Improving Organic Search Results

Let me first preface this post by saying ‘I am not a SEO guru.’ I just want to share an experience that indicates how simple this is. I then want to share a slide show from a presentation Google did for a number of non-profits in D.C.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not difficult. Its actually not a IT or technical task in my opinion. To truly succeed at SEO, you must have:

  • an understanding of your users and how they search
  • an understanding of your content, messaging, and goals

This is more about managing content, understanding target audiences, and your goals.  While some of the techniques may be a little technical in nature (eg. metatags), it is not rocket science and be accomplished by anyone.

A simple experience

Our website ( uses Google Custom Search for our internal site search.  If you searched for application form, the top result was not our application form as one would hope, it was the application form for our on-campus residence.  The application form page itself was number 4 or 5 in the results page.  With a few simple and obvious adjustments, our college application form page went to number one in our internal search results page.   I know this was on a small scale and limited to our internal site search, but the adjustments I made would make the same positive impact for the main Google search.  Here are the points of considerations and adjustments I made:

  • A problem was identified – a specific page was not getting ranked high enough for a targeted keyword.  In this case the keyword was application form.
  • The keywords application form were added to the description, keywords, and title metatags.

There wasn’t much effort or changes, but the results were positive.  Within a short period of time, our college application page the number one page in our internal search.  This was a simple example, but it demonstrates the importance of metatags in search results.  I would also encourage that your identified keywords are sprinkled throughout the page as well.  Like I mentioned earlier, Google offered a presentation to some non-profits and their slide deck is below:

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