A Subject Guide to Quality Web Sites

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Once you have completed this exercise you will have a good idea as to what content you need to develop for your page. Aim to do something better than the others! Tip: Make sure that all your text is readable by Google. Navigation structure and the way that pages are designed and laid out is one of the crucial elements that should be assessed and incorporated into the design of the website from the get go.

At the very least, each subject needs its own comprehensive landing page, and preferably these landing pages need to be near the top of the navigation. Universities should consider using tabs and accordion design elements to control the content on their course pages to keep them to a reasonable length. Keywords are crucial to getting your page to rank well — and you need to ensure that the words that you use to describe your courses are the words that people are using to search for them.

There are a range of free tools that you can use to check what people are searching for — the most popular is the Google Keyword Planner. Tip: Note that keyword density is so noughties — it has no place in a modern SEO strategy. Make sure your main keyword is in your title, URL, H1 and on a couple of places on your page including a subheading if possible.

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And use a few synonyms and other variations of your keyword as well so it ranks for a wider range of search terms. Your most important priority is to make sure your page reads properly! While the title is not shown on the actual page itself, it is the blue clickable link that shows in Google search results, and it is also shown in the tab of your browser.

Do you see the same websites appearing or are they all different? Ideally you want to appear for both searches as the searcher intent is identical. While the title tag is the blue clickable link in Google results, the meta description is the text underneath the title. Just like with titles, you will see that any words in the description that match the search query are bolded so it is important to use keywords in the description as well.

A Subject Guide to Quality Web Sites - Paul R. Burden | Feedbooks

Descriptions are no longer a search ranking factor, but they are important to encourage people to click through to your result and should describe what people will get when they click through to your page. URLs are used for ranking by search engines, so it is important that you use static URLs that contain keywords. Moz have recently produced a great article on best practice URL structures which is well worth a read.

Tip: URLs should make sense in isolation — if someone reads the URL they should be able to tell what the page is about. Headings and subheadings are important as they indicate to users and Google the structure of the page and the different subjects that the page covers. In the case of more powerful websites this will help the page rank for a wider variety of keywords than just that targeted by the title. Tip: Your main page heading should be the same or very similar to your title. If they are significantly different it will confuse Google and your users!

Remember that when someone clicks on your link in a search result they will expect to see a page on the same topic. Images should always have unique alt text that describes the image, and if the image has words, the alt text should include these words.

Internal linking is one of the most overlooked areas of SEO. The basic concept is that Google spreads link equity through your site via internal links. By identifying your most important pages on your website and linking to other a relevant or, b important pages you indicate to Google which other pages you think should be ranking. You can design and implement a link building strategy but you are still relying on other other people to write about you and your courses and link back to your website. The quality and quantity of the links coming into your website are the biggest contributor to your courses ability to rank highly in search.

It is important to understand that the link landscape has changed markedly in the last few years.


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Blakeman, Karen Search strategies for the Internet. Clegg, Brian Studying using the web : the student's guide to using the ultimate information resource.

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London: Routledge. Cooke, Alison A guide to finding quality information on the Internet: selection and evaluation strategies. London: Library Association Publishing. Chapters 3 to 5 cover evaluation of sources.

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Ford, Nigel The essential guide to using the Web for research. Los Angeles: Sage. Chapters are on the importance of identifying quality information on the Web and what tools can help you find it. Munger, David What every student should know about researching online. London: Pearson Longman. Chapter 3 is on evaluating web sources. O Dochartaigh, Niall Internet research skills. Our websites use cookies session, persistent, third party, advertising and performance so they function correctly, to help us improve them and for targeted advertising.

To find out more and learn how to disable these cookies, please see our cookies policy. In this section: Information skills Sub menu Citing references in your work and plagiarism Dissertations and theses Evaluating Web resources Finding more and specialist information Teach yourself Teach yourself in seconds Defining your topic - keywords Finding books and journals and using databases.

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