Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization

SEO has gone from a buzzword to critical component of any website in a few short years. For those unfamiliar with SEO, it's basically a set of best practices to make sure search engines can easily understand and index your content. In most cases this means adding content to describe your content as "meta data". Meta data is applied throughout a website in places that can't be seen by the site visitor, but are extremely important for helping the robots crawling your site to index your content.

While a CMS can't do SEO for you, Sitemason does provide you all the necessary fields to manage an affective SEO campaign.

Sitemason offers SEO/meta fields at every level of your website.

Site Level SEO

At the top site level, SEO is managed in the Site Settings. The most basic SEO field is the Window Title. This is the title of your website that will appear atop a visitors browser window. While it offers a simple readable title for your visitors, it's also the title used by search engines to list your page on their search results.

The two oldest meta fields are Description and Keywords. While their importance for search engine optimization have diminished in recent years, they're still important enough to make adding them a regular part of your site administration.

Description is the little summary that appears beneath your link in a search result. Keywords are brief words or phrases that describe your content and help (to varying and lesser degrees) search engines add context to your content.

Perhaps most important beyond these meta fields are using Google Webmaster Tools. This free service is highly recommended for any website, and will help you get the most out of your site, at least in Google's eyes. The way Google Webmaster Tools verify ownership of your website via a simple code that you can add to the Google Site Verification Code field. \

For Site Verification, use the "Recommended Method" and input the value from the "content" parameter of thetag. It should look something like this:

<meta name="google-site-verification" content="e47AUhVsmIE0xms_2bHRSa8kjYfoLaBvpmJF3OBv9AY" /> 

Where that long string of characters is what you add in the "Google Site Verification Code" field in your Site Settings.

Google Analytics go hand-in-hand with Webmaster Tools, and it's an absolute must for every site. It's free, it's incredibly powerful, and it's more or less the industry standard for web statistics. Add Your Google Analytics UID in the Site Settings as well.

Section SEO Fields

By default, Folders will inherit the settings you set at the Site level. You can optionally override any of these per folder to add more descriptive meta data as the content gets more and more specific within your website.

Page Level SEO

Meta data and SEO best practices can only get you so far. Ultimately, content is king. If you care about search engine optimization, then spend as much time as possible crafting thoughtful, helpful, and interesting content. With that said, Window Title, Description, and Keyword fields are available at the page level as well.

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