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The Search For SEO! Learn it in 30 seconds!

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The good thing is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) isn’t that hard to find. You don’t have to be Indiana Jones on a search for the Lost Ark of the Covenant, or some other mystical prize, to find the secrets to SEO.


First of all what exactly is SEO? According to Wikipedia: Search Engine Optimization, or SEO is “the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results.” Another website defines SEO as: “the art of creating Web pages that will rank high in search engine returns."


Confused? Don’t be. The good news is Collage takes care of a lot of this for you in your pages Metadata, and we can teach you the rest. (Never heard of Metadata? – then read our blog entry: Where's Waldo? The Secrets of Search - Using Metadata.

This short and simple guide will teach you the ins and outs of Search Engine Optimization in Collage in about 30 seconds or so – depending on how fast a reader you are. We’ll be borrowing some of the basics from Nicola Ziady and Ragan.com.


1.  Find related keywords. Make a list of words relevant to your College’s, Department’s, Research Center’s etc. specialties. Choose words that will attract people and carry out your objectives.

You’ll type these into the Metadata - separated by commas. Think like a person searching for this page or your department. Type in any word that you might consider typing into a search engine to find your page or department. For example, you can type in several variations on even UMass Lowell, UMass-Lowell, University of Massachusetts Lowell, UML, etc. An easy way to do this is to keep a list in a text file on your desktop and you can just copy and paste most of the terms in when you work on a page.

keywords.jpg 2. Add the keywords to the page title. Your page title is the most important aspect of your website. Search engines evaluate your title to determine what is on a Web page. Add your keywords to the page title if possible.

This is the title in bold at the top of your page. You should also have them in your Browser Title (another field in the Collage Metadata) – this is what you want the top of the webpage to say on the live website.

 

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3. Add the keywords into the metadata description. Gather up your keywords and add them into the page description. The blurb should be easily read and short.

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4.  Use the keywords in your page content. Try to fit your keywords organically into the text of your page to notify search engines that the content is actually relevant to the theme.


5.  Monitor your results. Check Google and other search engines to test your rank and see if your SEO is working.

If you run into any problems please as always feel free to contact the Web Content team via our hot-line at 978-934-3875 or e-mail: webcontent@uml.edu

That's it. You're done. Not so hard now is it? Not like say trying to out run a giant boulder...

indiana-jones-boulder.jpgTHE END.

Jumping To Hyperspace With Your Links: Don’t “Click Here”.

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O.k. what’s the first thing you think of when I say “hyperlink”? If you’re like me, (or a teen-age to middle-age boy) you probably think of Star Wars and “hyperspace”. The good news is the technology need not be anywhere near as advanced for a “hyperlink”.

So what’s a hyperlink? A hyperlink is a word, phrase, or image that you can click on to jump to a new document or a new section within the current document. Hyperlinks are found in nearly all web pages, allowing users to click their way from page to page. Chances are many of you have already made at least one of these; you can generally recognize them by the text being in a different color than the rest of the page (usually blue or red) and the words being underlined. If you’re looking for help on creating a link, creating an anchor link, or the differences between Internal and External Links – follow these links or check out the CMS Blog Archives.

So why can’t I use “click here”? 
Here’s the thing about hyperlinks – the text you use with them is very, very important. Search Engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. use the text as a basis for what the link goes to. So if you say “click here” or “for more information” etc. then it thinks that’s the name of the page that you are linking to. Entering in your Metadata on all of your pages is also important in this regard. It’s also proper web etiquette to hyperlink this way rather than to say “click here” etc.

Notice in the paragraphs above that there are five hyperlinks – linked to text that more accurately describes the pages they link to. It’s also not a good idea to write out the website address (http://www.uml.edu ) as your link – instead write out the name of the site University of Massachusetts Lowell and then hyperlink it. It’s also in the best interest of your visitors. Studies have shown that people visiting a website are more likely to click on a link that contains key words that describe where the link points to.

Hyperlinks can also be done as part of a bulleted or other type of list. Take, for example the About the University page from the UMass Lowell website:

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Each of those items in the list is a hyperlink.

By better hyper-linking your pages you will not only help your website be found more easily on Google and other search engines but will also help your users get to where they need to go faster and easier.

As always if you have any questions about this, or other Collage or web-related matters, please don’t hesitate to contact the Web Content Team. (See that? I just hyper-linked an e-mail address, too!) You can also call the Web Content Hot-line at: 978-934-3875.

THE END.


Do you Google? How about Yahoo!? Perhaps your thing is Bing? These names of internet search engines have become common place in today's world. Did you know we have a UMass Lowell search engine too? Look on the homepage under Search UMass Lowell. Well the engine that drives our search engine is called Metadata. So whether you're wondering 'Where's Waldo?' or 'where are directions to M2D2?' the metadata is what enables the search to find what you're looking for, among other things. 


I’m going to cover adding metadata in three different types of files: a regular page, a news story and a faculty-staff bio. Metadata is required in every new page you create, and should be added to any pages with which you are responsible for editing. It is easiest to work on your metadata after making all of your edits to whatever page (asset) you're working on.

I’m going to assume you already know how to create a new task, open it and then click on a file to edit it. If not please go to this blog entry – and follow steps 5 through 14.


Adding Metadata to a regular web page.


1. Inside your new task click on the page you wish to edit (and add the metadata) by clicking on the highlighted blue file name – in this example it’s the default page for SLICE.

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2. Your typical edit window will open (please keep in mind it may look a little different than mine). Click on the Metadata tab two spots to the right of Save.

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3. A pop-up window will open. Some of these fields may be already filled out when you created the new page (sometimes the Name and Description). If not then please fill out these fields.
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4. Leave the Start date and Expiration date blank unless you wish for the page to go up at a certain time and come down – this is usually used on things like job postings or calendar events. If you do wish to do this – select the appropriate date from the drop down menu.

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5. Please ignore the Flash banner and index file drop down menu.

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6. Select your department from the drop-down menu. If your department is not listed here – please e-mail webcontent@uml.edu and request that it be added.
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7. Type in your Browser Title – this is what you want the top of the webpage to say on the live website.

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8. Type in your keywords separated by commas. Think like a person searching for this page or your department. Type in any word that you might consider typing into a search engine to find your page or department. For example, you can type in several variations on even UMass Lowell, University of Massachusetts Lowell, UML, etc.

keywords.jpg

9. When you’re done hit o.k. You’ll get a window that says Metadata applied – again hit o.k.
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10. Now finish any edits you need to the page, mark it done and send it along for approval.
 
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Adding Metadata to a News Box Story.


Many departments have news boxes on their sites. To learn more about that – please read this blog entry: http://blog.uml.edu/cms/2010/02/updating-stories-in-a-news-box.html.

1.    The metadata box for a news-box story is similar to that of a regular page. Once you’ve finished editing your story and have saved it, click on the Metadata tab (similar to step #2 above).

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2.    A pop-up window will open. Some of these fields may be already filled out when you created the new page (sometimes the Name and Description). If not then please fill out these fields.
news-metadata-name.jpg

3.    Leave the Start date and Expiration date blank unless you want the page to go up at a certain time and come down (this is usually used on things like job postings or calendar events). If you do wish to do this – select the appropriate date from the drop-down menu.
start-date-news.jpg

4.    Type in your Browser Title – this is what you want the top of the web page to say on the live website.
browser-title-news.jpg

5.    Select your department from the department list. You can scroll down using your mouse, or use the up and down arrow keys on your keyboard. If your department is not listed here, please e-mail webcontent@uml.edu and request that it be added.
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6.    Type in your keywords separated by commas. Think like a person searching for this page or your department. Type in any word that you might consider typing into a search engine to find this. For example, you can type in several variations on UMass Lowell, University of Massachusetts Lowell, UML, etc.
keywords-news.jpg


7.    Select your department from the drop-down menu. Again, if your department is not listed on this list – please e-mail webcontent@uml.edu and request that it be added.
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8. Please ignore the Data Published and HomePage fields.
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9. When you’re done hit o.k. You’ll get a window that says Metadata applied – again hit o.k.
hit-ok-news.jpg


hit-ok-news2.jpg

10. Now finish any edits you need to the page, mark it done and send it along for approval.
 
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Adding Metadata to a Faculty/Staff Bio
Does your Department have standard Faculty/Staff bios set up? If so then here’s how to add the metadata to those files. Please keep in mind these types of files can be very slow to load – even for us – so please be patient.

1.    The metadata for a Faculty/Staff bio is also similar to that of a regular page. Once you’ve finished editing your story and have saved it again click on the Metadata tab (similar to step #2 above.)
metadata-tab-bio.jpg


2.    If you’ve ever created a new faculty/staff bio, then you’ve probably seen this already – because the person’s Lastname is required before the new bio can be marked as done. (Notice how the red exclamation point becomes a green check mark after a name is added).


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3.    As before, the name and description may have already been added when this file was created – if not then please add that information now.
bio-name.jpg

4.    Leave the Start date and Expiration date blank unless you wish for the page to go up at a certain time and come down – this is usually used on things like job postings or calendar events. If you do wish to do this – select the appropriate date from the drop down menu.
bio-start-date.jpg

5.    Type in your Browser Title – this is what you want the top of the web page to say on the live website.

bio-browser-title.jpg

6.    Type in your keywords separated by commas. Think like a person searching for this page or your department. Type in any word that you might consider typing into a search engine to find this. For example, you can type in several variations on even UMass Lowell, University of Massachusetts Lowell, UML, etc.

bio-keywords.jpg


7.    Select your department from the drop-down menu. If your department is not listed here – please email webcontent@uml.edu and request that it be added.
bio-dept-menu.jpg


8.    Last but not least select the Display order. This is the order that all of the bios will be displayed in. So for example, if you want your Department Chair to be first – make sure that number is lower than everyone’s in the metadata on their bios. Otherwise they default to an alphabetical listing.
bio-display-order.jpg


9.    When you’re done hit o.k. You’ll get a window that says Metadata applied – again hit o.k.
bio-hit-ok.jpg


bio-hit-ok2.jpg



10.  Now finish any more edits you need to make to the page, mark it done and send it along for approval.


mark_done1.jpg


Voila! You're done.

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Site Optimization category.

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