Follow these suggestions to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) and watch your website rise the ranks to the top of search-engine results.
1. Publish Relevant, Authoritative Content
Quality, authoritative content is the number one driver of your search engine rankings and there is no substitute for great content—this is especially true when doing SEO marketing. Quality content created specifically for your intended user increases site traffic, which improves your site's authority and relevance. Fine-tune your web writing skills and present yourself as an authority on the topic you are writing about.
Identify and target a specific keyword phrase for each authoritative content page on your website. Think about how your reader might search for that specific page with search terms like:
- online masters in engineering management
- what is biomedical engineering?
- title IX education resources
- photographing northern lights
- how to apply for scholarships?
- when is the FAFSA deadline?
- what is the difference between engineering and engineering technology?
Multiple Keyword Phrases
It is very difficult for a webpage to achieve search engine rankings for multiple keyword phrases—unless those phrases are very similar. A single page may be able to rank for both "biomedical engineering jobs" and "biomedical engineering careers". Ranking for "student affairs" and "dean of students" or "gender discrimination" and "violence reporting procedures" with a single page is unlikely.
If you want to rank for multiple keywords phrases with your website, you will need to make a separate webpage for each keyword phrase you are targeting.
Once your keyword phrase is chosen for a given page, consider these questions:
- Can I use part or all of the keyword phrase in the page URL (by using keywords in folders)?
- Can I use part or all of the keyword phrase in the page title?
- Can I use part or all of the keyword phrase in page headings and subheadings?
Answering yes to these questions can improve your search engine ranking. Be natural and user-friendly, though. For instance, you do not want the word "engineering" to show up three or more times in the URL or have the phrase Northern Lights repeated in the page title and also every heading. Readability and usability still trump search engine optimization.
Beyond page URL, title, and headings, content is most influential on search engine rankings. Repeat your keyword phrase several times throughout the page—once or twice in the opening and closing paragraphs, and two to four more times throughout the remaining content. Be authoritative. Strategically link to relevant sources and additional information—both within your organizations broad website and even to other websites which are useful.
Don't forget to use bold, italics, heading tags (especially an H1), and other emphasis tags to highlight these keyword phrases—but don't overdo it. You still want your language and writing style to read naturally. Never sacrifice good writing for SEO. The best pages are written for the user, not for the search engine. Read more about SEO marketing to help you find new content opportunities.
2. Update Your Content Regularly
You've probably noticed that we feel pretty strongly about content. Search engines do, too. Regularly updated content is viewed as one of the best indicators of a site's relevancy, so be sure to keep it fresh. Audit your content on a set schedule (semesterly for example) and make updates as needed.
Writing additional content, rich with keyword phrases, on your departmental news blog can also boost your search engine rankings. Blog posts can even be shorter updates about the specific topics you are targeting. Interlink your related CMS webpages and blog posts when it helps give the reader a better picture or additional information about the topic.
When designing your website, each page contains a space between the <head> tags to insert metadata, or information about the contents of your page. If you have a CMS site originally produced by the UMC web team will have pre-populated this data for you. However, it is important for you to review and update metadata as your site changes over time.
Title metadata is responsible for the page titles displayed at the top of a browser window and as the headline within search engine results. It is the most important metadata on your page.
For those with a CMS website, the web team has developed an automated system for creating the meta title for each webpage based on your page title. This adds to the importance of using well-thought-out page titles rich with keyword phrases.
Description metadata is the textual description that a browser may use in your page search return. Think of it as your site's window display—a concise and appealing description of what is contained within, with the goal of encouraging people to enter. A good meta description will typically contain two full sentences. Search engines may not always use your meta description, but it is important to give them the option.
Keyword metadata is rarely if ever used to tabulate search engine rankings. However, you should already know your keyword phrases, so it doesn't hurt to add them into your keyword metadata. You'll want to include a variety of phrases. As a general rule, try to keep it to about 3-7 phrases with each phrase consisting of 1-4 words. A great example would be "computer science degree."
4. Have a link-worthy site
A webpage which is content-rich, authoritative, unbiased, and helps visitors learn more about what they are interested in is most likely to attract links from other websites, which improves your search engine optimization.
Improve your authority and credibility by adding relevant links within the text. Instead of having "click here" links, try writing out the name of the destination. "Click here" has no search engine value beyond the attached URL, whereas "Michigan Tech Enterprise Program" is rich with keywords and will improve your search engine rankings as well as the ranking of the page you are linking to. Always use descriptive links by linking keywords—it not only improves search engine optimization, but also adds value to your readers, including those with disabilities or who are using screen readers.
5. Use alt tags
Always describe your image and video media using alt tags, or alternative text descriptions. They allow search engines to locate your page, which is crucial—especially for those who use text-only browsers or screen readers.
These are only a few of the many methods for improving your search engine ranking. If you want to learn more, we recommend the following resources:
Focusing on these three pillars of SEO – authority, relevance, and experience – will increase the opportunities for your content and make link-earning easier.How can I improve my SEO index? ›
- Track Crawl Status With Google Search Console. ...
- Create Mobile-Friendly Webpages. ...
- Update Content Regularly. ...
- Submit A Sitemap To Each Search Engine. ...
- Optimize Your Interlinking Scheme. ...
- Deep Link To Isolated Webpages. ...
- Minify On-Page Resources & Increase Load Times. ...
- Fix Pages With Noindex Tags.
Focusing on these three pillars of SEO – authority, relevance, and experience – will increase the opportunities for your content and make link-earning easier.What are the 11 steps to improve SEO rankings? ›
- Understand your online customers.
- Use keywords on your website.
- Refresh your page content often.
- Gain referrals from other websites.
- Use meta tags in your content.
- Stay up to date on the latest SEO techniques.
- High-quality Content.
- Search Intent and Content Relevancy.
- Website Loading Speed.
- Mobile Friendliness.
- Domain Authority.
- Keyword Optimization.
- Website Structure.
SEO techniques are classified into two broad categories: White Hat SEO - Techniques that search engines recommend as part of a good design. Black Hat SEO - Techniques that search engines do not approve and attempt to minimize the effect of. These techniques are also known as spamdexing.What does technical SEO include? ›
What Is Technical SEO? Technical SEO is the process of ensuring that a website meets the technical requirements of modern search engines with the goal of improved organic rankings. Important elements of technical SEO include crawling, indexing, rendering, and website architecture.What are the 3 steps to successful SEO? ›
- Step #1 Get to Know Your Buyers and Their Search Habits. ...
- Step #2 Optimize Your Website and Add New Content. ...
- Step #3 Maximize Conversions From Website Visitors.
- Study Your Competitors' Best Performing Pages. ...
- Conduct a Competitor Keyword Gap Analysis. ...
- Find (and Steal) Your Competitor's Broken Backlinks. ...
- Use Internal Links to Supercharge Page 2 Rankings. ...
- Clean Up Toxic Links. ...
- Earn Authority Backlinks with Digital PR.
Simply put, the fundamentals of SEO can be boiled down to The 3 Cs: content, code and credibility.
On-page SEO refers to the SEO elements you control on the webpage, or the webpage code, itself. Examples of on-page SEO include content, headlines and headers, image optimization, title tags, meta descriptions, structured data, and more.What is 5 star Google ranking? ›
Google reviewers also rate your business on a scale of one to five stars. Those Google star ratings affect local search results, so a company with a 5-star rating will be displayed higher in search results than similar local businesses with lower ratings.What are the quality ranking factors? ›
Quality Ranking Factor (QRF) - the "Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities" or "KSAS" that could be expected to significantly enhance performance in a position but are not essential for satisfactory performance.What factors go into ranking search results? ›
To give you the most useful information, Search algorithms look at many factors and signals, including the words of your query, relevance and usability of pages, expertise of sources, and your location and settings.What is a successful SEO strategy? ›
An SEO strategy is the process of organizing a website's content by topic to improve the likelihood of appearing in search results. Essentially, it is the process you follow in order to maximize the opportunity to gain organic traffic from search engines.What is advanced SEO strategies? ›
Advanced SEO typically involves technical concepts that are somewhat advanced, and/or a deeper understanding of the workings of Google's algorithm and are often employed by Professional SEOs.Which tools do you use for technical SEO? ›
- Screaming Frog. Screenshot of Screaming Frog, December 2022. ...
- Google Search Console. ...
- Google Analytics. ...
- Web Developer Toolbar. ...
- WebPageTest. ...
- Google PageSpeed Insights. ...
- Google Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool. ...
- Google's Rich Results Testing Tool.
Technical SEO is important because it essentially ensures that your website is easy to navigate and is free of any technical issues that prevent it from being understood and ranked by search engines. You should implement technical SEO to attract organic traffic and turn that traffic into customers.What is the difference between technical SEO and SEO? ›
Technical SEO is related to the behind-the-scenes structure of your website. Rather than focusing on the content of your webpages like on-page SEO, technical SEO is concerned with making sure your website is set up so that search engines can easily find, organise and display your webpages in search results.What are 3 main areas of SEO? ›
- On-page SEO – Anything on your web pages – Blogs, product copy, web copy.
- Off-page SEO – Anything which happens away from your website that helps with your SEO Strategy- Backlinks.
- Technical SEO – Anything technical undertaken to improve Search Rankings – site indexing to help bot crawling.
SEO means Search Engine Optimization and is the process used to optimize a website's technical configuration, content relevance and link popularity so its pages can become easily findable, more relevant and popular towards user search queries, and as a consequence, search engines rank them better.What are the 4 primary areas of SEO? ›
Each component builds on and complements the others. The stronger the connections between each of the 4 SEO components—technical SEO, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and content-—the better the results. Being aware of the connections will help us to better understand how to best utilize them effectively.What are SEO tools? ›
What Are SEO Tools? SEO tools provide data and alerts about the overall health and success of your website. They help uncover areas of opportunity and identify weaknesses or issues that may prevent you from ranking and earning visibility in the SERPs.What is 7 elements of on-page SEO? ›
On-page SEO refers to the SEO elements you control on the webpage, or the webpage code, itself. Examples of on-page SEO include content, headlines and headers, image optimization, title tags, meta descriptions, structured data, and more.What is an ideal SEO checklist? ›
On-Page SEO Checklist. Crawl your website. Conduct an SEO audit and define your site architecture. Update URLs, page titles, and meta descriptions. Make sure your keyword is in your URL.