Search Engine Optimization
Many users enter our website via search engines, such as Google. Excellent Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical to ensuring users can access what they are looking for in an efficient way, thus creating a positive user experience.
User accessibility is an important part of the website, as it makes information about our university available to all users, including visitors with disabilities that affect their use of technology. By addressing issues that may affect individuals who use assistive technologies, we can improve our websites for visitors and make it an inclusive place for all users. When in doubt, use this resource to check a page’s accessibility rating.
Finding the right keywords or phrases to work into our content can take time, but it will really make a difference in the number of people finding and spending quality time on the site. When in doubt, use site search data to familiarize yourself with words our visitors are using. Incorporate keywords into page titles, subheadings, links, metadata and image and video tags.
Meta Titles and Decriptions
We should always add meta titles and meta descriptions to site pages. The meta title is the page’s title and displays above the page’s URL on a page of search results. The meta description is an overview of what a page is about. It can display under the page’s URL in search results, if the search engine doesn’t pull other text from the page that it thinks is more relevant. Keep meta descriptions brief, since some search engines display as few as 150 characters, including spaces. Search engines do not evaluate images and videos within our site, so meta titles and descriptions, which are written into the HTML code, are especially important in helping users find our site.
Visitors who are vision impaired view the web with their ears by using software that reads content to them. Provide a text description for images in the form of ALT tags in the HTML code. Do this for logos, diagrams, photos and any other imagery. To write good ALT tags you must know why you’re using the image, so make sure every image has a purpose. ALT tags also contribute to SEO.
Use PDFs sparingly on the web. Content in PDFs is more difficult for the visitor to find and if not formatted properly, not accessible for visitors using assistive technology. Another challenge is that most PDF files usually come from paper documents and are not written for the web. So we really need to consider if a PDF adds value to the visitor. When possible, rewrite PDF content to fit on a relevant webpage. If you must post a PDF, use it to supplement content that is available in another format online.