Published: 22 June 2017
Sitecore is a fantastic platform for personalisation and marketing automation, but it can present technical SEO challenges to the uninitiated.
Why does this matter? Technical SEO is the ongoing and perhaps never ending process of ensuring that your website has a good reputation with search engines and can be indexed efficiently, to help surface your website content to the right audience. So getting your technical SEO right is crucial to your organic traffic and visibility.
As an established Sitecore development partner with an in house technical SEO team we are well placed to comment on and share SEO and the Sitecore platform.
Our previous experience working across numerous Sitecore projects, both platform migrations and existing Sitecore recovery projects, means that we have key knowledge of some of the most common SEO issues which can be caused through configuration of the platform and which are specific to Sitecore:
When an incorrect URL is entered, a custom 404 page need to be displayed. A common issue we have found with Sitecore is that it 302 temporary redirects to an error page that returns a 200 OK server response.
The sitemap by default includes all active pages and in Sitecore 8, ignores the ‘exclude from sitemap’ tickbox in the content section. Instead the pages to exclude from sitemaps (and so prevent being indexed) needs to be configured manually within the CMS.
When Sitecore adds an internal link, it creates an intermediary link that contains a ~ symbol. We have encountered problems in the past with these links being crawled and indexed and causing numerous soft 404 errors which can impact the overall SEO credibility of the site. These instances need to be detected and managed through the robots.txt file.
URL Spacing and Capitalisation
Unlike other platforms, when Sitecore creates a URL from a page title it does not remove capital letters or hyphenate spaces meaning URLs are easily duplicated and also contain html mark-up such as ‘%20’ where spaces should be. These are not user or SEO friendly and so we usually work with clients to improve how URL’s are created within the CMS by editors.
Duplicate via .aspx
Sitecore by default adds .aspx to the end of all URLs as well as allowing a version of the URL to exist without this extension. Therefore these alternate versions of pages need to be managed for SEO using canonical tags.
If you are more technically minded and want to see how these issues can be prevented or fixed, you can also read more about Sitecore and SEO for developers
Whether you are a Sitecore user, content manager or digital marketing/ SEO expert, we have the expertise and guidance to ensure that your Sitecore and SEO development is a success. We would love to hear from you so please do give us a call on 01233 467800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org