When you want to build a Internet facing site, Search Engine Optimization is always very important. Who doesn’t want their sites to be visited by more people? However, SEO isn’t a very simple task, it needs to be planned at the beginning of the site construction. Here’s a quick check list of SEO:
- Use meaningful site names and page names to create “friendly” URLs.
Prefered 2nd or 3rd? Most of the time 2nd will get more traffic, depending on keywords. Pages with deep URL (sites1/sites2/sites3/sites4/page1.html) is unlikely to get better ranking.
- Great Page Titles would be something like the site intro page title for e.g.: “SharePoint is Awesome – Trainings, Demos, Hands on Labs” or a sub site page title: “SharePoint is Awesome – Search Engines Optimization Explained”.
- Accurate Meta Elements: Search Engines uses meta elements like <description> , <language> and <robots> to crawl pages. <keywords> is no longer used. <description> has more influence on ranking. You can customize these meta elements with SharePoint Designer.
- Up-to-date Sitemap.xml and Robots.txt, and even HTML sitemap with all links. Sitemaps can be submitted to search engines, can also be picked from Robots.txt. For SharePoint 2010, use Generate SharePoint 2010 Sitemap with Windows PowerShell script to create sitemap, and then use Task Scheduler to run it everyday.
- Search Engine Friendly Redirects: Some search engines, prefer 301 Permanent to 302 Temporary redirects. SharePoint uses 302.
- Faster Page Response Time: In SharePoint 2010, Developer Dashboard feature help analyzing page loading time. Remember speed is a factor in Google site ranking.
- Better anchor text for links, alt text for images give search engines better understanding for pages pointed to.
- Always provide Title & tags, and transcript to video/audio, or text alternatives to your Flash/Silverlight apps to improve indexing.
- Use Webmaster Tools to submit sitemap: Bing Webmaster, Google Webmaster.