This blog is to keep our campus partners up to date with new features and advancements within Marketing as well as to share marketing performance. We welcome your feedback and your questions.
What’s Marketing up to?
In an effort to better serve the UMassD campus community, University Marketing has launched a redesign of their website.
- improved visual interface
- reorganization of our guides and self service offerings
University Marketing will continue to evaluate and roll-out improvements based on your feedback. Some items we are actively working on or will be in the months ahead:
- improvement and simplification of intake process
- redesigning brand guidelines into a user-friendly web experience
Admissions Viewbook can be viewed here! This years viewbook features a die-cut cover of our architecture and a fold-out back cover of the campus map. Inside you’ll find dedicated college pages, housing & dining highlights, steps to apply, and more.
College of Nursing & Health Sciences Passport to Success calendar
Worked with CNHS and graphic designer Liana Depillo to create this Passport to Success calendar for parents and families that helps them support their first-year nursing students. A great tool to help improve retention in any college or program!
New UMass Law videos
We’re going live with some freshly minted UMass Law promotional videos. Find 60 seconds in your busy day to sit back and enjoy this one!
Web content styling
Did you know that our web team has formatted the UMass Dartmouth website for the best user experience possible? In addition to readability and visual aesthetic, the web team considers those with accessibility issues when designing all aspects of the website. This allows you, our content contributors, to focus on gathering and posting great content for your readers!
A few tips when entering in content for your site visitors:
- Do not use extra returns for additional spacing between lines and/or paragraphs. Th website typography is coded for consistent spacing to ensure optimal legibility and consistency across all university pages.
- Please limit the use of italics to names of books, films, journals, etc., as too many italicized words can often be difficult to read.
- Separate content through the use of headings. This is more accessible and more search-engine friendly, which helps more visitors finds your site!
When adding images, please use the Blue “Select Media” button, rather than inserting it into the html editor. Selecting images through the Media library in this manner allows the images on the University’s site to be responsive, no matter what size screen our viewer uses (where inserting from the html editor can cause formatting issues).
Additionally, please try to refrain from using images-as-text to convey information. For our users that need screen-readers, these images aren’t accessible, and these users will not be able to receive that information. To read more on that subject, you can go to our guide on Images Best Practices and see the “text-as-image” accordion .
For additional UMassD formatting tips and resources, you can refer to the University Marketing’s Guide to Web Writing, and our T4 User Guide, specifically our Editing & Saving Content section.
University and College Fact Sheets
University Marketing has recently published fact sheets for the university and our colleges, consisting of rankings, demographics, outcomes, opportunities, and more. View them at the University Marketing webpage.
Top news and feature stories in August
Communications’ top three most-read news stories for the month of August were:
- Bhargavi Govardhanam ’23 designs app for diabetes research
- Everything you need to know for the fall semester 2022
- COE skills capital grant award
Three most-read feature stories in August were:
University Marketing has teamed up with the Claire T. Carney Library Systems and Digital Services to port over a few of their microsites onto the University CRM: Terminalfour.
Top Feature Stories in July
Communications’ five most-read feature stories in July were:
- Stephanie Chenard ’19, ’20, ’22 (CAS)
- Jack Sullivan ’23 (ENG)
- Sean O’Dwyer ’22 (Veteran, LAW)
- Salvador Balkus ’22 (ENG+CAS)
- Elio Daher ’21 (ENG)
Top News Stories for June
Communications’ five most-read news stories in June were:
Alumni homepage redesign for 2022
University Marketing in coordination with University Advancement launch a redesign for the UMass Dartmouth Alumni homepage.
New Branded Virtual Backgrounds
Visit the the recently updated Branded Virtual Backgrounds page to download a UMassD background for your next virtual meeting.
Law Commencement Recap
Here’s a recap of our Class of 2022 UMass Law Commencement coverage.
UMass Law Commencement News article
Commencement Profile: Katelyn Fisher, JD ’22
The Importance of Link Checking Your Website
If you are using Terminalfour (T4), there is a good chance you are developing or maintaining content for a page or set of pages for the university’s site. The goal is typically to keep your readers on your site for as long as possible; maybe you have a conversion goal, such as having your visitors make a deposit, to enroll into an event, or apply to a program. While creating your content, hyperlinks guide your visitors to additional references and information to supplement their reading – but what happens when these links break? Some of even the biggest sites have broken links – the average number of broken links on any given site is 2.4% – but given their negative implications, we want to try to minimize them as much as possible.
What is a broken link?
A broken link is hyperlink that, when clicked, brings the visitor to an empty or non-existent webpage, resulting in a 404 error message. Here at UMass Dartmouth, we use a form of internal linking called section links to help prevent broken links between pages with the UMass Dartmouth site. We have less control over links to external sites that are owned by other individuals or organizations.
What’s the problem with broken links?
There are several issues with how broken links can affect your site, some more serious than others.
- Broken links can affect your site’s SEO – or Search Engine Optimization. SEO is how well a site performs in a search engine result. Search engines like Google will rank your site poorly if you have many broken links, along with many other factors. In other words, people can’t find you!
- Reduces your site’s credibility and can look unprofessional
- They can impact conversions – if the user can’t access the link, they can’t complete your goal.
- People are less trusting of sites seem like they have been abandoned
- It’s just plain annoying to click a link that goes nowhere!
Why do broken links happen?
- the source URL was entered into the content management system (CMS) incorrectly
- the source URL was changed or moved
- the source page or picture was deleted
- the content is now protected and can’t be accessed
**Although not technically a “broken” link, domain name changes are still a common occurrence, and as a result, external links should be checked frequently. Domain names are often sold and the link that you once thought was going to one place could now link to completely different content.
What can I do?
- Use section links whenever linking to internal pages within UMass Dartmouth’s site
- properly link to the media library using the Insert from media icon for PDFS
- properly insert images using the blue “Select media” button
- only link to external sources when they are credible or absolutely necessary
- check for broken links – either manually, if you have a small site with a few links, or using the Broken Link checker in T4
- Navigate to the Main Menu in T4 on the left hand side
- Go to Measure > Quality Control> Broken Links
- Search for the site/page(s) you’d like to check for broken links
Top feature stories April and May
Communications’ top five feature stories over April and May were:
Student Life page redesign
University Marketing launches a redesign of the Student Life landing page.
ASD Slate Comms Success
The marketing efforts from our digital comms in SLATE saw great and very measurable success during this yield season. Most especially from the promotion of this year’s 3 live in person ASD events.
Our comm plan developed and written by enrollment marketing specialist Marissa Matton and executed by Timothy Murphy and Lindsey Costa saw 26 delivery(email) comms and 11 SMS (text messages) send out to our prospective attendees. The primary goal was to promote high registration and ultimately attendance numbers for the February 19th, March 20th, and April 23rd Admitted Students Days.
Shown below are charts displaying the 48hr bumps in registrants for each of the 3 live and in-person Admitted Students Days. Each bump directly correlates with
- Our initial promotion communications
- Our week before communications
- Our last minute days prior communications
Communications Specialists have been concentrating student stories on “Commencement Spotlights” – highlighting soon-to-be graduates across all our colleges in a Q and A format so they can authentically summarize their experience at UMassD.
Improved Online Directory Search
In an ever-persistent effort to enhance the website experience for the end user, similar changes that had applied to the Program and Course searches have also now been applied to the Online Directory as well.
Previously, one’s only options were to search by a name or department and click the corresponding “Search” button. Now, users are provided a field where they can enter data, or they can select from a number of filters. Either choice will return results below immediately. The improved search function and additional filters is providing higher volume of expected results.
Top Feature Stories for Feb. and March
Communications’ top five feature stories for February and March were:
- Marcus Azor ’22 (CCB + Men’s Basketball)
- Edward Lundy ’22 (CCB + Men’s Track and Field)
- Abigail Keith ’20 (ENG)
- Alexa Van Voorhis ’22 (ENG)
- Efe Oboh-Idahosa ‘23 (Honors / CAS)