., images with visible compression artifacts, video unavailable in an HD format).
- Update or archive content that does not meet standards for content performance, quality, and accessibility.
- Conduct a fit/gap analysis of what content or materials you will need to meet your new website goals.
- Consider how your team will add and review new content over time.
10.2 Create a Content Plan
After you complete an audit, develop a content plan to ensure that website content remains up to date.
Your plan should include details about what new content will be added over time, who will produce it, required elements (e.g. a headline, 250 words, photographs, and contact information), and search engine optimization tags and headings (see Standards For Social Media and Meta Tags in Section 9).
Be sure to be realistic with your content plan in order to make the most of your budget and resources so that the plan will be sustainable long term.
10.3 Best Practices
- Tailor your content plan to fit your goals and resources.
- Boost visitor engagement by publishing fresh content at regular intervals.
- Improve website search engine optimization by publishing content over time versus all at once.
- Prevent your website from appearing dated by publishing new content at least once per month.