By anfisher - June 19, 2017

Here are a few best practices to keep in mind when creating and maintaining your written web content. Use these tips as a guide to quickly and clearly give your audience the information they need.  

In upcoming blog posts, we’ll cover guidelines for images, videos, links, headings and other content elements. We’ll also explore various storytelling tips and options using the new Look 17 components. Comment below if there is a specific content element you would like us to cover.

DO:

  • Have a clear purpose. Keep your objectives and key messages top of mind to help focus your content.
  • Make sure the content meets the needs of your audience. Think about:
    • What does my audience want? Are they curious to learn more? Are they seeking  specific information? Or are they ready to take action? (i.e. apply)
    • What benefits and value does this content offer my audience?
    • How can this content improve the user experience? 
  • Keep critical information at the top of the page.
  • Use clear, simple language. Aim for a 6-8th grade reading level for broad audiences.  A higher reading level may be appropriate for specialized audiences.
    • Current language: The preamble to diversity is holding the foundational perception that we are all the SAME—all are human and all deserve the rights and respect and love that goes with it.
    • New language: Diversity begins with the foundation that we are all the same. We all deserve the same rights, respect and love that go with it.
  • Create content that is inviting, informative and engaging. Encourage users to take the next step.
    • Example: Working for LLU Medical Center – Murrieta is more than a job, it’s a calling. We seek professionals who excel in their fields and have a heart for patient-centered care.  
  • Organize your content so it’s easy to scan.
    • Use bullet points or subheadings to break up copy.
    • Eliminate unnecessary words. 
    • Use photos or illustrations to explain or clarify specific concepts.

DON’T:

  • Use jargon or complicated language.
    • Current language: PIs are responsible for ensuring that use of radiation sources complies with federal, state, and institutional standards.
    • New language: Principal investigators (PIs) must ensure the use of radiation complies with federal, state and institutional standards.
  • Obscure important facts with promotional language.
    • Current language: At Loma Linda University Cancer Center, one of our goals is to continue to find new and innovative options for cancer treatment. By using the most effective technology, conducting research and providing numerous support services, we provide comprehensive, individualized care when treating cancer.
    • New language: Our Cancer Center uses the latest technology, research and support services to provide complete and personalized care for our patients. 
  • Use passive language.
    • Current language: The property where Loma Linda now stands was first developed as a plush Mound City Hotel during the 1887-1888 boom days.
    • New language: Loma Linda University Health’s current property was originally developed as a plush Mound City Hotel during 1887-1888.
  • Be too wordy.
    • Current language: Once you register for a trip, each team member can easily create a fundraiser for the trip that goes towards their trip costs and allows students to raise awareness about the SIMS projects they are supporting by creating a personal online fundraising page.
    • New language: After registering for a trip, you can create a personal online fundraising page to help with costs and raise awareness for your SIMS project.

We hope you find these tips helpful when developing and maintaining your content. Comment below on more topics you would like see or share what you’re doing to help optimize your content.

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