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10 SEO tips for your ASP.NET website

, 9 Oct 2007 CPOL
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10 tips for search engine optimization (SEO) for your ASP.NET website.


Here are 10 tips on SEO for your ASP.NET website. I'm sorry that some of the screenshots contain German language text, but I hope you'll get my point despite that Smile | :)

1. Avoid duplicate content

A mistake made very (very) often: when you register a URL and point it to your web server, you're using the "www"-subdomain in most cases. "www" is nothing else than a subdomain. Follow these instructions to get rid of duplicate content:

Imagine you're the owner of the domain "" and you're configuring your web server using the IIS MMC and creating a new website:

Screenshot - 01_seo.jpg

The first info we need is the description:

Screenshot - 02_seo.jpg

Then we need the host header information:

Screenshot - 03_seo.jpg

In the screenshot above, you can see a very important thing: the host header for the configured website is "".

After you've finished the configuration, you can type "" in your browser and everything runs fine. Now, type "" and ... the web server answers as well.

For search engines, this is a major problem - which URL is the main URL? When content gets published, which URL is the one where the information was published first? For Google and other search engines, "" and "" are two different URLs.

Avoid that by configuring a permanent redirect.

Create a second website on your web server:

Screenshot - 04_seo.jpg

Use "" - your URL name without "www" - as the host header.

Screenshot - 07_seo.jpg

and configure it as a permanent redirect:

Screenshot - 06_seo.jpg

This way, "" redirects to "".

Well, now some of you will think that a JavaScript redirect or a Flash redirect will do the same, or even something like:


But, this is not true. The web server will answer to the above shown redirects with a "HTTP/1.x 301 Moved Permanently" response. So the search engine get's the info that this resource has permanently been moved. This way, all ranking-power, link-power, etc., moves to "", which is a major factor affecting the ranking of your website.

2. Avoid duplicate content , part II

Well, when requesting "", your web server will deliver a certain page - by default, it's the "Default.aspx". Many websites, as well, redirect and link (internally) in a wrong way: open a browser and type "" - you'll get redirected to "" - "index.asp" seems to be the default-site for the domain - but redirecting to it from "" or linking to it within any page of is just a big mistake.

No matter how big the influence in your site's ranking is, google's PageRank is still a ranking factor. So while has a PR of 7, has a PR of 5 - while these two pages deliver the same content. This is bad, and has a very bad influence in CodeProject's ranking, because the two URLs deliver the same content. Google doesn't know that "index.asp" is the root-site of CodeProject, so Google tries to evaluate (through algorithms) which site is the more important one. But the major problem here is that all the link-power, ranking-power, etc., get's divided - CodeProject could rank a lot better without having "index.asp" in the search engine's index.

To make sure that your site's ranking reaches the maximum, you should concentrate on one URL - make sure, even in internal link building (links to the "Home" page of your website), that you link to your domain name:, instead of

3. Choose individual, good <title>s

This is very easy to achieve, and has a big influence on your site's ranking: don't use static titles. The <title> tag is one of the best ways to optimize a site for a special topic or keyword. Don't use a dozen keywords in the title tag, because you're "paying in" for each and every keyword - "paying in" means, that the weight of your site gets divided for all the keywords mentioned in the title tag. Choose one or two keywords, or a keyword-combination, to achieve relevance and a good ranking.

While working with Master pages, there is an easy way to do so:

//assuming, that your <head runat="server" id="myHead"> 
if (Request.CurrentExecutionFilePath.Contains("example.aspx"))
    HtmlTitle title = new HtmlTitle();
    title.Text = "Example";

So if you have three sites, the Homepage, the AboutMe page, and the Contact page, you should give these three pages individual, useful titles. The less keywords you use, the better the influence for these keywords will be. Same applies for <meta name="keywords" and <meta name="description", but the title tag has the biggest influence nowadays.

4. Clean up your source code

Something hard to believe but still true: clean up your source code and try to minimize the code as much as possible. Follow these rules:

  • don't use inline CSS, use external stylesheets whenever possible
  • don't use inline JavaScript, use external .js files instead
  • don't leave HTML-comments
  • don't use massive line-breaking (twenty lines with only a linebreak or something similar)
  • don't use viewstate when not necessary
  • don't use a <form runat="server> when not necessary (comes with hidden fields)

The better the relation between the content (==text) and the (HTML/CSS/JavaScript) code, the better your ranking will be. The smaller the source code, the better this relation will be.

5. Make your site crawlable


  • don't use Flash/Silverlight to show information
  • don't use Flash/Silverlight for menus
  • don't use JavaScript-based menus
  • don't use button-based menus
  • don't use intro-pages


  • do use a sitemap (CP-article: Simple Sitemaps in ASP.NET)
  • do use simple <a href> tags whenever possible
  • do use the "title" property for <a href>
  • do use the "alt" property for images
  • do use RSS (syndicate all your content, when possible)
  • do use pings for search engines (use

6. Use <strong>, <h1>, <h2>, <h3>

Use the HTML markups <strong>, <h1>...<h6> regulary - use them to structure the site's content. These markups are made for weighing some words more than others - so it is for search engines. Use these markups whenever it's useful to do so.

7. Validate your source code

Use the wonderful HTML-validator at to validate your site. If it's valid, there will be no punishment for a "bad technical solution" - use the validator to find problems, get rid of them, and find a better ranking instead.

8. Get to know your users

I don't know about you, but I'm building websites for users in the first place. So my intention is to get to know how I can achieve more interests for my site. The first thing is to find my audience - the better my ranking is, the more visitors I will have. So I'm using keyword-tools to find good keywords and keyword-combinations to find the keywords I need to optimize for (because that's what the keywords' potential visitors will use):

Find the good keywords, look at your competitors, and start optimizing.

9. Keyword density

Keyword density is very important for a site's ranking for a special keyword. Imagine you have a site about "free source code" - well, you should defiantly try to mention this keyword combination as often as you can - as long as it makes sense, of course. Try to reach a keyword density bigger than 3.5 - so mention "free source code" 3.5 times per 100 words.

10. Get linked!

Links to your site have the biggest influence to your sites' ranking. Try to get linked from as many other websites as possible. Use social bookmarking and other social services like to get more links and more visitors. Example: of this article: Digg!

11. Use "speaking" URLs

Use for speaking URLs. The more keywords you'll get in your URLs, the better the ranking could be.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


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Comments and Discussions

GeneralVery Nice. Thanks Pin
Member 1115501230-Oct-14 1:23
memberMember 1115501230-Oct-14 1:23 
SuggestionMessage Automatically Removed Pin
18-Apr-14 0:29
memberAyesha Sharma18-Apr-14 0:29 
SuggestionMessage Automatically Removed Pin
27-Mar-14 2:19
memberAyesha Sharma27-Mar-14 2:19 
QuestionClose, but slight difference in meaning Pin
Member 904013720-Sep-13 14:12
memberMember 904013720-Sep-13 14:12 
GeneralMy vote of 4 Pin
mrdreamlife2-Jul-13 0:23
membermrdreamlife2-Jul-13 0:23 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Rohan Leuva19-Nov-12 22:58
memberRohan Leuva19-Nov-12 22:58 
GeneralVery Nice Pin
gherbas200027-Apr-10 3:40
membergherbas200027-Apr-10 3:40 
QuestionC# Code example for links to del.ic.ious Pin
thetallguy26-May-08 17:53
memberthetallguy26-May-08 17:53 
GeneralRedirection and query-strings Pin
Richard Deeming22-Oct-07 5:56
memberRichard Deeming22-Oct-07 5:56 
Generalnice guide Pin
Brent Lamborn9-Oct-07 17:57
memberBrent Lamborn9-Oct-07 17:57 
GeneralThanks. Here are some of my thoughts [modified] Pin
Michael Sync9-Oct-07 17:52
memberMichael Sync9-Oct-07 17:52 
GeneralRe: Thanks. Here are some of my thoughts Pin
hartertobak10-Oct-07 0:29
memberhartertobak10-Oct-07 0:29 
GeneralRe: Thanks. Here are some of my thoughts Pin
Michael Sync10-Oct-07 0:49
memberMichael Sync10-Oct-07 0:49 
GeneralRe: Thanks. Here are some of my thoughts Pin
hartertobak10-Oct-07 2:41
memberhartertobak10-Oct-07 2:41 
GeneralRe: Thanks. Here are some of my thoughts Pin
hartertobak10-Oct-07 2:44
memberhartertobak10-Oct-07 2:44 
Michael Sync wrote:
Google see the right domain even the strong website is linking to my wrong domain if I told to Google which one is the right one before in advance using web master tool. but I'm not sure about other search engines.

That would assume, that you can influence the ranking algorythm through google´s webmaster tools, which is nit true. The preferred domain setting is for displaying/linking to your domain in the SERPs not for ranking issues. Other search engines don´t even have something like webmaster tools or a "preferred domain" setting.
Please get my point: avoid this issue by the simple technical solution I presented in this article.

Michael Sync wrote:
hartertobak wrote:
And you "think" that, because...??

Because Google knows the HTML very well so they knows which one is "comment" tag that don't need to crawl...

another thing is that those comments will be other developers to understand about your code... so, why remove?

Right. Google knows html very, very well. But some people, years ago, tried keyword-stuffing and others techniques with html-comments (and trying it still with noscript-Tags...). Today, comments have only one effect: what´s inside the comment will no pay in for a sites ranking, but the amount of commented html-code increases the number of chars in the html-source - so the relation "text to source" get´s negative influence. It has negative influence, although this is not a big ranking factor.

Michael Sync wrote:
Yes for so far. but we will be able to create the search-engine friendly silverlight application so.. As Silverlight is based on XAML, all Google need to do is that they need to find a way to crawl those XAML tag.... another thing is that silverlight is not just an object like flash.. it is based on XAML and it can be used with ASP.NET Ajax.. so, it will be the developer's responsibility for creating search-engine friendly silverlight website....

Fine, Silverlight´s based on XAML - that´s true. Does or will google be able to read XAML? Well, I think you´ll get some ideas why this won´t happen by reading this Blog-Post:
Nikhilk describes a good start for addressing this issue, but there is one major (again: major!) issue with this:
Don´t deliver a search engine robot something else than what the normal visitor gets. That´s cloaking, and will get punished.

So you need to wait until google will support silverlight, and - just to help you to imagine how long you need to wait and how low the chance is at all, just try to get, what this xaml does while reading it in an editor like notepad:

Nope: if you want your site to be crawable, don´t use Flash for navigation. Same is with Silverlight until the opposit is proven.

GeneralRe: Thanks. Here are some of my thoughts Pin
SEOgroup17-Apr-10 10:28
memberSEOgroup17-Apr-10 10:28 
GeneralThanks for this excellent article Pin
tonyvuolo9-Oct-07 7:02
membertonyvuolo9-Oct-07 7:02 

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