Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a website from search engines through organic (i.e., unpaid) search results. Typically, the higher a site’s page rank in a given search engine (that is, the earlier the site appears in a list of search results), the more visitors the site will receive from that search engine.

SEO best practices do not require large investments or agency contracts, and most SEO can be done in-house.

Optimize Your Site

  • Enable Google Analytics to access traffic sources and keyboard trends.
  • Ensure that all broken links and error pages are corrected.
  • Adhere to best practices for all redirected pages.
  • Use descriptive, yet succinct, keyword-rich meta tags (such as title, description, and so forth).
  • Write descriptive anchor text for links, for example:
    • Yes: Download the EMBA application today.
    • No: Click here for the EMBA application.
  • Use heading tags (<h1>, <h2>, <h3>, etc.) appropriately to create hierarchy.
  • Name images descriptively and always add descriptive <alt> tags.

Optimize Your Site for Internal Search

  • If available, complete all relevant metadata fields in the CMS. This will aid the Columbia Business School website’s internal search in indexing your content:
  • Populate the title and abstract fields of all-purpose content items with descriptive, keyword-centered text.
  • Name images descriptively and always add descriptive <alt> tags.

Promote Your Site

  • Submit your site to established online directories including:
  • Promote site links via social media outlets (such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.).
  • Request link placement on relevant sites of high quality (peer institutions, relevant publications in your field, blogs written by respected researchers or experts, resource or directory pages dedicated to scholarly topics, etc.). Do not guarantee reciprocal links, but honor reciprocity when relevant.
  • If you have RSS content, ping relevant blog/RSS search services (Ping-o-Matic is a useful tool for bulk pinging).

Additional Resources