University of Bath

Curating the University section landing pages content

How to plan and manage content for use on the University's landing pages.

Find out who uses your landing page

The University landing pages help our users navigate their way through bath.ac.uk. They also help us to communicate what is important to the University.

To create a successful landing page, you will need to work out who your audience is. This will help you to decide on the purpose of your page.

Google Analytics will give you an indication of who your audience is. We recommend reading Google’s introductory guide to analytics before beginning.

Analytics will only provide you with a representative sample of user behaviour; for example, the age range may not be accurate; the computer they are using may be registered to someone else. However, the overall data of that sample should be consistent enough for you to use it as a base from which to develop your page.

Decide on the purpose of your page

After you've identified who your audience is, you should write two things:

  • user stories
  • your goal

Writing your user stories

We have created a guide to writing user stories for you to work from and refer back to.

Writing your goal

This should be a single sentence which clearly explains the purpose of your page and how you’ll meet audience needs.

If you have multiple audiences, you should limit the list to the three most important groups: this will stop you creating a landing page that tries to do too much.

Some example goals include:

Undergraduate landing page - 'Making the undergraduate application process easy'

Goal: to help prospective undergraduate students and their families through the process of applying.

Audience: prospective undergraduate students, their families, career advisers and teachers.

Professional Services landing page (Digital Marketing & Communications) - 'Services and advice that the Digital team can provide'

Goal: to help those requiring website assistance find the support that they need

Audience: key website stakeholders working at the University.

Student Services landing page - 'Support and advice available to students'

Goal: to help students find out more about the various services available to them while at University

Audience: all students at the University

Setting and reviewing user stories and goals is important. You'll use them to make editorial decisions on a day-to-day basis.

Developing an editorial calendar

To help you decide what content to feature of your landing page, we recommend that you developer an editorial calendar for your faculty or service.

The purpose of the editorial calendar is to help you to plan content for upcoming events and stories. It will also help you to prioritise your content creation and to identify the resources you’ll need to deliver a feature.

Editorial calendars come in a variety of formats, but should always detail the event/story and the channel/s on which the content will feature.

Contact the Digital team at web-support@bath.ac.uk if you need help in creating editorial calendar.

Using other channels

When you’re considering a new item for your landing page, think about whether this is the best place for the content or whether you should use another channel.

While a landing page might be a good location to feature a marketing message, a more effective method might be email marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) marketing with Google or using your social media channels.

For example, rather than using a landing page to promote a new course, a PPC campaign is more likely to reach your target audience and lead to a better conversion rate; when a user searches for the term related to the course, they see an advert appear in their search results.

If you use your landing page for this, you are relying on the user discovering the course by chance.

Deciding what to feature

When choosing what to feature, it is important consider the needs of your audience, the goal of the page, upcoming events and the purpose of the content in question.

The table below is a guide that the Digital team uses to help us to prioritise content on the homepage. You can use it as a template, or a guide, to help you curate the content of your own landing page.

Coverage Research Recruitment Student experience Sport
International Priority one Priority two Priority two Priority one
National Priority two Priority one Priority one Priority one
Regional Priority three Priority three Priority two Priority two
Local Priority four Priority three Priority three Priority two

University or special events

The University is a community, and this is something that we should promote in our messaging. Everyone at Bath shares a common experience, so it’s important that landing pages reflect the life of the University as well as its deeds.

Examples include:

  • Founders Day
  • the installation of the Chancellor
  • welcoming new students to campus in October

Celebrating our successes

The University has a great deal to be proud of. It is important we celebrate the successes of our staff and students.

Examples include:

  • league tables
  • awards
  • celebrating the success of our athletes
  • graduation

Well-known figures

International or national figures are likely to attract the attention of visitors. The people we choose to feature should reflect our aspirations as a University or encourage debate.

Examples include:

  • the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Lawson, talking about his views on the environment at an event on campus
  • Sainsbury’s Chief Executive, Justin King, meeting Bath alumni in London at a networking event
  • academic and writer, Ben Goldacre, talking about how the lack of transparency in drug trials impacts on prescribing practices

When to feature an item

Your Editorial calendar will help you decide the day to feature a particular story but you'll also need to work out the best time.

The easiest way to work this out is to review the analytics for your landing page. Learning about your audience's behaviour, and coordinating your activity accordingly, will help your features be seen by the largest number of individuals.

You should, however, consider the impact of other events. For example, during the Olympics, athletes often competed at weekends; as a result, stories were published to coincide with this.

Emergencies and features requiring immediate publication

An emergency on campus or significant event off-site can often lead to a sudden demand for news.

Deciding if this information should feature on a landing page and how it should be communicated is the responsibility of the Head of Communications, who will work with members of the Senior Management Team and those affected.

In the event of an emergency affecting your faculty or service, you should contact Corinne Evans.

When to change a feature

The final thing to consider is how often to change features. The most important thing to think about when considering this is how often your audience returns to your landing page. This will give you an indication of when they are expecting to see updated content.

Use the analytics and talk to subject matter experts to get an idea of these timeframes.

As a general rule, we recommend that all features should appear for more than 24 hours.

Helping contributors

We recommend publishing your goal and your editorial calendar on the your team’s University wiki page, so that it can be made available to all of your staff.

This will help your faculty or service understand what the landing page is for, what you’re trying to achieve and when. It will also help to set stakeholder expectations about the type of content you want to feature.

How to position features

Your landing page is part of a larger family of pages. It is important that your page helps visitors achieve their goals, but it should also reflect the University calendar and reinforce wider messaging.

To help the University successfully position itself against competitors, it needs to clearly communicate ideas about the quality of its teaching, its research environment and the experiences of its students.

Reinforcing a message should not result in a duplication of content. It is instead about the repetition of an idea.

So, an event about a researcher receiving an award could be positioned with a separate story about what that research was, with the third feature being our research rankings generally. This repeats the message of our research being of global significance without explicitly repeating the same content.