And just before PASS is going to say that it lacks the money to hire a webmaster, no webmaster needed, just some help in a webmaster domain! 🙂
Since sqlsaturday.com web site is finally getting some love from PASS in terms of web site changes, I thought I would propose few more minor changes (more here). This time around, its not for human consumption, but rather for computers (aka bots). While they are plenty of SEO/SEM things (please checkout https://seositecheckup.com/seo-audit/www.sqlsaturday.com for more information) that SQL Saturday web site needs in 2019 to stay relevant, they are 3 low handing fruits that could be accomplished easily and still make a decent impact. The 3 items are:
- Add Sitemap.xml
- Add permalink (more like a unique perma-url) for each regional SQL Saturday event
- Add more visibility to past event content and internal links
Please find below an exact plan of attack as well as some story behind each item to keep you well entertained! 🙂
What is it?
The Sitemaps protocol allows a webmaster to inform search engines about URLs on a website that are available for crawling. A Sitemap is an XML file that lists the URLs for a site. It allows webmasters to include additional information about each URL: when it was last updated, how often it changes, and how important it is in relation to other URLs in the site. This allows search engines to crawl the site more efficiently and to find URLs that may be isolated from rest of the site’s content. The sitemaps protocol is a URL inclusion protocol and complements robots.txt, a URL exclusion protocol. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sitemaps
- Initial setup could utilize a free (up to 500 pages) service such as https://www.xml-sitemaps.com to generate the sitemap file and upload it into a domain root folder. Don’t forget it to submit it to Google/Bing Webmaster Tools
For an ongoing daily sitemap generated on-prem, I would recommend to contact PASS CMS Provider, DotNetNuke (a.k.a. DNN) provider about a DNN Search Engine Sitemap solution, or use something like an open source .NET SitemapGenerator created by Muhammad Rehan Saeed which can be found here https://rehansaeed.com/dynamically-generating-sitemap-xml-for-asp-net-mvc/.
What is it?
A permalink or permanent link is a URL that is intended to remain unchanged for many years into the future, yielding a hyperlink that is less susceptible to link rot. Permalinks are often rendered simply, that is, as friendly URLs, so as to be easy for people to type and remember. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permalink
- Add a region specific sub-domain to sqlsaturday.com TLD for each SQLSaturday event that happened in 2019, for example: https://losangeles.sqlsaturday.com. This could be done one-time using the DNS panel.
- On every approved event, link the subdomain (via 301 HTTP redirect) with an event page, so for example https://losangeles.sqlsaturday.com will forward all the traffic to https://www.sqlsaturday.com/891. In 2020, all the traffic from https://losangeles.sqlsaturday would be forwarded to https://www.sqlsaturday.com/<whateverthenumber>.
What is it?
An internal link is a type of hyperlink on a webpage to another page or resource, such as an image or document, on the same website or domain. Hyperlinks are considered either “external” or “internal” depending on their target or destination. Generally, a link to a page outside the same domain or website is considered external, whereas one that points at another section of the same webpage or to another page of the same website or domain is considered internal. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_link
- Add past (same region) events links to the current event page to allow visitors/robots visiting the current web page to conveniently browse through all past event pages. For example, anyone that visits https://losangeles.sqlsaturday.com (that forwards traffic to https://www.sqlsaturday.com/891), would be able to easily discover 2018 web page (https://www.sqlsaturday.com/773) and/or 2017 web page (https://www.sqlsaturday.com/640). Here is a visual example:
2. Modify the code behind https://www.sqlsaturday.com/Events.aspx page to display all events, current and past (in a descending order) to make all the past event content more reachable for humans, but most importantly fully discoverable to Bots
P.S. IMHO, those small changes could be easily rolled out while helping to drive more traffic to https://www.sqlsaturday.com web site, which subsequently could drive more attendees to SQL Saturday events, and increase the value for SQL Saturday Global Sponsors.