DotNetNuke has many SEO features, but some are less obvious to the casual administrator. These SEO features, however, can have a dramatic effect on how your DNN website is indexed by Google, Bing and others, and as such, can have an effect on your page rank and search results.
Here are a few DNN tips and tricks to help in your DNN’s SEO:
1. Site Map Priority
Buried within your page settings is a feature that allows you to set indexing priorities to your DNN pages. To get there (once logged in as an administrator), go to “page settings”, then “advanced settings”, then at the bottom of the window, go to “other settings”.
Here you will find the item: “Site Map Priority”. The default for this is .5. However, if your page is the home page, or perhaps a landing page, you will want to up the number to 1.0, or .9 (1.0 being the highest). This will increase the perceived importance of the page by search engines such as Google. Where is this relevant? When your organization appears in a Google search, high priority pages may be presented as sub-links to the home page more frequently. This can be critical in immediately directing visitors to key pages in an organic search result.
2. Site Settings
Here we’ll talk about one of things NOT to do when it comes to SEO in DotNetNuke. In the “site settings” of DotNetNuke, administrators have the ability to enter descriptions and keywords. By doing that, those items will then be placed in the META tags for EVERY page on the DNN website. For SEO, this is an extreme no-no, as it will confuse the search engines and reduce the relevancy and page rank of your overall DNN website. It may be an easy way to get keywords throughout your site… but it will definitely hurt you in the long run!
3. Page Titles
One of the nice features about DotNetNuke is its ability to add dashes between spaced words in your page title. For example, if you title a page “DNN SEO Tips”, DNN will title the actual URL as “DNN-SEO-Tips”. This ensures that the individual words in the title will be relevant to Google.
Some administrators like to use underscores between words. For example: “DNN_SEO_Tips”. This is strongly discouraged as Google will index the entire string as one item. This means people searching for DNN, or SEO or Tips will not see your site on Google. They would only find you if they specifically put “DNN SEO Tips”. In some cases this may be a good thing, if your content is very niche-oriented. But if you’re looking to gather visitors based on more broad searches, using underscores will hurt you.
OK, this one gets a bit technical for the casual DotNetNuke administrator, but robots.txt is an important factor when comes to SEO, so what we’ll do in this section is give you enough information that you can intelligently go to your IT person or your hosting provider to ask questions.
In short, the robots.txt function (which not accessible via the administration tools in DNN), tells various search engines such as Google what pages to index and what pages they should not. Pretty important! But, if your DNN website is with a host provider and you are operating on a shared instance (one installation of DNN with many portals), you may be operating on one, centralized robots.txt file, which may be configured to tell the robots to ignore all pages on your site!
There is a way to take control and get around this, but it takes someone with access to the server and a bit of IT knowledge. But, don’t let that stop you from finding out if your robots.txt file is configured properly.
- Ask your IT or host provider:
- Is your DNN website on a shared instance?
- Do you have an individual robots.txt file for your specific DNN website?
That’s it a few simple tools and information on how to squeeze more effectiveness with your DotNetNuke’s SEO. Hope useful.
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