Using the SEO Feature in Expression Web 4

Posted by: Minal Agarwal , on 8/25/2010, in Category Expression Web
Views: 87402
Abstract: Microsoft Expression Web 4 includes tools that help you improve the search-ranking of your site. In this article we will explore this feature of Expression Web 4.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process to improve your sites’ visibility or ranking in various (prominent) Search Engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. There are multiple techniques for SEO. Microsoft Expression Web 4 includes tools that help you improve the search-ranking of your site.
The SEO Checker Tool helps you to apply search engine best practices to get the highest possible search engine ranking. In this article we will explore this feature of Expression Web 4.
NOTE: This article will not give you an insight of SEO, the concept and its techniques. The scope of the article limits to the usage of the SEO feature in Microsoft Expression Web 4.
SEO Reports
Web pages that follow good search engine guidelines rank higher in search engine results. The Microsoft Expression Web 4 SEO Checker will evaluate the page structure and its content against 50 different rules to ensure the page is search-engine friendly. SEO Checker will generate reports with the observations in the form of issues and description. The Expression Web team researched the current best practices in SEO which generally emphasize authoring well-formed markup and providing relevant content. 
To run the SEO Checker, with your website open, go to Tools > SEO Reports…
Choose the options for Check where and Show Errors and warnings. Click ‘Check’ to generate the Search Engine Optimization report in the SEO Panel.
SEO Panel
When you run the SEO Checker, the SEO Panel opens up in the bottom of Expression Web 4 workspace. Alternately, go to Panels > SEO. The SEO Panel generated this report for my test page:
The SEO report is by default sorted by page and line number. In other words, the results are generated from the top to the bottom of the page. Lets us understand the panel.
1.    Problem Summary: describes the error or the reason for incompatibility with the schema. This problem summary is also visible in the form of screen tip when you point at particular source of problem in the Code view.
2.    Help Topic: Opens the help topic from the Expression Web User Guide, which contains more information and suggestions to correct the issue.
3.    Page: lists the pages and their location that contain the issue.
4.    Line: displays the line number in Code view, which contains the issue.
5.    Issue Type: lists the type of issue, whether error or warning.
Even though you must aim to repair both warnings and errors, fixing errors would be more beneficial. There are few other options on the SEO Panel as follows:
1.    Run SEO Checker button - Runs the SEO Checker and launches the ‘SEO Checker’ box as seen above.
2.    Up and down blue arrows - to browse to ‘Previous’ and ‘Next’ result in the report. They help to open the webpage that contains previous or next result in the list.
3.    Refresh Changed Results button - to recheck any changes made to the pages after running the report.
4.    Column Headings - Click on the column headings to sort the results according to that column. You can use the small green drop down arrows next to each column, to add filters and choose a criterion by which to filter the results.
In addition to above options, right click on any of the rows in the panel, to open the shortcut menu as shown here:
a.    Go to Page: Takes you to the webpage with the issue and highlights it.
b.    Problem Details: Opens the Problem Details dialog box that gives you a detailed description of the issue.
c.    Learn More: Opens the help topic from the Expression Web User Guide, which contains more information and suggestions to correct the issue.
d.    Select Resulting Files in Folder List: Highlights the resulting files in the Folder List Panel.
e.    Clear Results: Clears the results list.
f.     Refresh Changed Results: Rechecks the specified pages that have been modified.
g.    Copy Selected Results: Copies the selected results from the report as a table.
h.    Clear Filters: Clears all filter criteria and sets the Filter menu of every column to all.
Now that you are familiar with the tool, you may want to gather more information about the best SEO techniques. Read Learn more about SEO which is the Expression Web’s built-in Help documentation on SEO and SEO reporting feature. It contains detailed information about best SEO practices and explains all the SEO rules that are used by Expression Web 4 to evaluate your site.
You may also like to read Using the Expression Web SEO Checker by Eric Wright and Increase your Search Rankings with better web page titles. In addition to these, the User Guide also provides guidelines for SEO.
I hope the article was useful to you. We will learn about how to create your own add-ins in our next article.

This article has been editorially reviewed by Suprotim Agarwal.

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Minal Agarwal, Expression Web MVP, MCDST, works as a freelance web designer (SaffronStroke) working on Expression Web, Photoshop and other Graphical tools. As a hobby, she also runs a famous Food site called Follow her on twitter @ saffronstroke

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