“Out of the box,” your site is pretty well optimized for Search Engines to crawl and index your site. You can edit some SEO settings under the Advanced tab when editing content.

Content Descriptions (meta description)

Meta descriptions send an important signal to search engines that help them determine what your content is about, and are often used by search engines as the text displayed in search results. By default on each content type, there is a field that can capture your meta description text. On a Basic page it is called “Content Description”, for an Article it is called "Article Summary" and for a Person it is called "Short Biography." If you do not fill in a value for these fields, a trimmed version of the Article/Basic page body field or the Person biography field will be used depending on the content. Alternatively, you can modify the meta description and other meta information via SEO Settings. In the case of the meta description, remove [node:field_teaser] (autofills from the field above) from the field and provide your own value.

Sitemap

Each site automatically generates a sitemap which can be found at /sitemap.xml

When creating a site it is recommended that you submit your sitemap to Google via their search console service. This lets Google know about your site and helps ensure your site and its content are indexed and available in search. Read Google’s specific instructions.

If you do not submit your sitemap to Google, it is possible that your site will not be indexed. This means users looking for content provided on your website will not be able to find it. Additionally, if your site is not indexed by Google, your local site search will not provide any results to your site visitors.

Site Verification

Certain third-party services require site ownership verification. For Google we recommend using the URL-prefix property option and then through the Google Analytics method. Read about how to configure Google Analytics for your site.

For other services, there is a site verification meta tag available to webmasters. This is most commonly filled out on the front page of your website. In order to do this, a page must be assigned as the front page.

When editing the front page content, click into SEO Settings and look for the Site Verification section. Referencing the third-party's documentation, place the meta tag snippet in the corresponding field and save the page. Site caches should clear and this meta information should now be visible to the third-party service.

Notify Search Engines

To kick-start the Google crawling/indexing process you can setup at Google Webmasters and submit your sitemap and/or ping Google about your site:

https://www.google.com/ping?sitemap=https://yoursitename.uiowa.edu/sitemap.xml

Bing has a similar service to Google’s for webmasters. You can sign-up for Bing’s Webmasters service here.