Search Engine Optimization & Accessibility

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Summary: Creating a transcript of your videos allows search engines to find the video's content. Once again, what's good for the goose...

As a public research institution the University of Minnesota enjoys favorable rankings with search engines. Web sites at umn.edu are trusted because the information comes from a non-commercial entity. The URL alone is not enough though; a properly-coded web page is also necessary and making the web page accessible is the biggest step to getting there. 

Why? Because search engines favor accessible web pages, partly because they reward people that are good stewards of information and also an accessible web page can easily be understood with adaptive technology such as a screen reader. You can consider a search engine to be a piece of adaptive technology, it is after all a machine that reads your content and then makes decision on how to categorize it based on what it understands.  


How to write for SEO

Less is more and it starts with your content. Use clear language to convey your message and then use minimal HTML to structure the content. Most important is the use of descriptive headings, alt text for images, and accessible links. 

  • Headings with keywords will capture search engine attention.
  • Alt text on images allow for search engines to find your image (something they can't do without the alt text).
  • Accessible links that provide context give search engines more to look at. "Click here" is meaningless to a search engine.
  • Video transcripts allow search engines to find a video's content.


Additional SEO help

Lynda.com has an excellent tutorial on all aspects of SEO. Rember you have an advantage with the umn.edu domain so focus on site structure, navigation, and content. As a University of Minnesota employee you have access to Lynda.com, just use your UMN login.

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