SEO (search engine optimisation) refers to the tactics you can use to try and increase your website's ranking in search results.

SEO is affected by both on-page and off-page factors. Search engines like Google and Bing will weight these factors differently to produce their search results.

While it's impossible to completely control every factor that affects SEO, there are some best practice steps you can follow to ensure your SEO is optimised.

On-page SEO

On-page SEO includes:

  • content
  • HTML
  • architecture.


You can improve SEO by improving your content, site structure and content management practices. You should aim to create content that is:

  • Engaging and relevant to users. Content is for users first, not search engines or robots. Use the language of your users and organise each page around one topic.
  • High quality and accurate. Choose fitting titles for each page and use on-page headings appropriately. Content should read naturally and focus on the page topic.
  • Usable and accessible. All users, including users with a disability, should be able to easily use your site and complete tasks. Follow accessibility best practice and think about the user experience.
  • Up to date. Make sure someone is in charge of maintaining the accuracy of your content, removing content that is no longer needed and fixing issues like broken links.
  • Authoritative. Don't duplicate content or page titles within your site. Link to other UQ content where appropriate to help users and search engines identify the most relevant search results.

For more information, follow the UQ guides on:


On-page HTML includes things like:

  • Title tags. The <title> tag on a page is based on the H1 heading. Choose H1 headings that are unique, informative and accurate. Avoid vague, lengthy or repetitive titles.
  • Meta descriptions. Use meta descriptions that accurately summarise the page content. Aim to both inform and interest your users.
  • Heading tags. Headings should be used in progressive hierarchical order (from H1 to H6) and should help define the structure of your page. Never use headings erratically or for styling reasons.
  • Writing good link text. Links should be descriptive and should give users an idea about the topic of the page you're linking to. Avoid generic link text like 'click here' or 'go to this page'.
  • Alt text. Use a descriptive file name and provide alt text for every image. This helps image search services like Google Images to understand your images and will also improve accessibility.

For more information, follow the UQ guides on:


Maintaining an organised and user-friendly site structure will help search engines to 'read' your site. Make sure you:

  • Include pages in your site's menu. Adding pages to the main menu automatically includes them in the sitemap, which will improve their ranking in search.
  • Regularly review redirects on your site. Remove unnecessary redirects and avoid creating redirect chains where one redirect goes to another. These can negatively affect search rankings.

For advice on practices that will help optimise your content for search, follow the UQ guides on:

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO includes things like:

  • Inbound links from external sources. Your site's ranking will usually improve if another high-ranking website links to your page.
  • Social media. Pages that are shared or mentioned on social media usually rank more highly in search results. This can be a good thing or a bad thing.
  • Trust. Site addresses with a long history are usually seen as more trustworthy and will rank more highly in search results. New UQ websites usually don't rank as highly as older UQ sites.

For more information, read the Australian Government's Digital Guide to Off-page SEO.

Other SEO guides

We don't use manipulative SEO techniques like keyword stuffing or paid link exchanges. For advice on what not to do, see Google's search quality guidelines. For more advice about best practice, read Google's search engine optimization (SEO) starter guide.

Webmaster tools

Information Technology Services uses webmaster tools to configure and monitor search engine crawling and indexing.

We submit XML sitemaps to both Google and Bing to help them index our websites faster and more effectively.

Webmaster tool accounts are managed centrally by Information Technology Services. For more information, submit an IT request.