University Marketing and Communications

Overview of SEO and how to improve Google rankings

Develop Good Content

  1. Authoritative content. Can’t game Google. Need focused, organized content that meets the needs of your users. Keep it fresh. Don’t need to optimize every web page. Focus on these:
    • Top-level pages for each website and the main sections of a website 
    • Degree/program pages
    • Accreditation pages
    • Rankings, awards, or recognition pages
    • Financial aid pages
    • Pages about online programs
  2. Put user first. The less they bounce, the better your ranking. Give them what they want and answer their questions.
  3. Research and use keywords.
    • Do Google searches for things your users might search for. Look at what shows up on page 1 and visit their sites to analyze them.
    • Using long-tail keywords (3 or 4 words) will improve rankings more than single keywords that have high competition
    • 3-5% keyword density; 3 or 4 phrases, 9 to 12 words
    • No keyword stuffing. Google will punish you for it. (more than 10% keyword density)
    • Keyword search tools:
  4.      High-quality links.
    • Internal – links to other pages on your website; use about 3 on a long page
    • External – links outside of your website; be careful about taking folks away from your website
    • Backlinks – One of the best ways to improve rankings: Get others to link to your page.
  5.      Avoid duplicate content. Confuses Google. 
  6.      Include images and videos.
    • Videos and photos engage users. The less they bounce, the better your rankings.
    • Can optimize both, using alt tags, etc.
    • Try for at least 2 images per page.
    • Google only finds videos from YouTube.
  7. Write long – 500-2000 words. This makes you more authoritative in Google’s eyes. But be judicious. If you don’t have something to day, don’t pad it.

Do Search Engine Optimization checkups regularly.

Measure results

Use Google analytics. Are you meeting your goals?

SEO and Omni 

Bonus – all these steps make your page more useful for disability and fulfill ADA compliance 

Folder name 

It matters what you call it.  This will be your URL for the page.

  • Department of Kathleen is Awesome 
  • No:              Yes: — search engine friendly

Site structure 

  • Clear site structure navigation 
  • Think buckets - content areas, audience structure 
  • Google uses this structure to help visitors find relevant content 

 Page title 

  • Name your page something short and appropriate. This will be your H1 hed.  
  • This will show up on the browser tab.  

 Meta Keywords  

  • Words that categorize your webpage for a search engine.  

 Meta Description 

  • A sentence or two (50-160 characters) that describes your page and is rich in key words 
  • This is likely to show up in the description of your webpage when searching.  

 Make your page powerful 

  • Authoritative, descriptive text  
  • Fresh content on a regular basis 
  • Clear topics that match site structure 
  • Use H1, H2, H3 tags - help Google understand page structure, topics 
  • Use images and videos with descriptive alt-tags that reinforce your message 
  • Write out website name in links 
  • Drive traffic to top-level pages for ultimate optimization 

 H1 Heading

  • Google gives more weight to words when they appear in H1 headings. 
  • You can only have one H1 tag on a page. The H1 heading is whatever title you use in your department info file.

 H2 and H3 Headings 

  • H2 and H3 headings can be used to break up large blocks of text, and they’re also a great place to insert keywords. Google gives more weight to words when they appear in H2 and H3 headings. 
  • Think outline style, must be in logical order 

No – H1, H3, H2                 Yes - H1, followed by an H2, followed by an H3. 


  • Keywords can be inserted into the anchor text. 

No - Click here for more information.              Yes - Learn more about financial aid at The University of Toledo. 


  • Keyword can be inserted into image description 

No – students on campus           Yes – UToledo students learning about their financial aid at Rocket Solution Central.  

Last Updated: 6/27/22