Optimize your web site for search engines using the SEO Toolkit [UPDATED]

Optimize your web site for search engines using the SEO Toolkit [UPDATED]

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Installing the toolkit.

You can install the SEO Toolkit from the Microsoft Web Platform Installer. 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. Once you have a local version of IIS properly set up and configured, you can scan any website from your own PC.

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

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

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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).

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Running the toolkit

Once you have installed, you will want to run the toolkit using Windows Vista or Windows 7. 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 panel 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.

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At the bottom of this screen you’ll see the ‘Management’ section, and the ‘Search Engine Optimization’ tool. Open it and you’ll see a list of options that are available to you – including Site Analysis, Sitemaps and Sitemap Indexes and Robots Exclusion.We’ll focus on the Site Analysis for this post – this runs an automatic analysis of your site for typical SEO violations.

Select ‘Create New Analysis’ and 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:

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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.

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Once the analysis is complete, the site analysis report will be presented, showing a summary of the SEO Analysis.

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To see a detailed list of violations, click the Violations tab on the left. This will give you a list of the violation types, and the number of times the tool found that violation. You will see violation categories of “error”, “warning” and “information”. “Error” and “warning” are the highest priority.

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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 page contains invalid markup’ occurs 303 times. Selecting it will show the list, and selecting an entry will show detail on the violation as well as a recommended action for fixing it.

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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 2146 various violations!

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You can generate a CSV file with details of the Violation using the ‘Report’ button at the top of the screen. This selection will offer a comprehensive report if you choose “Export all violations”. Once data is in a CSV file, you can manipulate and resave as an Excel file.

If you prefer to customize the fields that are reported, you can do this using the Query Engine use the which is available by pressing the ‘Query’ button at the top of the report, and selecting ‘New Violations Query’.

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Summary

The IIS Search Engine Optimization toolkit is a free tool from Microsoft, available as part of the Web Platform Installer. In this guide you saw how to access, install and use the toolkit. You saw how the toolkit lists SEO Violations, recommended actions for fixing them, as well as how you can generate reports on your SEO violations. We hope your search engine rankings will increase after you use this tool!

Comments
  • The quick start documentation above mentions:

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

    But I only have 3 options to install in 'Web Platfrom Beta Extensions':

    Dynamic IP Restriction 1.0 Beta

    URL Rewrite 2.0 RC

    Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studion 2008 v1.0

    Search Engine Optimization Toolkit Beta, isn't an option, please help.

    John.

  • During installation of the Web Platform Installer, I received an error msg that stated that it was not supported on my system; however, when launching the application it seems to run fine and gives me a list of applications. But no SEO toolkit. Scott Guthrie's blog states that his tool is supported on XP Pro SP3, which I'm running, but you have to have the IIS 7 admin kit. Here, in this blog, you state that you have to have IIS installed on your PC. Is that IIS 7? Then this is not supported on XP.

    There are two of us working on this and we can't figure out which is what. If we need IIS 7 to use this free tool, then we'll have to upgrade...but that's not going to happen for this small company anytime soon.  I guess we could use the Windows 7 that comes with our MSDN subscription, but to be honest, we have other battles to fight right now...

    Please, can we get some consistent documentation on this?

  • Same issues as John-Barr Hall,

    No "SEO toolkit beta" option under the "whats new" tab...

    Any word on this?

  • Can you fix the javascript errors on this site!

  • Hello?  Is anyone going to answer the questions related to the install????????

  • Wow, Great tool for SEOer. But is's little hard when install in web form.

  • I'm going to take a look at some of the questions and get back to y'all. Watch this space.

  • For installation, try to install it directly from here:

    http://www.microsoft.com/web/gallery/install.aspx?appid=SEOToolkit

    Make sure you allow the browser to run WebPI, and it will launch with the SEOToolkit already configured for installation.

    @Steve Taylor

    You only need IIS7 on the dev machine where you are running the tool. You can point it at any website to test it, be it IIS6, Apache or other Web server.

  • is it used to increase the web page ranking also?

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  • great tools , i want also use over our website at http://www.graphicsone.com

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