Avoid Repetition

If you litter your text with the same words and phrases, readers (including potential students) will be annoyed and leave. 

They'll be equally frustrated at finding identical information repeatedly, whether on one page or throughout your site. 

With a little effort, you can make your page and site both useful and user friendly. 

Guidelines 

  • Limit the use of the title of your college / school / department. Your name will already be featured in the logo at the top of every page on your site. A best practice is to use the name once, followed by your acronym in parenthesis. Use the acronym afterward (but not constantly). 

  • Don’t start sequential sentences and paragraphs with the same word(s). Site visitors are highly focused on finding the information they want. They see reading the same words repeatedly as an annoying obstacle. 

  • Read your text aloud. You might be surprised at the difference between hearing and reading. If you hear yourself saying the same thing again and again, it’s time to edit.  

  • Make your point. Once. If you want to emphasize something, it’s not necessary to repeat it. SiteMasonry has several components that can make a sentence or paragraph stand out on a page. 

  • Tag a thesaurus website as one of your favorites. For example, Thesaurus.com can offer alternatives when you find yourself at a loss for different words. 

A Unique Moniker 

One of the biggest site offenses is repeating the page name in the headline.

page, headline repetition illustration

You compound the error if you repeat the phrase in the first or second sentence of the text, or use the same words repeatedly throughout.   

All pages need a headline OR an intro (you can also use both). If you’re having trouble writing a suitable headline, omit it. Start with the intro. 

Hit Your Target 

Bullets can help you avoid repetition. Instead of: 

Our College will certify you in the skill of your choice. Our College will give you the expertise to build a successful career. Our College will help you stand in front of your peers. Our College provides the foundation for a stellar career. When you graduate from Our College …. 

Try this (using a different verb for each point): 

Our College’s graduates: 

  • Have expertise in their fields. 
  • Start a step ahead of their peers. 
  • Are highly recruited. 
  • Build successful careers.  

This method helps you avoid using the college / school / department name repeatedly. You’re also presenting the information in a brief, scannable format that’s more likely to be read than a dense paragraph.  

Lots of Lists 

If you have a page that lists such things as your centers or labs, you’re already locked into using some words repeatedly (Center of X Study, Center for the Study of A, B, and C, etc.). 

One tactic is to have hyperlinked headlines going to the center websites, then using an acronym or “the center” within the text.

For example: 

Center for Adaptive Systems of Brain-Body Interaction  

CASBBI pursues transdisciplinary research to understand the complex adaptive systems underlying human movement and behavior. Our research aims to enable those with chronic disabilities to fully participate in daily activities and lead full lives. 

Center for Resilient and Sustainable Communities 

As pressures from migration and climate change accelerate natural and manmade disasters, Mason's trans-disciplinary C-RASC aims to help communities with rebuilding, as well as with preparations to prevent damage.