In the summer of 2016, we were contacted by the deans of Schools of Foreign Languages and Literature from two top-50 universities in China to help them redesign their university’s English websites. While such endeavors are clearly indicators of the universities’ drive to internationalize their institutions and attract more foreign students, our analysis of their current websites reveals either the use of direct translation of their Chinese websites or selective use of existing Chinese content about their universities, with much of which irrelevant to the needs of international users.
To create an effective global strategy for these universities, we started with user analysis to identify their primary and secondary target users as well as user journey to examine how such users engage with the web content to achieve their communication goals. Then we employed content inventory, content audit, gap analysis, and competitor analysis to evaluate the relevance and effectiveness of existing content and to explore best practices used by leading international universities in Asia and Russia to attract foreign students. Our final content strategy recommendations include: a clear list of primary and secondary users, specific needs of these international user groups, important content to be covered, style guide, SEO strategies, and maintenance plan. We conclude by discussing possible ways to help clients understand the need to incorporate content strategy, usability design, SEO strategy, and writing for a global audience in developing their English portals.
In this session, you will learn:
Huiling Ding, Associate Professor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Yingying Tang, MSTC student, email@example.com
Department of English, NC State University