Optimize your web site for search engines using the SEO Toolkit

Optimize your web site for search engines using the SEO Toolkit

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You can install the SEO Toolkit from the Microsoft Web Platform Installer. However, do note that the SEO Toolkit is a snap-in for the IIS Management Studio, so you will need to have IIS and its various tools installed on your PC in order to use the SEO toolkit. You aren’t restricted to scanning your PC with the toolkit – you can scan any website – but you’ll need a local IIS properly set up and configured in order to run the SEO toolkit. The Microsoft Web Platform Installer will take care of all this for you.

You can download the Web Platform Installer from microsoft.com/web

Here is the default screen for the Web Platform Installer. As you can see, the WPI is divided into three sections: 'What’s New', 'Web Platform’ and 'Web Applications'.

Web PI - SEO
The SEO toolkit can be found in the ‘What’s New’ tab in the ‘Web Platform Beta Extensions’ section. You can see it here. This tab is selected in the above screenshot. Check the box beside ‘Search Engine Optimization Toolkit Beta’ and click ‘Install’.

 

 

 

Installing the SEO Toolkit
You’ll see the install dialog, where the SEO toolkit and its dependencies are shown. Note that WPI does the difficult job of figuring out the dependencies for you, so you can be sure that when you install something, you get everything you need. Click ‘I Accept’ and you’ll see the Installer in action. This installs everything that you selected and accepted in the previous steps. You’ll see that there are three steps needed– the SEO toolkit and its two dependencies as seen here (IIS Management Console and WAS Configuration API).

  

Running the toolkit

To run the toolkit using Windows Vista or Windows 7, you should open the start menu and then right click on the ‘Computer’ entry. You’ll see an option called ‘Manage’ which allows you to launch the Computer Management Control Panel. In the left hand side pane you’ll see an entry for ‘Services and Applications’. Expand this and you’ll see the ‘Internet Information Services manager’. Select it to get access to the IIS Management toolkit.

Running SEO Toolkit 

At the bottom of this screen you’ll see the ‘Search Engine Optimization’ section, and the ‘Site Analysis’ tool. Open it and you’ll see the list of site analyses that you’ve already done, which of course will be empty the first time around. In the actions pane on the right hand side, select ‘New Analysis’ to start a new analysis.

Give the analysis a name and a starting URL. You’ll also have options for maximum number of links etc. Keep the defaults and enter a site, like this:

Configuring Site

When you click ‘OK’, the SEO Toolkit will analyze the site, looking at each link within the site and exploring the pages underneath each link.

SEO Toolkit Analyzing

Once the analysis is complete, the site analysis report will be presented, showing the violations of good SEO practice in frequency order.

SEO Toolkit Reporting

You can double click on any of the line items to see the locations where it occurred as well as some data about it. So, for example, in this case the error ‘The Title begins with a brand name’ occurs 7204 times. Selecting it will show the list, and double clicking on an entry will show detail on the violation as well as a recommended action for fixing it.

SEO Toolkit Error Details

Thus you can work your way through each of the SEO issues on your site using this tool, repairing them, and rerunning the tool constantly to ensure that you always have the best possible search engine placement.

 

Exporting your Results

The SEO toolkit will also allow you to export your results as CSV files which may be loaded and viewed in Excel or other spreadsheet software. For an example of this, take a look at the ‘Violation Categories’ tab. You’ll see each of your violation categories listed. Here you can see my site showing over 1900 SEO violations and over 300 performance ones.

SEO Toolkit Exporting Results

When you double click on one of the rows (for example SEO), the site analysis report Query Engine will open. This allows you to tweak the query of results I’m searching for, adding new rows or criteria.

SEO Toolkit Results

Once you are satisfied with the results, and you’ve gotten what you want to see, you can simply hit the ‘export’ button to get the content as a CSV which you can load into Excel.

  

Summary

The IIS Search Engine Opimization toolkit is a free tool from Microsoft, available as part of the Web Platform Installer. In this paper you saw how to get it, install it and use it. You were stepped through running the toolkit against an existing site, and the results that you are given. You saw how the toolkit lists SEO Violations, and how it provides recommended actions for fixing them, as well as how you can generate reports on your SEO violations!

Comments
  • The screens shown do not match the application as downloaded today.

  • Really? I'll go take a look -- thanks for bringing this up! :)

  • We've produced a new version of the SEO Toolkit, and a new version of the post to go alongside will be online in the next day or two. Sorry for the inconvenience!

    -- Laurence

  • Good catch I didn't notice that myself yet either!

    Scott

  • Thanks. Today I learn many from IIS and SEO related posts. ;-)

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