UHD Web Content Guidelines
- Page content should be relevant, engaging and clear in the messaging or the call to action for the intended audience.
- Use the active voice when writing content. Speak directly to your audience.
Adhere to Graphic Standards
- All websites for colleges, divisions, departments, centers and institutes that are funded by the University should adhere to the UHD Graphic Standards. For more on these guidelines, please review the UHD Graphic Standards.
- Readability is important to the user experience. Users will scan web pages for a few seconds, looking for key words in headlines and in the first paragraphs before clicking away. One question to keep in mind when creating a page is: How easily can the user understand the written text?
- Another aspect to readability is also related to how you develop the content on your page. A page that has a graphic of text versus coded text may not appear differently to the user, but screen readers (for the visually-impaired) and search engines will view the page differently. To meet ADA compliance standards and for search engine optimization (SEO), any text that is important to the user should be hard-coded and not embedded into an image. Learn more about web accessibility resources and UHD accessibility standards.
- Improve the readability or scan-ability of your pages and users will be more likely to click through to other pages within your site and not exit from the landing page. We will cover several ways to improve your website readability.
- The text on your page should be text, not an image of text. When text is not hard coded as HTML, the user and search engines cannot search the page for text and the page text may not size correctly on a mobile device. Exceptions can be small graphic elements, such as buttons or icons.
- Note, having content in a page that is not accessible to users with disabilities hurts the UHD website overall. As a state agency, we are required to make our website accessible to ALL users including those who are visually impaired.
- For more information, please read the UHD web accessibility standards and Accessibility Resources.
- The most important information should be higher up on the page and demoting as you move down the page.
- Include introductory copy that summarizes what the page is about and orients the user to the purpose of the page.
- The content should be broken up with headings making the page easy to scan.
- Hyperlinks and Calls to Action (CTAs) should be succinctly and clearly marked. Use clear language identifying where the hyperlink is going or what you want the person to do. Instead of “click here” you can use “Read more.” Or hyperlink the exact phrase that relates to the link.
- Use concise words as the hyperlink text.
- Do not use ‘click here’ or ‘for more information’ as it relies on a visual point of reference which is not accessible to users with disabilities. A better method is to link a phrase that incorporates contextual information, i.e. ‘for more human resource benefit information’. Contextual hyperlinks help users visiting your site with 'screen reading technologies' and helps search engines crawling your site.
- Do link to deeply nested content or to related topical information to help with SEO.
- The Title Tag defines the title of the web page. Title tags are used on search engine results pages and are important for both SEO and social sharing. Titles should not be too long as only the first 60 characters are displayed in search results. The most important keywords should appear at the beginning if the title is long. Page titles should be unique for each page on the UHD website. For example, a department page should not be called Home; rather University Relations Home Page to distinguish it from the main UHD home page.
- The Meta Description should include a concise description of the web page that a searcher will want to click. Keywords should be used intelligently within the description but do not factor into Google’s ranking algorithms for web search. The description is displayed on search engine result pages to display a preview for the page. The description should optimally be between 150-160 characters.
- The Meta Keyword tag should not be used as it is no longer is a factor in the Google search algorithm.
UHD offers two methods of analytics for your website, Google Analytics and Siteimprove. If you need assistance with obtaining access, training, or have questions, please contact Laura Waits, waitsL@uhd.edu