Tips for Improving Search Engine Optimization

Help others find you

Filling out the details of your people page helps you and your work get discovered. People pages aren’t just for internal use. Media, potential grad students, and the public all access these pages to learn more about you and your work. Filling out the information on your people page benefits you by: 

  • Giving you an additional medium for you to highlight your work 
  • Increasing your visibility across the web 

People pages are SEO-optimized and generally rank as one of the top results in search. You can help improve the ranking of a personal website or research unit site by linking to it from your people page. 

We link to people pages from all over the website and from all of our stories and press releases—and they get traffic!

Content tips

Here are some guidelines to ensure that your page is search engine optimized, accessible and informative. 

  • Write in the first person—using pronouns like I and my (except for the meta description)
  • Write for a broad audience—assume you are speaking to an educated lay-person
  • Avoid using jargon and acronyms, except commonly used ones like DNA. Specialized terms make it difficult for both readers and search engines to understand the content.
  • Use paragraph breaks frequently to ensure the page is easy to scan 

Write a meta description

The meta description shows up as the blurb underneath your name on a search engine results page. If you share a link to your profile on social media, this blurb appears on the link preview as well.

The meta description should be compelling enough to convince users to click on your link. This is your chance to grab the reader’s attention.

Here are some tips for writing a strong meta description.

  • Keep it brief. Aim for under 150 characters in length 
  • Include keywords related to your research areas or other work.
  • Write in normal sentence structure and in the third person.
  • Make it readable and interesting to humans. Avoid the temptation to add as many keywords as possible at the cost of clarity.


Example: An Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Florence Williams' research focuses on synthetic chemistry with biochemical techniques to investigate the mechanism of various neurotrophic natural products.

Add links to other sites

By adding links from your people page to other pages, you help search engines assess the content on your page through its association with other pages. It also helps people understand the scope and context of your work.

Use links to your papers/publications, to examples of your research, to your personal site and to organizations to which you’re affiliated.

This is good for search engine optimization, user experience and accessibility. It also fills out your online presence, giving the reader the satisfaction of feeling that the information is complete.

Add social media links

These fields require the complete URL of your various accounts (e.g., not the handle (UAlberta).