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SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of getting traffic onto your web page. There are particular elements that will make your page stand out to any major search engine, including those within the MSU website, as well as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. These search engines show results based on relevancy, so pay attention to these tips in order to better your SEO.

 

Page Descriptions

Search engines use the Description attached to your web pages in order to find and organize search results. This is true for outside search engines like Google, or internal search engines like the MSU search bar.

One of the easiest ways to improve your site’s searchability is to fill out the Description. We recommend you assign Descriptions to all of your web pages by editing Page Properties. This is especially useful when you are working with a faculty listing page or similar and would like the page to appear in search results displaying a description rather than displaying the first faculty listing on the page.

Remember your site’s Description is displayed in the search results so it is important your description be one or two well-written and fairly detailed sentences explaining what your page is about. If you do not provide a Description, the first sentences of your main content will be displayed in the search results.

Figure 1 illustrates the search results when a page description has been assigned.

 


Figure 2 illustrates the search results when a page description has not been assigned.

 

The Description field can be found by opening page properties.

Under Page Parameters locate the Description fields.

 

You do not need to fill out the Keywords and Tags fields.

 

Targeting

Remember you are trying to be specific enough with your web page that it will appear as highly relevant to search engines. Keep the titles of your web pages as concise and specific as you can, and maintain this same practice for file names, image names, and headings. Don’t use unnecessarily long names for your images, and keep it specific enough to describe what is in the image in one or two words.

 

Clean Content

As with a manuscript you send to a publisher, the cleaner your web page is the more likely it will be picked up. Revise for spelling mistakes, link breaks, image errors, and design problems.

 

File Names

File names should resemble “my-file-name.pcf”, all lowercase and concise. If your file names resemble “my-awesome-long-filename-that-is-very-very-long.pcf” then search engines will decrease the rank of your page(s) and it will appear much lower in the search results.

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