Knowledgebase: 1) FrogLearn
FrogLearn - Improving Search Engine Rankings
Posted by , Last modified by on 08 July 2016 02:10 PM

When creating a website within FrogLearn it is important to increase the chances of appearing higher up on external search engines such as Google or Yahoo. Google does often change how it indexes and displays sites to its users, so that’s something to bear in mind. There are also companies who specialise in search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques in order to help get your website to the top of web searches. Within the FrogLearn platform there are some settings which can be used in order to help get your site higher up the web search results.

Making Your Site Public

In order to view the settings to help boost your web search engine rankings you need to make the meta-tagging settings available. In order to do this you must first make this site “Public on the Web”. To do this, when viewing your site out of edit mode click on “Share at the top left of the black navigation bar.

In the following popup you then need to click “Share” as you need to control who has access to your site.

You will be presented with the tagging screen next, click “next” to continue to the “Sharing Settings” window. When here click on “change” towards the top in order to be shown the following screen where you can change the overall sharing permissions for your site.

Once you have selected “Public on the web” you will be taken by to your main sharing settings screen. Clicking the blue “share” button at the bottom right of this window will save your change as and make this site public to non-logged in users, providing they have the specific web address for this site.

 

Public Site Settings

Once you’re site is public, when viewing your site you can now click on “Site” then from the dropdown you will see “settings”.

By clicking this menu item you will then be shown the following popup window where you can add meta-data and rich snippets.

 

Metadata

Metadata summarises basic information about data, which can make finding and working with certain data, far easier. In the context of metadata for webpages for external search engines it can be incredibly important. Metadata for web pages contain descriptions of the page’s contents, as well as keywords linked to the content. These are usually expressed in the form of metatags.


 

The metadata containing the web page’s description and summary is often displayed in search results by search engines, making its accuracy and details crucial as it can be the deciding factor for users when considering accessing that site. Metatags are often evaluated by search engines to help decide a web page’s relevance. Search engines do not rely as heavily on metatags as they used to due to websites trying to trick the indexing process in order to achieve greater results by appearing above other more relevant sites. Many search engines also try to halt web pages’ ability to foil their system by regularly changing their criteria for rankings, with Google being infamous for frequently changing their highly-undisclosed ranking algorithms.

A description of the settings available within FrogLearn can be found below.

  • Default Site – By checking this box you are making this site the default site when you access your website address (e.g. https://www.school.com). From here you can then gain access to login by using the login widget on this external facing site.
  • Metadata – This information is used by search engines when your site is shared as "Public on the web" in order to increase the chances of it appearing higher in the results.

  • Page Title - This is the name of the page that will be displayed in the search engine results. In this context it will be the school name (e.g. “Frog Secondary School”).
  • Description - This is the description of the site that will be shown to users when they search for your site underneath the title (e.g. Frog Academy in Leeds is a highly successful, 11-18 mixed comprehensive school at the heart of the community.)
  • Keywords - These are keywords relevant to your institution that will help search engines index your site in order to increase its chances of appearing higher up in the results. These should be separated by a comma. (e.g. Frog, Secondary, Academy, School, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 8HW, Education, Outstanding, Children, Fun, Headteacher, Ofsted, Edward Clementson)

Rich Snippets

Rich snippets help your website to stand out and are a type of on page markup. They are the extra parts of text that appear under search results that can help your result to stand out amongst others.

The snippet of information that is displayed under the blue hyperlinks on the search results page.  The first result is a “Rich Snippet” and according to Google Webmaster Tools, it offers users a summary of what’s on the page and why it’s relevant to their query.

These help to increase your click through rates, and possibly, increase your page rank.  Though Google stipulates that marking up your data for rich snippets won’t affect your page’s ranking in search results, and Google doesn’t guarantee to use your markup, they do state that you can improve the rank of your site by creating content that users will want to use and share. 

 

Through the rich snippets section you can enter information related to your organisation. The data will then be used to enrich search results in which this site occurs.

  • Organisation name

This is the name of your organisation/school. (e.g. Frog Secondary School)

  • Address

This section is for the street, city / town, county, postcode, country of your school.

(e.g. Frog Secondary School, Frog Road, Hyde Park, Leeds, LS9 8HW)

  • Telephone number

Enter your schools telephone number here. (e.g. 01422250800)

  • Geo data

You may enter the specific latitude and longitude details for your school here.

(e.g. 51.5033630,-0.1276250)

Additional Methods

Once search engines know your site exists, they scan your site, index the information, and analyse the content to determine how and where your website should display on the results page. If your site isn't optimized, it won't rank well and may end up well below your competitors.

Off-page Optimization

Off-page optimization or building links, is by far the most important activity for assisting you in getting your website well ranked in search engines. The key area is “backlinks”.

A link, or back-link, is the link that you use to be brought to another page. Backlinks are important because they are similar to “votes” for your page that tell search engines that other webpages like and utilise your page for information. The more websites that you have linked to your webpage, the higher your ranking will be. Obviously links from more popular/well known websites can hold far more weight behind them as opposed to fairly unknown websites.

There are two types: interlinks and back links. Interlinking is simply creating a link from a keyword or sentence on one page to another area of your website. The can easily be done using the text widget within the platform to link between pages in your site from text or images. Back links are other websites that link to your site. Search engines weigh these more heavily when determining your rank, and unfortunately, these are more difficult to achieve. Some easy ways to create back links are listing your business in online directories. You can also contact other business/schools in your community and offer them a link exchange particularly if part of an academy group.

 

Relevant/Up to Date Content

The most obvious way to get visitors to your website is to ensure that you are consistently providing new, compelling and useful content. Writing about your school, it’s Ofsted inspection and recent achievements with keyword oriented useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors mentioned. Ideally you should be constantly updating your website to reflect any changes within the school as Google will favour websites that have frequently updated material that contains unique and relevant content. And if your website offers good content, other websites will naturally want to link to you as well.

 

Google Places

Find the Google Places local listing for your business. Claim the page and update the information so that it matches what’s on your website. After you’ve made sure your business/school name and address are prominently featured on your website, your next stop is your Google Places listing. You can also put your business’ address into https://maps.google.com and update the listing from there.

When you’ve verified your business information, updates you make to your local business/school such as contact details, description, photos and opening hours are eligible to show up on Google Maps and other Google areas.

 

Guest Blogging

Another idea is to involve your school in “guest blogging”. This process involves getting a link to your website posted on an already established website/blog. These links tend to carry more weight in Google because they are harder to acquire.

Partner Testimonials

If you ensure you provide online testimonials to your suppliers, business partners or anyone else you have contact/do business with it can help to get free backlinks to your website from legitimate websites. Don’t forget to include your strategic keywords into your testimonials and hyperlink it back to the appropriate webpage from your website.

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