How Google ranks your web site

A Search Engine Optimization Presentation

Created by Ryan Adkins for 2014 UAA Development Day

So... What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's " natural" or un-paid(" organic") search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine's users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.

SEO & Universal Design
are best friends!

Universal Design will be even more important with the growing mobile web.

What is Universal Design?

With the internet of things upon us.

  • Create content that is accessible to anyone or anything.
  • Do not lock your content into proprietary technologies.

For more information see Krista Zug or the Web Apps team.

No Silver Bullets to be #1

Seach Engines use Proprietary Search Algorithms

  • All we can do is Follow Best Practices (Web Standards)
  • Never forget Content is KING!
  • Design great sites for your users and rankings will follow

How Search Engines see your site

Indexing/Search Bots

Your best blind customer

How Search Works

Site/Page Structure

Being in the CMS raises your search ranking

The CMS helps provide the basic structure of your pages. Technical aspects of SEO like sitemaps, robot.txt files and Google/Bing Webmaster Tool Administration are taken care of by administrators.

CommonSpot CMS New Page Dialog

                    url: Name
                    <title> Title Bar Caption <title>
                    <meta name="description"> Description <meta>
                    <h1> Title </h1>
                    <h2> Section Title </h2>
                    <p> This is a short sample sentence. </p>
                    <h3> Sub-Section Title </h3>
                    <p> This is another short sample sentence. </p>

Who is linking to You

Google Analytics Trackbacks

Google Analytics Trackbacks

Anatomy of a Google search result

3 Elements of Search
Engine Result Page (SERP)

  1. Rank (Google Page Rank)
    • PageRank is Google’s system of counting link votes and determining which pages are most important based on them. These scores are then used along with many other things to determine if a page will rank well in a search.
  2. Authority (.edu is special on the web)
    • How long a web site has been live, great content that is authoritative on the subject, no spammy tactics for SEO, etc. Think of authority in real life.
  3. Relevance
    • All factors related to the theme of a link. From anchor text to incoming links of the website that links to you, they all influence link relevance.

Choosing the Right Keywords

General vs Specific (Long Tail)

Competition for #1

Google Adwords Keyword Tool

Google Analytics

  • What keywords are your visitors using to find your content
  • Is your home page really the first page users see?
Google Analytics

SEO Research Tools

Social Search

See Catalina Meyer or the UAA Social Media site for Social Media help.

Increase your SEO ranking

Be Patient

Web Design and SEO is like taking care of a plant

SEO Infographic

On Page SEO (Easy)

  • User Centered Design & Content that is Relavent
  • Content Freshness
  • Avoid Duplicate Content
  • Site Structure
    • File Name/URL (web pages, documents, & images)
      • lowercase with hyphens between words
    • HTML Title (50-60 characters)
      • Page Name | Site Name
    • Meta Description (150-160 characters)
    • Headings (H1-H6)
    • Anchor Text (Link text)
    • Lists (Numbered & Bulleted)
    • Image Alt Text
    • Body Text
      • <em> emphasis </em>
      • <strong> strong emphasis </strong>

Off Page SEO (Hard)

  • Create Relationships
    • Link to content instead of copying (Good Web Citizen)
    • Increase back links with authoritative sources
  • Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc.)

Source Material


Presentation by

UAA IT Web Apps Team

Ryan Adkins, Kurt Mathews & Rachel Waters