Virtual Extension

OSU Extension’s educational outreach teams — PACE, EESC and ECTU – are continually adding new resources and updates to the Virtual Extension site on the Extension Employee Intranet.

Virtual Extension complements OSU’s Keep Working and Keep Teaching websites, with information specific to our Extension and Engagement context. The website features a list of resources to help you:

Virtual Extension was featured on this week’s First Monday video.

The Virtual Extension team seeks your feedback, and for you to share your needs and ideas so we can work together through this current situation and position us for even more ways to serve Oregonians in the future. Let's talk button

OSU Extension Professional Development & Connection Opportunities

Starting this week join us for daily Zoom training sessions.

  • Marketing Mondays
  • Technology Tuesdays
  • Water Cooler Wednesdays
  • Teaching Thursdays
  • Financial Fridays

 

Extension Website Training

Wednesday April 8  8:30-10:30

Join us for a special 2 hour session for all staff and faculty who currently work on the Extension website or would like to start. This training will include an overview of Extension’s web strategy initiative, a tour of the website, and demos and Q&A based on audience interests.

Presented by: Victor Villegas, Technology & Media Support; Michele Scheib, Content Strategist; Bryan Mayjor, Web & Content Strategy Leader; Tamara Hill-Tanquist, Web Designer; Amerie Lommen, Web Developer

Join via Zoom   Add to calendar

 

Kudos

We’d like to give a big shout to Washington County’s Jenifer Halter who posted tips for searching the Extension website.

 

Zoom Security

Learn how to properly configure your Zoom Meetings to prevent Zoombombing.

 

Web updates

The events content type has two new features:

  1. Zoom meeting information. You can now add Zoom link, meeting ID, and phone-in numbers
    Fields available for zoom events
  2. Event status. You can now add the status to events.
    screenshot showing status options

Online events now have a dedicated page. A link to the Upcoming Online Events can be found on the Statewide Events page.
onlne events list image

While people across Oregon and the world practice social distancing in response to COVID-19, they will continue to stay connected via social media. 

Since March 1, around the time the first COVID-19 case was discovered in Oregon, traffic to the Extension website from social media has risen by about 8% compared to the previous period, and we expect to see it continue to rise as our offices around the state begin to use social media more heavily. 

Learn what content has been working well when shared on social media. This can help you make your social media posts more effective.

Where is content shared?

On many pages on the Extension website, there is a “Share” button that visitors can use to easily share the page to social media, email it to someone, or save it to a bookmark service. In analytics, we can see the platforms where people have shared our pages.

Here are the shares since January 19, 2020. The following stats only include visitors who have used the “share” button on the page. We cannot determine how many people have shared a page manually.

  • Facebook: 140 shares
  • Twitter: 12 shares
  • WhatsApp: 9 shares
  • LinkedIn: 4 shares
  • Reddit: 2 shares
  • Tumblr: 1 share

We can also get an idea about how often our content is shared on various platforms by looking at how many times people arrive to our site from those platforms. In total, people arrived to our site from social media 10,074 times. The most common platforms people arrived from were:

  • Facebook: 9,398
  • Pinterest: 242
  • Twitter: 176
  • YouTube: 53
  • Instagram: 29

What this means for you

  • Facebook is by far the most common place where our content is shared. If your county/program does not currently have a Facebook account or doesn’t use it regularly, consider creating one or becoming more active.

What kind of content is shared

Similar to the above, we can look at the pages where visitors most often used the “share” button to share content to social media:

  1. Coffee Grounds and Composting: 26 shares
  2. Clackamas County 4-H Tack and Bake Sales: 10 shares
  3. Monthly Garden Calendars: 9 shares (all months)
  4. Rural Living Day 2020: 4 shares
  5. BBB Exercise Tutorials: 4 shares

We can also see where on the site people most often arrived from social media platforms:

  1. Put rose pruning and planting on the calendar: 309 times
  2. When to start seeds indoors in Oregon: 304 times
  3. Coffee Grounds and Composting: 302 times
  4. Branding: OSU working to settle the debate of the ages: 281 times
  5. Are there male and female peppers: 268 times

What this means for you

  • Educational content is the most commonly shared type of content. Especially during this social distancing period, consider including more educational content in your social media presence.
  • Content that tends to be popular is ones that address timely seasonal topics (such as gardening in the springtime), “hot” or “highly-discussed” issues in an industry, and “myth busting” content.
  • Events are also fairly commonly shared. If you are putting on an event (including virtually), be sure to advertise it on your social media and encourage others to share it. 

How effective is sharing content

To see if visitors are engaged with the content on our website, we often look at our website’s statistics.

  All website visits Website visits starting  from social media
Percentage of people who viewed only one page 65.76% 69.12%
Number of pages visitors saw when visiting our site 1.82 pages 1.55 pages
Average length of time people visit our site 1 minute 42 seconds 1 minute 17 seconds

This shows  when people arrive on the Extension website from  social media, they tend to not stay on the site as long as people who arrive from other means.

What this means for you

  • When you share content on social media, make sure that the page you share includes a “call to action”. For example, on an article like “Put rose pruning and planting on the calendar”, you might add a statement to the end of the article, such as “Find your local county Extension office to see when rose pruning classes are offered in your area.”

We are headed your way!

Starting next week and continuing through October, EESC’s web team will be hosting regional Extension website training sessions across the state. Don’t miss this in-person opportunity to learn about the website and how you can contribute. RSVP to reserve your place.

Dates and locations:

Central Region:
Sept. 17 (Tue.), Wasco County Office (The Dalles)
Sept 18 (Wed.), Deschutes County Office (Redmond)

Western Region:
Sept. 24 (Tue.), Marion County Office  (Salem)

Coastal Region – North:
Sept 26. (Thur.), Tillamook County Office (Tillamook)

Southern Region:
Oct. 2 (Wed), Klamath County Office (Klamath Falls)
Oct. 3 (Thur.), Josephine County Office (Grants Pass)

Metro Region:
Oct. 17 (Thur.), Washington County Office (Beaverton)

Coastal Region – South:
Oct. 22 (Tue.), Coos County Office (Myrtle Point)

Note: Eastern Oregon workshops were held in April.

Agenda

Each workshop will have a morning and afternoon session. Try to attend both sessions if possible.
Note: The Wasco and Deschutes County workshops have different start and end times, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Morning session (10:00 am to 12:00 pm)
The morning session will include an overview of the Navigator project, understanding the differences and purposes of office, program, and content team groups, updating your website profile, tagging, and basic content creation.

Lunch break (12:00 pm -1:00 pm)

Afternoon session (1:00 pm to 3:00 pm)
After lunch we’ll dig deeper into managing landing pages, content types, tagging, best practices, tips and tricks, how to avoid duplicating content, and answering your questions.

 

Do I need to do any preparation before the workshop?

No. However, you’ll get more out of the workshop by learning about the Navigator project and skimming through the website guide beforehand.

What should I expect?

The format will be a combination of lectures, how-to demonstrations, one-on-one assistance, advice, and learning from your peers.

What should I bring?

Your ideas and questions

A WiFi enabled laptop, tablet, or pair up with a colleague.

Bring anything you want to add to the website on a flash drive, or on your laptop. We’ll show you how to add it to the website.

What will I learn?

You will learn: How to create and edit content. What tagging is and why it is important. Your role within your office, program or content team. And where to get your questions answered as you learn how the website works.

RSVP

If you are planning on coming to a workshop, please RSVP to ensure we have enough room for everyone.

This spring, we launched a feature on the Extension website called “focus areas”. These allow counties to highlight the work they do around a particular topic or topics, and were intended to serve as a link for visitors between the statewide educational content on topic pages and locally relevant events and programming on county pages. Now that focus areas have been live for a few months, we took a look at analytics to see how effective they have been in meeting the goals we had for them.

Here are the basic stats for focus area pages, for the period of March 20, 2019 – August 7, 2019:

  • Pageviews: 3,655
  • Average time on page: 1 min. 17 sec.
  • % Entrances (views where it was the first page viewed on the site): 26.59%
  • % Exits (views where it was the last page viewed on the site): 28.78%
  • % New visitors: 61.53%

These stats (the low time on page, entrance, and exit rates) suggest that visitors are using focus area pages as a navigation tool on the way to the content they want to see. This is what we want to see. Additionally, the percentage of returning visitors to focus areas is significantly higher than for the site as a whole (38.47% vs. 13.12%). 

Here is a graph showing how visitors get to focus areas:

A majority (~57%) of visitors to focus areas click on focus areas from a county page. Of those, around 35% do so on the county’s landing page. The second most common way people get to focus areas is by searching on Google or another search engine, which makes up a majority of the “Entrances” in the graph above.

On focus area pages, counties can:

  • Select topics to direct visitors to and related experts to contact in their county. 
  • List programs and events offered in the county related to that topic. 
  • Highlight individual pieces of educational content that are especially relevant to their county, such as newsletters. 

Here is a graph describing where people go from focus areas:

We see that 37.86% of visitors find content of interest and click to it from the focus area – if this type of information has been featured. Watch or read how to do this in our Website User Guide.

Finally, here are the top 10 visited focus areas up to now:

  1. HAREC Plant Pathology Diagnostic Laboratory Services
  2. Douglas County Home Garden and Landscape
  3. Benton County Forestry and Natural Resources
  4. Douglas County Forestry and Natural Resources
  5. Deschutes County Home Garden and Landscape
  6. Lane County Home Garden and Landscape
  7. Washington County Home Garden and Landscape
  8. Lane County Forestry and Natural Resources
  9. NWREC Berry Crops
  10. Douglas County Livestock and Forages

Ideas for improving county focus areas

Here are some things you can do as a member of a county group to improve your county focus areas:

  • If you offer services at your office, make sure to add them to the website. Some of the more popular focus areas are those that give information about services for the public, such as laboratory services, pressure gage testing, and supplies for checkout.
  • Make sure to tag your county events with a topic. Events are displayed on focus areas based on the topic(s) they are tagged with. Analytics show that a lot of visitors to focus areas are interested in the events listed there.

EESC will also use this data to make design and functionality improvements for focus areas, which may potentially include making them more visible on topic landing pages or linking to them from content pages themselves.

Recent website updates

OSU recently updated the version of WordPress used for their blog platform. If you use an OSU WordPress site you will see some changes, including a new text editing interface called the Gutenberg Editor. Links to training instructions have been added to the OSU WordPress instructions. Please contact us if you need any help with the new editor, including turning it off.

Imagine if you could ask your smart speaker to search the OSU Extension website for events located near you, or ask Siri to find all of the blueberry pruning publications in the OSU Extension Catalog?

Alexa, ask OSU Extension what upcoming Master Gardener events are happening near me? 
Siri, show me all of the OSU Extension Catalog publications on pruning blueberries

While this isn’t a reality today, we designed the website to be “exportable”, giving us the  ability to send content to multiple platforms. This might take the form of a virtual assistant, like Alexa, a smartphone application, a chatbot, or whatever the future brings. None of this would be possible without all of that structured content that you all have been creating.

Today, we can interact with machines in highly intuitive, natural ways through smartphones. Virtual assistants like Alexa, Cortana, Google Assistant, and Siri have changed the way we interact with machines, using technology like Natural Language Processing (NLP). 1

How people interact with computers is no longer limited to the mouse and keyboard. Recent advances in Natural Language Processing, Artificial Intelligence, and voice recognition software are rapidly changing how we interact with our devices and computers. Remember when we all used floppy disks, rotary phones, and VCR’s? Do you miss them? Keyboards and mice are also destined to become relics of the past. Talking to your phone feels kind of strange to most people, myself included. I typically just use Siri for settings reminders, alarms, and timers, but much more is possible.

Siri, remind me to create a blog post on August 2nd at 2:00 pm.

For me, this is much faster than launching a program, typing and entering the date and time. Let us know how you are using virtual assistants by leaving a comment below.
OSU Extension digital strategy diafram

Here are some interesting statistics on voice activated searches. 2

  1. 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020
  2. About 30% of all searches will be done without a screen by 2020
  3. 13% of all households in the United States owned a smart speaker in 2017. That number is predicted to rise to 55% by 2022.

Providing an engaging, high-quality online experience is a key element to the success of the Navigator project. This online experience can be enhanced by website personalization. In the future, users will be able to create a personal profile by selecting the topics, programs, projects they are interested in, and their location. We can then provide a customized dashboard highlighting the latest tagged content, local events, and much more. Our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) will be able to provide additional insights into users interests, based on previous interactions with Extension. Here is a simple example of how this might work. “Bob” participated in a canning workshop last fall. Chances are he might be also interested in becoming a Master Food Preserver. Knowing this, next time Bob visits the website, his dashboard displays information on the course and how to register.

Preparing for the future – part one

 

Recent website updates

  • Members of topic committees are now able to modify content tags.

 

_______________

1 https://www.axelerant.com/resources/articles/conversational-commerce-integrating-bots-with-drupal-commerce

2 https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2018/04/10/voice-search-statistics-2018

This summer the OSU Extension website turned one! With one year of analytic data on how people are using the site, we have more insight into how the site is performing and how things have changed since launch.

Basic site stats

June 1, 2018 – June 1, 2019

  • Pageviews: 2,826,166 (up 107% from previous year)
  • Document downloads: 314,605
  • Average time on site: 1 min. 34 sec. (up 71% from the previous year)
  • Bounce rate: 66.77%

Content type stats

Content type Views/downloads/clicks Avg. time on page
News story 481,653 5 min. 53 sec.
Article 344,624 4 min. 39 sec.
Program landing page 312,666 1 min. 2 sec.
Program subpage 278,857 1 min. 46 sec.
County landing page 155,697 1 min. 51 sec.
Featured question 141,128 5 min. 18 sec.
Topic landing page 136,122 1 min.
Catalog publication 128,372 N/A
Event 112,987 2 min. 21 sec.
Program resource 111,952 N/A
Collection 54,827 1 min. 38 sec.
Focus area/county subpage 38,953 1 min. 11 sec.
Online resource 36,396 N/A
Announcement 21,679 1 min. 33 sec.
Educational document 20,107 N/A
Social media link 19,308 N/A
Newsletter 16,854 1 min. 59 sec.
Newsletter issue 14,922 1 min. 16 sec.
Project 7,850 3 min. 3 sec.
Video 4,721 2 min. 22 sec.
Project subpage 562 1 min. 21 sec.

Top 10 visited pages

  1. Small Farms landing page (75,663)
  2. Home page (75,159)
  3. Are there male and female peppers? (61,318)
  4. Don’t be timid when pruning grapes (33,179)
  5. Programs list (28,647)
  6. What are short day and long day plants? (25,163)
  7. Monthly garden calendars (23,910)
  8. Locations list (23,665)
  9. State Master Gardener landing page (23,315)
  10. Gardening topic landing page (22,952)

How visitors get to the site

  • Search (e.g. Google): 839,379
  • Social media: 68,809
  • Links from other sites: 56,815
  • Other (email links, bookmarks, typing URL from printed material, etc.): 173,528

Top search terms

What people search for once on the Extension site:

  1. 4-H or 4H: 832
  2. Soil testing or soil test: 719
  3. Compost tea or compost tea brewer: 673
  4. Horse: 384
  5. Jobs: 345
  6. Master Gardener: 330
  7. Canning: 297
  8. Forms: 275
  9. Calendar: 262
  10. Blueberries: 230

What people put into search engines (e.g. Google) to arrive on the Extension site:

  1. OSU extension service (or similar): 1,195
  2. [county or city] extension: 944
  3. Feeding bees dried sugar: 212
  4. Maggots in compost: 131
  5. What do quail eat: 107
  6. Pruning apple trees in summer: 76
  7. Food preservation 68
  8. What do robins eat: 67
  9. Glycemic load chart: 53
  10. Fungus gnats: 51

Changes since launch

As more content has been added to the site, the number of people visiting the site has increased. In June 2018, 81,755 users visited the site, while 109,065 visited in June 2019 (70% increase).

People appear  to have an easier time finding what they need. Usage of search was slightly lower June 2019 than June 2018, meaning people are having more success finding what they need through browsing. Additionally, the number of pages people visit in a session has gone down, while the average time spent on a page is up. This suggests that people don’t need to view as many pages to find what they are looking for.

Going forward

Over the next year, EESC will continue to collect data from web analytics. We will also begin to collect qualitative information through usability testing, site surveys, feedback forms, interviews, and more.

Thank you

A sincere thank you to everyone who has helped make the website a success by: entering content, reviewing documentation and help materials, asking questions at webinars and trainings, meeting with us to discuss content strategy, or any of the other ways Extension faculty and staff have contributed to our web presence. We hope  this time next year we will have even better results to share with you.

“Why is adding content so complicated?”, this is a question I’ve heard frequently since the website launched last year. The short answer is we’re creating Structured Content. All of those individual fields you see when creating an event (i.e., topics, programs, counties, short descriptions, etc.), these fields help us create structured content.

When your program’s event is tagged with a topic, it displays on the corresponding topic page. If you tag your event to the surrounding counties, it shows up on the event list on those counties. This increases the reach of your event.

We recently added ‘Local Focus Areas’ for county office groups that appear on the county’s “What we do” page. Local focus areas provide a way for counties to share information about your local Extension activities, work, or research. Local focus areas are intended to act as a link between counties, programs and topics.

Once a local focus area is created, other offices can link to it. When tagged with a topic, a link to the topic page automatically appears on the local focus area page. Pretty cool, but wait there’s more. When your focus area is tagged with a topic, an “In Your Community” page is generated on the tagged topic’s page. The page displays a page with a map showcasing your county’s unique work, and connects the high number of new visitors who enter the site through topic pages to learn more about what is in their county.

In your community page

Learning how to add content to the OSU Extension website does take a bit of patience, planning, and time. I think you’ll find this time well spent. In part two, we’ll explore how structured content fits into website personalization, CRM integration, chat bots and other possibilities, as we prepare for the future.

Preparing for the future – part two

Coming to a location near you

We are in the process of scheduling regional in-person website workshops. We are looking at dates in September and October and will let you know when they have been finalized. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact us, submit a help ticket, or visit the Extension web guide.

Recent website updates

  • Ability to ‘feature’ an announcement to show it on your county’s landing page. By default, the newest announcement is displayed.
  • Tabbed sections, like on BEPA 2.0, are now available for use on program pages.
  • Fixed problem with misaligned map markers.

A “typical” computer/tablet/smartphone setup makes a lot of assumptions about the abilities of the person using it. For example, it may assume they are able to see a screen, hear sound from a speaker, type on a keyboard, and manipulate a mouse. These assumptions are not always correct. When this is the case, people use “assistive technology” to access websites. Some examples include:

  • “Screen reader” software that reads web page text out loud for people who can’t see it on a screen.
  • Braille devices that present web page text for people who can neither see a screen nor hear spoken text.
  • Special keyboard navigation for people who have trouble controlling a mouse.
  • Voice command or eye tracking software for people who can’t use a mouse or a keyboard.

Assistive technology doesn’t only have to do with what we might consider a “disability”. It also includes, for example, automatic translators and “night modes” on cell phones.

We want our content to be available to all Oregonians. Plus, it is legally required to be accessible to all people regardless of ability. So, our website needs to work with all assistive technology.

Our team makes sure that the framework of the Extension website is accessible. This includes the navigation, search functionality, and other shared features. However, content authors need to help ensure that the content on the site is accessible as well.

For content authors, there are three main rules for accessible content:

  1. Make all content available as “true text” (i.e. highlightable with your mouse).
  2. Use text formatting correctly to provide structure and meaning to content.
  3. Don’t make assumptions about the technology visitors are using to access the content.

True Text Content

“True text” is text that you can highlight with a mouse. Screen readers cannot read any content that isn’t true text. That content is unavailable to people using them. Therefore, all content must be available as true text in some form.

Most of the content that you enter in the Extension website will be true text. There are only three situations where you need to worry about this:

  1. Images that contain text
  2. PDFs that contain scanned documents
  3. Videos and other multimedia

Images Containing Text

When an image contains text, it needs to be available as “true text” somewhere else on the page. The “Alternative Text” field exists for this purpose specifically if the text is not too long. Here is an article about writing alt text with some examples.

If the image conveys information without text, include a summary of that information. This can be in the page’s body text or the image’s caption or alternative text.

PDFs Containing Scanned Documents

Sometimes, when you scan a document, it comes to your computer as an image. This has all the same problems as other images. To test if a PDF contains true text, try to highlight the text inside it. If you can’t, you will need to recreate or fix the document. University of Washington has created a good article about fixing inaccessible PDFs.

Videos and Other Multimedia

In general, all videos should have captions at least and, ideally, a transcript. The transcript should include text shown in the video if it is not part of the transcribed speech.

If you use YouTube’s automatic captioning, check that it doesn’t generate anything problematic.

Text Formatting

Many people think of the text toolbar as a way to make text look a certain way. But working with that idea may make content confusing to visitors who do not see web pages the same way you do. Really, the purpose is to mark certain text as having a certain meaning or purpose. Here are the controls that can mark content this way:

  • Bold (“B” icon): Marks text that is important. A screen reader might read it in a different tone/volume or single it out.
  • Superscript (“x2” icon): Marks text that is superscript, such as in mathematical equations or chemical names. This is not for footnote references (there is another control for that) or making text smaller. In the latter case, screen readers might not read the text correctly if they assume it is part of an equation.
  • Subscript (“x2” icon): Marks text that is subscript, such as in mathematical equations or chemical names. This is not for making text smaller. Screen readers might not read the text correctly if they assume it is part of an equation.
  • Footnote (“a1” icon): Creates a reference to a footnote at the bottom of the page.
  • Blockquote (“ icon): Marks a chunk of text that is quoted from another source. Do not use this just to indent text.
  • Link (chain link with “+” icon): Marks text as being a link to another page. The text that visitors click on to follow the link is called the “link text”.
  • Bulleted list: Marks text as making up a bulleted list. Do not use dashes, asterisks, etc. to create bulleted lists. This control encodes the text so that assistive technology can tell it is a list.
  • Numbered list: Marks text as making up a numbered. List. Do not type out numbers to create a numbered list. This control encodes the text so that assistive technology can tell it is a list.
  • Heading dropdown: The headings are the most important text in a piece of content. People who are able to see text on the screen are able to “scan” content by scrolling. People using screen readers do this by listening to the headings before diving into the full text. This is common behavior, so it is important to use headings correctly. Here are some tips:
    • Always start with “heading 2”. For further levels of headings, go in order. I.e. do not go from heading 2 straight to heading 4.
    • Use headings to separate sections instead of horizontal lines and/or bold text.
    • Do not use this dropdown as a way to emphasize text. This prevents the scanning functionality of screen readers from working as intended.

There are a couple of formatting controls in the text toolbar  that only create visual elements on the page. These are invisible to screen readers, so don’t rely on them for meaning or organization:

  • Pull quote (next to block quote icon): Displays some text in a large, stylized font.
  • Horizontal line: Creates a gray horizontal line.

Accessible Writing

There are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your content makes sense to all visitors.

Meaningful Link Text

Another common way for screen reader users to “scan” a page is by pulling out and listening only to the links. Therefore, it is important that link text is meaningful by itself. It shouldn’t rely on the surrounding text. It should describe what the user will get if they click on the link. Here are some tips for writing meaningful link text:

  • Don’t use the raw URL of the link by itself. E.g. instead of “https://google.com”, use “Google”. This is particularly important for software that may let a person say the link text to “click” it.
  • Avoid the phrase “click here”. When that text is read on its own, it is completely meaningless. It is also exclusionary to people who are not using a mouse. In general, instead of saying “Click here to do X”, you should say “Do X”.

Acronyms and All-caps

Acronyms are the only words that should be in all caps. Text in all capital letters is more difficult to read for visitors with Dyslexia. Screen readers may also assume words in all caps are acronyms and mispronounce them.

Symbols and Special Characters

When you need a symbol that is not on your keyboard, copy and paste it from another source. Don’t “fake it” with letters you can type. For example, don’t use a superscript letter “O” to fake a degree symbol (°). Other examples are trademark symbols, multiplication signs, and letters from other languages. Here is a site where you can copy many special characters. Note that most of these characters have special meanings and are not for decoration.

Data Tables

Tables are very visual and so difficult to encode in a way that assistive technology can make sense of. Here are some general tips:

  • Don’t upload a table as an image.
  • Only use tables when necessary. If possible, use lists or other ways to display the information.
  • Use the simplest table possible. E.g. avoid cells that span more than one row/column.
  • Contact EESC if you need help setting up an accessible data table.

Inclusive Writing

When you are writing, avoid assuming that visitors are using the website the same way you do. Particularly:

  • Don’t reference the position or appearance of visual elements on the page. Not everyone can see these, and even if they can they won’t always look the same. Instead of “the orange button” or “the button to the right”, say something like “the button labeled ‘Buy Now’”.
  • Don’t refer to actions that depend on the device or software the visitor is using. These include “click”, “right click”, “scroll”, pressing keys, opening a particular program, etc.

Accessibility Resources

There are many, many resources on the web about accessibility, and OSU has some of its own. Here are some of our favorites:

  • IT Accessibility at OSU: Information and resources about accessible web pages, documents, and multimedia. Also includes OSU policies on accessibility.
  • WebAIM: An organization that aims to improve web accessibility throughout the Internet. They have great articles and tools.
  • Developing Accessible Web Content from Section508.gov:  Guidelines for creating web content that meet legal requirements for accessibility.
  • W3C Accessibility: This organization developed the requirements that determine compliance with accessibility laws. They have a very in-depth guide to meeting these requirements.

Use topic pages and tags so visitors find educational content

When visitors come to the Extension website, they want to see what information we have to answer the question on their mind or to discover what’s new. Topic menu pages (which include the landing page and the “Browse all Resources” pages for each topic) are a primary way for them to browse educational content.

  • Topic landing pages: 122,450 pageviews, 78% of visitors clicked on a link
  • Topic “browse all resources” pages: 15,038 pageviews (since rollout in October), 86% of visitors clicked on a link

The data shows that content is much more likely to be seen if it is tagged with a topic. On average, a piece of content on the site has received 57  views/downloads/clicks since November 2018. However, pieces of content tagged with at least one topic have received an average of 69 during the same time.

This effect is even greater if the content is featured on a topic landing page. Pageviews/downloads/clicks of content increases threefold (average of 319%) while the content is featured on a topic landing page compared to the period before it was featured.

What you can do to make sure visitors see your educational content:

  • Make sure to tag educational content with a topic. For most content types, the field where you can select the topic is in the second collapsed section on the edit screen.
  • If you tag content with a topic, be sure to also tag it with useful keywords so it is easier to find on the topic’s “Browse all resources” page. See the Tagging Guidelines in the Extension website guide.
  • Work with the topic’s committee to feature content that is especially important to audiences or seasonally relevant. Learn more about topic committees.

A complete, searchable guide to the Extension Website is now available online: beav.es/extension-webguide

This guide contains all information and instructions you need to work with the Extension website as well as tips and tricks for advanced users. For those of you who are already familiar with the site or just need a quick refresher, it includes several quick start reference documents.

We welcome questions and feedback and hope that this will serve as a valuable resource to Extension employees who work on the website.