Search Engine Optimization

SEO Guidelines

These guidelines cover how Visma works with web content to be visible in the search engines. All web editors should do the following tasks for sites and web pages they administer:

  • Keyword research
  • SEO reporting
  • On-page optimization
  • Off-page optimization

All web editors have limited time to work on the site. You should be sure that you are spending time on the most important SEO-tasks and keywords first.

Keyword Research

Every page should have one primary keyword you would like this page to be found on. This is the phrase you put into SiteAttention.

This should be supported by several secondary keywords that supports the primary keywords. Show that Visma have even more content on the subject by linking to the content that have this as primary keyword.

If you want to be found on several keywords, use them on another page or Product Page Tab. Each tab on the product pages is a separate url and page, so you should have different search phrases for each tab.

The keyword should be unique within your pages and preferably on the Visma-sites.

The keyword should be something a real customer would search for. It is usually a word that describes a solution, not a problem or question. Get help from metrics on internal searches and employees working closely with the customers to get information about relevant words.

Use tools to check the amount of searches and competition for a keyword. Based on the research, create a prioritized list of the most important search words for your website.

You find a more detailed step-by-step guide for doing research and an Excel-file tool on intranet.

SEO Reporting

To make sure that you get good results from your SEO-effort, it is important to report on keyword rankings on a regular basis. Visma uses the tool Moz. Please contact your National Web Editor or Corperate Web Editor go get access to the tool.

Each domain have a campaign in Moz. On a national site you will share a campaign with other web editors. If you have the need for a separate campaign, contact your National Web Editor or the Corporate Web Editor.

You find the campaigns by clicking on the home icon in the upper right corner and choosing ‘Moz Analytics Campaign’.

Report

You find the reports of keyword ranking by choosing Search and Keyword Rankings in the left menu. On a page with a lot of web editors, you should use labels at the top of the page to filter the report to get to the information that is relevant for you. Export the report to Excel with the button ‘Download CSV’ if you need to do more advanced sorting or calculations with the data.

Adding keywords

Click on Search, Keyword Rankings and Add & Manage Keywords in the left menu to add a keyword.

Check first if the word is in the report already in Tracked Keywords. Add a label to it, if several web editors is interested in the same word. This is an indication that you need to coordinate the optimizing with the National Web Editor or other Web Editors.

Click on the second tab to add a keyword. Make sure that it is a keyword that already is researched and that you have time to follow on a regular basis.

You should add a label to it to make sure that you are able to filter out a report for the keywords that are relevant for you. A suggestion is to add name of business unit to it.

Moz is updating the reports weekly. You will not get a report until the next crawl of the site for this campaign and domain.

On-page Optimization

It is important to remember that the metadata and content where we use the keyword, also have a primary role in the usability of the site. Don’t optimize your content in a way that makes it more difficult to navigate the site or read the text.

Keep the content fresh by updating regularly. One criterion Google uses for rank is when the text was updated. Both for quality and SEO it is important to update at least once every third month.

Use Moz go get help with optimizing a page. Go to Moz, Search and On-Page Optimizing to get specific advice for how to improve the content on a page. With a keyword and an url you are ready to go. You don’t need to add anything to the keyword report or wait for Moz to crawl the site.

This is listed in order of importance.

Url

The url should reflect the structure of the site, but putting the keyword in it is very efficient. Use – as separator between words. Don’t use Scandinavian letters in the address; this is not necessary for the search engines to recognize the word (æ, ä > a, ø, ö > o, å > a).

Make sure that you have ready redirects (301) from old to new page before you publish a page with new urls. In this way we keep the search engine history of the previous page and transfer it to the new address.

Page title

This is the text that will be found at the top in the browser and the link in a search result. It should give a summary of what the user finds on the page. Place the keyword at the start of the title.
In Episerver you put this in when you create a page and it becomes the url, but it is also possible to edit the Page title separately later.

This is also used as tab title on Product page. As a main rule you would like something more unique than the tab title as page title. Override the default page title by updating meta-data and ticking off the box for this.

H1-tag in headline

This is interpreted by Google as the most important headline on the page. This means that you have to think about how well it presents your page.

In the product page template it is the first headline in the banner. You have to think more carefully about how to use it on a campaign page. The html-code will designate what text that will be the h1 headline.

Check that you only have one H1 on the page.

Search phrases in H2 headlines in the main text will also help for visibility.

Alt-text

When the user is unable to see the picture, for example for blind users, this text will be read. Make sure that the text describes the content of the graphics.

In addition to the effect on usability, alt-text is important for SEO.

When you are adding graphics, you should add image description at the same time you are putting it in Episerver. For some graphics Episerver will give you a reminder to add alt-text.

Meta description text

This is a short description of the content on the page. It will be the description in the search result. Think carefully about how the text sells the page to get a click and that it presents the page truthfully to avoid high bounce rate.

Optimal length for search engines is 160 characters.

Text

The importance of content in body text is increasing for how a page ranks in Google-search.
Updates in the search algorithm make it possible for Google to interpret how good and unique the content is. Avoid repeating the same content several places on the page. It is difficult for Google to see a page as useful if the text is too short. Aim for at least 250 words.

A phrase should be repeated in the text, but don’t overdo it. The text should be efficient and easy to read. Remember to use text formatted as bullet points.

Off-page Optimization

Inbound links is a very efficient way to become more visible in search engines, so you have to work systematically with getting links from other pages such as Visma-sites, partners, press material, blogs and social media.

It is important to know what inbound links leads to your site, because some links could hurt the visibility of your site. When we know about this, we will be able to tell search engines that these links should be disregarded in Google Webmaster Tools.

Make sure that links goes directly to the correct page. Try to update external links that goes to front page and navigation page to something more relevant and specific.

It helps to have link texts with relevant keywords, but avoid to repeat keywords in a way that look spammy to the search engines.

Check page rank and importance of a site to know how much effect you get out of an inbound link. The higher the page rank is, the more effort you should put into getting the link. Some of the suggestions in this chapter will take work and persistence, so know how the site is regarded by Google before you start.

Here are some good techniques to get external link:

  • Link from your articles on the blog.
  • Link to relevant pages in social media.
  • Be sure to include links in press releases.
  • Get links from your partners.

Look for opportunities to contribute with content on external sites and blogs that is relevant for the search term. Include link in content and presentation.

Comment on external blogs and message board that has relevant content. Of course, you should make sure that the comment is good, relevant and within the rules for the place you post.

New content based on research

What should you do if you want to be visible on more keywords than you have pages in the structure? Then it is possible to create new content to support these phrases.

The focus should still be to create useful content for the user. The development of the search engines goes in the direction of them being able to separate real content from content made to be visible in search engines. So it is important that these pages will be useful in the long run.

To avoid creating problems for the site, we follow the following guidelines while creating new search engine optimized content:

  • The web editor should start with a prioritized and well-researched list of words. The most important words should be used on the core pages of the site. New content should only be created for words further down on the prioritized list.
  • The focus of our SEO-activities is conversion. It is not sufficient to know that a page is ranked and the amount of traffic. The web editor has to know that it converts.
  • The content on a page should be unique and relevant for the target group. It is not sufficient to change metadata, the text should not be copied from another page.
  • The web editor should not create more content than it is possible to update regularly. Freshness is an important factor to rank well, and we don’t want to undermine this with stale content.
  • The content should follow guidelines.