Content Style Guide: Plan, Manage, and Assess Content

One of the best ways to ensure that our website is user-friendly is to follow industry best practices, keep the content focused on key user tasks, and keep our content up-to-date at all times.

Plan New Content

Want more? Read Know Your Purpose Before You Start Writing by Dey Alexander via 4 Syllables.

Manage Content

Content must be reviewed if it will continue to be useful. Plan for periodic auditing, user testing, and determine targets for success measures. You should be thinking about some maintenance tasks at least once every month. For more heavily-used content, you may need to plan reviews weekly. Questions to ask in maintenance are:

  • Are all my links working? (In LibGuides, you can run the Link Checker under Tools > Link Checker. The UL Web Team also scans for broken links.)
  • How do I know my content is working as intended? What is "success" for this content? How do I measure that success?
  • If I am not meeting success metrics (like not enough page views, too high of a bounce rate, or low clicks on key resources) how will I change the content to improve? Should I conduct user testing?
  • Is the content I created still relevant? Does it need to be updated with new information, or should some content be removed? Is the entire guide relevant, or should it be retired?

The days of creating "nice to have" content are over - web content is expensive to create and maintain. What's more, having content our users find to be not useful will get them thinking that the entire University Library website is not useful - and that's something we want to avoid. Keep your content succinct and useful and up-to-date, and users will thank you.

 

Assessing Content

Content Audit

More coming soon...

Other Content Assessment Techniques

Retire Content

  • Is your content no longer relevant or necessary? The it is time to remove it from LibGuides.
  • If the outdated content is a link or box, you can simply delete it from your guide.
  • If the content is an entire guide, then download a backup by clicking the "gear" icon in edit mode and selecting HTML backup. Once you have saved the content to your computer, then you can delete the content. Please do not move unneeded guides to "Unpublished." LibGuides is not an archiving tool, and having many unpublished guides makes it harder for me to maintain the important guides we do have.

Your friendly Web Services Librarian

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Credits

Guide content originally created by Suzanne Chapman for the University of Illinois Libraries. Licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons By 4.0 license.

  • Last Updated: Jul 19, 2022 12:25 PM
  • URL: https://libguides.gvsu.edu/styleguide