Eleven SEO Best Practices for Sitecore

Ken Gray - Senior Digital Experience Strategist

1 Jan 2024

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Sitecore is a popular enterprise-level digital experience platform (DXP) and content management system (CMS) that provides powerful tools for managing website content and creating personalized digital experiences. However, if people can't find your website, then even the best experiences are wasted pixels. Here are Eleven SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Best Practice considerations for Sitecore:

  1. URL Structure:
    • Configure Sitecore to generate clean and search engine-friendly URLs. Utilize a logical hierarchy in your content tree to create meaningful and descriptive URLs.
    • Avoid using generic or auto-generated URLs; customize them to include relevant keywords.
  2. Page Titles and Meta Descriptions:
    • Leverage Sitecore's content editor to input unique and descriptive page titles and meta descriptions for each page.
    • Ensure that the titles and meta descriptions accurately reflect the content on the page and include relevant keywords.
    • Note that out-of-the-box, Sitecore’s data templates might not include some of the Meta Data fields or have validation aligned with current and evolving SEO best practices.
  3. XML Sitemap:
    • Sitecore provides tools to generate XML sitemaps. Regularly update and submit your XML sitemap to search engines to ensure that they are aware of all the pages on your site.
  4. Canonical URLs:
    • Use Sitecore's canonical link management to specify the preferred version of a URL when duplicate content issues arise. This helps search engines understand which version of the page to index.
  5. Responsive Design:
    • Ensure that your Sitecore-powered website is responsive and mobile-friendly. Google considers mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor, and it improves the overall user experience.
    • Your frontend developers should build your Sitecore layouts and components to be compatible with devices used on your website and your QA persons should do rigorous testing on mobile devices.
  6. Page Speed Optimization:
    • Optimize images, leverage browser caching, and implement other performance enhancements such as CDNs and DAMs to improve page and asset load times. Faster-loading pages are favoured by search engines.
  7. 301 Redirects:
    • When restructuring your site or changing URLs, use 301 redirects to ensure that users and search engines are directed to the new URLs. This helps preserve SEO value from the old URLs.
  8. Alt Text for Images:
    • Add descriptive alt text to images using Sitecore's media library. This provides search engines with additional context about the content on the page.
    • Alt Text is also a basic step in being accessible to visitors with visual impairments.
  9. Robots.txt and Meta Robots:
    • Use Sitecore's robots.txt and meta robots features to control search engine crawling and indexing for specific pages or sections of your site.
  10. SEO-Friendly Markup:
    • Ensure that the HTML markup generated by Sitecore is clean and semantically correct.
    • Properly use header tags (H1, H2, etc.) to structure content.
    • Employ Schema.org markup where applicable.
  11. Content Structure and Organization:

This last one is less of a Sitecore technical feature and more about providing content in a way that benefits the different types of visitors to your website.

    • Leverage Sitecore's content tree to create a logical and organized structure for your content. Use folders and subfolders to categorize content appropriately.
    • Ensure that your content hierarchy aligns with your site's information architecture and the way users navigate your website.
    • The main idea is to have Pillar content that links to deeper detailed content for visitors seeking more information.

Regular SEO Audits:

Conduct regular SEO audits using Sitecore's reporting tools or third-party SEO tools to identify and address any issues that may arise.

Remember that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices evolve, so it's essential to stay updated with the latest trends and search engine algorithm changes. Additionally, feel free to reach out for advice from our SEO team and Sitecore consultants for any platform-specific updates or challenges.

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Ken Gray

Ken is a two-time Sitecore Strategy MVP who has been working with the Sitecore platform since 2011. He has over 20 years of experience in business analysis, software development, content management systems, marketing, and digital strategy.

Ken’s passion for digital marketing and personalization along with his coaching and training abilities, aids Konabos in helping dozens of Content Authors and Sitecore Marketers improve their productivity and knowledge of Sitecore; thus maximizing each client’s return on investment. 

In short, Ken makes the complex toolset of Sitecore, simple.

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