Ten Tips for Recruitment Blogs

Several of Michigan Tech’s blogs are used for recruitment purposes—posting student stories, research news, or program highlights. Follow these tips to help better meet recruitment goals.

Tip #1 Include CTA Buttons

We have three key recruitment call-to-action buttons—Request Information, Schedule a Visit, and Apply Now. These are typically included on academic program and other recruitment webpages and should also be added to the top of the right sidebar of your blog. Since the readers could be either undergraduate or graduate students, you would want to link to the pages that provide information for both of these audiences:

  • Request Information: https://www.mtu.edu/request/
  • Schedule a Visit: https://www.mtu.edu/visit/
  • Apply Now: https://www.mtu.edu/apply/

If you would like help adding these buttons to your blog, you can email cmshelp@mtu.edu, otherwise, follow these instructions.

  1. From the Appearance option in the left menu, select Widgets.
  2. Select the Custom HTML option and drag it to the top of the Right Sidebar column.
  3. Leave the title blank.
  4. Paste the following code in the Content field.
<p><a class="button" href="https://www.mtu.edu/request/">Request Information</a></p>
<p><a class="button" href="https://www.mtu.edu/visit/">Schedule a Visit</a></p>
<p><a class="button" href="https://www.mtu.edu/apply/">Apply Now</a></p>
  1. Click Done.

Tip #2 Use Categories and Tags

Commit to using 15 or fewer categories on your blog and ensure that all posts have at least one category. A category should be used on several posts each year. Use Tags for infrequent topics, instead of using categories.

Never use the Uncategorized category and if you have live posts with that category, remove it. When creating a new post, if you do not choose a category before saving or publishing, the system will automatically assign Uncategorized. You would then need to uncheck it and check the correct one(s).

Tip #3 Include Archives or Recent Posts

We recommend turning on the Archives and/or Recent Posts in the right sidebar. If you have more than seven months in the archives, we recommend using the dropdown display format for Archives.

To turn on the Archives:

  1. From the Appearance option in the left menu, select Widgets.
  2. Select the Archives option and drag it to the desired position in the Right Sidebar column.
  3. Add a Title.
  4. Turn on the Display as dropdown checkbox if you have more than seven months.
  5. Turn on the Show post counts checkbox if desired.
  6. Click Done.

To turn on the Recent Posts:

  1. From the Appearance option in the left menu, select Widgets.
  2. Select the Recent Posts option and drag it to the desired position in the Right Sidebar column.
  3. Add a Title.
  4. Enter the number of posts you’d like to show. This should be no more than seven.
  5. Turn on the Display post date checkbox if desired.
  6. Click Done.

Tip #4 Display Author’s Name

We recommend that authors choose to display both their first and last names, not just a first name or user ID. This must be set on each individual user’s account and it makes the content more personal for prospective students and other audiences.

  1. From the Users option in the left menu, select Profile.
  2. Scroll down to the Name section.
  3. In the Display name publicly as section, choose the option that shows your full name.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Update Profile.

Tip #5 Remove Old Posts

If your blog has been around for a while, we suggest removing any posts over 10 years old that don’t have a meaningful amount of traffic. If you are interested in doing this, you can email cmshelp@mtu.edu and we will check the analytics and move old all posts without much traffic to the Trash.

Posts are still accessible in the Trash but are not available on the live site. You would then be able to permanently delete the posts from the Trash or restore them if desired.

Tip #6 Include Share Buttons

Turn on the AddThis share buttons with the option to display them at the bottom of each post. This will allow your audiences to conveniently share individual blog posts on social media or over email.

  1. From the AddThis option in the left menu, select Share Buttons.
  2. Check the box for Share Buttons or Sharing Buttons Below Content, not Sidebar.
  3. From the Bulk Actions dropdown, select Activate.
  4. Click Apply.
  5. If any other options are listed as Active, select their checkboxes, choose Deactivate from the Bulk Actions dropdown, and click Apply.

Tip #7 Include Home Breadcrumb and Navigation

Make sure the Home breadcrumb linking back to your website is on. Other links to your homepage are not needed.

  1. From the Appearance option in the left menu, select Customize.
  2. Select the Michigan Tech Theme menu.
  3. Check Enable Breadcrumbs checkbox.
  4. Enter the URL for your website homepage in the Breadcrumbs Home URL field. Use the full URL including https://.
  5. Click the Publish button.

Make sure your website navigation appears across the top of the blog as another way for users to get back to your regular webpages.

  1. From the Appearance option in the left menu, select Customize.
  2. Select the Michigan Tech Theme menu.
  3. Enter the URL for your website homepage in the Site URL field. Use the full URL including https://.
  4. Check the Enable Top Navigation checkbox and the Pull Navigation checkbox.
  5. Click the Publish button.

Tip #8 Use Excerpts or Read More Block

If your posts are several paragraphs long, use the excerpt setting or Read More block so only a portion of the post displays on the listing pages. If most of your posts are longer, you can use the Excerpt option to set the parameters for all posts on your blog at once, otherwise, you can manually set the Read More block for individual posts. Read more about these options and how to use them in Excerpt or Full Post on Blog Listing Pages.

Using excerpts/read mores makes your blog homepage feed more manageable for your audiences to scroll through and digest all the different posts you have—especially on mobile devices.

Tip #9 Preview

Within wp-admin, when creating posts, the styling of the blocks is not always shown the same way the final post will look. Be sure to preview your posts before publishing to make sure the blocks look the way you expect them to. Click the Preview option at the top of the screen and choose Preview in a new tab.

Tip #10 Use Yoast SEO

The Yoast plugin is a great way to improve the search engine optimization and social sharing customization of your individual blog posts. Click the Yoast logo in the upper right of the screen to get started.

  • On the Google Preview add a meta description. The description is displayed as part of the information in search engine results and is meant to provide the user with information about the content of the page. If you don’t want to write a custom description, at least copy your introductory sentence or paragraph and paste it in. Copy and paste the same Google meta description into the Facebook description under Facebook preview and the Twitter description under Twitter preview.
  • Open the Readability analysis and consider incorporating the feedback provided into your post.
  • If you want to designate an image to be used when the blog post is shared on social media, select the image under the Facebook preview and/or Twitter preview. LinkedIn will use the same settings you use on Facebook.
  • You typically don’t need to customize the SEO title, Facebook title, or Twitter title unless the post title is very long. Use a custom title in these fields that is 54 characters or shorter so it is not cut off in search engines or social media platforms. Copy and paste the same title under Google preview, Facebook preview, and Twitter preview, deleting anything that was already there.