The web is a user-driven medium. People want to complete a task, and do it quickly. If a website is difficult to navigate or read, they'll leave.
The #1 mistake is not prioritizing phones. The majority of your audience is viewing your page on a phone.
Are your top tasks still easy to do? Are your big photos now pushing away your top tasks? Are you overly wordy or not using headings, so that your top tasks are hard to find? If so, review "Get to the goods" above.
More important than adding content to your pages is removing unnecessary content from them. On many higher ed pages, upwards of 75% of content is garbage, especially in admissions and financial aid pages. So think about what's outdated, irreverent, unnecessary, or should be moved to a different page. Can parts of your long sentence be removed and it still deliver the same message? Does the user really care about that detail? Has that instruction already been defined? Think slim.
Readers need rest between ideas. Too much cluttered content is taxing on your reader's brain, and less scannable. Keeping everything "above the fold" is outdated and bad web design. Scrolling is OK.
Use side boxes sparingly. They should contain at most a small ad and/or your top task links. Your page likely already has side boxes, which are the left menu and Contact box. Users eagerly scroll down when your content is relevant.
Use the body of your page. The body area should contain 90% of your content, using heading + small paragraph pairs. It might look boring, but this format is extremely scannable and usable.
Imagine with me for a second . . . someone has just arrived at your website, and this person has no idea what you’re talking about. And this is an important visitor.
Pretend further that this single visitor could make the difference between success and failure for your business. She has no time to waste poking around your site trying to figure out what you’re all about, so she immediately picks up the phone and calls you, demanding an explanation.
What do you tell her?
You’d probably give her essential information about how you understand her problem, options for solving the problem, examples of how you can help, and explanations of why you perfectly meet her needs, right? And I’m betting you’d want to explain it in the most compelling fashion you could, given what’s riding on the deal.
In a nutshell, that’s what Google wants you to do with the content on your site.
Try to place a heading above each paragraph. While users often scan past bodies of text, they'll usually read headings, so it's important to make them count.
Frou frou is a bragging sentence that doesn't prove anything. An easy indicator of whether something's frou frou is asking whether competing or similar units--colleges, departments, labs--can list exactly that same statement on their page. Instead of frou frou, use unique claims with support, especially including numbers. Your general brag statement, if linked to a page with support, would also be fine.
Visitors want to know why your school is special and what you’re proud of as an institution. Gather those statistics, rankings, and awards, and make them easy to find. Nielsen Norman Group
One of the most repeated rules of compelling copy is to stress benefits, not features. In other words, identify the underlying benefit that each feature of a product or service provides to the prospect, because that’s what will prompt the purchase.
The simple rule is to make your link indicative of where it goes. Users don't click frivolously. Rather, they click links like handing out money. You must earn trust by giving a clear indication of what this link means.
Read More: A Link is a Promise