University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
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UB Web Management

Transforming UB’s digital communications through process and tools

Site Optimization

University Communications will work directly with the Site Manager or Unit Web Leader to arrive at the best solutions for site optimization. The ultimate goal is to help you to ensure your site is well-positioned to effectively reach your goals.

For a small and non-complicated site that is well-written and structured, this process will take a minimum of one week.  For larger and more complicated sites, this process may take a few weeks.

Pre-Launch Review and Optimization By Service Level

The extent to which UC will review and optimize your site varies by the level of service, and will be scheduled and prioritized against our work queue.

FULL SERVICE

University Communications will:

  • Evaluate overall user experience (UX). Does the site make sense? Can a user get around predictably? Does it meet user expectations? Do you get lost or do you know where you are in the site?
  • Make sure redirects and vanity URLs are in place.
  • Find out if any pages need password protected (authenticated) pages.
  • Check for duplicative content and see if it makes sense as shared content. Shared content can be the responsibility of UC or the site owner.
  • Make sure content isn’t overflowing in carousels or other limited text components.
  • Make sure photos look good, are professional and nicely cropped.
  • Check alt tags — if they are missing, units will be asked to add them in.
  • Make sure layouts are configured to suit the content (no excessively long pages; try to get as much “above the fold” as possible).
  • Perform an editorial review of content for style, tone and grammatical/spelling errors.
  • Configure Google Analytics. You can add your own analytics packages as needed.
  • Check forms for proper configuration.
  • Quickly check links for common sense. Does it link back to something on the site that it is replacing?
  • Check to see if university-wide shared content can be used.
  • Think about the content strategy: is the site content reaching the proper audience types? Does the content consider both an external and internal audience?
  • Check the information architecture (IA). Does it make sense? Will people know what they are getting when they click on a navigation item?
  • Check basic search engine optimization (SEO) practices (descriptive website, page titles and body copy).
  • See if any content can be repurposed for a module and promoted on another site (e.g., a page about a student organization could be turned into a module that could be promoted on a Current Students page and other relevant pages).

COLLABORATIVE, GUIDED SUPPORT

The maximum time that UC will spend on the following tasks is 5-10 business days (40-80 hours), and will be scheduled and prioritized against our work queue.

University Communications will:

  • Evaluate general user experience (UX). Does the site make sense? Can a user get around predictably? Does it meet user expectations? Do you get lost or do you know where you are in the site? Make recommendations for improvement, but client decides the extent of execution.
  • Make sure redirects and vanity URLs are in place.
  • Find out if any pages need password protected (authenticated) pages.
  • Check for duplicative content and see if it makes sense as shared content. Shared content can be the responsibility of UC or the site owner.
  • Make sure content isn’t overflowing in carousels or other limited text components.
  • Make sure photos look good, are professional and nicely cropped.
  • Spot-check alt tags — if they are missing, units will be asked to add them in.
  • Make sure layouts are configured to suit the content (no excessively long pages; try to get as much “above the fold” as possible).
  • Perform an editorial review of content for style, tone, and grammatical/spelling errors.
  • Configure Google Analytics. You can add your own analytics packages as needed.
  • Check forms for proper configuration.
  • Spot-check links for common sense. Does it link back to something on the site that it is replacing?
  • Check to see if university-wide shared content can be used.
  • Conduct a light review of content strategy: is the site content reaching the proper audience types? Does the content consider both an external and internal audience?
  • Perform a light evaluation of the information architecture (IA). Does it make sense? Will people know what they are getting when they click on a navigation item?
  • Check basic search engine optimization (SEO) practices (descriptive website, page titles and body copy).
  • See if any content can be repurposed for a module and promoted on another site (e.g., a page about a student organization could be turned into a module that could be promoted on a Current Students page and other relevant pages).

SELF-SERVICE (e.g. Centers, Institutes, Research Facilities, Academic support departments)

Before you come in for optimization your site should be as ready as you can get it for go live.   During optmization, UC will review your site and size what is needed.  On your pages in the UBCMS author environment, we will flag what needs to be done by YOUR TEAM with ORANGE notations. This need to be completed within one week or prioritized for future phases.  Note that there are some tasks we will ask you to address immediately (e.g. proofreading, branding).  Your team should be available to address any issues we identify in a timely fashion or prioritize for future phases.  If the comments are extensive or complex, we may ask you to meet with us to discuss them.

The maximum time that UC will spend on the following tasks is 1 business day (8 hours), and will be scheduled and prioritized against our work queue.

Prior to requesting Optimization, participating unit should:

  • Check for duplicative content and see if it makes sense as shared content. Shared content can be the responsibility of UC or the site owner.
  • Make sure content isn’t overflowing in carousels or other limited text components.
  • Make sure photos look good, are professional and cropped appropriately.
  • Check alt tags — if they are missing, units will be asked to add them in.
  • Make sure layouts are configured to suit the content (no excessively long pages; try to get as much “above the fold” as possible).
  • Configure Google Analytics. You can add your own analytics packages as needed.
  • Check forms for proper configuration.
  • Quickly check links for common sense. Does it link back to something on the site that it is replacing?
  • Check to see if university-wide shared content can be used.
  • Think about the content strategy: is the site content reaching the proper audience types? Does the content consider both an external and internal audience?
  • Check the information architecture (IA). Does it make sense? Will people know what they are getting when they click on a navigation item?
  • Check basic search engine optimization (SEO) practices (descriptive website, page titles and body copy).
  • See if any content can be re-purposed for a module and promoted on another site (e.g., a page about a student organization could be turned into a module that could be promoted on a Current Students page and other relevant pages).
  • Make sure redirects and vanity URLs are in place.
  • Overall user experience (UX) review. Does the site make sense? Can a user get around predictably? Does it meet user expectations? Do you get lost or do you know where you are in the site?
  • Contact UC 2-3 weeks before your scheduled optimization to verify that you are on schedule.

 

University Communications will:

  • Make recommendations for improvement, but participating unit decides the extent of execution.
  • Evaluate general user experience (UX). Does the site make sense? Can a user get around predictably? Does it meet user expectations? Do you get lost or do you know where you are in the site?
  • Make sure redirects and vanity URLs are in place.
  • Find out if any pages need password protected (authenticated) pages.
  • Make sure content isn’t overflowing in carousels or other limited text components.
  • Make sure photos look good, are professional and nicely cropped.
  • Configure Google Analytics. You can add your own analytics packages as needed.
  • Check forms for proper configuration.