Improving search results

The largest channel for discovering content for the Experience Cloud is organic search from external search engines, primarily Google. To help improve content discovery for customers, content presented on pages requires optimizing for the indexers to easily catalog what a page is about.

Initially this process is straightforward, giving basic information, but can become more nuanced the more specifically you want to tune pages.

External search engines

External search engines require several elements to be available for good quality indexing.

  1. Well-structured pages that have a logical information layout, and well formed, logical structure.
  2. Meaningful metadata that gives title, description, and keywords that help frame the material on the page.
  3. Clear page title.
  4. Clear first paragraph that outlines what the page is about.
  5. Ideally an xml sitemap that shows the relationship of all the pages in the site.

SCCM automatically takes care of page syntax, sitemaps, and structure. As writers, the SCCM process relies on you adding the information to this structure.

The SCCM internal search engine does not create a full-page index currently. Instead, the engine indexes only the following:

  • Title
  • Description
  • Headings
TIP

Specifying title and description metadata is especially important to improve internal search. Try to include likely search terms and synonyms in your descriptions. For guidance, see Title and description for SEO.

The internal search also indexes the following metadata that allows users to filter their search results:

  • solution
  • type
  • role
  • level
  • feature
  • version

For more information which values to specify for these search filters, see Metadata.

Where is metadata stored

SCCM stores metadata in three places.

  1. The metadata.md file at the root of your content guide is much like a birth certificate, with basic information that is applied to all pages in the material set. You set up this page SCCM when you create a content set. You don’t need to edit this file often.

  2. The TOC.md file. This file provides every page with metadata about which solution or sub solution this content relates to, as well as audience type, and so on.

  3. On your content pages. The content pages need only these fields completed:

    • title - A title best suited for Google search results. For example, if an article’s page heading (H1) is Overview of Analysis Workspace, the title metadata might be, How to use Analysis Workspace.
    • description - A description best suited for Google search results.

Examples:

---
title: How to Use decryptPassword in Adobe Analytics
description: Decrypt a password stored in an external account with the decryptPassword function. Learn how to call in JSSP or SOAP call implementations with Adobe API.
---

For guidance, see Title and description for SEO

NOTE

We are deprecating the seo-title and seo-description fields. We included these fields in the migration to be in line with chl-author (helpx). You can remove or ignore the seo-title and seo-description fields. Google uses the regular title and description fields.

How to tune your pages

Useful tips about tuning your pages for search.

Step 1 - Add descriptive metadata

  • Complete the title and description metadata on your page. (seo-title and seo-description are deprecated. )

For guidance, see Title and description for SEO

  • Google pays attention to title, description, and keywords (features, products) in metadata and the article. You’ll get even better results if the metadata closely matches words on the page.
  • Include previous product names (Scene7, demdex, SiteCatalyst) in your description if relevant. Many of our customers still use previous product names when searching and it’s useful to match them up.
  • Do not add the pipe and product name to the title metadata. These characters are automatically added to the search results page.
NOTE

Google has the ability to change the title of a page in the results and construct it from meta, page content and titles, if it thinks it is a closer/more helpful result. So we might see some results change, and have no match to any one field. The more accurate we are, the less that should happen, but it’s possible. We have seen a few examples where we can’t explain where a title word came from. That is Google adjusting a title for accuracy.

Step 2 - Focus on title and intro paragraph

If search entries match content in the title, description, and first paragraph, the page will likely appear much higher in the list of search results. Use key search terms early and as often as possible (without being contrived or repetitious) in these places:

  • Title and description metadata
  • Headings and subheadings
  • Summaries
  • Overviews
  • Introductions
  • Paragraph text
  • Link text
  • Image and table text

Sample first paragraph in an overview:

Audiences are collections of visitors (a list of visitor IDs). Adobe's audience service manages the translation of visitor data into audience segmentation. As such, creating and managing audiences is similar to creating and using segments, with the added ability to share the audience segment to the Experience Cloud.

Sample first paragraph in a task:

Create the customer attribute source (CSV and FIN files) and upload the data. You can activate the data source when you are ready. After the data source is active, share the attribute data to Analytics and Target.

SEO guidance:

  • Include search terms in title and description metadata and, if appropriate, in the page heading.
  • Mention terms early in the article.
  • Use terms that readers use.
  • Include synonyms and common misspellings. For example, “The Experience Cloud ID Service (ECID), previously known as visitor ID or as acronyms like MID, MCVID, provides a universal, persistent ID that identifies your visitors across all the solutions in the Experience Cloud.”
  • Include terms in links.
  • Don’t rely on table and image text. Avoid placing essential terms in complex tables. Complex tables don’t yield reliable search results. Text in images is not search. Captions are searched.

Analyzing Google search results

  • Understand what people are search for in Google. The SCCM team has external search reports for each solution which help you understand what words/language are being used by customers. These reports let you tune your content by understanding the terms needed in your content
  • Contact the SSE team about gaining access to the solution dashboard in Google Search Console to analyze your data. Provide your gmail address, and we can give you access to Google Search Console data.

See Viewing Google Search data

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