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Search Engine Optimization & Accessibility
UTSA is committed to ensuring websites within the utsa.edu domain are accessible to all and optimized for maximum discoverability by Google and other search engines.
As a public institution of higher education, it is important that the university’s websites be fully accessible to students, prospective students, alumni, employees and visitors with disabilities. The types of disabilities that impact accessibility include visual, cognitive, learning, neurological, auditory, and physical disabilities.
UTSA is committed to ensuring that new and existing university website content is compliant with the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WCAG 2.1 Level AA. Existing content will be updated as necessary to comply with WCAG 2.1, Level AA.
UTSA’s Web Accessibility & SEO Coordinator oversees the accessibility of the university’s websites and serves as the university’s Website Accessibility Coordinator.
It is recommended that university staff members responsible for web development utilize the Web Accessibility Evaluation (WAVE) Tool to evaluate webpages for accessibility. This free tool is a great start for ensuring a webpage is accessible and will identify missing alt attributes for images, skipped level headings, color contrast deficiencies and suspicious or redundant hyperlinks as well as many other accessibility issues.
Even after a website satisfies all the criteria highlighted by this tool, it is still necessary to manually evaluate webpages to ensure content is keyboard navigable and optimized for screen readers.
In addition to the WAVE tool, the Web Accessibility & SEO Coordinator administers web governance software which crawls all university web content to identify any issues relating to accessibility and guide web development staff through the necessary corrections.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
UTSA consistently works towards properly optimizing the university’s websites to rank as highly as possible on search engines. These efforts ensure that our websites are easily discovered by students, prospective students, alumni, employees and visitors.
The Web Accessibility & SEO Coordinator oversees the implementation of SEO best practices to ensure that web pages contain the necessary elements typically crawled and evaluated by search engines. This involves:
- Identifying and integrating relevant keywords that have significant search volume and reasonable competition levels.
- Including HTML tags such as meta titles and descriptions as well as header tags that are appropriately arranged in hierarchical order.
- Including up-to-date or dynamically generated XML sitemaps that list all subpages contained within that web property.
- Ensuring websites contain valid security certificates, are mobile-friendly, and do not have any performance issues relating to image load times or script includes.
It is recommended that university staff members responsible for web development utilize Google Lighthouse to evaluate performance and SEO best practices for UTSA web content. This free tool highlights specific issues that detrimentally affect page load times and SEO.
In addition to Google Lighthouse, the Web Accessibility & SEO Coordinator administers web governance and SEO software which crawls all university web content and identifies any issues relating to performance and SEO best practices, providing guidance to web development staff throughout the university to improve search engine rankings. Cutting edge technology that leverages artificial intelligence can also be installed on university websites and will automatically generate relevant internal links to increase page authority as well as optimize images for mobile performance.
University Marketing has configured cross-domain tracking within Google Analytics and deployed it to university websites through Google Tag Manager. University web properties also have Google Search Console installed to track clicks and impressions. This analytics data can be compiled into an interactive report utilizing Google Datastudio and provides crucial business intelligence on website traffic, page performance, and visitor demographics.
UTSA’s Web Services team oversees the quality and accessibility compliance of university web content by regularly scanning sites with web governance software. This technology automatically identifies broken links, misspellings, performance issues, and accessibility compliance deficiencies. Tasks can be assigned within the web governance software to technical contacts or web developers for sites with inadequacies. The Web Accessibility & SEO Coordinator can provide guidance and training on how to properly remedy any issues.
The Web Accessibility & SEO Coordinator regularly documents the status of website security certificates and notifications are automatically generated to ensure they are renewed before expiration dates.
Web Accessibility & SEO Coordinator