Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Checklists

Website visits from search engines have increased dramatically in recent years. Because of this, it is important to optimize web pages and news articles so that they display correctly in search results and rank well for desired keywords. This is especially important for people who are not specifically searching for Lehigh, but who we want to discover Lehigh and our work. The following checklists will guide you in creating SEO-friendly web pages and news articles.

Checklist for Creating Web Pages

 

Optimize Page Title

This is HTML code that names your page on the browser window or tab - also known as "Title Tag"

  • Include keywords relevant to page topics
  • Keep title length under 60 characters so that Google displays the entire title in the search results
  • Position important keywords to the front of the title (ex. Learn More About Our Research | Lehigh University)

Include Meta Descriptions

This HTML description will not appear on page - it appears in code and is crawled by Google to serve as a description or summary in search results

  • Describe what pages are about using keywords relevant to page topics (Ex.Through our research programs, we’ve always fostered discovery. We know that students come to us with a spirit of inquiry - and it’s our job to cultivate that.)
  • The optimal meta description length is 150-160 characters so that Google displays all of it

Optimize URL

  • URL should be short and concise (optimal length is 50-60 characters)
  • Use most important keywords
  • Use dashes to separate words instead of spaces or underscores (ex. separate-words)
  • Make sure there are no other punctuation marks in the URL (such as periods or quote marks)

Optimize Headline and Subheads throughout Page Content

  • Use relevant keywords within the headline and subheads
  • Headline and subheads should follow proper HTML structure (Ex. H1, H2, etc.) - not doing so confuses search engines.

Ensure Images are Named Properly

Mountaintop occurs in converted industrial spaces and encourages group-based, interdisciplinary research

Use relevant keywords in image file name, alt text and captions

  • File name (separate words with dashes): lehigh-research-mountaintop.jpg
  • Alt text (optimal length is 125 characters or fewer): Mountaintop occurs in converted industrial spaces and encourages group-based, interdisciplinary research.
  • Caption: MOUNTAINTOP: What does a 21st Century Environment for Learning, Discovery and Engagement look like?

Create a Link-Building Plan

  • Creating links from your webpage/story:
    • Linking to content and other websites within the university will generate more traffic and will discourage duplicating content within the lehigh.edu domain (a big negative for SEO).
    • Linking to content and other websites outside the university can influence domain authority scoring, as well as encourage other websites to link back to lehigh.edu.
  • Getting links to your webpage/story:
    • Create HTML ready snippets that other websites can plug right into their content
    • Ask departments, offices, professors, etc. highlighted in an article to post the link to the story on their website and/or social media accounts
    • Create an RSS feed for your content
    • Work with local & national media to share your content
    • Encourage users to share your content via social media

 

 

Checklist for Creating News Articles

 

Include Meta Descriptions

This HTML description will not appear on page - it appears in code and is crawled by Google to serve as a description or summary in search results (Ex. Joseph E. Buck, currently the associate dean of advancement at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, has been appointed Lehigh’s vice president for development and alumni relations.)

  • Describe what article is about using keywords relevant to page topics
  • The optimal meta description length is 150-160 characters so that Google displays all of it
  • Note: Sometimes Google will use the first 150 characters of your article as the description of the Search Result, so be thoughtful as you write those and consider adding keywords to the lede.

Optimize URL

  • URL should be short and concise (optimal length is 50-60 characters)
  • Use most important keywords
  • Use dashes to separate words instead of spaces or underscores (Ex. “www1.lehigh.edu/news/joseph-e-buck-named-vice-president-development-and- alumni-relations-lehigh”)
  • Make sure there are no other punctuation marks in the URL (such as periods or quote marks)

Plan Headline and Subheads throughout Page Content

The Headline becomes the name for your page on the browser window or tab - and also for search results (Ex. Joseph E. Buck named vice president for development and alumni relations at Lehigh.)

  • Use relevant keywords within the headline and subheads
  • Keep headline length under 60 characters so that Google displays the entire headline in the search results
  • Headline and subheads should follow proper HTML structure (Ex. H1, H2, etc.) - not doing so confuses search engines.

Ensure Images are Named Properly

Joseph E. Buck, Lehigh's vice president for development and alumni relations

Use relevant keywords in image file name, alt text and captions

  • File name (separate words with dashes): lehigh-joseph-buck-vp-dev-alumni.jpg
  • Alt text (optimal length is 125 characters or fewer): Joseph E. Buck named Lehigh's vice president for development and alumni relations
  • Caption: Joseph E. Buck, who has just been named Lehigh's new vice president for development and alumni relations, has served in key development positions at the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania and LaSalle University.

Create a Link-Building Plan

  • Creating links from your webpage/story:
    • Linking to content and other websites within the university will generate more traffic and will discourage duplicating content within the lehigh.edu domain (a big negative for SEO).
    • Linking to content and other websites outside the university can influence domain authority scoring, as well as encourage other websites to link back to lehigh.edu.
  • Getting links to your webpage/story:
    • Create HTML ready snippets that other websites can plug right into their content
    • Ask departments, offices, professors, etc. highlighted in an article to post the link to the story on their website and/or social media accounts
    • Create an RSS feed for your content
    • Work with local & national media to share your content
    • Encourage users to share your content via social media
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