August 4, 2010
With the new website design launched late last year, we’ve really taken some time to focus again on search engine optimization (SEO) the past several months. Reformatting text to adapt to the new template was an excellent opportunity to take a closer look at our language and ask whether we were following our own rules for web writing.
The new template for first-level landing pages forces a very brief, simple explanation of a program. This really helped us to keep top-level pages short and to the point. The boxes allow us to introduce content that isn’t static, to keep our pages fresh. We’re using better headings and subheads. The new design also allows us some flexibility for a page title – the title within the page can be different from the title in the navigation, which can help with context. We also now have deeper levels of navigation.
We’re not done reworking all of our higher-level pages yet, but the difference is already stark. They feel cleaner, crisper – we’re taking the guidelines for writing for the web to heart.
But how does this affect our search engine optimization?
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August 25, 2009
In the process of promoting this year’s Capacity Building Training Series, we’re implementing some of the SEO techniques we’ve been studying.
As Communications staff, one dilemma we’ve encountered is the use of alternate spellings from what we use in the TSNE style guide. Such as “nonprofit” vs. “non-profit” and “fundraising” vs. “fund-raising,” etc. TSNE uses “nonprofit” (except for the NonProfit Center) throughout all materials and the website.
So “non-profit” (the example in question was “non-profit financial management”) does not actually appear within the text on our page. Which translates to a lower quality score for certain search terms (“non-profit fund-raising”), and thus lower SEO potential.
If you have an organizational style guide, how do you address this issue? Do you ignore the style guide on your website in order to allow for multiple options to appear within the text? Do you stick to your style guide and remain consistent? Have you created a new style rule that still allows for consistency?