Why search engine optimisation (SEO) is important for the biology courses website

We want as many people across the world to visit our biology courses website. We are creating open education resources and materials for teachers, lecturers anyone supporting learning – we want you too find us and make use of our OERs. We also want prospective students to get an insight into the exciting opportunities that exist at Universities to study biology and all it’s sub disciplines. There are taster materials for you on this site!

We also appeal to current students, new and experienced – get involved, help us improve –   why not write us an article and get your name on here?

biology courses seo

So how did you get here?

You may have typed in the direct URL, website address. Did we meet you at a conference, were we at your school recently, did you read about us in the local news? – this accounts for the majority of our visitors at the moment. Our SEO work in the coming months will change that.

You may have done one of the following:

One – You conducted a search via Google and maybe used one of the following words, biology courses, forensic scientist or biomedical science and we returned in the search results on the first page and you clicked on our website, great! This is what search engine optimisation achieves.

We had to work hard to make this happen!

A website has two audiences, first and foremost you, we strive to make this site valuable and relative to you, easy to navigate, interesting, fresh, up to date and above all a pleasurable experience. Do you have suggestions on how we can improve ? You will really help us by giving us your feedback by commenting below, thank you!

We also need to make sure that Google understands what this website is all about, that it is full of unique quality information and resources and is well respected in the community. We want other relative well regarded websites to link to biology courses, as we offer links to other websites that can help you. This helps us to obtain high ranking positions in the search results for keywords associated with our topics, biology courses and open education. The SEO work undertaken here is known as on-page and off-page optimisation.  We will give a more in depth description of the tasks involved in successful on-page and off-page optimisation in future articles in this series. Please check back soon and subscribe to our RSS feed to obtain all publications as they happen!

Two -You followed a link from Twitter (click and follow Dr Viv Rolfe – Project Manager), our Facebook page (please visit and like us!), or maybe your are subscribed to our RSS feed (if not do it know and get regular updates on all our new publications). Maybe you followed a link from one of the many websites that link to biology courses. If this is the case then  our social media strategy is working as it should. Thanks for visiting!

Social media power cannot be underestimated with over 30 million users in the uk on facebook (half the uk population), between 600 and 6000 Tweets being published on Twitter every second, this is where it’s at. At biology courses we aim to reach out to social media audiences and let them know we exist. We intend to share our social media strategy and results in future blog posts. So please stay tuned, let your friends, colleagues in fact any body you believe would be interested in our website know we are here and follow our social media network on biology courses.

Dr Simon Griffin – On line Marketing Consultant

Medical Science Degree Students Help Open Education Project

Students studying the Medical Science Degree at De Montfort University have been involved with one part of the HALS OER project that aims to boost student use of open educational resources (OERs). We are finding that students do not know what OERs are or where to find them so just aren’t making the most of the abundance of good learning materials out there.

It is also interesting when you start discussing with them the notion of critically evaluating resources from the internet. We educate Medical Science degree students from day one on how to critique and appraise research articles and books based on credibility and reliability, but not how to select electronic resources such as YouTube videos which they are using all the time.

medical science degree

Information Source Evaluation Matrix, De Montfort University.
Creative Commons BY NC (Use but attribute us. Not for commercial use).

Available at: http://www.library.dmu.ac.uk/Images/Selfstudy/ISEMLeaflet.pdf

The evaluation matrix developed by De Montfort library staff is being tested by Medical Science degree students on videos, animations and other electronic resources – which in essence is what open educational resources are! Medical Science degree students have highlighted where the above matrix is not appropriate for the task. It has also been a very illuminating exercise for me because it makes me realise they are not making informed decisions about any internet resource. They assume because it is on YouTube it can be used, whereas usually there is no information on which to judge the credibility of the video. So all internet resources / electronic resources / OERs should include:

  • Author name
  • Date of release
  • Institution or organisation
  • Purpose / aim of the resource – what is the student going to learn?
  • Creative commons licence – so the student has found the resources and this will tell them how they can use it!

So our focus groups have served two purposes:

One – to adapt the matrix to suit OERs as a promised output from the HALS project.

Two – Medical Science degree students have seen what OERs are and started to develop an understanding of how to evaluate internet content.