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Please see the Content Best Practices Guide on Geocentral for more complete information.

Directory and File Naming (Includes images and PDFs)

  • Use a dash to separate multiple words in your file or directory name.
  • Never use spaces or underscores
  • The default page in a section should always be renamed index.aspx.
  • Your section and file names should contain the specific keywords most relevant to the topic.
  • Do not repeat a keyword in multiple parts of your URL.
  • URLs should be concise





HTML Page Titles ("Title" in VitalSite 4.0)

  • Standard format: Page Title/Topic. Example: "Cancer Treatment at MidMichigan Healthcare, Midland, MI."
  • The keywords most specific to the page topic should be first in the sentence.
  • Typically no more than 60 to 70 characters.
  • Give different titles to different pages. Never duplicate titles.

Headlines and Sub-Heads

  • All pages should have a headline that uses the style <H1>. This helps both the user and the search engines know why the page is important. Sub-heads should follow the same rules.
  • There should be only one H1 per page.
  • Subheads should be properly nested, like an outline (H2, H3, H4, etc.) If any of these styles are too big or too small, it is better to have Geonetric change their size in the style sheet than it is to use them incorrectly.


  • "Click here," "follow this link," and "this website" are too vague. Make link text specific to the content, for example, instead of "Click here for driving directions," use "get driving directions."

Search Engine Descriptions

  • Make descriptions 150 characters or less if possible.
  • The search engine abstract is similar but should be written to reflect internal searches.
  • All identifying information should come first in the sentence, followed by important words and terms. All extraneous and conversational words should be eliminated. A helpful formula:

<meta name="Description" id="Description" content="Mayo Clinic's Comprehensive Cancer Center takes a multidisciplinary approach to research, diagnosis and treatment. Locations in Rochester, Minnesota; Jacksonville, Florida; and Scottsdale, Arizona.>

Keywords (Used in Internal Searches)

  • Choose five to seven keywords maximum.
  • Do not add a keyword if the term is only partially related to the page. Only use keywords that describe the main topic of a page.
  • Do not attempt to boost search engine rankings by adding popular unrelated search terms or the name of your competitors. Search engines generally do not look at this field and Google definitely does not..

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