*This was drafted in response to a question from a particular school, but the information applies to everyone
A few more things you might find helpfulPage alias's can now contain more than one word if separated by hyphens
. In general, I don't think it's good practice to use more than 4 words. As an example, the page alias for the Library might be library.html, or it might be first-lutheran-school-library.html. There is some evidence that suggests that descriptive page alias's help improve page ranking although conjunctive words like and
should be avoided.Once a page alias is created and has been established for some time, in Search relevance terms, it's generally not a good idea to change it.
Remember that search engines like Google crawl your site regularly indexing the content and in so doing capture the alias as part of the url, if you change it, the link Google indexed previously will be incorrect. Eventually this repairs itself as Google indexes the site with the new links, and the old ones disappear, but often the old links can remain for quite some time. Not a huge deal, just something to consider. We realize that sometimes you just change your mind, or come up with a more appropriate alias in which case, you shouldn't be afraid to change it, especially for the better. *Note that this only applies to the page alias, other meta data such as the Page Title, Keywords and Description can be freely modified and updated at anytime.
Remember, whatever you are entering, whether it's content on the page or the meta data entered in Page Settings, it's all about content and relevance
. If you search for something in particular and you can't find it on your site, the term is likely not used, used too infrequently compared to other relative sites or used in a different manner than the search.
If I search for "first lutheran school ponca city", a link to the school appears on the second page or so of the results, as at least 10 other longer established websites contain the same phrase, however, if I search for "A Private Christian School for Pre-K through grade 8", the school appears number 1 in the results. That's simply because this exact phrase is on this website and not on any other. The trick really is in trying to determine what visitors will be searching for to find the content of any specific page and then making sure that content, and it's related meta data (Page Settings), contain those words and phrases they are using.
This may cause you to write things a bit unnaturally, but if you think about it, it makes logical sense. If I want to drive traffic to my school fundraising page from other pages on my site, and I want to also capture people searching for fundraising at my school, I need to make sure I think about how they will be searching
and then craft my content to suit. Let's just use the fundraising page as an example.
First, let's identify a few key phrases
that we think visitors will be using in their searches. If I'm a parent looking for information about fundraising efforts, I might search for:
- First Lutheran fundraiser
- Ponca Lutheran Fundraiser
- fundraising at Ponca Lutheran School
- raise money for First Lutheran School
- how can I help raise money for First Lutheran Ponca School
- help raise money for our school
- help support First Lutheran School in Ponca City
Using just some of those terms, let's look at how you might craft a few sentences of content
of other pages.
On a parent page for example, you might say "Looking for some great ways to help support First Lutheran School in Ponca City
? Check out our Fundraising page to see how you can help raise money for our school
Yet on a Student page, you might say, Students can help raise money for First Lutheran Ponca School
by volunteering for one of our many fundraising activities.
Note that all 3 phrases say essentially the same thing, just in a slightly different manner incorporating a variety of combinations of the same searchable terms.Let's now add the meta data in page settings allowing us to incorporate even more.Page Alias:
Help Raise Money for our School, First Lutheran School Ponca City, Fundraising, Donation & Support InformationKeywords:
(remember, it's better to use too few keywords than to use words that don't appear in your content, i.e., if you don't mention donations on the page, it probably doesn't help (and might actually hurt) to include the word donations in your keywords)
You can support First Lutheran School of Ponca City
by attending or volunteering at one of our many fundraising activities and events. Contact us to find out how you can support First Lutheran School
through fundraising activities as well as direct and in-kind donations. You could probably spend years learning about SEO but following just these simple guidelines will help increase the ranking of your website in search relevance.