After a new site launch, we are frequently asked how to increase the ranking in search engines. People are looking for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to bring their site up on Google. This is an incredibly complex area and since much of what Google does and how they rank pages is a mystery, we won't be able to explain their rules in detail. However, there are a few things we know that work and you can do without having to worry about the science behind it.
If you do the below and you exercise a bit of patience, you should see your site appear very high on Google, Bing and the like, soon. This is ranked in order of importance as far as we can tell.
Your domain: Think about the domain you are using. .gov and .edu instances always rank higher than .com or .com.au. If you have access to .gov and .edu make sure to utilise it, this is a great advantage you should not miss out on.
If your site is already published under a different domain, consider changing the domain. You can still use your previous domain. Visitors will simply be directed to your new .gov or .edu instance. If you feel unsure about this, get in touch with us.
A great project title: Include a call to action and don't be vague.
A great site title: (only applies to Whitehaven template): Give your site a title.
Meaningful content: Make sure that your site/project contains meaningful content. Your project description should contain all the keywords that you want your site to appear high for. Search engines crawl through this area first and we include this in your Meta Data. This does not mean to ramble on though. Be short and precise.
Have incoming links: The more incoming links, the better. Link to your EHQ from your corporate / organisation's site. Include links in Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you make press and media releases, make sure to tell them your EHQ address(!).
Use alt text in images: In many places across EHQ we allow you to customise the alt text for images. This includes the project image, any images in the project description as well as images uploaded onto your homepage (excludes Classic theme). The text should describe what can be seen in the image. This is important because search engines penalise pages that do not comply with accessibility standards. Having alternative texts is a vital part of accessbility.
You can read more about using this in our article on the importance of ALT attributes in images.
Use Webmaster Tools: Submit your site to Bing and Google's Webmaster tools.
AdWords campaign: Although there is no consensus that paid searches actually help your organic searches, this one won't hurt. If you have the budget, consider running an AdWords campaign to get some paid clicks.
Metadata: An option to provide the main keywords of your project to search engines is provided in the Advanced setting of your project. However, most modern search engines do not take this input and directly search the content of your project page.