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CircleCI

apostrophe-seo

SEO configuration for ApostropheCMS.

Add useful meta fields to all pages and pieces.

Installation

npm install apostrophe-seo --save

Use

1. Initialization

Configure apostrophe-seo in app.js.

const apos = require('apostrophe')({
  shortName: 'project',
  modules: {
    'apostrophe-seo': {}
  }
});

Setting the baseUrl

It is important to set the baseUrl option on your ApostropheCMS application for various reasons. In the SEO module it contributes to building the correct canonical link tag URL and allows to access the SEO page scan modal. This can be set on the main app configuration in app.js (statically or with an environment variable) or in the data/local.js file as that file will contain environment/server-specific configurations.

// in app.js
require('apostrophe')({
  shortName: 'my-project-name',
  baseUrl: 'https://myproject.com' // OR process.env.BASE_URL
  modules: { ... },
}
// in data/local.js
module.exports = {
  baseUrl: 'https://example.com'
  // or set to `http://localhost:3000` during development on your local machine.
};

2. Module configuration

If you choose to disable fields for a piece or page you can do so by setting seo: false on the module. apostrophe-files, apostrophe-global, apostrophe-groups, apostrophe-images, apostrophe-users have seo: false configured by default.

module.exports = {
  name: 'person',
  label: 'Person',
  pluralLabel: 'People',
  seo: false
};

Adding global fields for analytics

If you would like to configure additional fields to allow an editor to add a Google Analytics tracking ID and a Google site verification ID you can do so by setting seoGoogleFields: true in apostrophe-global in your project. Add seoGoogleTagManager: true to also add a field for the Google Tag Manager ID (seoGoogleFields must also be true in this case).

Finally, you may only want to use Google Tag Manager for all analytics and site verification needs. Set seoTagMangerOnly: true in apostrophe-global to do this. Doing so will override the other options, making their presence irrelevant if also set.

Setting rules for SEO page scanner

You can access a SEO page scanner through the page menu, it allows you to process seo related verifications on the current page. If you are using apostrophe-workflow, notice that the button is accessible in draft and live modes. Also, keep in mind that, when accessing the modal, your current url must match the baseUrl flag set in the project. Otherwise the server will not return the modal.

Some of the rules can be configured from your apostrophe-seo declaration.

If you need authentication to access your website, you can also pass headers to the config.

  'apostrophe-seo': {
    scanRules: {
      titleLength: {
        min: 40,
        max: 80
      },
      descriptionLength: {
        min: 40,
        max: 80
      },
      ogTitleLength: {
        min: 40,
        max: 80
      },
      ogDescriptionLength: {
        min: 40,
        max: 80
      },
      minWordsOnPage: 400
    },
    scanHeaders: {
      // Passing some headers if necessary
    }
  }

You can choose the desired length for meta title and description, as well as for open graph title and description. You also can choose the minimum of words you want in a page. If you don't, some default values are used.

3. Updating views

Add the following include to your <head></head> in layout.html that all of your pages extend, or to outerLayout.html if you have one in apostrophe-templates/views/. This will output the meta tags needed for SEO and Google Analytics/Verification configuration.

{% if data.piece %}
  {% if data.piece.seoTitle %}
    {% set title = data.piece.seoTitle %}
  {% else %}
    {% set title = data.piece.title %}
  {% endif %}
{% else %}
  {% if data.page.seoTitle %}
    {% set title = data.page.seoTitle %}
  {% else %}
    {% set title = data.page.title %}
  {% endif %}
{% endif %}

{% block title %}{{ title }}{% endblock %}

{% block extraHead %}
  {% include "apostrophe-seo:view.html" %}
{% endblock %}

The canonical link field on a page or piece allows an editor to select another page that search engines should understand to be the primary version of that page or piece. As described on Moz.com:

A canonical tag (aka "rel canonical") is a way of telling search engines that a specific URL represents the master copy of a page. Using the canonical tag prevents problems caused by identical or "duplicate" content appearing on multiple URLs. Practically speaking, the canonical tag tells search engines which version of a URL you want to appear in search results.

Optionally add the following include to your notFound.html view. If the app has a Google Tracking ID value entered, this will send an event to Google Analytics tracking the 404 response, the URL on which it happened, and, if applicable, the page on which the bad URL was triggered (helping you identify where bad links are located).

{% block extraBody %}
  {{ super() }}
  {% include "apostrophe-seo:notFound.html" %}
{% endblock %}

If you already have an extraBody block in the notFound.html view file, you'll only need to add the {% include "apostrophe-seo:notFound.html" %} statement somewhere in that.

SEO Page Scan

You can access the SEO page scan modal from pages menu. It performs a SEO scan of the current page to verify that good practices are respected. It checks that meta title, description, open graph title and description are all existing, unique and the right length (that you can configure as explained above). It also checks that you have only one <h1> on the page. Finally it allows you to perform scans for links and images. For links, it checks that no links lead to 404 responses. To do this, it requests all internal links from the browser, and send external links to a specific route which will request them. For images, It checks, for the current page, that every <img> tag has an alt attribute. If some are not, It displays them with the appropriate message. If the alt attribute exists but is empty it only warns you and displays images too.