Search Engine Optimization


Search Engine Optimization Tips

Top Best Practices at a Glance 

  • Pages must have unique page titles (fewer than 70 characters, including keywords) that are located at the front (reading left to right) 
  • Pages must have unique meta descriptions (fewer than 150 characters, includes keywords) that are located at the beginning of the meta description
  • Pages must have keywords (Ideally four to seven where all words appear in the page copy)
  • Spelling and grammar must be correct in all metadata
  • Alt text must include a keyword phrase and be added to every image (add Alt text to all images)
  • A dynamic XML sitemap has been created. (CivicPlus Provided) to view simply add “/xml” at the end of your live site domain
  • The XML sitemap has been submitted to search engines – simply download and submit
  • Page URLs consistently reflect site information architecture -- including the keyword phrase with hyphens (i.e. “/example-SEO-page-name”)– CivicPlus hardcodes this structure on your site
  • Redirects are in place for all previous URLs (redirecting old to new pages)

Create Unique, Accurate Page Titles

Be unique, and accurately describe the content of the page. Be brief but descriptive.

Write an Accurate Summary for the Page Description

Accurately summarize the page’s content, and use unique descriptions for every page. A title is usually a few words or a phrase, but the description may be a sentence or two or even a full paragraph.

  • Reasoning: This is the next object search looks for. It is left blank by most people when developing a page because it is not required, but it should include a summary description of the page. The Page Description is what appears in search engine results and helps users find what they are looking for.
  • Resource: Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide - Google Webmasters

Identify Keywords

Include common keywords for the page that people will use in their search for information. This can include misspellings or former names and titles. For example, if a program's name was recently changed, include the program's old name in the page's keywords so the page still appears in the search results if searched by the old name even if the old name does not appear within the page's new content).

Use the "alt" Text

Optimize your use of images by providing a detailed description of the picture for the " alt" text.

Make Content King

True SEO-friendly content contains many keywords and phrases and offers an easy read for average internet users. It’s important to make sure words appear frequently, but naturally, within the text content.

  • Reasoning: No matter what the engine is searching for, if your content is not relevant to the site, search results will not be either. Search engines are not able to index external content or Flash, Silverlight, or images so make sure the text on your page will draw the search results to your page over others. Any page that matches keywords or content more frequently will come up first in search results.
  • Resource: Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide - Google Webmasters

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