The Content Editor's Checklist
Where does my submitted content go?
When you write something for publication on the McCombs website, there is an editorial process in place to be sure it meets certain standards. Whether you’re an administrator updating a conferences page or a dean addressing your entire department, your content is submitted directly to the content editors on the Web Team. We want you to have an idea of what we look for when either approving your content for publication, or rejecting it. If you’ve ever had content rejected, you’ll notice we send along comments that alert you to the error. This guide will allow you to avoid that situation entirely, so that your content can be posted quickly, while maintaining the strict standards for publishing on the McCombs website.
How much does the Web Team fix?
The amount of editing we will perform on your content depends on how many fixes are needed. Although we expect all submissions to be proofread and checked for misspelling, we will fix most typos. If there are links in the headings, we will ask you to remove them yourself. We don’t have a lot of time to correct errors, but if you, say, capitalized something needlessly, and the rest of your page is on point, we’ll make certain small fixes. Please reference the UT Writer’s Style Guide for assistance with writing your content.
When will my new content be published on the website?
If you want your page to be published in the first round of the day (live by mid-day), submit by 10 a.m.
If you submit by 3:30 p.m. your new content should be live that evening.
Be prepared to wait an entire day for your content to go live. Submit as early as possible if you’re under specific time constraints.
- The amount of text under each heading should be appropriate for the average Web user. You do want to inform them in a helpful, comprehensive way, but large blocks of text will put off most users.
Try to write succinctly and format your various sections in a thoughtful way.
- Your content should be relevant to the topic, and not meander into other topics. You can always make another page dedicated to a new topic.
- Does all the content need to be on the same page? Sometimes, setting up tabs can break up the information nicely, and offer the user a less confusing overall experience.
(This is information that appears on the page, but not in the body text. It is usually in a box.)
- Is the heading relevant to the contents of the box? Is the content in the box relevant to the page as a whole?
- Is there too much text in the box? The purpose of the secondary content is to supplement the primary page content. You don’t want to load it up with dense information that could be organized in the primary content.
- Do all of the links navigate to the correct pages?
- Headings should be concise and contain useful keywords for several reasons.
- It's a non-negotiable rule!
- SEO (1): Google’s new ranking algorithm (Google Panda) rewards websites with quality keywords in the headings. Google’s keyword tool (which is very easy to use) can help you determine the perfect keyword(s) for your heading.
- SEO (2): Google’s new system also boosts your ranking based on how much time the user spends on your page. More Web traffic means better ranking, and a better shot at reaching long-term goals for your site. Keep people on your page!
- Aesthetics (the look and feel of your page): The purpose of a heading is to quickly and clearly define the content of that page. No one wants to read a long, convoluted heading before diving into the even longer text. Short headings make your page look sleek while conveying the fundamental message.
- Here are two examples of proper and improper headings.
Department of Accounting
The Accounting Program at UT is Really Cool and Here’s Why
(Images at the top of the page, sometimes with embedded text)
- You are not required to use a rotating header with several images. If you would like one static image, that is fine.
- However, if you do use a rotating header, be sure there are at least three images. Using two is a strange middle ground that doesn’t take full advantage of the tool.
- You may insert useful links into the rotating header. This can be a great tool for SEO, so we encourage its use.
- Your images should be relevant, interesting and aesthetically pleasing.
Images Within the Content
- Your images should be correctly sized. You cannot use the image resizing tool in Sitecore. Doing so will cause orphaned pixels and other imperfections that will make your page look poorly constructed. You must use an external image resizing tool, like Adobe Photoshop or www.pixlr.com. If you don’t, we can tell and will reject your page and make you do it all over again. Save yourself the trouble!
- Are all of your images necessary? A glut of images can make a page look cluttered. Be certain that each image has specific utility: that it relates to the text and augments the look of the page.
- Check to make sure all your links are working and lead to the intended page. If they don’t, your page will be rejected and we’ll ask you to fix them.
- Be certain that the anchor text for your link is concise.
RIGHT: If you aspire to a career as an accounting educator or researcher, a doctoral degree from
The University of Texas Department of Accounting will afford you the foundation for success.
WRONG: If you aspire to a career as an accounting educator or researcher,
a doctoral degree from The University of Texas Department of Accounting will afford you the foundation for
- Make sure you choose the natural flow of your writing for anchor texts. Do not insert links using anchor text like “click here.”
RIGHT: If you are interested in a teaching assistant (TA) position in the Department of Accounting please
complete our application.
WRONG: If you are interested in a teaching assistant (TA) position in the Department of Accounting please
click here to fill out the application.
- Avoid lists of links with no content AT ALL COSTS. It is bad for a variety of reasons.
— It looks terrible and spammy.
— It offers very little utility for the user. Why would a user navigate to a page when they know almost nothing about it? Add at least one sentence to offer a reason to click the link.
— It negatively affects your search engine ranking, which slows down traffic to your site. Google's Web crawlers will penalize a page for having a low content-to-link ratio.
- Tab titles (the text on the actual tab that you click on to navigate) are considered H2s, so the first heading within a tab should start with H3.
- Keep the tab headings short! Remember, the tabs will be small, like the label on a file folder. The whole purpose of tabs is to keep things easier to navigate. You want one- or two-word headings.
- Keep the headings and subheadings appropriate for the content of the page.
- Check to see if your content can be broken into more tabs to avoid large blocks of text. For SEO purposes, we want the user to stay on your page, not navigate to somewhere else. Building a page to keep the user there is one of the best ways to accomplish your goals with the page, including broadening your audience.
- Avoid lists of links as much as possible! Imagine if you navigated to a page on the Web that was mostly links to other places. It would be confusing, unhelpful, and most of all, ugly (spam sites often look like this). Try integrating your links into relevant content, instead.
Use of Space
- Utilize the tab feature to the fullest! Condense your content so that each tab is concise and clear. There is a way to explain things thoroughly and succinctly. If you need a LOT of space, you probably need another tab.
- How about the rest of your page? Is the content so short that it doesn’t really require its own page at all? Try integrating it somewhere else. It will likely fit well with content elsewhere on the site.
- Make sure your tables are formatted correctly. They should be aligned and centered, and there should be no additional spaces between letters. There is a convenient editing tool within the table wizard that can help you with centering.
- Tables are not meant for images or large blocks of text. They are best for tabular data (like names and contact information), schedules (conferences, events, student activities, etc.), archive lists, and the like. Too much bulky content in a table makes it look clunky and irritates the user. Remember: the goal is the keep them engaged.
Usage and Style
- The official style guide of the McCombs School of Business website is The Associated Press (AP) Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law. If you are not familiar with the standards therein, we recommend buying a copy.
- For help with writing style, feel free to reference the very helpful and comprehensive UT Writer’s Style Guide.
- For your convenience, we have written/compiled an abridged version of the AP Stylebook that is McCombs-specific. In the McCombs Supplemental Style Guide, you will be learn the AP Style rules for many words and phrases commonly used on the McCombs website. You will also learn punctuation guidelines that aren't touched on in the master style guide.
- Is the language simple and clear? Remember: you don’t need to sound like the smartest person in the world. It is far more important to communicate your ideas clearly.
- Always spell-check your work. Sitecore has a handy spell-checker in the text editor. Use it! The Web Team corrects spelling errors when we proof your content, but more than a few will send us straight for the “reject” button, which means you have to do it all over again anyway.