11 Sitecore SEO tactics to tackle with Sitecore
Here at Kagool, we have a dedicated Sitecore SEO team that helps our clients get the most from their investment in Sitecore. We’ve audited a large number of Sitecore websites for SEO effectiveness. And we work with our clients’ marketing teams to increase their rankings, traffic, conversions and profit.
We’d like to share 11 SEO best practices easily executed in Sitecore:
1. Write page titles that are SEO friendly
Use the title tag to support your keyword or phrase. The optimal length for a title tag is 55 characters and Sitecore allows you to set character limits. Concentrate on including keywords rather than trying to fit in your brand name on each page.
Your title tag is a key indication to Google and readers that your content is relevant to their search. Sitecore makes it simple to include unique meta titles when creating content, so it’s optimised from the start.
2. Ensure that headers are used effectively
Make sure your developer knows how to deploy headers to comply with Google webmaster guidelines. Stick to using just one H1 tag per page and make sure it’s consistent with your page title. Not only should it include you SEO keyword, but it should be compelling to humans too.
Sitecore can enable your titles to be used across the rest of your website, providing valuable exact match anchor links from within your website.
3. Ensure you have crawler friendly navigation
While it’s important for your content to be human-friendly, what really influences SEO is how crawler-friendly it is. It should be easy for the Google crawler to access your site.
By adding text links throughout content, you provide contextual signposts for users and crawlers. Sites like Wikipedia are great at this. Internal links give authority to the main pages in your site and increase click through. Sitecore’s content tree helps you manage your site’s navigation and easily create internal links.
4. Optimise your feeds and sitemaps
Implement an XML sitemap that contains every page you want to rank. An XML sitemap helps organise how the pages within the sitemap are prioritised in regards to indexing. Make sure it’s updated automatically when content is edited. Take the time to test this and submit it to Google search console so you can make improvements.
Consider integrating relevant feeds into your site. For example, a Google shopping feed is a must for ecommerce businesses and RSS feeds make great content readily available to audiences. Again, it’s vital to test this and keep refining it.
5. Add a persona for the Google crawler
A development partner who is SEO aware will always consider how the Google crawler experiences your site. Creating a customer profile for the crawler ensures the consideration of a great experience that is consistent with the guidelines for Webmasters. It also reduces the possibility of the crawler finding duplicate content.
At Kagool, this is a key stage in the discovery process for our award-winning Sitecore website projects.
6. Use canonical URL tags to minimise duplicate content
The object-oriented nature of Sitecore means content can be deployed across the site in different content blocks. To make sure that your content is correctly sourced and indexed from the pages you want to rank, specify the canonical URL.
The flexible nature of tracking means URLs can be appended to include tracking code. Setting the canonical URL tag within Sitecore is easy and gives authority to your chosen URL.
7. Indicate pagination to help Google
Sections of your website with multiple pages, like blogs and product categories, need to have pagination marked to prevent duplicate content issues.
You need to deploy rel=”next” and rel “prev”, as indicated in Google webmaster guidelines, to tag these multiple pages and alert Google that they’re linked. Sitecore allows you to make this a default setting.
8. Don’t ignore Google’s various marketing tags
Using Google Analytics or Sitecore Analytics should not be an either / or. Sitecore Analytics is superior when tracking individuals, but Google Analytics is great for SEO. Setting goals and events in Google Analytics is a great way to send positive stories back to Google. Google Analytics is also great at evaluating your return on investment from Sitecore SEO.
Link all of your Google services: Analytics, Search Console, YouTube and Google+. This gives you a more consistent appearance across services and better analytical data.
9. Use schema mark-up to highlight your content
Sitecore allows you to create reusable pieces of content or objects on your site. Use relevant schema mark-up to help define the nature of the content for content like local businesses, products, blog posts, navigation, reviews and ratings. This makes it easy for Google to interpret your content, allowing it to rank for relevant SEO keywords.
10. Implement local SEO best practice
If your business has a physical shopfront or multiple offices, you should be using local SEO tactics to get in front of local audiences. Local SEO allows you to rank highly in the map pack or local carousel. These often appear above organic listings, especially on mobile.
Make sure your website contains a page for every branch, office, store or location of your business. Link these to your individual Google+ pages in order to rank highly in local searches.
11. Make sure your page loads quickly on every device
Page speed is vital to great user experience. The faster your content loads, the quicker your audience can access your content. This means they spend longer with your brand and more time absorbing your message. Satisfy the user’s search needs as quickly as possible to guarantee that they stay on your site.
Sitecore’s architecture is designed to deliver your site’s content quickly. Google have indicated that speed factors into their algorithm for better page rankings.
How Kagool can help you with Sitecore SEO
Good Sitecore implementation makes SEO easy for content managers and has a direct influence on a marketer’s ability to hit their SEO goals. Clients and agencies come to us to achieve their search marketing goals and provide advice on their Sitecore website.
If you’re in need of SEO improvements, we can work with you monthly to add content, generate marketing signals and ensure correct technical implementation. Our transparent approach makes us different to your typical agency partner. We’re honest and straightforward with our advice and happy to offer our clients training and support.
To find out more or for a Sitecore SEO Audit please get in touch.
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