Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is how search engines rank your site. Ever wonder how Google picks who’s website gets to go near the top when you search, “Best BBQ in Texas?” That’s SEO! It’s one of the fastest growing industries in the world. In the future, we’re going to see a ton of new jobs calling for SEO skills. But for now, you have a band of plucky members of the Web Team, and by golly, we’re doing alright! In fact, we’re beating out ALL our competitors when it comes to a few key SEO factors.
The Technical Stuff
Based on the proprietary statistic iFactory uses called Moz, we have a domain authority of 64. This is a fancy way of saying our site is legit and not a link farm (think of those Pinterest recipes that make you scroll for a year and look at a million ads). Our purple neighbor down the road has a domain authority of 62. Other competitors in our market are in the fifties.
Another measure of SEO is backlinks. Backlinks look at how often other websites are linking back to our site. We have over a million backlinks, meaning we are trusted as a website and institution. One other school in our market beats us with two million backlinks, but everyone else has less than 200,000.
One area we do have to work on in comparison with our competitors is mobile website speed. On desktop, we’re plenty fast, but Google and other search engines prefer websites that are lightning fast on phones. The solution? Get a new website. Starting with a clean, simple, fast website is the best way to fix this and boost our SEO.
The “Write” Stuff
SEO isn’t just technical - it’s also about how and what you write. Certain phrases may help a website score better in rankings. Looking at this holistically, there aren’t many people outside of the Web Team who practice SEO when they’re working on the website. That’s because it’s hard! And that’s not just me whining. There are lots of companies out there who you can pay tons of money to help you with your SEO strategy. But iFactory thinks with some updated training and resourcing, we can have more of our campus partners write with SEO in mind.
Finally, accessibility is a champion for SEO. Accessible and ADA compliant websites get better SEO scores. SEO algorithms are smart, but they’re still just computers. They can tell if content is bad and unlikely compliant, but there’s no magic computer program that can make our website more compliant. Only humans with training can make our website better for everyone.