7 SEO best practices for Sitecore builds
Sitecore is very good with managing large amount of content. And content is the key to the effective SEO for the website. In this article I’ll describe the best practices you should use to get the most of Sitecore and your content.
1. Create the Sitemap
Sitemaps are the great tool that affects SEO positions of your website A LOT. Basically it’s an XML that tells search engine all the pages available on your website.
It’s best to keep sitemap always up to date by generating it from the Sitecore structure. Luckily there are modules available that already does that for you.
My personal favorite is Sitemap XML module:
Creates a sitemap that is compliant with the schema defined on sitemaps.org for you site by a click of a button and…marketplace.sitecore.net
It’s very easy to configure and it’s supports multi-site Sitecore setups out-of-the-box.
2. Redirects from the old website
If you are doing the new website build you probably shouldn’t worry about this. But if it’s redesign of the existing website it’s a MUST DO. You don’t want to lose the traffic from existing users which added the website pages to bookmarks or visiting indexed (but no longer available!) pages in search engines.
In this case we have a superhero 301 redirect module!
Manage 301 and 302 redirects right in the Sitecore tree.marketplace.sitecore.net
It will allow content editors to setup the redirects from the URLs that are no longer valid to the new pages. So you’ll keep your visitors happy!
3. Dont forget to configure the link manager
If you are collecting Google analytics metrics for the site (which you must do) — then it’s a best practice to make sure that all your links have the same format and case-sensitivity. So it’s best to configure link manager to lowercase the URLs and remove the language embedding (or make it required). Thus we’ll be sure that all our links on the website are always the same.
4. 404 and 500 pages
Even the best written websites could fail, so it’s best to be prepared when something happens. So don’t forget to include the 404 and 500 in your Sitecore build.
You can find a great article on how to setup these pages in Sitecore here:
This post shows how to handle a request for a page which is not found, how to avoid having the request being redirected…laubplusco.net
I like it because it’s also supports the multi-site setups in Sitecore.
5. Dont forget meta tags
Many search engines are still relying on them and show this hidden content in the search results. So it’s best to include the search engines and social meta tags into the base template you are using for your content pages.
6. Configure robots.txt
This could be as simple as putting a robots.txt file in your website directory. However you might want to content manage the contents of the file and also you might want to have different robots.txt file in multi-site setup.
In this case you could use the Mavention Robots.txt module
7. Last but not least — add the rewrite rules
The last thing you might want to do is to setup a rewrite rules — it’s not very Sitecore specific, but still very useful (especially if your website is hosted on the SSL binding).
Scott Forsyth has a great tutorial into this here:
Now your website is ready to come into the world and shine on the first page of Google!