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Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving a website in order to encourage greater visibility in search engines and ultimately increase 'organic' or 'natural' search traffic as a result.

Why is SEO important?

Search engines are not only the primary means of navigation across the web but they also serve highly targeted traffic, i.e. users who are actively looking for the information a site offers. Therefore, maintaining a high level of visibility within search results is crucial in order to maximise the potential audience and improve the click-through rate.

How do search engines work?

The goal of any search engine is to provide the user with the most relevant and high quality content for their search term. So, in theory, the more relevant and high quality a piece of content is, the higher it will appear in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). However, in practice, search engines need to be able to both find the webpage in the first place and then measure its value and they do so by using complex algorithms that check and weight content against a vast array of “ranking factors”.

What does SEO involve?

The exact number and constitution of ranking factors used by search engines are closely guarded and ever-changing. Nevertheless, SEO can be split into two distinct categories:

  • On-site - e.g. ensuring code is valid and easily read, tags are used correctly, content is original and informative
  • Off-site - e.g. having authoritative and relevant sites link back to yours, cultivating a strong social media presence, having content shared by influential sources

Crucially, the goal should always be to ensure that the user is provided with the best possible experience and the most relevant content; after all, this is exactly what search engines want too.

What are we doing?

We are currently working with a Norwich-based online marketing agency on a project to optimise the 'Study With Us' section of www.uea.ac.uk.

For more information on SEO, consult Google's SEO Starter Guide or Moz Beginners Guide to SEO.

For help on optimising your webpages, see our On-site SEO Checklist for Content Editors or contact Adam White in the Digital Marketing Team at digitalmarketing@uea.ac.uk.

For more information please contact Adam White.

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