Getting your website to appear on search engines is getting increasingly difficult with greater competition and more time and money being spent on search engine optimisation (SEO). There are only ten results for each term which can appear on Google's front page, so for you to be one of them you have to make sure Google and other search engines see your pages as the most relevant for those terms. Or to be more precise, you have to convince Google your page is more relevant than those of your competitors.
As developers of content managed websites, we're always keen to help our clients to 'help themselves' as much as possible. To this end we've trawled through lots of various articles on search engine optimisation techniques and put together some simple tools to help content authors produce search engine friendly content.
DuoCMS sites with these tools enabled get an additional button on the main CMS toolbar which scores the page you are currently on. It does this by scanning the pages content and looking for common mistakes. The small coloured bar at the bottom of the button changes from red to orange to green and fills up giving a score out of 100. It does this as you navigate around the site, so its instantly apparent if a page needs more work.
If clicked the tool shows a pop up, which details areas where the page can be improved. The tool also gives a list of the top terms used on the page allowing authors to make sure they have remembered to use specific words often enough.
Some of the things the tool checks include:
Each page on your site should have some meta information for search engines to use. The page title is used as a key indicator by Google to determine what your page's subject matter is. The description, if relevant, also get used as part of the search result.
These two pieces of information get truncated within the search result if they are too long. It therefore makes sense to keep these two pieces of information the correct length for search engines. To enable this the page settings toolbar now shows a warning if either of your settings are too long (you also loose points on the SEO tips).
Because the content management system knows which pages should be visible to search engines we have created automated XML sitemaps. These get generated and automatically appended to your 'robot.txt' file. This means search engines can pick this up automatically allowing them to more efficiently scan pages on your site as you publish them. Each entry within the XML sitemap also contains the last updated time and date, so Google knows to rescan for fresh content based on when you last edited the page.
In addition to our recently created Google analytics tools DuoCMS is evolving more and more into an ever stronger tool to not only publish, but also make your content more discoverable and allow you to measure the impact of content as you publish.
If you're interested in how Duo can help you with your next website. Why not contact us here for a friendly chat and further information.