Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Writing Guide
The Pacific University website as a whole enjoys a high search index ranking, making it Pacific University's most visible asset. Web editors can help maintain this and improve the ranking of individual pages with their content. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a way of improving a page's rank in search results by the way website content is presented and written.
Planning SEO-Friendly Web Content
- Content should be high quality, relevant and fresh
- Content on the page ideally should be at least 500 words in length
- Choose one or two target keywords and phrases for each page. These are the words that you hope will lead to your page if someone types them into a search engine.
- If you choose more than two target keywords, you risk diluting the strength of the content on the page. Instead, pick the most relevant keywords.
- If you are trying to rank well for three to four keywords on a page, it may be an indicator the content is too broad and should be broken up onto multiple pages so you can create page focus
Although search engine optimization is important, we want to write for our audiences and base optimization decisions on what's best for the visitors of our site.
Focusing too hard on specific tweaks to gain ranking in the organic results of search engines may not deliver the desired results. Search engine optimization is about putting our site's best foot forward when it comes to visibility in search engines, but ultimately site visitors and site users are the audience, not search engines.
Optimizing Webpages for Search Engines
For the best ranking in search engines, consider the following.
- Ensure target search phrases are included in page title and subheads
- Ensure target search phrases are repeated within body copy. The recommendation for repetition is three to 10 times depending on the amount of content, without over doing it. Copy should always be reader-friendly.
- Include a page summary that is no longer than 160 character and includes target phrases. This summary should give an overview of the subject or purpose of the page.
- Add a summary by clicking the blue "Edit summary" link located directly above the body editor.
- The meta description will pull from the page summary. Meta descriptions are important for conversions and to encourage people to click-through to a page.
- Use meaningful titles for pdfs, photos and other assets on the page
Other Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Considerations
- Use internal links to other Pacific website pages to encourage deeper user engagement and aid in SEO
- Use every opportunity to encourage inbound links, including news releases, articles, relevant blogs, web listings, etc.
- Use News/Media for timely content.