Basic SEO Tips

— Written By Jeff Ware
en Español

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English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

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Laptop with SEO on screen

A solid Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy is more than just adding keywords to Pages and News posts. It’s also about looking at how you create and structure your content, making it easier to find and helping you get a better ranking through search engines, including Google.

Here are some basic SEO tips to help you enhance and get the most out of your Extension content:

Content, Content, Content!

One of the best things you can do to help drive consistent traffic to your pages is to keep your content updated and/or create new content on a regular basis. This not only keeps your page/site(s) fresh but can also help identify your site(s) as an “expert” in the area(s) or field(s) you talk about.

You should also make sure this is “good quality” content. This includes the basics like checking for grammatical and spelling errors, correct use of headings and formatting, links to references when needed, etc.

Create Relevant Page/News Post Titles

Adding the keyword(s) you are creating content about in the title of your page will help your page ranking – essentially, accurately describing what your page is about. Avoid making your title too long, however; our recommendation is about 10 words or less.

Heading Tags

Use the Heading 2 tag for the main sections of your content. Keep in mind, though, that heading tags shouldn’t be used for sentences, paragraphs, or large chunks of content – they are designed for short section descriptions. Use Heading 3 and Heading 4 tags to further break up your sections.

NOTE: You must use a Heading 2 tag before you use a Heading 3 tag, and a Heading 3 tag must be used before a Heading 4 tag, etc. More information is available in the EIT Quick Reference Guide and Best Practices.


It’s no secret that using images can increase the number of people that scroll through your content – people like visuals to help break up copy, especially if you have a long article. When you include images, make sure you:

  • Use Alt Text to describe the image. You can add keywords if you’d like, but make sure you don’t add too much – a short description will suffice.


Create links in your content (both internal and external). Make sure you are using descriptive link text, however; do not just add “click here.” Internal links can include pages like the NC State Extension Publications database or Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox.


Here are a few helpful resources for making sure your content is as good as it can be:

  • EIT Quick Reference Guide and Best Practices  – This is EIT’s one-stop-shop for the basics of Extension content.
  • Grammarly – This app can help catch spelling and grammar errors on the fly.
  • Hemmingway – This app is geared more toward the grammar side of things and can help with sentence structure, voice, and making your writing more clear and direct.