General Guidance for SEO on the University of Maine System Website
The University of Maine System website follows the Associated Press Online Stylebook (External Site). Because the University of Maine System is an institution of higher learning and an institution that prioritizes accessible web content, consistency and accuracy are important. Please review your web content for errors in style, spelling and grammar.
Guidelines about SEO basics can be found below.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” SEO is the practice of increasing the quality of the content on your website as well as the number of clicks from search engines such as Google, Bing, Duck Duck Go, Yahoo and more. SEO is often referred to as the non-paid (or “organic”) clicks that lead to your website after a user has searched for something on a search engine. And, as an added bonus: A website with good SEO is also a website that is doing well with accessibility requirements.
SEO is about understanding and writing for people who are searching for answers on the internet. What words are people (or “users”) searching, what kinds of content are people seeking out and what questions are people asking are the topics that inform good SEO writing. Knowing how to answer these questions will help you write more clearly and concisely on your website pages.
What is a search engine?
Search engines are how internet users search for information and find answers. Search engines review billions of pages and pieces of content and evaluate hundreds of thousands of factors to determine which content is the most relevant answer to your search query.
Search engines are able to do the heavy lifting of finding content for users by cataloguing all available content on the internet, which includes web pages, PDFs, images, videos and other media. This process is known as “crawling and indexing,” and then using all of the elements to create a “ranking” of content. If the answer to your search query is the fifth link on the search engine page, then that page was ranked fifth by the search engine in most relevant content to your search.
Why is SEO important on your website?
If your web page content is not ranked highly in search engines, then the users who may benefit from the answers you are providing will likely not find those answers very easily. A website with a high ranking is a website that has been written and structured with web writing best practices and has accessible PDFs, videos and images.
Basic SEO best practices
Below are a few additional tips to improve your website or web page’s SEO:
- Title the pages on your website clearly and concisely
- Visit Google Trends (External Site) to review what users are looking for on the internet, make sure those keywords are in your content
- Write original content on your website
- Write informational content with answers to questions
- Utilize web writing best practices
- Strive to write around 300 useful words on every page where it is practical to do so
- Nest header (or heading) tags appropriately
- Ensure alt text is accurate on all images
- Ensure that all videos have transcripts or closed captions
- Simplify your URL page and use keywords in the URL whenever possible
If you answer “yes” to all of the questions on the publishing checklist provided by this content management website your site will be utilizing SEO best practices.
Still need help? Reach out to the content management team for a consultation.