Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines.
Search engines aim to provide users with a list of links to web pages that contain content relevant to the users' search terms. To do this, search engine software analyses web page content to determine how it should be indexed (for example, words are extracted from the page titles, headings and body content) in relation to likely search terms.
Websites that are well-structured, accessible and use valid HTML are ranked higher in search results.
How to improve your website's SEO
Improve the structure of your page
The way a web page is structured determines how search engines index the page. The following elements should be used when editing pages:
- Bullet points
- Meta Descriptions
- Meaningful links on every page
In HTML there are six levels of headings. Level 1 <h1> is the most important heading on a page and it is the first thing that a search engine will crawl.
Level 5 and 6 are rarely used and are the least important.
The UWTSD Website automatically generates the <h1> heading (See below). This is taken from the section name in the CMS. This heading should only be entered once on a page. You will need to manually enter the other headings.
Meta descriptions provide explanations of the contents of a web page and are commonly used on search engine result pages (SERPs) to display preview snippets for a given page.
Although Google no longer considers Meta descriptions when ranking pages they are important in gaining visitors from SERPs. The description should be between 150-160 characters and should contain compelling content which is related to the page that a searcher will want to click.
You are encouraged to double check Meta descriptions when editing pages either edit, complete, or enter something in the field.
Content should include frequently searched keywords or phrases.
Choose keywords that most accurately reflect your web page's content. For example, on a page about an open day in Swansea, 'Swansea' and 'Open Day' would both are important keywords. Use keywords as much as possible within the following elements on the web page:
- Page title
- Body content, particularly within the first paragraph
- Meaningful links, eg 'Swansea Open Day' rather than 'University Open Day'
Using meaningful words for your section/page and media-file names will also improve page rankings, eg use 'undergraduate' rather than an abbreviations such as 'ugrad' or ‘ug’.
Google (and other search engines) rank web pages higher when they have more external links pointing to them. They assume that if third parties are linking to a Website they must contain something of value.
If UWTSD has one hundred external links pointing to its page on postgraduate study and another institution has only ten, UWTSD will be ranked much more highly. Linking websites must be quality websites, for example, a link from the BBC is worth much more than a link from a small organisation.
Other ways to promote your website
- Include your URL on leaflets/flyers/publications
- Use social media
- Include your URL in email signatures
- Circulate your URL on relevant mailing lists