Optimizing your site for search engines means doing all that you can to help search engines find your site and rank it highly in their results.
Search engine optimization—more commonly known as SEO—is something of a dark art, since search engines keep their search methods top secret. However, there are some simple best practices you can follow to improve your SEO.
- Create unique and meaningful page titles to help search engines understand what each page is about, and to encourage users to choose your site in a search results page.
- Make sure that each page on your site specifically addresses a topic that’s of interest to your visitors, then determine what keyword or phrase resonates most with them. Use this keyword in your page title, URL, and in your content.
- Search engines like sites that load quickly. Follow best practices for front-end coding, and work with your web server administrators on techniques such as caching to keep page load times down.
- Give your images proper treatment. They should always include brief, descriptive alternative text, be sized appropriately, and be optimized for the Web.
- Metadescriptions help search engines find your site, and—more importantly—they are displayed in the snippet under your URL in search results and can entice readers to click through to your site. Write unique metadescriptions for each page, and keep them under 150 characters.
- We use this SEO checklist when assessing sites as part of consulting and project engagements.
- When visitors conduct searches on most University of Chicago sites, the results are generated by our own customized Google Search Appliance. Contact Heather to request that certain words or phrases lead folks straight to your site.
- Google provides an in-depth starter guide for search engine optimization.
SEO Services We Offer
Our resident search engine enthusiast Heather is happy to answer a question here and there, or set up a consulting engagement to help you improve your SEO. Complete our Getting Started form to get in touch!