Updated May 2019
Your largest and most influential audience is on the internet. In 2019, print is still popular in higher ed, but the information on your website matters more than any other communications collateral.
Your audience doesn’t bookmark your website. They don’t even want to bother navigating once they are one your website. They will use search engines to get the information they want, BECAUSE IT WORKS.
You can serve your audience better by making sure that the information they want is one of the first five search results on Google or Bing.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the only way to guarantee that this happens. Successful SEO requires a combination of website infrastructure, performance data analysis, and thoughtful content creation including naming conventions, keywords, and information architecture.
Whether you do this yourself, hire a consultant, or figure out a combination of the two, the Institute expects you to understand the basics of SEO and be aware of how your unit’s digital footprint performs.
1. Create Accounts
- Create a Google Analytics account and generate a tracking code.
- Create a Google Search Console account and verify your website.
- Create a Bing Webmaster Tools account and verify your website.
- Create a profile on Google My Business. This allows your website to be included in local or map listings.
2. Prioritize Efforts
When beginning your SEO optimization project, focus on the main sections of your website as well as the pages you want people to see.
- Address the best: Using Google Search Console, find the top 10 pages that drive organic search traffic.
- Fix the worst: Using Google Search Console, find the bottom 5 to 10 pages that do not get much organic search traffic.
- If applicable, list any additional webpages that you want to drive more traffic to.
Use these lists to determine the webpages that you want to spend your time and effort to optimize to gain more organic search traffic. With your final list in hand, it's time to move on to Phase One: Quick Wins.
- Develop a list of keywords for each webpage.
- Incorporate keywords into webpage content.
- Find and fix broken links.
- Make sure all headings and subheadings have <H> tags.
- Optimize all webpage titles.
- Optimize all anchor links.
- Optimize visual content.
- Make sure every webpage links to at least one other webpage.
Tasks that are Worth the Time Investment