UniversityMarketing and Communications

Guidelines for Web

Our website is the front door to our University, and it only takes a blink of an eye for users to form an opinion about our site and therefore Santa Clara University.

Each visitor comes to our site with a specific purpose in mind throughout their higher-ed, decision-making journey. The better we recognize and understand this journey, the better we can provide our visitors with the right information at the right time. This builds trust, loyalty, and credibility while also establishing strong relationships.

Fulfilling the Needs of Our Site Visitors

Prospective students, current students, parents, alumni, staff, faculty, donors, job seekers, employers, peer institutions, and the general public interact with our site on a daily basis. Why? To find information that is personally relevant, accurate, and realistic.

Carefully defining our target audiences enables us to create a specific tone and style of messaging throughout our site pages. This strategy leads to messaging that

  • Helps users find the specific information they’re looking for
  • Feels much more personal and powerful
  • Encourages visitors to stay on our site longer and return more often. 

Understanding what really matters to members of our key audiences will ensure that we are serving their needs and earning their loyalty.

For tips on identifying audiences, writing for the Web, and voice, tone, and writing style, please visit these topic-specific sections on this site.

Following SCU Web Standards and Style

Site managers and content creators are encouraged to practice the Web guidelines provided on these pages as an aid to creating and maintaining an engaging website that follows our key audiences on their unique journeys in higher education.

A website is a continued work in progress. These Guidelines for Web pages will change and grow over time, and we welcome input from across the campus community as to how this resource can best evolve and bring value to the University's communication efforts.

The University’s website is our broadest-reaching marketing tool. It is the platform that provides the most impact for telling our story, sharing our successes, and engaging visitors to return often to find important decision-enabling information.

Today’s higher ed institutions are working in a crowded space and must be creative when it comes to differentiating themselves from other schools. Increased competition and higher demands from students call for universities to place heightened focus on building a better brand.

Building Brand Loyalty

Visitors to experience content across many webpages hosted by a variety of colleges, units, and departments. Every University site contributes to the user’s perception of the University and our brand. User-friendly, clearly written, accurate, and well-organized sites benefit all constituents.

To maintain a level of consistency in appearance and functionality, and to strengthen our online presence, it is critical for all units to adhere to well-defined identity standards as detailed throughout the SCU Brand Guidelines pages.

Please check out the relevant resources throughout the SCU Brand Guidelines pages for creating a positive, brand-strengthening user experience on your site. You’ll find numerous tips and techniques on:

The Web Design & Development pages offer additional guidance on Web-related: