Quick & Actionable Sitecore SEO tips to Improve Website Visibility on SERPs!
It’s every business enterprise’s dream to get ranked on page 1 of Google. If you have a Sitecore website, you may also be thinking of setting your website up for SEO success. But quite often it takes a backseat while other digital marketing aspects also fall into the priority bucket. However, SEO is far more important for getting ahead in the industry and it has the potential to reap long-lasting benefits. SEO undoubtedly is the best way to drive organic traffic to your website and improve your leads and conversions.
If you’re wondering how to ensure your Sitecore website gets ranked on the top SERPs, you’re at the right place. We provide you all-in-one Sitecore SEO tips to help you win this race.
For improving your Sitecore website’s organic search ranking, implement the below SEO tips:
1. Set your Sitecore website up on Google Search Console
If you are planning to work on the SEO of your Sitecore website development, Google Search Console is probably the best SEO tool that is available for free. On Google Search Console, you can find reports that help you monitor your website’s KPIs as perceived by search engines. It also throws light on the areas of improvement, fixing issues, and errors that hamper your website’s performance. You also get to see what the search are terms the visitors usually search for to land up on your website and find out which URLs visitors access the most.
2. Create XML sitemaps
Search engines like Google may find your website hard to crawl especially if you do not have proper internal links pointing to your web pages. XML Sitemaps serve as the guiding light helping the search engines discover your pages faster by serving as a roadmap of all the URLs on your website. This makes it easy to crawl and find the relevant pages faster. There are also several Sitecore extensions for creating XML sitemaps. You can either ask your developer to build a solution that updates your sitemap, or you can rely on one of the sitemap extractors tools that does the same. Submit the extracted sitemap to Google Search Console.
Sitecore Marketplace has two modules to help you create XML sitemaps - Sitemap XML and XML Sitemap Generator.
3. Work on 404 errors and 301 redirects
404 error code is generated for a “page not found” error. Whenever a user clicks on such pages, he faces broken links, and the best way is to go for Sitecore’s internal linking feature to link to the other items. Alternatively, you can set up 301-page redirects for taking the page down. You can either add a 301 redirect URL in the content tree or ask your developer for creating a field on your page that allows a redirect URL onto the page. You can integrate a module into your Sitecore builds for redirecting pages when you delete some pages.
4. Improve your website speed
Since 2021, Google has been focusing on the user experience metrics as the new ranking signals and rolling out Google Core Web Vitals that provide insights on how your user experience is on your website. The factors include LCP that measures your website loading speed, FID measuring interactivity, CLS measuring visual stability. If your websites render slow, then the user drop-off rate would peak. The faster your page loads, the better the conversion rates! Focus on finding ways to improve your web load speed like
- lazy loading
- Optimizing images
- Improve slow server response time
- Hide certain sections until the first load happens
- Configure a CDN for properly caching media and CSS
- Implement ‘read more’ buttons on pages
5. Focus on page titles and meta descriptions
Page titles and meta descriptions that are part of on-page SEO helps not only the users but also the search engines of what your page is all about. With empty or irrelevant content, Google considers this as low-quality. Also, delete the duplicate page titles and help search engines prioritize the relevant ones in the search results. Also, keep them short and appealing to the users to improve the click-through rates.
- Keep it unique and concise
- Include important keywords
- Add descriptive texts in the title tag
Recommended Sitecore configuration -
You can configure a base template such that each page can inherit three editable fields that can be customized.
- Browser title for HTML document
- Navigation title for rendering purposes
- Page title using the H1 tag
A Sitecore custom validator can check the page title, meta description, browser title and make sure that they are unique to the page and the title length is less than 65 to 70 characters.
Meta description, as well know, is the short summary of your website content that lets the search engines get the gist of it. Search engines use this to display your page description in the search display results. This description helps the users also understand what your page is all about and encourages them to click through the page. Missing or irrelevant meta descriptions are unappealing to users and even search engines do not reward such pages.
- Provide unique and relevant meta descriptions
- Avoid duplicates
- Keep it within the short character limits for the SERPs
6. SEO-friendly URL Structure
The URLs should be SEO-friendly and no unnecessary spaces, or characters that put off the users from clicking. Do not clutter the URLs as it can be visually less appealing, and it lowers the click-through rates. Focus on building links that contain hyphens and no spaces or underscores. You can ask your developers for redirecting all the users with special characters or incorrect spaces to the proper URL versions. Ensure you maintain uniform and consistent URL configuration. Sitecore usually adds .aspx at the end of the URL by default and the module removes it for ensuring uniform URLs. Include proper keywords. Sitecore uses item names and tree structures for building your URL by default within the information architecture.
7. Use the h1 tag for Page titles
You can use the h1 tag on your Sitecore website’s pages as this helps your website pages rank better in the search results. These h1 tags improve the SEO as search engines and your users can easily understand what your page content is all about. You can include the following practices while using h1 tags -
- Stick to only one h1 tag per page. Don’t go for multiple h1 tags as it hampers your SEO score.
- Don’t leave your h1 tag empty or missing. If you miss out on this h1 tag, it breaks your page’s hierarchy which isn’t good for your SEO. h1 tags are important and help you to define the page topic for search engines and users.
- No duplicate title tags! If your page title is the same as the h1 tag, it is like a lost opportunity for incorporating relevant keywords for your page. So provide different content in your page title and h1 tags.
8. Additional tips
- Ensure cross-device compatibility & cross-browser compatibility
- Create compelling content
- Use canonical URLs where necessary and avoid duplicate content
- Use relevant keywords
- Include optimized media files
- Include relevant internal and external links
- Add schema markup for attracting your visitors
- Add alt texts to your images
By following the above tips, you leave no stone unturned to take your Sitecore website content to the top pages of search results and rank higher. As a Leading SEO Service Company in USA, we also offer SEO audit services as well as we perform a complete SEO analysis of your website - technical, on-page, affiliate marketing, email marketing, google shopping off-page optimization, backlink analysis for identifying any gaps. We also design and build Sitecore websites by incorporating the best Ecommerce Website SEO practices. Get in touch with us to know more.