Tips on how to improve your personal homepage

The personal homepage is your on line visiting card. It should make sure that your information comes up when someone is looking for an expert in your area of research. Read more about why this page is so important. There are several ways in which you can improve your personal homepage. The three most important ones are listed below, together with some explanation.

Summary: tips for an improved profile page

It is important that profile information of university researchers can be found quickly and efficiently. Nowadays, the internet plays a crucial role in this respect. A visible profile means that questions from the media, but also your fellow researchers, will more easily find their way to you. Therefore, it is wise to consider the following guidelines when you create or update your personal homepage.


  • Carefully select the 'keywords' for your profile. These are both the search terms for which you want people to find you, and the search terms that connect your profile to relevant news items, research, colleagues and events that carry the same keywords (and vice versa).
Profile text
  • Weave your area of expertise into the text in a natural way. Use the same terms as the keywords.
  • At the very least, mention your most important area of expertise.
  • Write your text such that it remains easy to read for humans. Search engines are important, but not to every cost.


  • Refer to your profile page with links on other websites, and vice versa. Use relevant links in your text, and do this organically. Links from and to social media platforms are also quite valuable.

1. Formulating your keywords in proper fashion

First and foremost, it is important to consider the areas of expertise on your profile page.

  • Keywords are the centre point of the website
    Keywords are added to profile pages, news, events, books, and research projects. On the bases of these keywords other 'related content' with the same keyword is displayed on the page. Keywords are also clickable and as such function as filters.
  • Use clear and simple keywords
    NO: ‘Political Philosophy, esp. Distributive Justice’;
    OK: ‘Political Philosophy’ ‘Distributive Justice’
    NO: ‘Acquisition’
    OK: ‘Language Acquisition’
    NO: ‘Historical linguistics and philology of the other Anatolian languages (Luwian, Lycian, Carian, etc.)'
    OK: ‘Anatolian linguistics' , 'philology’, and 'historical linguistics'
  • Use maximally 6 keywords
    To balance more general keywords with keywords for your particular research, we advise you to keep this division in mind:
    - 2 keywords that broadly describe your field of research
    - 3 keywords that describe your individual field of research
    - 1 keyword that explicitly directs interested non-academics (e.g. journalists): on which search terms should they be able to find you?
  • Profile pages and keywords are in English. When parts of your research can only be described by a non-English word, it is also allowed to use this.

example of keywords on a profile page

example of keywords on a profile page

2. Usage of your expertise in the profile text

It is also important that you reuse the fields of expertise that you entered as keywords in the main text. This enhances their search engine optimisation strength. You can do this by simply mentioning them again linked to a detailed explanation concerning the how and why of your research interests.

A simple rule of thumb would be to mention the most important field of interest at least three times: at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of your text. Do this organically; just mentioning it out of the blue without further elaboration is useless. To optimize your texts for search engines should never mean they become horrible to read for a human audience. At the end of the day, the profile text reflects your research, which should shine in the spotlights. Relevant images with careful descriptions are most welcome in this respect. As a bonus they enhance visibility to search engines.

Finally, make sure that your profile text is minimally 250 words in length.

3. Link building

A final point concerns link building, which is relatively easy to do, but not always an option. Google values links from other pages to yours highly. The more status (for Google) the linking page has, the more your status will benefit from the link.

When you have a website of your own, you might consider putting in a link to your personal homepage. Links should be incorporated in the text in a natural way Never write things like “click here to go to my personal homepage” but use phrases like “on my personal homepage you can find more information about linguistic typology” (in both cases the link is italic).

Last Modified: 01-12-2015