Higher Education Website Search Engine Optimization For Beginners

Seomoz.org For Your SEO Needs

I got a question the other day about SEO and what people should be doing to their websites.

Well, there is a lot you can do. Like adjusting title tags, adding keyword rich content, adding video and photos, making sure that their is a 301 Redirect to your www, etc so the search engines see only one site, etc…

But I always like to let the experts do the talking so I head on over to seomoz.org and find out what the smart SEO guys are doing.

There’s a lot of great information – especially the Beginner’s Checklist for Small Business.

But one of the best parts of SEOmoz.org is the survey from SEO experts in the field on Search Engine Ranking.

1. Keyword Focused Anchor Text from External Links – 73% High Importance
What does that mean? In plain English, this means that websites that link to your website are using real words to describe your website and linking to it.

Chas Grundy's Breadyear.com – Yum!

Example: Chas Grundy has a great blog called “Bread Year” (he’s making bread for a year because of resolution. Don’t ask me about it. Ask Chas.) Anyway, if I link to his site it would be great if I made a link like this – Check out Bread Year or this Chas’ Bread Making Site. But if I do this, Check out Chas’ BreadYear.com by clicking here.

The search engines don’t know what “click here” means but they do know it is a link. They give more power to the “keyword focused anchor text” link.

2. External Link Popularity is 71% High Importance.

This is something I preach over and over to people. The more links you get, the better off your site is. It’s not easy to get links but it’s worth it in the long run. And buying Google Adwords does not get you links. And don’t buy from “link farms” either, they will hurt you as well. You may win in the short run – as a friend of mine did when he got himself mentioned quite a bit on a social network – but as soon as Yahoo! downgraded the value of his links, his ranking position fell on the Search Engine Results Page.

How I try and get links every day is by writing good content (which is difficult), commenting on other people’s blogs (some of these won’t count but leave a link anyway), and working social networks. Putting links on any directory you can find – that is legitimate is good as well.

3. Diversity of Link Sources – 67% high importance.

This happens a lot at Notre Dame. One site I reviewed the other day had over 3000 inbound links. Yeah, that’s good stuff. Not really. If you take away the inbound links from the domain nd.edu, they dropped to just over 200. That’s why they weren’t being found in search. They didn’t have a lot of outside links from our domain or any other domains. Good content will get you diverse links.

4. Keyword Use Anywhere in the Title Tag – 66% high importance.

The fortunate thing about this is that it is easy to do. The title tags are the line in the very top of the browser.

Putting in keyword rich title tags can help you get found. Like one of the sites I reviewed the other day, had several keywords in the title tag and it made them number one in search on search.nd.edu organically. Even though there were several sites on campus that should have been beating them out.

Putting things like “Welcome to my Site” is worthless to Google. Maybe you are asking “how do I know what keywords to use?”.

If you are using Google Analytics, you can go into there and look at the search engine results. It will tell you the keywords that people are using to find your website.

If you want to be found for keywords that you think people might be putting into search fields, write all the words down and then use Google’s External Keyword Tool to see if people are really using those terms.

I hope this helps. And if you have any questions, please feel free to call the Agency or email me. I’ll help you out if I can.


31 responses to “Higher Education Website Search Engine Optimization For Beginners”

  1. Don-

    I appreciate this article. Your insight is always extremely valuable! Keep up the great work!


  2. Don-

    Uber helpful and understandable. You’ve got a great handle on a wide variety of marketing strategies! Awesome!

    -Kim G. (nate’s)

  3. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by DonSchindler: I’m hoping that my “SEO for Beginners” post is readable by beginners. #SEO #highered #notredame http://bit.ly/98vWqM

  4. Thanks for sharing informative post.

    choosing good niche based keywords is crucial, but placing them in right place is equally important and the best place for it is undoubtedly, in title tag.

  5. You are so right on the money. I have produced a small power point presentation talking about what you mention. Thank you for letting me know that I am doing things correctly by what you have mention in article.

  6. These are some great resources and exactly what I was looking for. Thank so much

  7. Very nice and helpful information has been given in this article. I like the way you explain the things. Keep posting. Thanks.

  8. I would have to say external link popularity with diversity of root domains is quite crucial

  9. I agree, seomoz is a great source of information. I just recently discovered it. Do you think it’s better to use a paid search tool such as Wordtracker over the free google keyword tool? I’ve heard that the google tool is more for adwords. Thanks.

  10. Useful information to read. Always paid services like marketing samurai and many others are better than free tools, because of good support and free from most bugs.

  11. I would have to say too external link popularity with diversity of root domains is quite crucial

  12. Thanks for sharing nice SEO Tips. Very open and informative.You have beautifully presented your thought in this blog post.

  13. Thanks for the beginner tips. I see from this that I have a lot to learn. I’m excited to see what is going to happen for my site position wise after I make these adjustments.

  14. As a Personal Development Coach I am very please to see that this page will help a lot people achieve what they need to with this SEO Information.
    Thank you

  15. chris fenzo Avatar
    chris fenzo

    As someone who is trying to get more customers to buy research chemicals on my site, this information is very useful in gaining more seo experience in order to market my business to these customers.

  16. Great insights. Being a webmaster myself it is usefull to see that I’m doing it right. πŸ™‚

  17. This is a great article and SEOMoz and SEObook are my favourite places to visit to keep up to date on the industry… πŸ™‚

  18. thank for the info
    i am a beginer too
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  19. Great SEO Basic rules that you have listed in this article Don. But there is much more. SEO is divided in 2 type of SEO factors that influence the search engines listing,. 1 st is on page SEO factors like keyword density 2% to 4% , Keywords in title or URLs, Keywords in H1 H2 H3 Tags, Bold or Underline, Keywords, keywords in first and last phrase and about 200 other on page factors that the Search Engine pay attention to. And then you have the off page factor like Backlinks, Page Rank, Acceleration of link popularity, Anchor text of inbound links, Link from “Expert” site, Site Age,… Here is more info on SEO Best Practice

  20. […] Jones Tami Donaldson Tamie Sheffield Tara Conner This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. […]

  21. Thanks for your post. I’m feeling love SEO now πŸ˜‰

  22. Don –

    Nice work. I, too, am a Search Engine Optimization enthusiast. Nice formatting as well.

  23. Very helpful tips. Thanks Don.

  24. Really Very informative and Great Post!
    It is SEO’s responsibilities to keep website as front runner in search engines.
    It helped me a Lot!
    Let me share β€œHow Get My Website On Google”

  25. Thank you for sharing this information, too important to disregard.
    I see that SEOmoz is a great source of information.
    A big hug,

  26. Thanks for the great share, this information very helpful.
    i advice everybody to try to learn about search engine working methods so you can find out all the keys of fast ranking.
    try to rank in all search engine not just google to get more traffic for your website

  27. […] Higher Education Website Search Engine Optimization For Beginners – I got a question the other day about SEO and what people should be doing to their websites. Well, there is a lot you can do. Like adjusting title tags, […]

  28. Some top tips for your students. Take note!

  29. Wow. Seomoz is d**n awsome resource. Thank you very much about this info. I am definetly going to subscribe

  30. I am a beginner in SEO. This information is very useful me. Begin to implement it. Some things I already knew. It is vital to take action learning pace. Thank you .

  31. Internet marketing company Avatar
    Internet marketing company

    Thanks for taking the time to share this with us. I totally agree with you πŸ™‚

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