Tips for Effective Websites on

Know Your Audience

You are not your audience. Find out what your audience wants and then structure your site to make it easy for them to find it and take action. Use their language, their terminology, and consider their needs. Keep in mind that your site could serve multiple audiences and you may need to break out content accordingly.

Make Your Site Scannable

People don't read websites, they scan. The average visit on the UND website is just over three minutes. Make it easy for people to find what they need and leave by following these tips:

  • Use the inverted pyramid to structure your page. Start with the most important information in the first sentence and paragraph.
  • Use subheads, bullets, lists to break out long paragraphs of content.
  • Be succinct. Keep it short. Eliminate unnecessary words.
  • Only provide what they want. Get rid of clutter.

Remember Search

Most users are coming to your site via search engine. However, search engines can only find what you make available to them. Use these tips to optimize your pages.

  • Create unique page titles that include the most important details.
  • Use strong page descriptions, which appear on search engines. Well-written page descriptions can make the difference in your page getting clicked or missed.
  • Anticipate keywords. Weave important words and phrases your audience may search for into your keywords, page description and body copy.

Link Active Phrases, Not Single Words

The reason: Readers can spot phrases more quickly and easily than a single word

  • WRONG WAY: "Click here for a list of programs at the university."
  • RIGHT WAY: "We offer more the 30 degree programs at the university."

However, guard against irrelevant hyperlinking. Be sure to check the content of the linked page to ensure it's relevant to your audience.

Avoid Web Clichés

This includes:

  • Welcome to our site ...
  • Click here
  • On this page you will find ...

Avoid telling users where they are or what to do. They've used the Internet before. They get it.

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Article ID: 75147
Fri 4/5/19 10:58 AM
Tue 3/31/20 12:50 PM