MarCom Studio


UTSA Search Engine Optimization Guide

What is SEO? 

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of improving websites to increase visibility for relevant searches on search engines like Google. 

The better visibility webpages have in search results, the more likely they are to garner attention and attract prospective and existing searchers to the web content. 

Why is SEO important? 

SEO is a fundamental part of digital marketing because people conduct trillions of searches every year, often with intent to find information about products and services. 

Search engines are typically the primary source of organic traffic. Ranking higher in search results than your competition provides greater visibility and can have a significant impact on search volume as well as ROI. 


BrightEdge is the leading SEO solution and content performance marketing platform, helping customers generate more organic traffic. 

The BrightEdge platform reveals the intent behind search queries, exposes competitors for each content topic, prioritizes efforts by forecasting business impact, guides content creation and optimization, and monitors content performance at any granularity. 

UTSA is proud to partner with BrightEdge to improve SEO for university web content. Employees interested in improving SEO for their websites should complete the BrightEdge professional certification before working within the platform to improve SEO. If you are interested in completing the BrightEdge professional certification and gaining access to the platform, please reach out to Jeremiah Barber, the Web Accessibility and SEO Coordinator at UTSA. 

Keyword Research 

The BrightEdge Data Cube provides a content research tool to help identify optimal keywords that describe the content presented on a webpage. A primary, secondary, and tertiary keyword should be selected and integrated into the structure of the webpage to improve search volume for relevant terms. 

Primary Keyword 

  • Highest search volume 
  • Optimal identifier to describe the web content 

Secondary Keyword 

  • Less search volume 
  • Supports the primary keyword 

Tertiary Keyword 

  • Lower search volume 
  • Semantically related to the primary and secondary keyword 

Meta Title 

The meta title refers to the title of a webpage that is displayed both in search engine results as well as the webpage tab in browsers. 

Meta titles should be no more than 60 characters in length to avoid truncation within search engine results. 

Meta Description 

A meta description is an HTML element that describes and summarizes the content of your webpage for the benefit of users and search engines. 

Meta descriptions should be no more than 160 characters in length to avoid truncation within search engine results. 

Header Hierarchy 

Header hierarchy within webpages is important for SEO because it provides structure to the content. Webpages should always have a single H1 header tag and include a keyword to support the meta title and description. Lack of an H1 header tag or duplication of H1 header tags have a negative impact on SEO. 

Additional headers on the webpage should be used to organize content and should follow a strict descending order. If header levels are skipped or out of hierarchical order, SEO will also be negatively impacted. 


Hyperlinks should have descriptive calls to action. Ambiguous hyperlinks use phrases like learn more, read more or click here and do not provide insight into what the hyperlink is pointing to.  

You should also avoid using the full website URL as the hyperlink text. Instead of statically listing the entire website URL, provide hyperlink text that describes the website or resource being linked instead. 

Ensure that all hyperlinks use secured https:// protocol. When secured websites link to unsecured web content, it negatively impacts SEO. UTSA should only be linking to secured websites for SEO reasons as well as security implications. 

Alt Tags 

Any image posted to a website should have an alt tag to describe the image for the visually impaired. Alt tags not only ensure accessibility compliance, they also provide better search engine results since crawlers cannot visually interpret images and rely on the alt tag to determine search relevance. Do not include phrases like “image of” or “photo of” in the alt tag since screen readers already indicate that what is being interpreted is an image. Specifying that in the alt tag would be redundant.  


Jeremiah Barber
Web Accessibility and SEO Coordinator