Publishing and Web Content Management : New in SharePoint 2013 (part 4) - SEO Page Optimization - Page-Level SEO, Site Collection SEO

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Friendly URLs

Try clicking one of the navigation nodes in the managed navigation structure you just created in the last section. You might see an unexpected Page Not Found error page. Firstly, the page is a nice 404-error page and rendered via the PageNotFoundError.aspx page in the pages library at the root of the site collection. Why could SharePoint not find the page? In my case, I created a managed navigation structure but did not back the structure with real content.

Notice that the URLs for the managed navigation nodes point to friendly URLs. You should understand friendly URLs as virtual URLs that do not point to a specific location. Instead, SharePoint maps these friendly virtual URLs to real pages. Friendly URLs are part of the managed navigation capabilities of SharePoint 2013.

  1. Navigate to the Managed Metadata Term Store editor.
  2. Find one of your navigation terms in the hierarchy and click it.
  3. Click the Term Driven Pages tab in the right pane.
  4. Scroll to the target page settings section.
  5. Assign the actual URL for the friendly URL in the Managed Navigation node.

You do not need to map the friendly URL to a real page location for every node in the managed navigation structure. SharePoint will imfer real URLs from the parent node settings.

SEO Page Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is big business for business owners of public web sites. Top ranking in Google, Bing, and other major search engines can mean the difference between thriving business and business going to the competition. It is no wonder that organizations want to improve their visibility on search engine results for popular search terms. Google, Bing, and others publish search engine optimization configuration to enhance search result ranking. Unfortunately, previous versions of SharePoint were a little thin in offering good SEO configuration capabilities—that has changed with SharePoint 2013.

Page-Level SEO

All pages in SharePoint 2013 publishing sites now include configuration options for SEO. Figure 12 shows a typical SEO configuration page, in this case, for my home page. You can access SEO optimization settings by the following steps:


Figure 12. Search engine optimizations for a publishing page

  1. Navigate to a publishing page.
  2. Click the Page tab in the ribbon.
  3. Click the down arrow at the bottom of the edit properties icon.
  4. Select the menu item to edit SEO properties.

The SEO properties, shown in Figure 12, exist as site columns for pages derived from the publishing page content type. This means you can query SEO property values in code, use them as refiners in search, and query as part of cross-site query.

Table 1 lists the various properties for SEO optimization.

Table 1. SEO Settings for Publishing Pages

SEO Property Description
Title Page title and in navigation
Browser Title Title shown in the browser title bar and also used in search engine search results
Meta Description Description sometimes shown in search engine search results
Keywords Keywords to categorize the page contents, rarely used by search engines
Sitemap Priority Priority when generating a sitemap XML—special jump links in search results
Sitemap Change Frequency Frequency with which the XML sitemap changes
Exclude from Internet Search Engines Renders a NOINDEX field in the robots.txt file for the page

Site Collection SEO

Of course, editing SEO properties for every page on the site is somewhat tedious. Fortunately, SharePoint allows content owners to modify SEO properties at the site collection level, as follows:

  1. Navigate to the root of the site collection.
  2. Click the gear icon.
  3. Click the menu item for the site settings page.
  4. Click the link for Search Engine Optimization Settings, under Site Collection Administration header.
  5. SharePoint shows a page like that in Figure 13.


Figure 13. SEO settings for a site collection

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