Website guidelines

The WSU Vancouver Office of Marketing and Communications manages the WSU Vancouver website. We are excited to work with you to make WSU Vancouver’s website popular and useful.

If you need to make changes to your pages, such as adding or editing content, please contact Brian Bates, web communications manager,, 360-546-9603.

We will coordinate your web pages with the university’s full website, editing copy to match the style and voice of the overall WSU Vancouver site. Because the primary purpose of the website is to grow enrollment, we strive for an informal, conversational style to appeal to relevant audiences including parents. We also strive to be brief. We follow the Office of Marketing and Communications style guide regarding spelling, punctuation and grammar.

If you have questions about whether the website is an appropriate way to disseminate your information, contact us.

Best practices

Our guidelines are a set of best practices outlined by our consultants, SEM Works, in their Enrollment Management Plan.

According to the report, “An institution’s web presence should incorporate six fundamental elements: a compelling value proposition, key selling points, audience relevance, audience engagement, calls to action and visual impact.”

It’s especially important to address audience relevance and calls to action.

Audience relevance: Address each primary student segment in a way that resonates with the population and compels them to act (request information, visit, call, email, apply, enroll, etc.). Student quotes, success stories, testimonials and job placement data are especially valuable for academic departments.

Calls to action: What do you want prospective students to do when they visit your pages? The three most critical calls to action are to request information, visit campus and your department, and apply.

Value proposition: Concisely convey, through text and potentially visuals, what you promise to do for the students you serve, usually in terms of outcomes.

Selling points: Distinguish your program from its competitors.

Audience engagement: Use relevant content, visuals and, if appropriate, multimedia.

Visual impact: The WSU Vancouver site uses a clean look with minimal copy. Let us know if you have photography and/or videos to recommend for your pages.

A data-driven approach

WSU Vancouver uses a variety of partner, CRM and analytics data to steer the information architecture of the website. Google Analytics is installed on all pages and helps inform decisions regarding frequency of access on pages as well as analysis of user behavior and historic trends. Analytics and data are weighted heavily when making content and navigation decisions on the WSU Vancouver website.


After June 30 all new web content must meet updated standards. In addition, all web content created after January 1, 2014 must meet the updated standards by September 1, 2019. Training opportunities for web publishers will be announced on, and support will be available for departments as needed. See WSU web accessibility for an overview, accessibility guides, training and support.