Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the content of your page. 

Please keep the following in mind when creating or optimizing any of your office and department pages.

  • Title Tag
  • Meta tags (Metadata)
  • Alt Tags
  • Heading Tags
  • Page Content
  • Links

 


 

Title Tag

In Typo3 you enter the information that goes in the Title tag in the “Page title” box when you setup a new page or edit the page properties.

Your title tag should only be between 50-80 characters. By default Typo3 automatically adds “University of Michigan-Dearborn” which is 32 characters including spaces.

Be sure to include your keywords or keyphrases in your Title but don’t just list words. That is a red flag to search engines and you may be penalized in your rankings.

If you choose to have this page appear in your navigation (left column nav area) the "Title" you give it will also appear in the navigation.  Be mindful that it doesn't wrap to two lines.

 


Meta Tags

Keyword Tag*: 
Keywords are the words people type into the search box at a search engine. To ensure your page is represented correctly in a search, keep in the mind the following:

  • Type in your keywords and separate them with a comma* 
  • Don’t use keyphrases in this section; break them into their own words. 
  • Don’t use “stopper” words like “Of”, “The” or “And”.
  • Keep your keywords to fewer than 256 characters.

Keyphrases

Broken into Keywords

  • Undergraduate Admissions
  • Graduate Admissions

Admissions, Admission, Undergraduate, Graduate

  • Be specific and try to think like the audience you are targeting. 
  • Think of Keyphrases your audience would use and break them up into keywords
  • Don’t repeat words in the Keywords Meta tag.  The above example shows that the words Admission and Admissions only appear once.
  • Be sure to include “University”, “Michigan” and “Dearborn” in your Keywords.  Leave out “The” and “of”.

Description Tag*: 
A one or two sentence describing your site is all that should go here.  This description will be displayed in Search Engine results as well as being used for SEO. Be sure to include your keyphrases.  Keep your description to fewer than 156 characters.

  • These words need to appear in the text on your page and in your tags.  If they do not, the search engine will view this page as spam.

* - You can find the “Keyword” & “Description” boxes by clicking the “Metadata” tab under Page Properties in Typo3.“

 


Alt Tags

Alt tags are used on graphics and photos for accessibility readers and are a good place to include keywords. (Remember, if there is a word in your keywords then it should appear elsewhere on the page, too.)  Don’t just list keywords; be sure to describe the function of the image.  Keep your Alt tags as short as possible.

 


Heading Tags

These tags can also improve your rankings. Search engines will give your site more weight if your keywords are used between heading tags. You must follow the head tag convention to keep your page accessible. You must start with Heading size 1 (automatically used in the “Header” box when editing a page in Typo3.), then the next tag to use is Heading 2, and so on.

 


Page Content

Limit the use of Frames, JavaScript, Image Maps and Dynamic URLs and other items that may detract from the content of the page.

Text On Your Page
Your page should have at least 200 words. You should use your Keywords or Keyphrases in your text as often as possible but remember the page still needs to make sense. Make sure your Keywords and phrases appear in all of the tags on the page (alt, headings, title, etc.).

 


Links

Hyperlinks
Links to external sources

  • Make sure your links work
  • If linking to a non-UM-Dearborn site, make sure it is credible, links to spam type sites can affect your Search Engine rankings
  • Use Descriptive and Keywords to describe your links.  Using "Click Here" to indicate a link is not user friendly and does not help in your rankings.

Incoming Links
Search engines like pages that are linked from outside sources. For example many financial institutions have links on their own site linking to our Financial Aid site. This can get tricky because if an outside source page is considered spam and it has a link to your page, your page will receive a lower ranking.

Be sure to check every so often who’s linking to you. You can do this by going to Google.com and typing link:www.umd.umich.edu/Your_Site_Alias.

The algorithms used by the search engine companies are never posted and change often. Once you achieve an optimal position you will still need to check your page to make sure it keeps its ranking.