Search Engine Optimization

Search engines look at:

  • "key" words in the body of your text (most important)
  • page description (entered in the standard metadata; displayed on search engine results). Search engines recommend
    • write a unique description relative to the content of that specific page
    • do not use generic descriptions like "This is a web page"
    • write a description not pasted from the page. Do not just use keywords
  • page title (entered in standard metadata using "Title Bar Caption"). Avoid using a single title tag across all of your site's pages or a large group of pages. Search engines recommend it be
    • unique
    • accurate
    • informative
    • short
  • external links from other websites to your page (quality, quantity and diversity of external links)
    • create compelling, fresh, useful content to influence others to link to your site
    • optimize social media
  • page keywords (entered in the standard metadata)

People look at:

  • page description (see above)
  • friendly url
    • STRONG:
    • WEAK:
  • accuracy (users are turned off by broken links)
  • simple navigation
    • you can use breadcrumbs element as additional aid
    • avoid navigation based on drop-down menus, images or animation


Content Quantity. Too much content can negatively affect your search results. Do not use the web server as a file cabinet. Other online storage options are MyTulane and Greenspace.

Content Quality. Use heading tags to emphasize important text. But do not excessively overuse them, when italic or bold may be more appropriate.

Anchor Text. Tell the users about the page you are linking to using descriptive keywords. Avoid “click here” for any content you want people to be able to search.

  • STRONG: watch a Tulane Empowers video
  • WEAK: click here for a video about Tulane Empowers.

Terminology. Use terms that users know, rather than what we call things internally – e.g., more students search for “campus dorms” than “residence halls.” You can still label them "residence halls" on pages, but name the links in site menu as “campus dorms.”

Image searches. Use "alt" image attribute to improve image searches. Also, avoid generic file names like image1.jpg, instead use tulane-mascot.jpg



Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000