Program Pages 101

The degree program pages are the bread, butter, meat and dairy of the GeorgiaSouthern.edu website. They are, essentially, the products we’re selling to the world. In the same way that a product page attempts to sell items on a website like amazon.com, the degree program pages are selling to prospective students and parents, and Marketing & Communications can help.

A degree program page has two audiences with a shared motive: prospective students (both Grad and Undergrad) and parents. Both audiences want to know the answer to one very specific question:

Why should I pursue this degree at Georgia Southern?

The job of your degree program page is to tell them exactly that.

Required Content

  1. The Body

To have an effective program page, there are a few essential content items required. The following items are crucial to a successful program page:

  1. Program Overview: The degree overview should be a brief explanation of the degree itself. What will you study? What kind of skills and expertise will you gain with this degree? Use bullet lists or callouts where possible.
  2. What Can I Do With This Degree?: In a brief paragraph, talk about what careers a program graduate can get with this degree. Prospects and parents today are especially focused on results, and you need to explain their options. You might also include a bullet list or callout graphics that lead to a testimonial from or story about an alum. Marketing has access to several testimonials and stories about students and alumni. Contact us for more information.
  3. Why Georgia Southern?: This question is the most important question you will answer on your program page. It’s the section where you sell your program outright. The user needs to know everything special or unique about studying at Georgia Southern.
    Here are a few questions you should answer in this section:
  1. What kind of hands-on learning will they experience?
  2. Are there internships or research projects available?
  3. Are there facilities or equipment at Georgia Southern that separate it from other schools?
  4. What about our “large-scale, small feel” environment? Can students enjoy greater access to their professors?

  1. The Headline

Search Engines weigh the H1 headline heavily when determining page rank. If your degree page headline says “Welcome” or simply states the acrostic for your degree*, you are missing out on an important keyword for your page, namely, the full name of the degree itself.

For the degree program page, the headline should always be the name of the degree. This will not only ensure that your users will fully understand where they are on the website, but will also help your page ranking.

*Some degree acrostics are widely known, such as, “MBA,” an exception to the rule.


Additional Content, Considerations

  1. The Audience

Because users don’t read, they scan, you’ll want to keep your body copy brief, grouped by ideas, using subheadings and bullet points where possible. When crafting this copy, make sure you’re keeping the needs of your audience in mind.

  1. Voice and Tone

Instead of writing for an academic setting, as you would a research paper, write conversationally. Your voice and tone should be professional, but down-to-earth, using plain, human language that doesn’t drift into jargon or verbosity.

Don’t do this (not from Georgia Southern)

Do this!

The [name of office] can help you reach your educational goals by providing financial resources to do so. Our goal is to meet individual needs in a timely, efficient, and equitable manner by providing students with exceptional service and up to date information.

The [name of office] is here to help you pay for your college education. Our goal is to serve you with respect, on-time and hassle-free, keeping you up to date with the resources available to you.

  1. Additional Body Content

In order to make your body content even more helpful to students, you’ll want to include links and copy that provide additional information or first-hand accounts concerning your degree. This copy should compliment or further expound upon your content.

Here are a few examples of this additional content:

Contact Marketing & Communications if you need further help with additional body content creation.

  1. The Sidebar/Content Blocks

Because sidebar widgets are repeated site-wide, crafting specific sidebars for your program pages isn’t always possible. However, the inline content blocks can serve as sidebar content submenus to lead your user further into your degree program. Consider linking to some of the following information in a content block:

  1. The Secret Sauce

Text and photos are the foundation of most websites, but multimedia can often be the “secret sauce” that keeps a user glued to your page. Infographics, videos, callout boxes and the like can interrupt your page with quick, attention-grabbing information that leads the user down the page. If you don’t have access to any of the suggestions below, contact Marketing & Communications, who can help you craft your content.

Consider using some of the following in your pages:

Use your imagination, and keep your audience in mind!