Mini SEO guide for students

By Ashley Crockett
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Bleary-eyed from lack of sleep, you've been working on that hard-hitting story for a week. Make sure your masterpiece doesn't slip through the cracks of the Internet, never to be seen by anyone except a proud parent, by using search-engine optimization (SEO).

The term SEO is thrown around a lot today, but with little instruction about how to actually achieve it.

So, for your viewing pleasure, I present a handy-dandy guide to SEO.

These are most important in your headline and even in the first sentence or two of your page, but can also draw in traffic if used in a photo caption. Metadata, information that is unseen by the viewer, can attract search engines, too, so put keywords in photo or video names and descriptions.

Think like your audience
What are the exact words or phrases someone might use to search for information contained in your site? Try to include these in your posts.


Links to relevant material, especially if a key word or phrase is hyperlinked, can not only help your site rank higher in search engine results, but might also show up as a pingback on the linked page.

Like metadata, most viewers either won't see or won't realize that they're present, so go ahead and tag your key words and phrases for each page. For the ONA Mizzou blog, we try to use between five and seven tags per post.

News of changes in Google's privacy policy serves as a reminder that increasing personalization of the search experience makes SEO even more important. Many searches are already filtered by what country or even what city someone is in, as well as their browser history and even their social-media connections. Cast a wide SEO net to reach as many viewers as possible.

Video extra: What is Search Engine Optimization / SEO by Common Craft and Search Engine Land

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