How to Improve your Search Engine Ranking

by Justin Young •
Updated May 20, 2015

Content Key

IMPROVE YOUR SEARCH ENGINE RANKING

Follow these suggestions, and watch your website rise the ranks to the top of search-engine results.

Publish relevant content

Quality content is the number one driver of your search engine rankings and there is no substitute for great content. Quality content created specifically for your intended user increases site traffic, which improves your site’s authority and relevance.

Identify a keyword phrase for each page. Think about how your reader might search for that specific page. Then, repeat this 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.

Don’t forget to use bold, italics, heading tags, and other emphasis tags to highlight keyword phrases, but don’t overdo it.

Never sacrifice good writing for SEO. The best pages are written for the user, not for the search engine.

Update your content regularly
You’ve probably noticed that we feel pretty strongly about content. Regularly updated content is viewed as one of the best indicators of a site’s relevancy, so be sure to keep it fresh.

Metadata

When designing your website, each page contains a space between the tags to insert metadata, or information about the contents of your page. If you have a CMS site, the UMC web team will have pre-populated this data for you:

Title Metadata

Title metadata is responsible for the page titles displayed at the top of a browser window. 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.

Description Metadata

Description metadata is the textual description that a browser will 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.

Keyword Metadata

Keyword metadata are the search phrases that people type when they want to find your page. You’ll want to include a variety of phrases. However, don’t get greedy: if your list becomes excessive, the browser may completely ignore the data. As a general rule, try to keep it to about 6-8 phrases with each phrase consisting of 1-4 words. A great example would be “computer science degree.”

Have a link-worthy site

Focus on creating 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.

Use Alt Tags

Always describe your visual 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.

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