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Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Google and other search engines need 'words' to find you, we show you where to add to help your site be indexed successfully.

Updated over a week ago

Improve your Format sites chances of being indexed and increasing its ranking with search engines.

You can edit your SEO titles and descriptions on a site-wide and per-page basis.

SEO changes made within your Format site will not appear instantly in search results. It can take several days for the site to be re-indexed and updated.

Access the SEO Editor

  1. From your left sidebar click 'Settings' (lower-left)

  2. Click 'SEO' to open up the SEO tab

  3. Warning to show current SEO status (in this example SEO: Incomplete')

  4. The Search Preview shows how your website homepage MAY* appear in search engine results

  5. SEO Site Title field

  6. SEO Homepage Title (the content entered here will appear on your Homepage if you do not manually update the Homepage separately (see Individual Page SEO below)

  7. SEO Homepage Description

Global Website SEO

  1. SEO Homepage Title will appear in the search results for your homepage, write a descriptive and unique page title

  2. SEO Homepage Description, write as a normal sentence but include relevant keywords, it is best to keep this to 160 characters long, an example: Jane Dovercourt is a Toronto-based portrait and editorial photographer. With 15 years of portrait and editorial photography, Jane has never missed a beat.

  3. SEO Site Title will appear in all search results (on the right side)

  4. SEO Complete for this page

  5. Save Changes and scroll down for more…

Content SEO

  1. Scroll down further

  2. Content SEO area will show incomplete

  3. Click 'Improve Your SEO Content' this will allow you to see all pages and add individual SEO Page Titles and SEO Page Descriptions for each page in your site

  4. Scroll down for SEO Sitemap link (see separate help article here for more info)

  5. Save Changes

Improve your SEO Content Editor

The SEO Page Titles & SEO Page Descriptions editor allows you to see, and update all your pages SEO information easily from one screen

  1. SEO Page Titles & SEO Page Descriptions editor area

  2. SEO Title, this should be specific to the content of the page. It will only be shown in search engine results. It will not be visible on your site.

  3. SEO Description added

  4. Scroll down to see more

  5. Return to main SEO area

  6. Save Changes

SEO Sitemap

  1. Your sitemap allows search engines to crawl the site more intelligently.

A sitemap is an auto-generated file that lists the web pages of your site, telling Google and other search engines about the organization of your site content.

Learn more about how sitemaps work here.

Submit a sitemap with Google Search Console

View our guide for submitting a sitemap with Google Search Console here.

Add Image Descriptions to your images

Most image types (on up-to-date Themes/Website Templates) allow you to add Image Descriptions to each image.

  1. Hover the image thumbnail. Click icon to 'Edit Image Description'

  1. Image Descriptions are not displayed on your website. Effective descriptions improve your SEO and enable browsing with a screen reader. View our Image Descriptions guide here

  2. Click into field and replace with your 'Image Description'

  3. 'Save'

Captions and Descriptions Editor

  1. Click 'Captions and Descriptions'

  2. Add 'Caption'

  3. Add 'Image Description' view Image Descriptions guide here

  4. Save Changes

You'll also find an option to remove all information by clicking 'Clear All'.

Caption Styling

  1. Selecting any text will display the mini-ribbon bar above where you can select 'B' for bold type 'I' for italic 'TT' sets a heading, icon links and bullet pointed list

  2. URL with link added

File Naming of images for SEO

Being as descriptive and unique as possible for the images file name, image description and caption (title) helps the most.

An example could be something like:
Caption: Closeup headshot portrait of Rachel in Central Park, NYC.
Image Description: closeup headshot portrait of rachel in central park nyc
File name: closeup-headshot-portrait-of-rachel-central-park-nyc.jpg

Use hyphens '-' (dashes) or underscore '_' characters between words in the filename.

*Please note

Google chooses how to display your title as it pleases. Sometimes it will automatically create the title of the site in the order of "Brand Name: Title", even if you write it as "Title | Brand Name". The way it displays it can change depending on the search query entered. If you do a branded search query it's likely it will re-write it as "Brand Name: Title".

Further information

A large amount of information is available for Search Engine Optimization online.

We are unable to cover everything there is to know in this article but if you are interested in learning more we recommend you start with this site:

The Beginner's Guide to SEO

Check regularly to see how your search engine optimization efforts are working.

Try other words or combinations in an effort to improve results.

There are many tools available but we find that Google Analytics will provide you with a comprehensive statistical overview of your Format portfolio site.

Still have questions? Reach us on our live chat or email us at We’re here to help!

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