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