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Double the number of visits to your site with Liferay 5.2

Here I am once again, I still don't blog as much as I would like too but there are so many things happening around Liferay that it's hard to sit down and write. Our office in Madrid keeps growing with more customers, partners and new hires, we open new offices around the world, Gartner seems to like us even more every year :) and of course we have the Symposiums... 3 in a row this year in US (West Coast), Germany and India!

For the last few weeks I've been wanting to blog about one of the talks given by one of our customers during the European Symposium. Out of all the good calks during the event the one presented by Mark De Lange, from Reed Business. Among other things, Mark presented some numbers about the growth in number of visits that their Liferay based sites had experienced since they upgraded from 5.1 to 5.2. Their sites are fed mainly from search engine searches and their statistics showed that the visits had already doubled after they had very recently updated to 5.2. I visited Mark a couple of weeks after the retreat and he told me that their new statistics were showing an even larger increase in the number of visits and it seemed to be still growing. Here are some numbers from their presentations:

Of course, this is not a coincidence. While Liferay 5.1 already had several features to improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO), version 5.2 has included quite a few new improvements in terms of SEO that makes this task much easier or even automatic for sites with lots of dynamic content. Reed Business was in fact an sponsor for many of these features. Here is an screenshot from their presentation showing some of the mentioned improvements in one of their sites, www.construarea.com:

Here is a summary of all the main features added in 5.2:

  • Friendlier URLs by default: Now the friendly URLs generated for pages, communities and organizations will be based by default in its names. No more friendly URLs with numbers!
  • Automatic generation of META tags in Asset Publisher:
    • Keywords: Whenever a content is being shown its categories and tags will be added to the keyworkds meta tag.
    • Description: Whenever a content is being shown its description will be added to the keyworkds meta tag.
  • Unique titles for all pages: The title now has information about the portal, the community/org, the page and the portlet. Note that this has required a change to the default themes, custom themes will need to be updated accordingly.
  • Framework to set the title and meta tags values from custom portlets
  • Friendly URLs in Asset Publisher when viewing an specific asset (for assets that support it)

And here is a complete description of the SEO features provided by Liferay in the form of a wiki article:

http://www.liferay.com/web/guest/community/wiki/-/wiki/Main/Search+Engine+Optimization

Hey Jorge,

thanks a lot, that is really great news and motivating as well! Im happy that liferay has understood the importance of internet websites for a open source portal - and the importance of SEO for internet websites.

We are looking forward for the next steps in that direction!

Simon

PS
I compiled some thoughts on that topic in my liferay blog:
http://liferay-portlets.blogspot.com/2009/11/seo-with-liferay-required-features.html
nice article, i'm using lifreay 5.2.3 at the moment and the featuresabove work a lot maybe you allready know the following but to boost your website visibility even more liferay you can do the following:
- for google generate and upload a sitemap (you can do that through the interface of liferay)
- Use the alt property for every image that you include in your website content. Type in what the image is about.
- In your friendly urls make use of structure for example www.domain.com/news/name-of-your-news-item
- never use 'click here' as a link just descripe the page your linking to. So if you want to link to your contact form use something like 'fill in our contact form' with 'contact form' or even better 'companyname contact form' linked. This works create with internal url aswell and google will love it!

That is just from to top of my head. if someone knows more simpele tricks please post!
Hi Gerald,

Thanks for the tips, I'm pretty sure they'll be useful for many people.
Hola Jorge

Good work. We would love to have localized friendly URL's also on portal pages urls emoticon

- Sampsa
Hi Sampsa,

Thanks for the feedback. That feature has been requested several times so I'm pretty sure we'll implement it soon.

Do you have any specific suggestion for the best way to implement it?
Hi Jorge

Well, I did put some thought and effort for this issue and made my suggestion for multilingual friendly urls to messageboard. That is good place to continue discussion.

http://www.liferay.com/web/guest/community/forums/-/message_boards/message/4294015
Wooau