Before you log on to add new content to your page, please make sure the content doesn’t already exist somewhere else on the site. If it does, consider providing some context on your page and then linking to the existing content. If it doesn’t already live on the site, you’re ready to continue.

Organize Your Copy

Make sure you have organized, reviewed, and proofed your copy. Refer to Headlines and Paragraphs for tips. Use the Middlebury Editorial Style Guide for usage rules. 

If the information has a designated life cycle, be sure to create a reminder for yourself to update or delete it when necessary. 

Know Your Audience

Remember that the majority of people who are using the website are hunters, not readers. They are usually looking for something specific, and typically spend 10-20 seconds on a page. If you want to keep them for longer, make it as easy as possible to find what they want.

Know Your Goal

For most of us, the obvious goal is to get the right information to the right people at the right time. If your goal is more complex or multidimensional than that, consider separating the content into multiple pages. 

Write Like You Speak

Web copy should be friendly and conversational—we are sharing information about Middlebury rather than presenting a paper. Write like you’re speaking to a person, not a crowd. We encourage people to use “you” wherever appropriate.  

Tips to Remember

  • Be clear and direct, not clever.
  • Use short sentences and straightforward words (i.e. Use not Utilize)
  • Use headlines to separate information for easy page-scanning.  
  • If you want them to do something (Apply, Sign Up, Answer, etc.) make the call to action (CTA) easy and obvious.
  • Use images and videos to support your goal—not just to pretty up the page.
  • Avoid dead ends—provide links to other pages or inquiry options in case they did not find what they wanted on this page.
  • Test and refine—if something isn’t working, revise it and try again. 

Other Topics of Interest

Middlebury Editorial Style Guide

Headlines and Paragraphs

Page Titles, Blurbs, and Meta Descriptions

SEO 101

Using Links in Content

Web Accessibility