Northwestern University


Before development

  • While building the site map, consider search rankings for all navigation terms. A keyword search volume analysis can be easily done using Google Insights for Search
  • Identify pages of new content and see if there are any pinnacle key words that can be included and optimized for
  • Ensure that your copy editor has a list of the keywords needed PRIOR to writing content. It is easier to work them in while content is being created than have to retrofit a page

During development

  • Use of <h#> tags is strongly encouraged. The <h> tag will give higher precedence to titles and subtitles on the page. If your page is going into a CMS, work with your developers to ensure that page titles are wrapped in <h> tags. You can use CSS to change the presentation of the content, but the <h> tag will have an impact on SEO.
  • Use ‘no index, no follow’ on site maintenance, site search and other ‘non-pages’ (form confirmation pages, etc.)
  • Ensure that the title tags are populated in the following order:
    Unique page Title |  Kellogg School of Management | Northwestern University
  • Ensure that the meta tags are relevant and unique to the content on the page
  • Work with your SEO partner to review copy and provide suggestions for keyword optimization
  • Try to write page copy with 250 words or more to help with keyword density
  • Use W3 validators to check your HTML. A mobile app validator is useful as well, but most likely not as high priority as the W3 validator.
  • Use descriptive link text. Ex: instead of ‘learn more’ use ‘learn more about a Kellogg MBA
  • When adding absolute links, always be sure to add ‘www’ in the url.

Concurrent to all development

  • Develop a linking strategy outreach communications plan. If you have a list of sites (i.e. BusinessWeek, local papers) who mention your business in their content, send them a letter requesting they link back to your website. This can be time consuming, but well worth the quality inbound links it would generate. A template letter can be found in the appendix to this document.

After launch

  • Add new sites to XML sitemap for optimal crawlability
  • ContiNorthwesternously review keyword strategies and monitor page rankings on monthly basis

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© Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
All Rights Reserved.
  Kellogg School of Management
2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208-2001