Without a doubt, SharePoint has grown to be one of the most powerful content management and collaboration platforms that handle online content. That said, what you may not realize is SharePoint contains a full range of SEO tools to help you make sure that your website’s content achieves a higher rate of visibility on Google and other popular search engines. Here are 5 SEO tools (and services) that Microsoft makes available through SharePoint.
One point access for on-page SEO
SharePoint 2013 added native support for SEO. If you are not new to SharePoint (meaning you’ve already migrated your system), you can access the on-page SEO elements by going to the page tab (Page → Manage → Edit Properties → Edit SEO). From here, you have the ability to update critical SEO elements including:
- Browser title
- Meta Description
- Sitemap priority
- Sitemap change frequency
- The option to exclude from particular search engines
SEO settings on a website level
SharePoint also allows you to make SEO changes to your entire website, which can be especially helpful when you want to set up canonical URLs and meta-tags for the whole site. You can find these controls under the Site Setting menu (Site Settings → Site Collection Administration → Search Engine Optimization Settings).
SharePoint 2013 has also added the ability to generate an XML sitemap automatically (a feature left off older versions). In order to do so, all you need to do is enable the ‘Search Engine Sitemap’ feature under site collection. After doing this, a unique XML sitemap will be automatically created for you every day.
Creating SEO-friendly URL
Not all of the URLs you are currently using in your content may be SEO friendly. If you have dynamic URLs generated or static pages created based on ID number, you should consider updating them to formats that are more search engine friendly. SharePoint can help create URLs that help search engines better understand the context of your website. Be careful using 301 redirects though – you could end creating duplicate pages (…one with SEO-friendly URLs and another with dynamic).
Creating custom features
One thing you need to remember is that the SharePoint SEO module is not perfect. You still cannot pick and choose between some of the various components. If you enable the module, all of the site components and delegates controls for it. Fear not, however, as this should eventually be fixed and you can work around it by creating your own Feature. Features let you enable delegate controls as you wish for your web pages.
Please see our SharePoint resources page for more information about this dynamic, user-friendly system.