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 is a straighforward process, giving basic information, but can become more nuanced the more specifically you want to tune pages.

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.

Where is metadata stored

SCCM stores metadata in 3 places.

  1. The metadata.md file located 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 will set this up with the SCCM when you create a new content set. You shouldn’t need to edit this again.

  2. The TOC.md file. This provides every page with metadata about which solution or sub solution this content relates to, as well as audience type etc. This is generally only changed if a solution name changes.

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

    • title - Full title of the page, generally the same as the H1 on the page, but if necessary please include full solution names, like ‘Adobe Target’, not just Target.
    • description - A short description of the content and what you will find on this page, it’s useful to include the full name and acronym if you’re using them - such as “Adobe Experience Manager (AEM)”
NOTE

Please 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. (Note that seo-title and seo-description are deprecated. )

    Search metadata

  • Google pays attention to title, description, and keyword metadata. You’ll get even better results if the metadata closely matches words on the page.

  • Add the solution name to your metadata, especially for articles that could apply to different products from different companies.

  • 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.

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 may 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 or 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:

  • Titles
  • Headings and subheadings
  • Summaries
  • Overviews
  • Introductions
  • Page descriptions
  • 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 article titles.
  • 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 analytics data

More info to come.

Analyzing Google search results

  • Understand what people are search for in Google. The SCCM team has external search reports for each solution which will help you understand what words/language are being used by customers. This will 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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