Search Engine Optimization is a technical and creative process to improve the visibility of a website in search engines, with the aim of driving more potential customers to it.
The WebCrawler project in 1994 was the first full-featured search engine. Other search engines such as Lycos and AltaVista came later and for many years AltaVista was one of the popular search engines.
In 1997 , Sergey Brin and Larry Page created Google as a research project at Stanford University. As we all know now, Google is the most popular search engine in the world today.
Currently, there are three leading international search engines – Google, Yahoo and MSN . Each of them have their own databases and search algorithms implemented. Many other search engines use results originating from these major search engines actually. For example, the AOL search engine (search.aol.com) uses the Google database while AltaVista and Lycos use the Yahoo database.
Search engines have few components in common to check webpages such as: Spider, Crawler, Indexer, Database, Results Engine and Web Server.
With this short intro on history of Search Engines, understand that there are SEO tags (HTML tags by the way) to improve the visibility/ranking of webpages. In this post, we will see how to add such SEO tags to static Pages present in Tridion Content Manager. We will cover the Meta tags, Google+ tags and the Facebook open graph tags.
Basically the idea is to add the SEO tags to Page’s DWT so that the final rendered HTML of the static page also contains the appropriate SEO data. Just 3 Steps to do and our pages are equipped with SEO information:
- Creating a Metadata Schema
- Attaching the Metadata Schema to a page and entering the appropriate values.
- Adding SEO tags to the Page’s DWT and setting their values to the values set in Page’s Metadata at steps 1 & 2 above.
Creating a Metadata Schema ( to be used by Pages ):
Let’s create a sample metadata Schema with three fields for the three most important SEO information / tags: Title, Keywords and Description.
You can add more fields depending on your specific requirements. Here we will be using the same three fields to provide content for both the Google Search and Facebook Open Graph tags.
Attaching the Metadata Schema to a Page :
Well… it’s something we do mostly after creating a page. In case you never did such a thing, Hope the below sample image helps. After opening a page, look for the Property/Field: ‘Metadata Schema’ in the General tab. Select the Appropriate Metadata Schema from the drop down list.
Enter the appropriate values for these Metadata fields:
Reading the Metadata Values in Page’s DWT :
Coming to the final step, open/create a DWT for your Page. Add the SEO tags detailed below as required besides adding the usual HTML stuff.
Use Page.Metadata.<FIELD_NAME> to access any (Custom)Metadata attached to a page. With the current schema, we can use:
Page.Metadata.PageTitle , Page.Metadata.MetaKeywords, Page.Metadata.MetaDescription to access the values of these fields. The sample Page DWT will have code something similar as seen below:
<meta name=”keywords” content=”@@Page.Metadata.MetaKeywords@@“>
<meta name=”description” content=”@@Page.Metadata.MetaDescription@@“>
Google+ SEO Tags:
<!– Example Google+ Tags –>
<meta itemprop=”name” content=”@@Page.Metadata.PageTitle@@“/>
<meta itemprop=”description” content=”@@Page.Metadata.MetaDescription@@“/>
Facebook Open Graph Tags:
<!– Example Facebook Open Graph Tags –>
<meta property=”og:title” content=”@@Page.Metadata.PageTitle@@“/>
<meta property=”og:description” content=”@@Page.Metadata.MetaDescription@@“/>
<!– The Page URL when viewed in a browser. It corresponds to HttpContext.Current.Request –>
<meta property=”og:url” content = “<%=Request.Url%>” />
There are many other SEO tags that helps improve ranking such as:
<link rel= “alternate” href=”…” />
I will keep it up to you to explore the various SEO tags and their specific uses.
Publish the page and check it on your Content Delivery server. Either browse it or open it in Notepad.
To end the discussion, understand that such Custom Metadata can also be present at Content Delivery based on the settings in storage config file: cd_storage_conf.xml .This post explains the metadata management at Content Delivery side.
Note: You may add separate Metadata fields as well for each search engine to convey different descriptions for different search engines. i.e description for Google can be different than that for Facebook Open Graph.