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5 SEO Tools That Make Microsoft SharePoint So Powerful

Posted on September 5, 2014

Microsoft SharePoint is without doubt one of the most powerful content management and collaboration platforms for enterprises to handle online content. But what you might not be aware of is that it also contains a pretty exhaustive range of SEO tools to make your website content get higher visibility on Google and other popular search engines. Here is a lowdown on the various tools and services that area available within the SEO module of Microsoft SharePoint.

One Point Access For On-Page SEO:

The latest version of Microsoft SharePoint contains native support for search engine optimization. If you have already migrated your system to SharePoint 2013, you can access all the on-page SEO elements from the Page tab. To do so, click on Page → Manage → Edit Properties → Edit SEO properties to open the relevant window from where you can update all the critical on-page SEO elements like Title, Browser title, Meta Description, Keywords, Sitemap priority, Sitemap change frequency and the option to exclude from particular search engines.

SEO Settings At Website Level:

Apart from making changes for specific web pages, you can also make SEO modifications for the entire website. This is particularly useful if you want to setup canonical URLs, setup meta-tags for the entire site, etc. To do this, click Site Settings → Site Collection Administration → Search Engine Optimization Settings. From here you can modify settings such as Browser title, meta description, keywords, canonical URLs, custom meta tags and an option to exclude from search engines.

Sitemap Generation:

If your business has been using SharePoint for a while, you will be aware that the older versions of SharePoint do not offer a feature to automatically generate an XML sitemap. With SharePoint 2013, this is a breeze. All you need to do is to enable the ‘Search Engine Sitemap’ feature under the site collection and an XML sitemap shall be uniquely generated every day.

SEO-Friendly URL:

Do you have dynamic URLs being generated for all your site pages? Or have static pages being rendered based on ID numbers? It is time to move to search engine friendly URLs. These URLs make use of keyword text that is both easy to remember as well as helps search engines understand the context of the website better. However, do note that by default, SharePoint does not use 301 redirects. As a result, if you are not careful, you could be creating duplicate pages (one with dynamic IDs and another with friendly URLs).

Creating Custom Features:

One drawback of the SharePoint SEO module is that it still does not let you pick and choose between the various components. As a result, if you enable the module, it enables all the site components and Delegate controls around it. While this is a functionality that should get fixed in future versions of the software, for the moment though, you can work around this by creating your own Feature – this lets you enable specific Delegate Controls as you deem fit for your web pages. Admittedly, this is a little roundabout and so we hope Microsoft works out the kinks in the next update.

Microsoft SharePoint is a powerful content management tool for enterprises. Although there is a learning curve required, it provides a fantastic way to easily manage a website with several thousand pages with ease. It will be interesting to see what features Microsoft brings to SharePoint in the future updates.