Sitecore is a leading digital experience platform with a raft of powerful features for developers, content editors and marketers.
As a long-standing Sitecore partner with over 15 years of experience building Sitecore websites, we thought we'd pass on some tips to help you make your Sitecore website more efficient and easier to manage.
These tips will touch on content, marketing and analytics. We'll be looking at 5 areas we think will make your teams' life easier when using the Sitecore Experience Platform or Composable DXP.
- Keeping your media library tidy
- Applying robots directives to content
- Creating profiles/personas based on your audience
- Applying SEO friendly naming conventions
- Creating a data layer to connect to GTM
1. Keeping your media library tidy
This may seem obvious, but we've seen a lot of Media Libraries that resemble a ‘car crash’. We don't doubt that when you got started with Sitecore your intention was to keep things nice and tidy. However, over time and with more editors interacting with the system things start to go south.
What was once an organised Media Library has turned into an ad-hoc dumping ground for all media - in just a few months. You need a process your content team adhere to.
Our solution was to replicate our site tree as folders in the Media Library. Doing this adds structure and makes it easier for your content teams to manage by adding relevant media like hero images to the right folders on the correct level in the hierarchy.
If a new page is created, like a blog page, simply create a new media folder and upload accordingly. Adopting this process is easy for anyone new joining your team. Because the Media Library mirrors your site tree, maintaining it becomes a lot easier.
Naturally, you're going to have media assets that don't necessarily fit into the hierarchy. All you do is create relevant media folders at the top level and name them accordingly. For example, Icons, Authors, Profiles, PDFs etc.
2. Applying robots directives to content
A practice we've been doing for years is to develop our customers' Sitecore websites with a Robots Directive on all page templates.
This is such an effective feature for your content teams. With options of INDEX/FOLLOW, INDEX/NOFOLLOW, NOINDEX/FOLLOW, NOINDEX/NOFOLLOW your content teams can assign the relevant directive that informs search bots how to handle the page.
For example, if you create a landing page that’s only accessible via social channels then the NOINDEX/NOFOLLOW directive works a treat. This means your landing page won't be surfaced in organic search results.
3. Creating profiles/personas based on your audience
Do you know your audience? We're sure you do.
But are your audience segments reflected in Sitecore? In the Marketing Control Panel there's a feature called 'Profiles'. This is where you create your segmented audience.
When done, assign your profiles to relevant content so you can gain better insights on the behaviour of your website visitor. From this you’ll be able to see which pages of your website need to be profiled and re-optimised if needed.
4. Applying SEO friendly naming conventions
One of the most frustrating and SEO 'non-friendly' behaviours is seeing a '%20' in your browser's address bar.
The '%20' appears if there are spaces in the URL. This eyesore is also bad for SEO. Having a structured URL improves your SEO and makes the URL (in the address bar) more legible.
To avoid this issue we've been configuring Sitecore's naming conventions to be SEO's friend for years. When a content editor creates a new item (with spaces) Sitecore replaces the spaces-with-hyphens. This behaviour can also be adapted to suit other naming conventions too such as CamelCase.
5. Creating a data layer to connect to GTM
Would you like your Sitecore analytics data, like profiles and pattern matches, showing in Google Analytics? Well that's possible with a data layer.
We're working with our customers on this right now. It allows you to see Experience analytics data in GTM, such as goals, campaigns and profiles.
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Our vast Sitecore experience enables our expert teams to help our customers get the very best from their Sitecore websites. From design and build to training and consultancy, our experts are ready to talk. Get in touch when you're ready to discuss your next digital transformation project.