SEO settings (and best practices) in Uberflip

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Uberflip Hubs, Streams, and Items contain a number of features and settings that impact SEO. This article will look at what each of these settings do, where to find them, and best practices for setting them for effective SEO. Let’s go!

Looking for info on Flipbook SEO?

This article covers Hub, Stream, and Item SEO, but Flipbook SEO is a bit different. Check out: Best Practices for Flipbooks SEO to learn about that.

FAQ: Will SEO setting changes break the RSS connection between an imported blog post and Uberflip?

Answer: Sometimes.

Find out when here: What changes cause an imported blog post to be disconnected from the original post?

 

SEO Title and SEO Description

Applies to: Hub | Stream | Item

What these settings do

These Hub, Stream, and Item settings define the title and description that appear in search results: the SEO title is the clickable headline, and the SEO description is the short descriptive text that appears underneath. 

The title tag also appears on the browser tab when someone is viewing a Hub, Stream or Item page, and when the page is shared on most social networks.

The copy in these fields tell visitors what they can expect on your page, so it's important to create interesting titles and descriptions to draw them in. Search engine algorithms also scan these for keywords, so they should contain keywords you're targeting.

Hub:
SEO.png

Stream:
SEO.png

Item:
Copy_of_Uberflip_SEO_Deck_-_Google_Slides.png

Best practices: SEO title and SEO description

Title tags should:

  • Be unique across your Hub (no duplicates) to avoid being down-ranked for duplicate content in search results
  • Be under 60 characters in length (including spaces), as Google only displays the first 50-60 characters of a title tag
  • Contain your keywords, but don't keyword-stuff as you risk the title being rewritten by Google
  • Ideally use this optimized format: Primary Keyword - Secondary Keyword | Brand Name

Description tags should:

  • Be unique across your Hub (no duplicates) to avoid identical descriptions on multiple search results
  • Be under 160 characters in length (including spaces), as Google only displays the first 155-160 characters of a description tag
  • Both include the keywords you're targeting and provide a descriptive, compelling overview of the content on the page
  • Not include double quotation marks, as Google cuts off the description where they appear
Configure Hub SEO Title and Description
  1. Click Appearance > Branding
  2. Scroll to the SEO Title and SEO Description fields
  3. Type your SEO title and description
Configure Stream SEO Title and Description
  1. Click Content
  2. In the Streams tab, click on the Stream
  3. Select the Metadata tab
  4. Type into the SEO Title and SEO Description fields
Configure Item SEO Title and Description
  1. Click Content
  2. Click the Items tab
  3. Click the Item
  4. Select the SEO tab
  5. Type into the SEO Title and SEO Description fields

 

H1 Headings

Applies to: Hub | Stream | Item

What this setting does

In Uberflip, H1 headings are used for the title text on your Hub homepage, on the top level page of each Stream, and on Items

H1 Headings matter a bit less than title tags for SEO, but are important for SEO and user experience nonetheless. They give the visitor and search engine bots an idea of the page’s content.

Hub:
SEO.png

Stream:
Copy_of_Uberflip_SEO_Deck_-_Google_Slides.png

Item:
Copy_of_Uberflip_SEO_Deck_-_Google_Slides.png

Best practices: H1 headings

H1 headings should:

  • Be descriptive and readable (the H1 is mainly intended for humans)
  • Use different (but consistent) wording than the title tag
  • Contain your keyword phrase once (don't keyword-stuff)
Configure Hub H1 headings
  1. Click Appearance > Custom Labels
  2. Scroll down and find the line for the Latest Content field
  3. Type into the Custom Label box
Configure Stream H1 headings
  1. Click Content
  2. Select the Streams tab
  3. Click on the Stream
  4. Find the Stream name at the top of the page
  5. Click the pencil icon next to the Stream name
  6. Type into the textbox that appears
  7. Click the checkmark icon to save
Configure Item H1 headings
  1. Click Content
  2. Click the Items tab
  3. Click on the Item
  4. Type into the Item title field near the top of the page

 

 

H2-H5 Headings

Applies to: Item

What this setting does

Like H1 headings, H2 to H5 headings define sections in your content copy. 

Headings below H1 have less impact on ranking, but Google has stated that they do use heading tags to understand the structure of a page when crawling it. 

More importantly, headings are prominently displayed on your content: this means that visitors tend to notice them, so they're a great way to grab attention.Copy_of_Uberflip_SEO_Deck_-_Google_Slides.png

Best practices: H2 - H5 headings

  • Reserve H1 headings exclusively for your title — in your content, the highest-level sections should beH2
  • Structure headings in ascending numerical order, i.e. higher number headings should be nested within lower number headings, i.e. H4 should be under H3, which should be under H2
  • Use keywords in your headings, but don't keyword-stuff
Configure H2 - H5 Item headings
  1. Click Content
  2. Select the Items tab
  3. Click the Item
  4. Select the Editor tab
  5. Highlight the text you want to make into a heading
  6. Use the Paragraph Format dropdown in the editor tools to choose the heading style:
    Copy_of_Uberflip_SEO_Deck_-_Google_Slides.png

 

Robots Meta Tag (allow/disallow indexing)

Applies to: Hub | Stream

What this setting does

Robots (also known as crawlers or spiders) are the programs used by search engines to automatically browse websites so they can be included in search results. The robots meta tag is an HTML tag that can be used to tell these robots how to crawl your website.

You can enable/disable the robots meta tag at both the Hub and Stream level. 

When enabled, the No Robots Meta Tag tells robots to not index the Hub or Stream, so that it’s not included in search results, but that they can still use links within the Hub or Stream to discover additional content and influence search ranking for pages that can be indexed (follow).

Best practices: No Robot Meta Tags setting

  • The No Robots Meta Tag options is enabled by default on all new Hubs. Make sure it's turned off when you go live if you want the Hub crawled.
  • You should enable the No robots meta tag option on any Hub or Stream that you don't want to show up on search engine results (like a sandbox Hub or an internal resource center)
Control indexing (robots meta tag) for a Hub
  1. Click Hub Options > Advanced
  2. Scroll down to the SEO section
  3. Check the box beside No Robots Meta Tag to enable the tag (blocks indexing) or uncheck to disable it (allows indexing)
Control indexing (robots meta tag) for a Stream
  1. Click Content
  2. Select the Streams tab
  3. Click the Stream
  4. Select the Options tab
  5. Scroll down to the setting No Robots Meta Tag
  6. Click the toggle switch on the right to enable the tag (block indexing = green setting) or disable the tag (allow indexing = gray setting)

Note

The Stream-level setting will have no effect if the Hub-level setting is enabled, as the Hub-level setting will take precedence.

 

Canonical settings (handle duplicate content)

(meta tags, URLs, Force self-canonical URL, Auto-redirect to canonical)

Applies to: Stream (Canonical Meta Tag/Force Self-Canonical URL) | Item (Canonical URL/Auto-redirect)

What these settings do

Canonical settings work together to handle duplicate content. Duplicate content is a particular concern in a Hub, where the same piece of content will often appear in multiple places (i.e. an external blog, a Source Stream, and Marketing Streams). Duplicate content can cause SEO authority to be diluted, so it's important to mitigate this through canonicalization.

Canonicalization means adding a canonical meta tag to a page's HTML. This tag indicates the canonical or "master" URL for that content, and is added by turning on the Enable Canonical Meta Tag option for a Stream. There are 4 canonical settings in Uberflip: 

Here’s a closer look at each: 

Canonical meta tags

Canonical meta tags tell a search engine, "these pages with different URLs are duplicates, so here's the URL of the only copy I want you to care about". This allows you to specify which of the URLs for the duplicate pages will be crawled by the search engine, while the others are ignored.

By default the Enable Canonical Meta Tag option is: 

  • Turned on for Source Blog Streams (importing from an RSS feed) and Marketing Streams
  • Turned off by default on "from scratch" Blog Streams and all other Stream types

The URL that the canonical meta tag points to as the "master" is the canonical URL (set at the Item level). 

 

Canonical URL

The canonical URL is the URL that the canonical meta tag points to as the "master", which is set at the Item level.

By default, canonical URLs are set as:

  • Imported RSS blog Items: the URL of the blog post’s original location (original blog post gets SEO authority)
  • All other Item types: No canonical is set (Item URL in Source Stream gets SEO authority)

In both cases, you can modify the canonical URL or add one on an Item-by-Item basis.

 

Force self-canonical URL option

If you’ve imported content from an external source (like a blog) and prefer for the corresponding Uberflip Items in your Hub to be the "master" copies by search engines, you can use the force self-canonical URL option. When enabled, this setting:

  • Overrides the default canonical URL set at the Item level (e.g. the Item’s original source URL)
  • Sets the canonical URL for every Item in the Stream to the URL of the Item within the Stream 

Note

Keep in mind that all three of the above options require the No robots meta tag to be turned off to have any effect. If the No robots meta tag is turned on, the canonical meta tag is ignored by search engine robots.

 

Auto-Redirect to Item’s Canonical URL option

When enabled, Items in this Stream will 301 redirect to the Item’s Canonical URL (set at the Item level), if one exists.

  • This option takes you out of the Uberflip experience to an external webpage
  • This options allows the original content to gain all of the SEO authority
  • If you choose to enable this option, no click or views metrics for Items in this Stream will be tracked in Uberflip Analytics (assuming the Item’s canonical URL is an external page) 

 

Best practices: canonical settings

  • In general, we recommend that you turn on Enable Canonical Meta Tag on all Streams, as designating a canonical is better for SEO than not having one.
    • If a canonical URL has been set on an Item (e.g. on imported blog Items, or if you have specified it yourself), then the canonical meta tag will use it as the canonical URL.
    • If no canonical URL has been explicitly set on an Item (the canonical URL field is blank), then the canonical meta tag will use the Source Stream Item’s URL.
  • The force self-canonical URL option is intended as an override if an explicit canonical URL is present. It's useful if you have imported content into Uberflip from an external blog, and now want the Uberflip Item to be the "master" that appears in search results (i.e. it overrides the external blog URL that's set as the canonical with the Item's Hub URL). If you prefer for the original blog page to remain the "master", leave this option turned off.
  • If you do choose to use the force self-canonical URL option, you should also create 301 redirects on the original blog that point to the corresponding Items in your Hub, so that SEO authority can be passed over.
Set Canonical Meta Tag for a Stream

To set the canonical meta tag for a Stream:

  1. Click Content
  2. Select the Streams tab
  3. Click the Stream
  4. Select the Options tab
  5. Scroll down to the setting Enable Canonical Meta Tag
  6. Click the toggle switch on the right to enable the tag (set a canonical URL for all Items in the Stream = green setting) or disable the tag (no canonical URL = gray setting)
Configure Canonical URL for an Item

To add a canonical URL to an Item, or to change a default canonical URL:

  1. Click Content
  2. Select the Items tab
  3. Click the Item
  4. Select the SEO tab
  5. Find the Canonical URL field and enter the desired URL
Enable Force Self-Canonical

To override the default (external) canonical URLs for all Items in a Stream:

  1. Click Content
  2. Select the Streams tab
  3. Click the Stream
  4. Click the Options tab
  5. Scroll down to the setting Force Self-Canonical URL
  6. Click the toggle switch to enable the setting (override the default canonical URLs for all Items in the Stream = green setting) or disable the setting (use default canonical URLs = gray setting)
Enable Auto-Redirect to Item’s Canonical URL
  1. Click Content
  2. Select the Streams tab
  3. Click the Stream
  4. Click the Options tab
  5. Scroll down to the setting Force Self-Canonical URL
  6. Click the toggle switch to enable the setting (override the default canonical URLs for all Items in the Stream = green setting) or disable the setting (use default canonical URLs = gray setting)

 

URL Path

Applies to: Stream | Item

What this setting does

The URL path is the part of the URL for Streams and Items that appears after your Hub domain.

Example:
Stream URL path: resources.mycompany.com/an-example-stream
Item URL path: resources.mycompany.com/an-example-stream/an-example-item

Uberflip will automatically generate URL paths for your Streams and Items from their titles, but this can sometimes result in truncated or less-than-optimal URL paths. To fix this, you can set the URL path yourself.

The URL path has a minor impact on SEO from a ranking standpoint, but it is important for the user experience. The URL path helps users quickly understand what a page is about. This is helpful not just in the context of search engine results, but also anytime you share a link to your content.

Stream
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Item
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Best practices: URL path

Your URL paths should:

  • Be as human-readable as possible to give visitors a good idea of what to expect
  • Contain your keywords (but don't keyword-stuff), separated by hyphens (-)
  • Be 100 characters or less in length for readability (aim to be concise but descriptive)
  • Be in all lowercase
  • Not contain punctuation, underscores or spaces
  • Not contain stop words (extremely common words like the, for, if, a, an, etc.), because Google ignores these — but don't eliminate stop words at the expense of readability
  • Match the title of the page as closely as possible
Edit Stream URL path
  1. Click Content
  2. Select the Streams tab
  3. Click the Stream
  4. Select the Metadata tab
  5. Find the URL Path field and enter the desired URL path
Edit Item URL path
  1. Click Content
  2. Select the Items tab
  3. Click on the Item
  4. Select the Metadata tab
  5. Find the URL Path field and enter the desired URL path

 

Alt Text

Applies to: Item

What this setting does

Alt image text, also called "alt text" or "alt attributes", is used in a page's HTML to describe the contents and function of images. In terms of SEO, it helps search engine robots to index images and understand what they contain. 

Just as importantly, alt image text is crucial for making your content accessible for visually impaired users with screen readers: instead of just hearing that there is an image on the page, they'll be able to hear a description of that image.
Copy_of_Uberflip_SEO_Deck_-_Google_Slides.png

Best practices: alt text 

  • You should have alt image text for all your images
  • Alt image text should primarily be descriptive: you want someone who can't see the image to be able to imagine it
  • Include keywords (but as always, don't keyword-stuff) for the benefit of search engine robots
  • Make sure your image filenames are also SEO-friendly, to help with ranking in image search:
    • Descriptive and human-readable
    • Avoid non-alphabetical characters (like %, $, &, etc.)
    • Use dashes (-) to separate words, not underscores (_)
Add alt text to images
  1. Click Content
  2. Select the Items tab
  3. Click the Item
  4. Select the Editor tab
  5. Double-click the image you want to add alt text to
  6. In the Image Properties pop-up, find the Alternative Text field and enter your alt text
  7. Click OK
    Copy_of_Uberflip_SEO_Deck_-_Google_Slides.png

 

Hub locale

Applies to: Hub

What this setting does

Setting your Hub locale declares its language, region, and reading direction.

This allows search engines to associate your content with a particular language, and serves content where language is spoken. This helps accessibility scores, and helps browsers serve correct characters. 

Best practices: Hub locale 

  • If your Hub is targeting a specific locale, be sure to specify this as it will add lang tags to each page
  • If you’re targeting multiple countries/languages, best practice is to have a separate hub for each locale
Configure hub locale
  1. Click Hub Options > Advanced
  2. Scroll to Internationalization section 
  3. Choose a country from the dropdown menu

Creating multi-language Hubs, Streams, or Items?

Learn how to link multi-language destinations together to improve international SEO in this article: Create Multi-Language Links Between Hubs, Streams, and Items

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