Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of website traffic and getting traffic from the “free”, “organic”, “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.
Search engines are web-based programs that crawl and index content from all over the internet. The top search engine is Google, then others are for example Bing, Baidu, Yahoo, Yandex, Ask, DuckDuckGo, Naver.
In this article, we will concentrate on the Google search engine as well as on tools available in Pangea CMS, which allow you to make the necessary SEO setup and improve your website's visibility.
Search engine optimization for Google
To review how your site has been set up, use the Google Search Engine Result Page (SERP). Type the service name into the search input field:
The result box which will appear consists of the following elements: rich snippet, sitelinks, knowledge panel, and social profiles information.
The rich snippet
The rich snippet is the answer box that appears below the search box for a query. Query are words typed into the search box. The rich snippet consists of the site title, URL, description, and sitelinks.
Web admin can set up the title and description of the rich snippet for any SERP using SEO configurations and section settings in Pangea CMS. We strongly recommend unifying metadata within all settings in CMS.
In order to set up the site title for the rich snippet, go to Pangea CMS > Settings > SEO > open configuration key Common.PageTitle_Short for editing > change Localized value and click Save. Press Reload Site button for the changes to be implemented immediately.
For the site description of the rich snippet, please review what is used in the Meta description in the Section Settings in CMS tool.
Sitelinks are additional links to the main URL for a publisher or a brand generated by Google. A web admin cannot add/ edit any sitelink to the web site - Google adds the sitelinks by its own algorithm.
The purpose of the sitelink is to help web users to navigate through the site and increase the Click through rate (CTR). CTR is the ratio of impressions to click on your URLs and is one of the biggest factors in successfully generating organic traffic.
If the sitelinks are not displayed for the site, the structure of the site and its navigation should be optimized (clear and easy to navigate for Google), because by the Google words: "We only show Sitelinks for results when we think they’ll be useful to the user. If the structure of your site doesn’t allow our algorithms to find good Sitelinks, or we don’t think that the Sitelinks for your site are relevant for the user’s query, we won’t show them".
Google can display a search box of your website in the search result page, below the rich snippet and sitelinks.
The search box is powered by Google Search and Google has its own algorithms for determining if the search box will be helpful for users. Pangea has implemented structured data markup on all Pangea websites to power this search box (structured data are metadata that a machine can read), but at the moment no Pangea site has been provided with a search box in the SERP.
Please find below the searchbox example from Reuters:
Knowledge panel is a very powerful SEO tool for branding, which appears on the right in the desktop search results:
The name of the service is being pulled either from Google Business tool or, if not set up, from Wikipedia's page and CIA World Factbook (if Google decides whether or not your brand is worthy of a knowledge panel).
As Google has deprecated the use of social profile markup, the Social profiles data are discovered by Google automatically. To edit the social media profiles, Pangea Team could help to suggest an edit for Google. After suggesting the edit, Google will be reviewing if the change is associated with the site brand somewhere on the web.
Originally, the social profiles were done for all Pangea websites with the structured data and the data was taken from the Follow us widget.
How to improve your SEO using Pangea CMS
In this part of the article, we will show, how you can improve your site's visibility is SEPR using tools available in Pangea CMS. We will focus on metadata management, tags, and URL optimization.
Metadata in Pangea CMS
Web editors can optimize SEO in CMS by using correct text in metadata - title, description, and keywords (tags). They can be set up in Zones', Sections' and content pages.
The title presents the title of the web page and is displayed on SERP as the clickable headline for a given result. The title is important for usability, SEO, and social sharing. Please bear in mind, that search engines usually display up to 50-60 characters of the title.
When adding a title, please use proper keywords, but avoid overdoing them (title as the list of keywords) or repeating variations of the same keyword. Always try to create a unique title and think that your web site is for your readers.
If there is a zone/ section page for a show, please use a proper brand name.
A description is a short description of what the page is about and it is displayed in the SERPs below the title of the page.
Please keep in mind, that max length, recommended for the description text, is 300 characters.
The keywords are the words and phrases that people type into search engines to find what they are looking for. Even though Google stopped using meta keywords, they are still a relevant tool to optimize the page.
Alt text for images
Alt text (known also as alt attributes or technically incorrectly alt tags) is used as a short description of an image in an HTML code.
Alt text was primarily designed for users of screen readers. The screen readers can read the web content and usually is used by people with disability. It is a principle of web accessibility to better understand an image.
If there is an alt text to an image, the search engines can crawl and index the image properly.
In order to have the alt text to an image, use the Caption.
The tags are being used only for content pages and used to be utilized for keywords in Google News. Google has dropped support for meta news keywords tag in 2018. It means using the news meta keyword will not help Google understand the news content anymore.
Please, do not use the same text for tags and metadata (title and description) which can lead to metadata duplicity.
Many web visitors come to your web site by clicking on the link, so the structure of URL really matters.
If the URL is readable and easy to remember by visitors, it will work well for the search engines. Also, it is still important to use the keywords in the URL for ranking.
Once the content has been created and published with (or without) Custom URL or a slug, we strongly recommend not to delete or modify the URL address, in order to avoid confusion of the search engines.
Custom URL and slugs in Pangea support Unicode, which means, that you can create Custom URL using any language. Examples of Custom URL with Unicode support:
It is also possible to create a custom URL for sections and zones. In order to set it up, please go to Pangea CMS > Settings > Custom URL.
Slug is an additional text that will become a visible part of your content's (article, video etc.) URL. It helps to make your content more visible in search engines.
Slug field does not support Copy paste function, so please type the text manually or use Convert to Slug button next to the Title field. Please note, that it is not recommended to change the slug after the content has been published as it could be already indexed by Google.