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Storytelling Guidelines

Setting the Tone:

Connect with your audience: Put yourself in the shoes of someone who is visiting your site. What would you want to know? What would you find most interesting? Once you’ve determined this, you’ve found your starting point for your content.

Confident: The U is one of the top public universities in the country. As such, our university websites should reflect that. The more confident your tone is in your writing, the more trust your audience has in you.

Upbeat: You should be thrilled about presenting the content on your site. Your passion should come through in the tone of your writing. If you don’t care about what you’re writing about, why would your audience care about reading it?

Write in an Active Voice: You should always be writing in the active voice on your website. In the active voice, the subject is the one performing the action.

Active Voice: I wrote an article about the benefits of exercise.
Passive voice: An article about the benefits of exercise was written by me.

Be Concise: At this point, we are well into the digital age. People don’t want to waste time digging through details on your site when they’re looking for information. Don’t make your audience do the extra work. The purpose of a website is to give a user quick access to the information they’re looking for.

Writing for SEO:

Use audience-specific key words: Incorporating key words you know your audience is searching for into your copy will make your content more attractive to search engines and users alike.

Keep your content updated: Stay up to date with your analytics. What are people now searching for? Now make sure your content is updated to reflect what is important to your audience.

Use ALT text on images: Using ALT Text not only improves your site’s accessibility, but provides descriptions of those images to search engines, improving your site’s SEO.

For our full University editorial guide, click here.