How to improve the ranking of your web pages in the search results

There are several things you can do to make sure your pages show up in search results, or show up nearer the top.

Make sure your pages have meaningful titles. 

It's very important to give your pages meaningful titles, using words and phrases describing the topic of your page.  In Drupal, page titles are displayed as a Heading 1 <h1> above the main content.  It is also used in the <title> tag - this is the text users will see in their browser tab, and search engines will use it as the link text in search results.  Pages with the search terms in the title will be ranked higher than they would with the search terms in the body of the page. Try to make the title short and specific. Front-load the most important words - that's best for usability, accessibility, and search engine optimization (SEO).

Use heading tags to define the headings in your pages. 

If you've been using font size tags to make larger text for headings, your page isn't getting the rank it should have. For example, <h1>English Department</h1> will get a much higher ranking than <font size="+3">English Department</font>. 

Use logical heading structure in your content. 

Don't skip heading levels. Don't use headings for any images or text that is not supposed to function as a heading for the following content.  Don't use headings to make big links.  Make sure your content starts with an h1, followed by an h2.  Headings after the h2 should proceed logically according to the page structure without skipping levels.

Use meaningful and descriptive text in your headings. 

Make sure the heading text describes the content of your page.  Use the important key phrases in your headings. Avoid using vague, unclear or gimmicky heading text.

Use meaningful link text.

When making links, make sure the link text uses relevant, meaningful words and phrases that describe where the link goes.  Don't use "Click here" or other vague words and phrases.  If you must use "Read more" or Learn more" add text to make it meaningful - like "Learn more about the alignment of accessibility and SEO."

Get linked.

Search engines will find your site if they can get to it by crawling other known sites.  Make sure your page is appropriately linked in the menu of your site. Contact the Web Office to have your department or program site linked on the SSU A-Z index or an appropriate resource page, like Students, or Faculty & Staff

If after doing all of the above, your pages still don't show up, or show up high enough in search engine results, contact the IT Web Office and request a consultation.