SEO Assistant

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the crucial process of website optimization, to achieve higher search engine rankings in an organic fashion, to increase visibility and traffic to your site.

If you want to optimize for search engines you need to think about how search engines work. While  search engines ranking algorithms aren’t public, there is a set of rules and best practices that make your website perform better.

People search because they have a question, you need to have the best answer. This is deceivingly simple, clearly the practical side is much more nuanced and complex. Ideally Google would understand which page has the best answer, but it’s not straightforward, their “intelligence” is very artificial.

You will need to take care of your content being compelling, engaging, accurate and frequently updated, Sparkle will take care of the technical side, optimizing performance and producing the appropriate code.

A few key aspects of your site have a specific structure, Sparkle’s SEO Assistant brings your attention to them, to ensure they’re set up properly.

SEO targeting

Your first step is asking the question of which pages of your site you are expressly going to trying to position in search results. Clearly any page can end up in search results, but you won’t be working on optimizing accessory pages on your site, like for example a privacy policy or password protected page.

In the page settings you will check the “Optimize for Search Engines” for those pages, and enter the keywords or key phrases the page is aiming to rank for, or “targeting”.

Picking the right keywords is an art, and there are online tools to estimate how many searches use each keyword combination and how contended the keyword is, in terms of how many other web pages (or ads) are attempting to rank for the same keyword. You can either use tools, or use your gut and experiment.

Once you have done this, the SEO assistant will have enough information to suggest what to improve on the page, to give search engines a better understanding of what the page is about.

Running the SEO Assistant

The next step is starting the SEO Assistant by clicking on the SEO toolbar button. This will scan the site and open the list of issues Sparkle detected, letting you view and fix them in context.

The SEO Assistant window sorts issues by severity, and you can click the bell icon to silence any issue that's not relevant to you.

The SEO Assistant has checks to ensure you have, among others:

  • adherence to the keywords you entered;
  • mobile support;
  • a website address;
  • support for modern image formats;
  • a page designated as home page;
  • a proper page title and description;
  • functional links;
  • functional contact forms;
  • proper privacy settings;
  • title text on each page;
  • description for all images.

Solving the issues will lead to a website that's technically better built, and as a consequence more search engine friendly. The SEO Assistant doubles as a health checker, ensuring links within your site, and to external sites, are functioning, so you should run it from time to time as a check up.

Sparkle's SEO Assistant window
Sparkle's SEO assistant contextual popup

Please report any shortcoming in this documentation and we’ll fix it as soon as possible!

Updated for Sparkle 5.2

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