Use this checklist to proof your page to ensure web governance compliance before sending to publishers for review. Please reach out to Kay Dakin at email@example.com with questions or comments about this resource.
Before building a page, be sure page goals align with the four key principles of governance guiding nature.org content—meaning it’s mission oriented, audience first, data driven and promotes “one conservancy.”
- Content aligns with related TNC messaging areas and draws clear connections between specific projects and organizational conservation goals.
- Text complies with TNC style guide, or AP style where TNC-specific guidance doesn't apply.
- Text follows guidance on "how TNC talks about TNC.” Note, for instance, we use "The Nature Conservancy (TNC)" on first mention, and never "the Conservancy.”
- Text avoids complex sentence structures.
- Text uses regular English (e.g. avoids jargon, spells out acronyms, and provides definitions of scientific concepts on first mention).
- Page presents content in a hierarchal and sensible way. Reference the inverted pyramid structure to guide articles on complex subject matter.
- Check for odd formatting and page breaks. If text was copied/pasted it may have errant code that needs to be deleted.
- Large blocks of text are broken up with white space, subheaders, CTAs, images and/or divider lines.
- Page is engaging on mobile devices. Check white space, scroll nudges, and interactive elements towards the top. Ensure there are no more than three short paragraphs before a break, and no more than four sentences in a paragraph.
Subheadings (also known as subheaders) make it easy for readers to scan long articles and get the gist. They should be short and communicate the main idea of each subsection in an article.
- Subheadings are used to break up long articles, providing useful information for visitors scanning the page. Use keywords—not just clever puns.
- Subheadings distinguish themselves from body copy with H2, H3 or H4 font style.
Hero (C37, C127, C128)
Regardless of the hero format you choose to introduce visitors to your page, be sure to check the following:
- Hero image cropping looks good at all browser window widths, as well as on mobile devices.
- If used, text over image in hero or elsewhere is legible (if not, adjust alignment or use a different image).
- Hero Title (headline) uses title case and describes the topic or purpose of the page.
- Hero Short Description (article subhead or dek) uses sentence case and ends with a period. (Generally, subheads should be written as a sentence, identifying any relevant regional or other key information not established in the headline.)
Links, Related Reading & CTA Components
Links serve various important functions for page visitors, and engagement with them teaches us more about our audiences. Be sure to include links to source material readers expect of a science-based organization, as well as links to related internal content that might encourage visitors to continue their journey on nature.org.
- Page has in-line links throughout the text connecting to other relevant nature.org pages or external source material as needed.
- Link text is informative and describes the purpose of the link and/or the intent of the destination page (not “click here” or a single word such as “freshwater”).
- Links to external pages (outside nature.org) open in a new tab. Links to internal pages open in the same tab.
- Links to other nature.org pages use relative paths. Using the path picker for internal links prevents the links breaking if the address is changed.
- Links throughout the page work properly and don’t rely on unnecessary redirects. For example, do not link using a vanity URL, which then redirects to the destination page. Link directly to the destination page and make sure to remove any tracking parameters.
- A CTA is included and uses an appropriate component (Article CTA within Text Asset Component or Title Text CTA for full-width). The Analytics team encourages email CTAs specifically. Comprehensive UX and technical guidance on the C36 email component is available in the presentation deck and recording.
- Related articles component (C27) is used at bottom of the page to offer a path for visitors.
Images & Video
- High-quality images are used within the page body. All images are cropped appropriately and maintain visual integrity.
- Captions describe why the photo is on the page and provide information for visitors who are scanning. Caption title and description should each stand alone.
- Photos selected follow asset ethics and usage guidelines—especially with regard to photos of people or cultural sites. In captions and alt-text, avoid describing perceived characteristics of people—such as gender, sex, relationship, age, or ethnicity—unless it is known and important to the context of the story.
- Image alt-text describes the image as if to someone who can't see it. Include the essence of the image and any text that appears in the image.
- Headshots use the following alt text format: Name headshot. (e.g. Lindsay Mineo headshot.)
- Images of plants and animals name the species in the alt-text.
- Image alt-text must end in a period.
- Meets all accessibility standards.
- Video titles include time to watch (e.g. “FORESTRY FOR THE BIRDS (5:17)”).
- Video captions entice the reader to watch.
Page properties may feel like an afterthought, but filling them out strategically ensures that your content has the broadest reach possible—and reaches your target audiences. Learn how to optimize these fields on GD Central (basic guidance and update).
- URL (for new pages) is properly formatted.
- Dashes, not underscores, between words
- Doesn’t repeat the state/region if already in the URL
- Does include the state/region if not already in the URL (newsroom, events, etc.)
- Doesn’t use filler words (the, of, and, a, etc.)
- Incorporates valuable search terms when possible, and has longevity potential (support page on choosing URLs)
- Basic Description and SEO Description are maximum 150-160 characters long.
- Image, SEO, OG and page detail tabs are completely and accurately filled out.
- Template-specific details tab includes appropriate topic tags and other taxonomy tags.