Search engine optimization

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of improving web pages so that they are more easily found by search engines and provide good search results. Optimizing a website primarily involves editing its content and coding to increase its relevance for both search engines and what users might be searching for.

Page titles

The <TITLE> tag tells both users and search engines what the topic of a particular page is. NOTE: In Roxen, the <TITLE> tag is populated by the field at the top of the insite editor (see image below).

page title field in Roxen

Ensure that all of the web pages in your website include descriptive title tags. These should refer to the content of the page and be as specific as possible.In some instances, search engines may truncate titles in their results, and your title or description may be abbreviated if it exceeds a particular search engine's limit. Keep this in mind and make your title tag about five to 10 words in length, including the unit name and relevant keywords. Start with the most specific information about the given web page and then move toward general information. For example:

<title>Degrees & Programs | UAF Catalog 2014-2015</title>

Content on the page

Good content is the most important method for effective SEO. Ensure there is text on every web page (not only video or images), and that the content contains plenty of rich information, including relevant keywords that indicate the subject matter of your site. Most search engines scan the full content of a page, including image ALT tags. Consider what words and phrases your intended readers are searching for, and craft well-written copy based on this. Try to use the strongest keywords early in the text.

 

Reciprocal linking

Another way to manipulate your ranking is to exchange links with others. Reciprocal links should be relative and minimal. Any sites that are linked from (and linked back to) your site should be legitimate in their similarity or helpfulness to your audience. It is most effective if you focus on requesting links from those that are most helpful, rather than trying to get links from every imaginable site.

 

Search for your site

Once you have addressed content and added appropriate <META> tags, allow time for search engines to crawl your site (this varies by search engine but can take up to a month) and then try some searches to see where you land in the results. You can then consider adjusting your metadata and page text accordingly. Again, knowing what keywords your audience is using to search will assist you in this process.

 

Resources

There are many resources on SEO. A basic search on SEO will bring up many listings. Some include:

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