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Keywords Instructions and Best Practices

How to enter keywords on the IT@Cornell web pages, plus best practices for keywords.

This article applies to: IT Communication and Documentation


How to Enter Keywords

For the best search results, create a list of standard keywords for your subsite. Use the same list for each related KB article. Add custom keywords for individual articles to the end of the list on the appropriate page.

Add Keywords to Your Subsite

  1. Edit a Subsite.
  2. Select the Keywords tab.
  3. Under Keywords, enter the list of keywords in the subsite.
Enter all keywords in lower case, except for acronyms. Use commas to separate your list of keywords.
  1. Copy the list of keywords for use later in related KB Articles.
  2. Save the subsite.

Add Keywords to KB Articles

When you link a KB Article to an existing subsite, copy the list of keywords from the subsite to the new article. Then add any custom keywords to the end of the list.

  1. Edit Your KB Article(s).
  2. Select the Keywords tab.
  3. Copy the list of Keywords from the subsite and paste it into each related KB Article. 
  4. At the end of the list, add specific keywords for each KB Article.
Enter all keywords in lower case, except for acronyms. Use commas to separate your list of keywords. Only add custom keywords to the KB articles they apply to. For example, add log in to a page like Login to Two-Step Login, or accessibility to a page like Add Captions in Video on Demand.
  1. Save your KB Article(s).

Keyword Best Practices

Type of Keywords to Include

  • Main concepts
  • Common misspellings, like g suite, g-suite, and gsuite
  • Alternate names, like two factor authentication
  • Acronyms, like VOD for Video on Demand
  • Non-technical terms for users who are not familiar with the service
  • Technical terms for tech savvy users

Keyword Strategy

  • The purpose of keywords is to help your user find your page when searching.
  • Think of keywords as the verbalization of the customer's problem.
  • Consider the search and reward cycle. How quickly does the search engine reward your users with the information they are looking for?
  • Use your best keywords in your content:
    • Page Title (This is the most heavily weighted item in IT@Cornell search.)
    • Headings
    • Body text
    • Image alt text
    • Image file names (Don't use an abbreviated name or a number, use a relevant keyword instead.)

IT@Cornell Customer Profile

Consider the needs of our customers when choosing keywords.

  • Most of our customers are looking for solutions or pursuing information.
  • Some customers are looking to complete a transaction, for example enrolling in Two-Step Login or setting up Wi-Fi.
  • A few customers are looking for information about CIT, our staff, our strategy, or our current projects, etc.
  • One main user group of our search engine is the ITSD. They need to find information quickly when helping their customers.

Key Questions to Ask

  • How would you describe this service (subsite and its child pages) to someone who has never heard of it?
  • What technical terms will someone familiar with this service use to find the page they need quickly?
  • Ask the service owner what proportion of the audience is:
    • Technical versus non-technical
    • Familiar versus unfamiliar with the service
  • Is the purpose of the site to:
    • Draw new customers who are unfamiliar with the service
    • Support customers who are already familiar with the service
    • Both

Long Term Keyword Strategy

  • Monitor keyword performance (How often are they used in search?)
  • Test new keywords
  • Delete low performers

About this Article

Last updated: 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 - 8:42am

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