Common SEO Mistakes Institutions Make on Their Catalogs

May 28, 2021

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important, yet often overlooked, piece of your institution’s digital content. SEO refers to how web-friendly and accessible your digital content is for internet users. Improving SEO not only makes your digital content easier to navigate, it increases your website traffic. As your catalog becomes more SEO-friendly, Google and other search engines will rank your website higher on internet searches. This improves visibility for your community, prospective students, and current students needing to locate information online. SEO is especially important for community and technical colleges, where prospective students have more local and online options for where they complete coursework.

Slow Load Speeds

How quickly your digital catalog loads, both on desktops and mobile devices, plays a key role in SEO. Digital catalogs and curriculum sites tend to be content-heavy, which can greatly slow down page load speeds. There are multiple ways to optimize your content for the web, and doing so will lead to higher rankings on search engines. Clean Catalog academic catalogs typically have load speeds well under 1 second, which meets search engine standards.

Unresponsive Designs

The majority of website traffic, especially when coming from college-aged populations, comes from mobile devices. It is critical, for both accessibility and SEO best practices, to have a responsive site design that fits on any device. Whether website traffic comes from a computer, tablet, or mobile phone, your site design should adjust to fit that screen size. Clean Catalog software implements responsive designs on every page of your catalog or curriculum sites.

Broken Links

As digital content is edited or moved to different locations on your website, it can commonly result in broken links. When a URL on your catalog changes, anywhere on the internet where the original URL was linked will then be a broken link. Receiving 404 errors makes navigating your catalog difficult for users.

We recognize that academic content changes frequently, so all Clean Catalog software is structured to eliminate broken links. Even when your content changes or moves to a new location on your catalog site, it will keep the same URL. You’ll never have to worry about updating URLs or fixing broken links after the fact.

Misusing Meta Data

Meta data allows Google and other search engines to “read” your website content. If your catalog site is not correctly tagging headings, creating page titles, or adding alt attributes, then Google will struggle to match internet searches with your catalog site. As a result, you’ll receive less website traffic and users will have more difficulty finding the content they’re searching for. When you use Clean Catalog, meta data best practices will be implemented automatically.

Duplicating Content

When creating new content in your catalog, it can be tempting to duplicate existing courses or degree pages as a starting point for making edits. When content is duplicated rather than created using a template, it can hurt your SEO. Search engines have a difficulty differentiating between duplicated content which makes it more difficult to find the information they’re looking for. Clean Catalog software tackles this issue by using templated content and content builders. These features make it simple for your staff to create new content without hurting SEO.

If you use Clean Catalog software for your academic catalog or curriculum sites, then your digital content exceeds SEO standards by default. There’s no effort on your end, but your institution will enjoy the benefits of increased accessibility and visibility online.