The Importance of Search Engine Optimization for SharePoint
In my first post on SEO for SharePoint sites, I focused on four basics of SEO:
- Page Title
- Meta Descriptions
- Alt Tags
Now that we’ve covered a few of the basics, it’s time to dive into another factor that impacts your SharePoint site ranking in search results: site structure.
This not only affects how visitors find your site, but also how they interact with it. Having a well-developed website structure is important for search engine optimization for three reasons: indexing, link power, and usability. A proper structure will help search engines like Google and Bing crawl your site and index pages in search results more quickly. The faster pages appear in search results = the faster potential customers can find you.
Internal Linking Structure
When building your SharePoint site, focus on a pyramid type structure where the top of the pyramid is the Homepage. By having the fewest amount of links possible between the homepage and any given page, site visitors will be able to easily navigate through your site to find the content they are interested in.
In addition, by having a pyramid structure, “link power” will be able to flow throughout the site. Link power (or “link juice” as many SEO pro’s like to call it), is the ranking power that search engines give each page that another page links to. The easiest way to think of it is by considering it a points system where each page has 100 points to give out via links.
The SEO Points System: If one page has 100 links to other pages, then each of those 100 pages gets one point. But, if a page links to only 10 other pages, than each of those 10 pages get 10 points. The goal is to create a site structure that will pass the most “points” on to every page, because the pages with higher points have the potential to rank higher in search engines.
When developing the pages and structure of your site, you will want to make sure that all of your URLs are easy for search engines to read. In order to help with this, there are three things that you want to keep in mind when creating the URLs for your SharePoint site:
- Keywords – when building out your URLs, make sure to create keyword rich URLs that use descriptive words that describe the content on the page separated by hyphens (example: website.com/sharepoint/sharepoint-2013-site-creation)
- Length– While you want to incorporate descriptive keywords into URLs, try to keep them as short and to the point as possible (example: website.com/sharepoint-2013/social-features/ vs website.com/Microsoft-sharepoint-2013/sharepoint-2013-social-features-overview/)
- Hierachy – The URLs for your SharePoint site should clearly display a hierarchy of information on the page and represent the structure of your site (website.com/SharePoint/2013/features/admin/)
I certainly hope this helps spread some light on a few more of the many factors of search engine optimization. In my next post, I will explain how social media can impact the ranking of your SharePoint site in search engines and the importance of integrating it into your site. Thanks for reading!