Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Guidelines

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine.

How Does It Work?

A search engine uses a crawler that gathers information on all the content that can be searched on the web. Then, the search engine builds an index, analyzing the content, images, videos of the page.

Each search engine has its own algorithm that determines the relevance of each page in its index to the search query and organically generates a list of best matched results.


"Adding description meta tags to each of your pages is always a good practice in case Google cannot find a good selection of text to use in the snippet." - from Google Search Console Help

Tips for description:

  • Accurately summarize the page content
  • Use unique descriptions for each page

In MODX: Depending on when your site was created, the site configurations set up may differ. For older sites, there is an option to set a site description, a global description that applies to all pages within your site under the Extras dropdown in the top menu bar. On all MODX sites, page-specific meta description is available by filling out the Description textarea in the Document tab. See documentation on Description.

Page Title

Tips for titles:

  • Accurately describe the page's content
  • Create unique titles for each page
  • Use short and descriptive titles

For more information, read Good titles for search results.

In MODX: set this in the required Title field found within the Document tab on a new or existing page.  You can also add a more descriptive title in the Long Title field that will override the Title.


Tips for content:

  • Quality. Make sure your web pages offer real value, something of substance to visitors that is useful, original, and up to date.
  • Keyword research for SEO. Use keywords in your content, focusing on what users are searching for on your web page.
  • Linking. Search engines look at the number of links pointing to your site from external sites as well as the quality of the external sites. This all plays a part in your SEO ranking. Read more about Links and Link Building.
  • Using headings. Headings create a hierarchy and structure information for better readability. This also helps search engines crawl and index the webpage. See more information on How to Use Heading Tags to Get More Search Engine Traffic.
  • Avoid duplicate content. Duplicate content can hurt SEO as it creates difficulty in accurately assessing which page to return as a search result.

For more information, read Content & search engine success factors on Search Engine Land

Images and Videos

Tips for images and videos:

  • Use high quality images and video that are relevant to your content.
  • Use appropriate naming conventions (see Naming files, URLs, etc. section below)
  • Provide meaningful alternative (alt) text.

For more information, read Web Standard: Graphics & Images.

Naming files, URLs, etc.

Whether you are naming a web page, directory or filename, use descriptive, short and easy to read naming conventions. URL structures are crawled by search engines.

For more information, read Simple URLs convey content information.

Helpful SEO links:

More Information on SEO