Search Engine Optimization
Most website managers want their website to receive high rankings in search engines. There are a few things that you can do to help search engines find and index your web pages. Tip: Pay close attention to the first two items on this list because they will provide the most dramatic improvements in how your website is located through the college search engine and through Google, Yahoo!, MSN and others.
On this page
- Add a clear and unique title tag to each page
- Add meta keywords to every page
- Add a meta description to every page
- Rework the content
- Fix your broken links
- Be the expert of your topic
- Don’t try to outsmart the search engines
- Avoid frames
In the case that you want to exclude a web page from search engine query results, contact us in Web Services for assistance.
Ideally, all web pages should contain a unique title tag. The title tag is an HTML element that is used by search engines to represent the page when found through search queries. The title element for each file is also displayed on the title bar of web browsers.
The title tag is located in near the top of the HTML document. Dreamweaver and other HTML editors provide a method that allows you to update or add a title without requiring knowledge of HTML. The title should be less than 64 characters long.
Reasons for choosing a title tag on each page:
- The title is displayed in search engine results. If multiple pages use the same title then it is difficult for a reader to distinguish one page from another.
- The title is used by search engines to rank your web page. This is particularly true for our college search engine.
For a department or program home page, use:
<title>English Department, Bellevue College</title>
For other pages, use:
<title>Contact the English Department, Bellevue College</title>
Keywords are invisible to you while browsing the web but are used by search engines to get an idea of what words are important on each particular page. The college search engine pays close attention to keyword metadata when ranking your website pages. Because of this, it is particularly important that you add keywords to your department or program home page.
The meta keywords are located in the heading element of the HTML document. Dreamweaver and other HTML editors allow you to create and modify meta keywords without knowing HTML. Learn how to work with meta keywords using Dreamweaver.
Tips when adding keywords:
- Use words important to your web page content.
- Be creative in adding common synonyms, acronyms, abbreviations, and common misspellings of terms.
- Only use keywords relevant to that particular page to avoid having your web page index with a higher ranking in the wrong topic.
- Avoid intentional duplication of keywords. This doesn't fool search engines. In fact, it may negatively affect your search engine rankings.
- Your meta keywords should be no longer than 1,000 characters in length.
- Continue to refer to BCC and Bellevue Community College in your meta keywords for a while after our college name change.
For a department home page, use:
<meta name="keywords" content="english, engl, literature, en, composition, englsh, inglish, Englhis, nglish, ltierature, lit, compossition, , BC, Bellevue College, BCC, Bellevue Community College" />
For a department contact page, use:
<meta name="keywords" content="contact, phone, email, english, engl, BCC, Bellevue Community College, Bellevue College, BC" />
A meta description element provides a short, concise description of the content contained on the page. Like meta keywords, the meta description is invisible to you while browsing the web and helps search engines index and rank your website. This is particularly the case for our search engine.
The meta description is located in the head tag of the HTML document. Dreamweaver and other HTML editors allow you to create and modify meta description without knowing HTML. Learn how to work with meta descriptions using Dreamweaver (Scroll down to the "Meta Name Description" sub-heading).
Tips for adding a description:
- Carefully use keywords in your description.
- Your home page should have a description specific to the website or program as a whole.
- Each subsequent web page within the site should be specific to its unique page content.
- Your meta description should be less than 255 characters long.
For a department home page, use:
<meta name="description" content=" Bellevue College's Worker Retraining Program provides funding assistance, educational advising, educational planning and more" />
For a department contact page, use:
<meta name="description" content="Eligibility requirements for the Working Retraining Program" />
If you want to be even more strategic, you can also improve search results on particular words by adding those words into the page content. The more times a particular term is used, your page increases it's chances to have a higher ranking for that term.
Also, when you have headings in your content, remember to use HTML headings to identify them instead of simply changing font size. Search engines will give more value to the text inside those headings.
Make sure your content is accessible and following rules according to Bellevue College Web Content Accessibility Standards. By doing this, you are also making your site content optimized for search engines to more easily index your website.
If your website contains links pointing to non-existing web pages, you send a signal to search engines that your website isn't well maintained. This can have a negative effect on your search engine rankings. You should periodically check all the links on your website to make sure they are linked to the right location.
If your site has a lot content, search engines pay attention. If your website has a lot of valuable content, people will link to your site. As more websites link to your content, search engines will recognize your site as an expert on the topic and give your site higher rankings on search results for a given topic. This is particularly true if the websites that are linking to your site deal with the same topics as your website.
Note: Don’t bother trying to be a part of link exchange schemes because these may actually hurt your rankings. Also, make sure you also don't create extra content just for the sake of creating a larger website. First and foremost, your website content should be concise and useful for your audience.
The warning says it all. Simply try to keep your website useful, provide useful content, and if people think you have a good and trustworthy website, you will be rewarded with better search engine rankings. If you try to any tricks that you think seem sneaky, you are probably on your way to losing search engine rankings.
Search engines are not effective at indexing websites that use frames. If you don’t know if your website uses frames then your site is most likely not using frames.
Please contact Web Services if you have any further questions regarding information on this page.