Last year, I conducted a survey of 59 university websites looking for information concerning MSc/MA degrees in Management. It became very clear that Staffordshire University’s website is one of the worst in the sector. It is visually very unattractive, it is difficult to navigate, there is a relative lack of important information and some of the material is either out of date or incomplete. Given that the University website is the first point of contact that many potential (and existing) students have with the University, when is the top management team going to invest in addressing this critical deficiency?
We have had a couple of informal audits on our website and, as a whole, it compares in terms of speed and navigation with other Universities. The biggest area of concern is correct and impactful copy and content. Whilst every Faculty and Service has the ability to update their pages and despite an active network of web-authors across the university, it is clear further investment is needed. Marketing are currently looking at the processes and requirements to improve content and impact as well as there being a broader cross-university project to create distinct web/staff and student digital platforms.
Is any thought being given to search engine positioning on the internet in relation to the University? For example a search for “University Graduate Attributes” on Google places us somewhere beneath the first 14 pages of results with two of our local competitors appearing on the first page.
Search Engine Optimisation is something that needs to be rectified to drive more people to visit our site. At the moment, we have had a tendency to rely on natural search (relying on people searching on our name).
There will be a number of activities to improve this:
1. We have a tender in process for media buying and the stipulation for the agency we select will be for helping implement an effective SEO strategy.
2. As we evolve reputation campaigns we can ensure SEO is part of the activity.
3. Ensure in future development work on the website, we ensure the content strategy optimises search.
The new faculty structures came into being on 1 August – why did the university web site on 13 Aug still show the old structures? Surely it should have been prepared ready to reflect the new faculties at 9am on the 1st? http://www.staffs.ac.uk/faculties/
To update the Faculty changes across the website, printed materials and campus wayfinding, is a considerable project and will be rolled out over the coming months.
The website is the biggest project and will be relaunched in December – as there are thousands of page changes to be made.
In the short term a micro-site will outline the new faculty structure for both staff and students with relevant disclaimers highlighted on faculty pages. You can now visit the microsite to keep up to date with all campus changes: http://blogs.staffs.ac.uk/shapingthefuture/faculties/
Whenever I organise external visitors to the University, I am often asked to supply a postcode for their Satnavs, and on the main page for our directions this is not given.
Please can all the relevant postcodes be added, and I think it would also be great to have a link called “Campus postcodes for your Sat Nav” on the main first page before you go into each campus – thanks
Thank you for your suggestion. This is something that we have been considering for some time and Strategic Marketing are currently in the process of updating all of the campus maps on our website.
As a result of your question, they will also be adding postcodes for Sat Navs to this page once all of the updates have been made.