Using K2 to Optimize Your Site for Search Engines

Published 04/01/2012

K2 CMS offers a number of options for effectively optimizing your site for search engines. The following are some quick tips.

Site Level SEO Settings

To access site level SEO settings, log into the admin and go to the "Site Settings" page. Click the "Search Engine Optimization (SEO)" tab. You can enter page defaults for the following fields, but for maximum effectiveness we recommend that you override these settings at the page level (see below) whenever possible.

  1. Site Name - if you select the option to Prefix Title with Site Name when creating/editing a content page, the name you enter here will prefix the content page title.
  2. Page Title Delimiter - this setting goes along with Site Name and Prefix Title with Site Name when creating/editing a content page. It is mostly a stylistic queue and has little to do with optimization.
  3. Meta Description - the meta description tag is intended to be a brief and concise summary of the page's content. This tag is rendered in the underlying HTML, and a user will not see its content unless they view the source code for the page. This tag is intended for use primarily by search engines, and search engines will often use this tag to describe the web page in their results. If you omit this tag, the search engine will use content from your page as a summary for your listing. As a general rule, you should limit your description to around 160 characters.
  4. Meta Keywords - similar to the description tag, the keywords tag was initially intended for use by search engines and is only viewable in the page source code. This tag has lost its relevance and effectiveness over the years as SEO abusers began using it as a way to spam search engines. We recommend that you enter keywords for completeness, but reality says that it will offer little advantage to SEO.

Content Page SEO Settings

The following advanced fields should be completed at the content page level.

  1. Set the Browser Title - this field is found under advanced settings when creating/editing a content page. if this field is not set, the page title will inherit the Page Name field. The title can be viewed in the source code <title> tag, and most web browsers will display the title at the top of the browser window in the current page tab. This field is used by search engines to identify your page, and they will show the title as the heading in their page summary. Set a title that accurately describes what the page discusses and try to use a few keywords that you want the page to found for. As of the writing of this post, Google can display around 70 characters of the page title, so we recommend that you keep the title as short and concise as possible.
  2. Uncheck Prefix Title with Site Name - since we recommend that you keep the browser title to around 70 characters, prefixing with the site name will make your title longer and potentially less descriptive.
  3. Meta Description and Meta Keywords - these fields override the site settings listed above. Enter a description and keywords that are specific to the page.

In addition to completing the SEO specific fields listed above, you should also be sure to:

  • Have at least one <h1> heading tag on each page. This heading should closely reflect the page title, but is more intended to be read than used by search engines.
  • Write effective copy that contains keywords specifically related to the page's content.
  • Avoid Keyword Overload - search engines increase in intelligence by the day. They know when a site is trying to manipulate them. Do not overdo the keywords. WRITE FOR YOUR AUDIENCE. Do not write for search engines.