Rachna Gupta - Digital Marketing Specialist
25 Feb 2021
If you manage a Sitecore-powered website and intend to rank well on Google, this article is meant for you. When it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Sitecore comes with a wide range of OOTB (Out Of The Box) capabilities that shall set you up for success. Having said that, SEO results are achieved not just by waving a technical magic wand, business-driven strategic initiatives and tactics play a key role in building search engine equity and reputation with Google.
Let’s dive into the must-haves that lead to quick wins and help you achieve higher search rankings for your Sitecore Website
One of the most common mistakes I have spotted across businesses is that they forget to configure Search Console data in Google Analytics. This is pretty much equivalent to leaving money on the table and walking away. Configuring Search Console data in Analytics allows you to see which keywords drive traffic to which pages and measure the overall impact and efficiency of your organic traffic.
Another powerhouse of a feature that comes OOTB for Sitecore customers. Recently, I shared my views on this subject and will encourage you to read that and determine how critical it is to configure Sitecore Experience Analytics properly. While some of you may be content with Google Analytics, but missing out on leveraging Sitecore Experience Analytics is like leaving your car keys along with the money on the table and walking away from it.
Remember Dory from Finding Nemo? She had an attention span of around 9 seconds and would forget what she was doing if you did not engage her within those 9 seconds. Now think about your website visitors, research indicates that people would spend 7 or 8 seconds on your website to determine if they want to stay or not. Most decisions are sooner than that. What would you like people to do for those 7 seconds? Wait for your page to load or instead read your content and stay. And don’t forget, your Google Web Vitals, score influences your search rankings too.
Gone are the days, when IT could say our website loads slowly because we have so much content on it or our legacy code is holding us back. Talk to the Konabos Team of Sitecore and Jamstack experts to learn how to deliver blazing-fast digital experiences to your customers.
Don’t spam your keywords into your Title, Description, or image tags. Keep them relevant and honest. You might be tempted to use your target terms as the alt text for images, but that’s poor advice. Remember the purpose of an image alt tag is for people with screen readers to understand what the image is about. If the image is about a woman using her computer, then write that instead of a technical term you were trying to rank for. Spamming image alt texts might have worked in the past, but remember Google is light years ahead of us in terms of technology and they use AI to determine what the image is about and compare it to what you wrote…Duh!
Well-written unique title and description tags are important too and should clearly explain what the specific page is about.
No one likes stale content, neither Google. If your visitors don’t find fresh and relevant content that is keeping up with your industry trends, then you are not giving them a reason to return to your website. Remember internet users vote with their revisit and it is an important metric that helps Google determine if you have anything of value for them to return. If people don’t want to return to your website, Google might even consider replacing you with someone who is much more relevant compared to you.
Wondering what to write, then do read this article “Here are three tips to quick content wins.” Modern solutions such as Sitecore Content Hub help you with broader content management and scaling solutions.
A brilliant platform, mostly leveraged by local businesses, the Google Business Listing program is a pretty neat solution to get your website in front of people looking for you or products/services you offer. Don’t miss out on this gold nugget.
Often overlooked, defining the URL structure across your content is critical to ensure you maintain their vanity appeal and you can avoid the classic duplicate content issue. Remember Google treats URLs ending with and without “/” as two distinct URLs. Make sure you place a Canonical tag for URLs and everything is in lower case. Also, use hyphens instead of spaces.
Answering your visitor's queries on your website is the quickest way to reach on top of Search Engines. Tools like Moz, Answerthepublic, and Google's "People Also Ask" help you evaluate what your customers are searching for related to your target keywords. You can use this data to answer these questions on your website. You can use the Sitecore FAQ component along with FAQ Schema to achieve some magical results.
Getting good quality backlinks increases your domain and page authority. The ideal way to do this is to look alive across Social Networks and engage your fans in meaningful conversations. You can also use these networks to promote your website content. Gradually when your fans start interacting with your social posts, you shall enjoy greater website authority.
Use the OOTB Open Graph & Twitter Card capabilities within Sitecore to ensure you present thy content appropriately. Follow the process to add the social network icons to your Sitecore website.
Track, measure, optimize. Constant digital production can lead to gaps that you never knew existed. Regular audits help you stay on top of your game and help address issues before they lead to a penalty. After all, a stitch in time saves nine. Invest in some good SEO audit and monitoring tools to keep your website health in check. Some of the common findings of such audits are 404 pages, redirect loops, metadata issues, and duplicate content issues.
Rachna Gupta is a Sitecore Strategy MVP. She has over 15 years of experience across marketing and digital experience platforms. She is a proactive and self-motivated individual with a strong customer focus. She excels in competitive bench-marking and digital asset maturity assessments. She also has hands-on expertise in search engine optimization, social media marketing, and lead generation.