Search Engine Optimization

There are many ways you can optimize your web page for your users; optimizing for search engine usability is one of the key factors in helping users find your web page. When followed, the information on this page will help direct your target audience to your web page.

Page Title

Often overlooked adding a short and descriptive page title can improve a site ranking and search result dramatically. It is also what appears as the first line in most search results.

Example: http://www.montana.edu/commencement

<title>Montana State University - Commencement</title>

Page Title displayed in Google search results.

Content

While thinking about the ways you can make your site most effective, it is important to note that content is one of the highest ranking factors for a successful web page. Many web browsers are relying less on the underlying code and determining page worth based on its content.

When writing content:

  • Content should be well-written and free of errors
  • Aim for around 1000 words, with keywords incorporated at a ratio of 1:300
  • Put your most important content first; it is likely readers won't finish the entire article

Updating Meta Tags

One of the most important parts of making your website easy to find and identify is to update the meta tags for every page. These are found in the top of your html code within the head section. See example below:

The result of searching for Montana State University in Google Search Engine

Modify the content above as you desire and copy & paste it into your page's header.
This example shows how the meta tag is necessary for controlling the output of search engines. When not included, the search engine will search the content of the page and display a small, varying part of the main content instead. Read more about meta descriptions here.

 

When defining your meta description:

  • Make it specific to your page, using two sentences maximum
  • Aim to include words that are used within your page content
  • Keep your description under 150 characters (approximately 25-30 words)


Using keywords in Google Search Engine

 

 

When defining your meta keywords:

  • Attempt to use your keyword in your title tag
  • It is also suggested to use some keywords within the first 50-100 words within your page content