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ByAlexia Pamelov

Cheap Windows Hosting Tutorial – Improving DotNetNuke SEO

CheapWindowsHosting.com | In this post I will show you how to improve DNN seo easily. also how for each one, along with some bonus tips as well.

Here are ten ways DNN can improve the SEO of your site.

1) Customizing Page Titles and Meta Data

There are several key fields that search engines use in their ranking algorithms: page title (that’s the text you see in the title bar of the browser), meta description (that’s text describing your page to search engines, which your visitors don’t normally see) and ‘H’ tags, which are your H1/H2/H3 tags denoting which are the headers in your content.

2) Drop-Down Navigation built in CSS

Navigation by CSS really just means using simple HTML to show the page, and using CSS to style the menu instead of arcane amounts of script or other tricks. This assists with SEO by making it very easy for a search engine crawler to index your site and understand the structure of the site via the menu. Simple HTML and CSS menus are fast to parse and simple for a search engine bot to understand. Fast and simple is good.

The great thing about Evoq Content is the ability to swap components in and out as you need. There is a standard menu system that generates CSS-based menus. But if you don’t like that particular menu, you can choose from a range of different menu types to swap in to your site. So you are never locked in to a particular choice.

The standard DNN 7 Skin uses the ‘DDR Menu’ component, which provides a CSS-based, simple menu system. The default skin provides a good jumping off point to develop your own skin – or you can purchase a multitude of skins from the DNN Store.

You can see this in the below image of the standard DNN 7 skin
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3) URL Structure

The Search Engine Watch article covers URL Structure for two reasons:the first being the ability to set static, keyword focused URLs that are ‘sticky’ to your page. URLs are important for SEO purposes for a variety of reasons and paying close attention to them yields ranking benefits. 

A URL is what is used to link to your site – whether from an email, social media post, other blog post or just a plain old web link from another site. Links coming into your site have a large bearing on the ranking you receive from a search engine – all else being equal, a site with more links from high-quality sites will rank better. Paying attention to links is important for SEO.

4) Support for the rel=canonical Tag

The Canonical link element is a way to inform search engines that a page might be available under a separate URL, but the canonical URL is the one to index the page for. The Canonical link element is commonly known as a ‘canonical tag’ because of the HTML tag used to create them. Essentially, a canonical tag means to ignore the requested URL as the canonical URL, and use the one listed in the tag instead. This tag is hidden in the HTML of the page (usually in the header) and visitors cannot see it.

Canonical tags are very useful if small URL changes modify the display of content, but not the bulk of the content itself. An example might be a different URL to show different colors of a shirt available on an e-commerce site – the shirt is the same, but the URL may have “?color=red” or “?color=blue” on the end.

5) XML Sitemap Creation Function

An XML Sitemap (also called a Search Engine Sitemap) is a structured file containing a listing of all the publicly-available pages on your site that you would like a search engine to read and index. Often confused with navigation sitemaps – those pages which show all the visible pages as clickable links – search engine sitemaps are not seen by site visitors, but are instead read by search engine robots as they index a site.

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A Search Engine Sitemap provides a fast way for a search engine to read and understand the structure of a site. It also includes attributes for a page, which give the search engine insight on the relative importance of the page (compared to all other pages on the site) and the frequency of update. Frequency is a suggestion of how often the page should be re-visited for fresh content.

6) No Frames or IFrames

As the Search Engine Watch article says, hosting frames within pages makes it harder, if not impossible, for a search engine to understand a site. The answer for DNN is simple: we don’t use Frames or IFrames anywhere. You can install IFrames if you want, but they aren’t used as part of the application.

7) 301 Redirects, not 302

A redirect is an action that a web server gives when you request a URL that has moved somewhere else. The server redirects the visitor to a new location. The numbers 301 and 302 refer to a status code used to give more context to the redirect. 301 means ‘moved permanently’ and 302 means ‘moved temporarily’. 

When you understand the difference, it’s obvious why search engines will only take action on updating an index if they read a 301 status code on a redirect. The search engines understand that the content for the old URL is now at the new URL, and so any links pointing to the old URL should now be considered to point at the new URL. As each link pointing to the page carries a ranking value, you want to make sure that the value of that link is transferred. This is what a 301 redirect does – and it also makes sure your visitors don’t get lost if they use an old URL.

8) Pagination

This factor relates to the use of the rel=next and rel=prev tags. These tags help a search engine understand when pages of content are part of a paginated results set – where there are multiple pages of content for the results of a search or listing.

DNN doesn’t have a set of paginated results as part of the standard product. The search feature of the site uses dynamically loaded content instead of URL-paginated results. However, the extensibility model of DNN means that you can write whatever feature sets you use, and modify the output HTML to include pagination tags.

9) Custom Alt Tags

An ‘Alt’ tag is the text description attached to an image on a page. These are used by search engines to understand the contents and context of an image on a specific page. The Alt tags are used not only to index the images on a page, but also as a way of weighting the content of the entire page. Alt tags carry ranking weight because typically an image on a page is highly relevant to the content on that page.

10) Breadcrumb Navigation

Breadcrumb navigation is the practice of leaving links (typically in the header of a site) which give the visitor visual feedback on where they are within the site. This gives them an easy ‘breadcrumb’ to follow back to the higher levels of content and also provides context of the current page. 

Like CSS menus, breadcrumbs are an entirely customizable part of DNN. The standard skin that comes bundled with DNN 7 includes breadcrumb navigation based on the names of the pages. But it’s easy to change this to something else, or to write your own breadcrumb system yourself. This is all done through the magic of skinning – where you can change the appearance and behaviour of a DNN site without changing the underlying system code.

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