How to Find the Most Important Pages on Your Website

If you attended our Planning and Writing Web Content training you’ll recall we cover the topic of core pages during the day. These are the most important pages on your website.

We know that more than a few people struggled to identify these core pages on their own sites. Especially once they’d left the cosy confines of our training sessions, with one of our content officers on hand to help out…

It’s not an easy concept to master as many of our websites are split into sections that could arguably all be seen as important. But here’s a method you can easily follow:

Start with a purpose

Traditionally, websites were created at the University because there was a service, a school, institute, centre or whatever. Sites existed simply because they could – so they often didn’t start with a well-defined purpose.

No one stopped to ask ‘what are we trying to achieve with this website?’

The downside to this is if websites don’t have a defined purpose, then they can literally host ANYTHING. Sorry for shouting, but it’s true. Thousands of pages of unrelated content, hundreds of pictures, videos, power point presentations, blah blah blah – you name it, we’ve seen it.

It’s better to focus on your audience’s wants and needs.

So we have a specific undergraduate website, rather than a Marketing and Student Recruitment site with undergraduate content.

Create your site purpose

  1. List your website users/audiences. For example potential staff, media, international students, researchers.
  2. List the tasks your users come to your website to do. For example contact staff, apply for a course, check event times.
  3. Think about the business goals your website is supporting. For example, recruit staff, encourage collaboration, share news, advertise courses.

These lists are your new BFF and invaluable, they’ll form the basis of your site purpose statement.

Identifying your core pages

The next step is to identify those core pages that will support your site purpose.

Start with your list of user tasks and your list of business goals. Your core pages are those where these two elements meet – where your user can complete a task and you can convey your message.

For example, on a school site users often want to contact staff. One of our University-wide business goals is to enable collaboration, so our staff profile pages are core pages.

Another core page example would be a page about a CPD (or any) course. Users want to know what, where, when and the cost – we want them to apply, contact us, sign up – our business goals.

This exercise combined with data from analytics to show your most visited pages can help you identify your core pages quite easily.

Now you know…get going!

Set aside a few moments to make those lists, and use them to identify your core pages.

We can even help you plan content for these VIP pages. Download a core page template from our website. It’s straightforward and quickly helps you focus on what should/shouldn’t be there.

You can even use your core pages to prioritise what work to tackle next on your website.

Let your core pages help you decide what’s important and what’s not.

Once you know who you’re creating your website content for, and understand what they want to do/know – focus effort on these core pages and by default, you’ll create a better website.

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How to Use the Core Model to Improve Your Web Content

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We’ve Gone Mobile

We’ve come to the end of our long running and very successful University-wide change Programme, Go Mobile.

Over the duration of the programme, we created a total of 138 websites in the T4 content management system. We trained countless numbers of new editors in planning and writing web content, using video and imagery and technical skills in T4. We deleted literally thousands of pages of content that were old or redundant. Each site is now smaller, easier to manage and better focused on providing answers to its users.

I’m sure you can imagine that reaching this milestone has been cause for much celebration.

Yay!

Celebrating success

The next task for the project team is to calculate all the figures and benchmark the improvements. We’ll use this to produce a report which outlines the scale and nature of the benefits achieved by the programme.

The Go Mobile programme has been a very complex and multi-layered project to work on which has made it a great challenge for all of us. We’ve been using Agile project management methodology to make sure we stay on track and deliver a new batch of sites every five weeks. This has been a new way of working and has been a big part of our success. The model allows people to collaborate closely but also to respond quickly to changes and anticipate problems early.

The programme finished on Friday 10 March 2017, bang on schedule, with the last batch of sites going live. It’s fair to say that we’re all shattered but delighted to have reached such a significant milestone and to have achieved everything we set out to.

On the blog over the next couple of months, we’ll be highlighting some areas where we’ve made improvements to the University’s web presence, including:

  • content design
  • information architecture
  • readability
  • responsive design

We’ll use examples from across the sites to demonstrate what has changed. We’ll also look at how we’ve worked with our community of web editors to develop their skills and understanding of web publishing.

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Go Mobile Batch 10

It’s the end of the road. This morning the last batch of sites in the Go Mobile programme went live. They are:

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Go Mobile Batches 8 and 9

We’re in the final straight and the end of the Go Mobile project is in sight. We completed all of the large central and school sites last year. Since Christmas, we’ve been working on larger batches of institute and centre sites. Working in short, four-week cycles we’ve completed two batches so far this year.

Batch eight (27 january)

Batch nine (17 february)

Now there’s just one batch and eleven sites to go.

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Go Mobile Batch 7 Update

Take a deep breath and wait for it…

We’ve made 20 new Go Mobile sites live today. This is our biggest batch in the programme to date.

The sites include:

Plus nine clinical research sites:

And we’ve also migrated content for the Procurement Service into the new Services for Business website and moved the website for the Centre for Physical Recreation and Sport over to a new URL.

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