SEO for Sharepoint Websites – making Sharepoint use SEO

Search Engine Optimization (DISCOVERY?!) with Sharepoint Internet Website:

  1. Retitle every Sharepoint Page to be:
    1. PEOPLE friendly titles for pages
    2. USING YOUR KEYWORDS and keyword phrases
    3. Short page titles – punchy! They display in search results!
  2. Use Sharepoint Designer to insert meta properties
    1. <description> ,
    2. <language>,
    3. Alt Text for images
    4. <robots>
    5. Sitemap.xml, Robot.txt, and Sitemap HTML
      1. Alternatively, use tools such as Mavention XML SitemapMavention Meta Fields or Mavention Robots.txt to add SEO discovery functionality on your public-facing website built in SharePoint 2010.
    6. Script sitemap to run each day
    7. provide transcript on the site to all videos
    8. Verify page ranking with tools for meta properties
  3. Sharepoint OOTB uses 302s, you need 301 redirects
  4. Do Not use Flash/Silverlight/Javascripts on navigation menus
  5. Developer Dashboard calculate/record page loading time
  6. Submit site to search engines

With huge thanks to  Jie Li @ Microsoft and Josh McCoy @Search EngineWatcj, who came up with this no-nonsense test of your end result:

Get ’em on the Site

  • Run a DNS check, Ping and Traceroute check of the site to assess if there are any issues with site pages loading with regard to connectivity or any other server issues. Can the bots even access your pages?
  • Run a page load speed report of your 10 most important pages to review how fast your pages are loading. Crawlers lack patience. Are you asking too much of them?
  • Utilize parameter-free static/clean URLs on the site. Bots have long had issues with parameter crawling. Yes, they can often see their way through these now, but why not make it easier for them to crawl the site?

Hand Them the Keys to the Site

  • Review your robots.txt file as well as your usage of meta robots tags. What pages are holding from them?
  • Have an XML sitemap as well as HTML sitemap.
  • Enlist supplemental navigation on-site (i.e., footer navigation, breadcrumb navigation, and relevant internal linking in copy). Create pathways to make a site easy to crawl.
  • Fix internal links resulting in 404 errors as well as ensuring that external links open in new windows. You don’t want to stop the crawl and you don’t want to usher them away.

Entice & Lure Them

Generate fresh content! This may be the most important point in the checklist.

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About paulscho36

I like to simplify software. I love people who actually deliver software.
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6 Responses to SEO for Sharepoint Websites – making Sharepoint use SEO

  1. Jon says:

    The new 2013 SEO features really help out with SharePoint public facing websites. You have a range of tools that make life easy. Optimising 2010 or pre 2010 was a bit of a nightmare but the new tools are really what it needed. Hvae you used them yet? I am just optimising a website on 2013 at the moment.

    Thanks for the post.

    • paulscho36 says:

      Thanks Jon. I checked out your work at infraweb, are you doing SEO consulting and content marketing for companies on the Sharepoint platform, that’s very cool stuff!

      • Jon says:

        Yes I do, I work with an Aberdeen based SharePoint development company. They are just about to be Gold Microsoft Partners. Its all great stuff

  2. paulscho36 says:

    Congratulations! I am just coming together with some former Microsofties, building a business suite for Office 365 – http://www.office365ware.com – shoot me your website so I can see if we can work with you? And huge congrats on the Gold Partnership Jon!

  3. Ian Smith says:

    If you are looking for a simple and free SEO Metadata tag and robots tag web part for SharePoint 2010 publishing sites you can download one from http://sgm.sptouchgroup.com. I have been using it for a couple of years and it works a treat. Certainly takes care of the visible metadata tagging issues and robots metadata.

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