Well, TBH, things didn’t get off to the best of starts as my attempts to install the SEO Toolkit via the Web Platform Installer failed. I hunted around but couldn’t find it. Funny though that if you click the link on the SEO Toolkit page, Web PI fires up and offers you the option to install the SEO Toolkit. Either I’m plain stupid or there are certain applications that aren’t advertised via Web PI but can be installed by it.

Anyway, I digress, it’s also very easy to install from the Microsoft Download Center so that’s what I did. To give it its official title, the IIS Search Engine Optimization Toolkit is currently at v1.0 Beta 2. Its role in life is to help you improve your luck with search engines. In other words how to improve search relevance by making your site as search-engine friendly as possible.

The SEO Toolkit is an IIS7 extension so IIS7.x must be installed on your machine. That said you can use it to analyze both local and remote websites and these don’t have to be IIS. It includes a Site Analysis module, a Robots Exclusion module and a Sitemaps and Site Indexes module. The Toolkit will perform analysis, offer recommendations and assist you in making changes to your site.

The SEO Toolkit appears as a feature in IIS Manager

IISManager_SEOToolkit

Open the SEO Toolkit and you’re presented with 3 options; analysis, sitemaps and robots exclusions

SEOToolkitHome

Analysis

For analysis, supply a URL and report name and the SEO Toolkit will head off and crawl the site, reporting back in a number of key areas such as SEO “violations”, content summary, performance issues (eg slow pages) and links (eg pages with most links, most linked pages etc). You can see the sorts of violations that get flagged below (I’ve run the tool against my default site which has very little content).

SEOReport

Here’s a report I ran partially (it can take a while to run an analysis on a big site) on microsoft.com which gives a much broader range of results as well as their associated priority

SEOReport_ms

Sitemaps

The sitemaps and sitemaps index feature allows me to create and modify sitemaps and sitemap index files for my (local) site.

Sitemap

This generates a sitemap file thus

Sitemapxml

Robots.txt

Similarly for robots.txt I can add Disallow and Allow rules

Robots

Robots1

Which results in the robots.txt file

Robots2

All in all, extremely useful, particularly the site analysis features which flag up potential issues that may otherwise have gone unnoticed.

Check it out at the SEO Toolkit page on IIS.net. There are additional articles on using the SEO Toolkit linked at the bottom of that page as well as a dedicated forum.