Alright, welcome back! In Part 1 of our video on search engine optimization in DotNetNuke we talked about things like using DotNetNuke out of the box, using things like your title tags, meta descriptions and canonical URLs, some of the real basics. In this video, I want to talk about some of the things that you really need to do if you want your site to rank really good in the search engines if you are in a competitive battle against your competition for that top spot in Google. So, let’s go ahead and get started.
Alright. So, out of the box, a couple of problems that you have with DotNetNuke are the URLs. Now, I am going to show you another website and this is a website that wasn’t something that needed a ton of search engine optimization. This is a website for the Downtown Development District in Hammond, Louisiana and some of the problems with DotNetNuke are one of the major ones anyway is duplicate content. You have got issues where the website will respond to multiple URLs. Just going to go to the homepage here and you will see when I click on ‘Home’, I have got dddhammond.com/Home/tabid/88/Default.aspx and that’s just a lot of garbage in the domain name. If I remove this out of here and just let it be dddhammond.com/ Default.aspx, then the homepage also responds to that. So, there are two pages that Google has seen. And then if I go dddhammond.com/Home, then the homepage will also respond to that. Then I can also add the www in here and I can do that will all of these different combinations and then I can get rid of it and just have it as dddhammond.com, so there is another one. So, that’s at least 8 different URLs that this website can respond to for just the homepage. That’s a major issue because the search engines, they don’t want to see duplicate content; they want to see the content that is on the page of your website being in only one place on the web and it is kind of controversial topic among SEOs as to how much duplicate content hurts but I will tell you that on my sites that we get in there and fix the duplicate content issues, the website starts ranking better. So, in my opinion, this is a big deal.
Now, if we go over to my website and look at it, it is also DotNetNuke, same platform that the DDD Hammond website was built on and you will notice that if I remove the www and try to go to it, then my site is going to go to www.5StonesMedia.com. If I put in 5StonesMedia.com/Home, it goes back to www.5StonesMedia.com. If I put in the default.aspx, then it goes back to www.5StonesMedia.com. My homepage of my website has one URL that it responds to and one only and that is www.5StonesMedia.com. The module that I use is a product called iFinity URL Master and there are a lot of different URL rewriters out there for DotNetNuke. I have used most of them if not all of them and this particular module is rock solid. It just works. It is easy to use. The other ones are very buggy. I have not used one yet that was not an absolute pain in the butt to use besides iFinity. It is very easy to install to the site and set it up. There are a lot of different settings. I will put screen shots of the settings from my website in this blog so that if you decide to purchase this module, you can kind of use my settings as a guide to get started. And it does some really nice things. When I go back to the DDD website, for example, if I click on the ‘About’ page, this is the URL that I get. This is dddhammond.com/ABOUTDDD/tabid/93/Default.aspx and that’s not just a clean URL. It’s not something that you can easily send someone to where if you go to my site and we go to the ‘About’ page, it’s simply 5StonesMedia.com/About and you will notice that the text on my page here is in all caps but here it’s in all lower case and that’s because I have set it so that the URLs show up as all lower case.
The other nice thing about it is that you can get rid of the parent page in the URL structure. So, like if I go to ‘Services’ and go to ‘Web Design’, then you will see it’s just 5StonesMedia.com/web-design. If I go to the DDD and click on a sub-page, then I see that whole string dddhammond.com/Events/SignatureEvents and then the rest of it. So, this is a nice way to really clean up your URLs and the URL you can set it to be anything that you want it to be. You can do redirects of your old URL which it will do out of the box; your old URLs will be redirected to the new URL. Just a really nice module.
Now, you can choose to have it use the www or not and there is really no benefit to using it or to not using it; it’s just personal preference. I like to use the www because most of the time when people link to your site, they are going to include that and whether they include it or not, if somebody follows that URL, it’s going to take them to your site and it’s going to work just fine. So, whatever your personal preference is.
Now, the other thing that you can do is on your blog iFinity URL Master has got a nice little add-on to use that gives you nice clean URLs for your blog and you can set it up to where it has the category string or the date string in there if you want it; I preferred not to on mine but it’s another really good thing to do.
So, the things that we have talked about, if you use good title tags, good meta descriptions, if you have the URL master installed to your site and have it configured correctly and you use the add-on for your blog and then use canonical URLs as well, then you have a really solid platform there for doing some good SEO. There are a lot of other things that you can do but this video is really about how to get most out of DotNetNuke and search engine optimization. Some of the other things that you can do are obviously you need to build really good content for your site and naturally what I am doing here when I produce this video, when I produce this blog, the reason that I do that is because I am producing good content for my website and it’s something around our area of expertise and it’s something that the search engines will pick up on. So, you want your website to have really good solid content on it. I mean, you want to have keywords in the content but, remember, always writer for the reader. Don’t write for the search engines. Always make sure that you are producing good quality content.
So, there are some best practices that you should follow. A really good resource for learning some of these best practices is a website called www.Moz.com and I am a pro member of www.Moz.com. They have got some outstanding tools for really seeing what’s going on with your website. It will give you error reports showing you issues like whether or not you have duplicate content, whether or not you have pages with missing title tags and these are things that you wouldn’t necessarily see just by clicking through your website. You may not know that a page has three different URLs that it responds to but you can find that out when you are using a service like www.Moz.com. It gives you on-page grades and things like that. This is www.Moz.com right here. They have a great blog and this one particular blog I will have the URL to it in my blog and it’s about how do I build the perfectly optimized page and it kind of gives you a nice little layout where they show you a page and the things that you should do to it and here is that layout, talking about your H1 tags and bolding text and using auto-delist and stuff like that. So, this is a really good resource, really good read. I suggest if you are serious about SEO, of course, to join www.Moz.com and use the tools that are available to you.
If you have got any questions, feel free to ask them in the blog comments or on the YouTube video comments. Give us a like on YouTube and I will really appreciate it. If you find that it’s too much and you are looking for someone to do some SEO for you on DotNetNuke, then I would absolutely love to have the opportunity to talk to you about doing that for you.
Again, my name is Brian Walker with 5 Stones Media and if you have made this far into the video, appreciate you sticking with me and I hope that you see some great value from it. Thank you.