Surfing The University of Toledo’s websites has become a bit more user-friendly as utoledo.edu and utmc.utoledo.edu launched Google Custom Search, which for nonprofits provides a cost-effective, ads-free product for web navigation.
Implemented on utoledo.edu and marketing-focused UT websites last week, Google Custom Search has been adapted by the Center for Creative Instruction so visitors can find content on the UT website easier. The new search takes advantage of Google’s auto-complete technology to suggest common search criteria starting with the first word typed.
“The Division of External Affairs is always looking to improve, and this new search functionality is in direct response to comments from our students, faculty and staff,” said Lawrence J. Burns, vice president for external affairs. “The web team has populated the search product with more than 275 terms that promote selected search content to the top of the results. These elevated results include the top 100 search words, all degrees and majors, and prospective student content.”
Additionally, the web team studies UT site visitor behaviors, incorporates focus group feedback, and aligns efforts with marketing and enrollment to assure search results meet visitors’ needs.
The new search engine comes on the heels of the introduction of OmniUpdate, a new web content management system that was rolled out a year ago that allows content owners to manage college, department and office web sites. The UT home page and top-level pages followed with a redesign to focus on recruiting students from all populations in December.
“The web is in a constant state of evolution,” Burns added, “and our web team is working hard to exceed our users’ expectations day in and day out.”