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Www.ucl.ac.uk Search engine optimisation (SEO) toolkit This toolkit is intended to provide colleagues with a guide to assessing and improving academic.

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Presentation on theme: "Www.ucl.ac.uk Search engine optimisation (SEO) toolkit This toolkit is intended to provide colleagues with a guide to assessing and improving academic."— Presentation transcript:

1 Search engine optimisation (SEO) toolkit This toolkit is intended to provide colleagues with a guide to assessing and improving academic departments’ visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). This toolkit is split into 4 sections: 1.Update content regularly 2.Link building 3.Optimise your site 4.The alternatives - Pay per click 1.Update content regularly 2.Link building 3.Optimise your site 4.The alternatives - Pay per click SEO is something of a limitless area and what I have laid out here only covers the basics. If you feel you have something useful to add please contact me at Please also contact me if you would like help implementing this toolkit.

2 First of all find your page rating – Google Toolbar Search engine optimisation (SEO) toolkit 1.Download the Google toolbar: toolbar.google.com 2.Once the toolbar is installed go to your webpage 3.In the toolbar hover your curser over the page rank feature (as indicated) 4.This will tell you what rank Google gives your page 1.Download the Google toolbar: toolbar.google.com 2.Once the toolbar is installed go to your webpage 3.In the toolbar hover your curser over the page rank feature (as indicated) 4.This will tell you what rank Google gives your page Elite 8-10 Above average 6-7 Average 3-5 Below average 0-2 Page rank scores For an academic department website a score between 3-5 is pretty good. Alternatives – searchstatus for Firefox,

3 Fresh Bot Deep Crawl Bot Indexes updated pages every few days Indexes all pages once a month Search engine optimisation (SEO) toolkit Google uses 2 kinds of bots to crawl sites and index pages. Web pages that are frequently updated will score better in Google searches Google uses 2 kinds of bots to crawl sites and index pages. Web pages that are frequently updated will score better in Google searches 1. Update content regularly

4 2. Link building - Yahoo Site Explorer Search engine optimisation (SEO) toolkit 1.Search “Yahoo Site Explorer” 2.Enter your site URL (as shown) 3.Click explore URL 4. “Pages” shows how many web pages there are on your site 5. “Inlinks” shows how many sites link to you. 6. Click on “Inlinks” to see who links to you. Use the filters to edit out internal (from your site) links 7. Do this for competitors to identify sites that may wish to link to you. 1.Search “Yahoo Site Explorer” 2.Enter your site URL (as shown) 3.Click explore URL 4. “Pages” shows how many web pages there are on your site 5. “Inlinks” shows how many sites link to you. 6. Click on “Inlinks” to see who links to you. Use the filters to edit out internal (from your site) links 7. Do this for competitors to identify sites that may wish to link to you. Link building principals More inbound links to a page will increase the page rank in Google Link quality is important so try to get links from pages with a high page rank Internal links are very important! Google tries not to include paid ads

5 2. Link building – Link baiting Search engine optimisation (SEO) toolkit 1.Create content that will appeal to your audience 2.The content is published on the web (including a link through to your site!) and gains popularity 3.The target audience link to the content on social networking sites 4.A successful link bait can increase inbound links, traffic and brand awareness 5.Content can include: video, podcasts, research, statistical analysis, maps, reports, interactive tools, downloads etc 6.Post content on third party sites to increase exposure. (ITunesU, YouTube, Facebook etc) 1.Create content that will appeal to your audience 2.The content is published on the web (including a link through to your site!) and gains popularity 3.The target audience link to the content on social networking sites 4.A successful link bait can increase inbound links, traffic and brand awareness 5.Content can include: video, podcasts, research, statistical analysis, maps, reports, interactive tools, downloads etc 6.Post content on third party sites to increase exposure. (ITunesU, YouTube, Facebook etc)

6 3. Optimise your site, Identify keywords and key phrases – Wonder Wheel Search engine optimisation (SEO) toolkit In order to score well in searches it is important to research likely keywords and key phrases that your target audience will search for. Where appropriate these words and phrases should be included on your site. These same principals can be used in developing a Google Adwords campaign Keyphrase / keyword principals Matched key phrases are stronger than keywords Over 50% of searchers use 3 words or longer Consider variations (singular/plural – US/UK) 1. On the Google homepage select more search tools from left hand navigation 2. From the expanded list select Wonder Wheel 3. Enter possible keyphrases to see popular related search terms

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8 3. Optimise your site, Identify keywords and key phrases – Google Insights for Search Search engine optimisation (SEO) toolkit 1.Search – “Google Insights for Search” 2.Enter keyword or key phrase to check usage. 3.Add search term to compare 4.Use filters to refine the search 5.Identify peak search times to coordinate marketing campaigns 6.Use regional interest section to identify geographic trends 1.Search – “Google Insights for Search” 2.Enter keyword or key phrase to check usage. 3.Add search term to compare 4.Use filters to refine the search 5.Identify peak search times to coordinate marketing campaigns 6.Use regional interest section to identify geographic trends

9 3. Optimise your site, Identify keywords and key phrases – Google Adwords Tool Search engine optimisation (SEO) toolkit 1.Enter your keyword or phrase 2.Get keyword ideas and see the volume of global searches 3.See an indication of competition for those key words and phrases 1.Enter your keyword or phrase 2.Get keyword ideas and see the volume of global searches 3.See an indication of competition for those key words and phrases Supply/demand (# results/global monthly searches) MSc Economics = 129 Should be over 40 Supply/demand (# results/global monthly searches) MSc Economics = 129 Should be over 40 Keyword effectiveness index This formula is used in order to be able to compare the value of keywords and phrases:

10 3. Optimise your site, Writing for Search Engines Search engine optimisation (SEO) toolkit Keyword placement Page Title (60 letters max!) Headings (should only be one!) Body content Text links ALT text Keyword placement Page Title (60 letters max!) Headings (should only be one!) Body content Text links ALT text UCL School of Public Policy Keyword placement principals The above sections are the easiest for spiders to read and are therefore important places to put keywords. The main priority should always be to describe who/what you are

11 3. Optimise your site, Keyword / keyphrase placement Search engine optimisation (SEO) toolkit 1.Page Title - This is the most important section for SEO, make sure the page title is descriptive of the content and include keyphrases, where appropriate 2.Alt tags – these are a legal requirement for accessibility reasons. They also help search engines understand your multimedia content. In Silva select the image and write your description In the tooltip section on the right hand side. Then Select “update image” In Silva select the image and write your description In the tooltip section on the right hand side. Then Select “update image”

12 4. Pay per click (PPC) - Google Adwords Search engine optimisation (SEO) toolkit Search engine optimisation is an effective way to ensure that you appear in search engine results pages (SERP). In some cases a Pay per click (PPC) campaign can help to make your offering more visible. This might be appropriate for an Open Day, graduate evening or to advertise a new programme. 1. Why use PPC? Speed – instant rankings Simple to implement Increases visibility Control title and wording Update instantly Performance is measurable HE sector terms are relatively cheap (approx 5p) 1. Why use PPC? Speed – instant rankings Simple to implement Increases visibility Control title and wording Update instantly Performance is measurable HE sector terms are relatively cheap (approx 5p) PPC Organic 2. Things to watch More expensive than SEO Needs management Users prefer organic (only 27% will click PPC Put day limits on your campaign to limit spend 2. Things to watch More expensive than SEO Needs management Users prefer organic (only 27% will click PPC Put day limits on your campaign to limit spend Pay per click principals Many searchers do not look past the first page of results You only pay if someone is interested enough to click Ads appear on the Google Ad Network (1 million + sites) Ads appear on Search Network (AOL, Ask Jeeves etc) Can target people who have previously visited your site

13 Search engine optimisation (SEO) toolkit Quick glance summary - Search engines like Google use “spiders” to crawl through the web and index pages. How do spiders work? Read HTML from left to right – top to bottom Follow links on your page and to your page Place different emphasis on keyword placement May or may not be interested in Meta Tags (Google does not use them in its algorithm) Need “Alt Text” to understand multi-media files How do spiders work? Read HTML from left to right – top to bottom Follow links on your page and to your page Place different emphasis on keyword placement May or may not be interested in Meta Tags (Google does not use them in its algorithm) Need “Alt Text” to understand multi-media files Spiders don’t like Image maps Flash Text in graphics PDF, Word, RFT, Excel etc CSS, JavaScript Too many Keyword duplicates Redirection (301 redirect) Spiders don’t like Image maps Flash Text in graphics PDF, Word, RFT, Excel etc CSS, JavaScript Too many Keyword duplicates Redirection (301 redirect) Spiders like Page title should represent page content and contain anticipated search words Titles, sub-headings, tab names and links should be text not images, so that Google can read them. (if you can highlight the word with your mouse then Google can read it) Main headings should be in H1 to make it obvious to Google and appear in search results Complete the description meta-tag to control what copy the search results page shows Provide descriptive hyper-links rather than “click here” Update pages regularly Spiders like Page title should represent page content and contain anticipated search words Titles, sub-headings, tab names and links should be text not images, so that Google can read them. (if you can highlight the word with your mouse then Google can read it) Main headings should be in H1 to make it obvious to Google and appear in search results Complete the description meta-tag to control what copy the search results page shows Provide descriptive hyper-links rather than “click here” Update pages regularly

14 Lots of articles about SEO and online marketing from Webcredible Articles and case studies from WordTracker Writing for the web guidance from Jakob Nielsen (web guru) Free SEO Tool and articles AllinSEO plug in for Wordpress blogging Further reading Search engine optimisation (SEO) toolkit


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