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I have been presented with a somewhat odd challenge and I was wondering if anyone had any experience or tips they would like to pass along. One of my clients has a website they build in Umbraco, a CMS system created in Denmark and that has very little in terms of support outside of a user forum used mostly by the hard-core programmers and not the users of the software. Additionally, there is one person in the whole of the continental United States that is a certified trainer for this application and he is very expensive to hire and not that available. What little I do know about the app is that it is written in C# for the ASP.Net framework (got that from the wikipedia entry).

I have had some SEO success by adding and upgrading keywords in the metatags and throughout the page content but I was wondering if there were some other ways to increase page rank. The other caveat to this is that the owners of the company do not want any reciprocal links with any partners other than Microsoft and they are not interested in social media as they do not feel their target audience uses it.

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Last Post by canadafred
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Hi. I can give you a lot of info about these issues but I'm new here (first post) and have no idea how to pass on info without contravening the link policy.

I can tell you of an excellent and very reasonable US Umbraco developer.

Could also give you a link to CMS resources for Umbraco that will tell you all the background you need. For example if you google 'cms no mysql' you would find useful resources of this type.

As regards the site & traffic issues you ask about, the obvious answer is that you need SEO. If you are a professional then perhaps you might think about hiring an SEO professional to subcontract for you, providing a white-label service. In other words they assist you with the project and work to you, not the client, so that as far as the client is concerned, you are the sole agency involved. If you google for 'sub contract seo' I expect you will find some resources there.

The other answer is to try and short-circuit that by simply getting in links. You ask about increasing page rank, specifically - and page rank is essentially a link gauge. More links, more PageRank.

More probably, though, you are actually talking about getting better search results for your client, ie better traffic. This is an SEO task although improved link equity is a major component (at least, at first).

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Hi. I can give you a lot of info about these issues but I'm new here (first post) and have no idea how to pass on info without contravening the link policy.

I can tell you of an excellent and very reasonable US Umbraco developer.

Could also give you a link to CMS resources for Umbraco that will tell you all the background you need. For example if you google 'cms no mysql' you would find useful resources of this type.

As regards the site & traffic issues you ask about, the obvious answer is that you need SEO. If you are a professional then perhaps you might think about hiring an SEO professional to subcontract for you, providing a white-label service. In other words they assist you with the project and work to you, not the client, so that as far as the client is concerned, you are the sole agency involved. If you google for 'sub contract seo' I expect you will find some resources there.

The other answer is to try and short-circuit that by simply getting in links. You ask about increasing page rank, specifically - and page rank is essentially a link gauge. More links, more PageRank.

More probably, though, you are actually talking about getting better search results for your client, ie better traffic. This is an SEO task although improved link equity is a major component (at least, at first).

Thanks for the offers. As my client already feels they are paying me to much, going to a subcontractor is not an option. If the links you are talking about are informational and I could learn some new skills that are sorely lacking in the Umbraco forums, I believe you can post the link here as long as you are not promoting your own products or services.

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Well, if you google as before, you'll find, by following links on the site at #1 for that result, the best all-round Umbraco background write-up I've come across (mine) - issues, hosting, development, etc.

As per usual in open-source the docs aren't up to much, which is understandable here because Umbraco is a 'blank canvas' enterprise-class CMS that the developer builds himself. There's very little there on install for example. This means that every Umbraco implementation will be different. It's also one of those where the bills can be substantial when you transfer it between devs because each one will rebuild it again and complain about the last guy.

For this particular CMS I don't think you can get far without a developer. It's not a user's CMS from Day 1 (ie for a webmaster or a sysadmin), it's for a developer to sort out. Every time you need something else you call in the developer, kind of like a Java CMS. There are a few plugins but again, I wouldn't get under the hood, that's for an ASP dev.

The dev builds it using XSLT or .NET etc, and I'm told that the more skilled devs use XSLT, the less-skilled use .NET . Apparently the drawback to .NET is that it creates hard-coded files and therefore things can't be changed except by hacking the files all the time. Not really what CMS is all about.

I guess what I'm saying is that Umbraco is an expensive CMS to run, you have to have an ASP dev or you'll get nowhere. It's a very poor choice if you have a straightforward publishing job to do - the bills will be ten times higher than a PHP CMS with no advantage whatsoever. Umbraco is more like a poor man's Java CMS. Only I think I'd prefer it for that role (enterprise or advanced functionality stuff), since with a good dev, you can at least get very good quality from Umbraco. To do that with Java CMS is a whole different story.

Umbraco should never be used if there are any budget issues. Probably best described as a small-corporate CMS with advanced functionality potential - but needs a very capable dev or the results are truly awful (seen it). Might look nice but the page code can be the pits. A good dev makes all the difference.

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Well, if you google as before, you'll find, by following links on the site at #1 for that result, the best all-round Umbraco background write-up I've come across (mine) - issues, hosting, development, etc.

As per usual in open-source the docs aren't up to much, which is understandable here because Umbraco is a 'blank canvas' enterprise-class CMS that the developer builds himself. There's very little there on install for example. This means that every Umbraco implementation will be different. It's also one of those where the bills can be substantial when you transfer it between devs because each one will rebuild it again and complain about the last guy.

For this particular CMS I don't think you can get far without a developer. It's not a user's CMS from Day 1 (ie for a webmaster or a sysadmin), it's for a developer to sort out. Every time you need something else you call in the developer, kind of like a Java CMS. There are a few plugins but again, I wouldn't get under the hood, that's for an ASP dev.

The dev builds it using XSLT or .NET etc, and I'm told that the more skilled devs use XSLT, the less-skilled use .NET . Apparently the drawback to .NET is that it creates hard-coded files and therefore things can't be changed except by hacking the files all the time. Not really what CMS is all about.

I guess what I'm saying is that Umbraco is an expensive CMS to run, you have to have an ASP dev or you'll get nowhere. It's a very poor choice if you have a straightforward publishing job to do - the bills will be ten times higher than a PHP CMS with no advantage whatsoever. Umbraco is more like a poor man's Java CMS. Only I think I'd prefer it for that role (enterprise or advanced functionality stuff), since with a good dev, you can at least get very good quality from Umbraco. To do that with Java CMS is a whole different story.

Umbraco should never be used if there are any budget issues. Probably best described as a small-corporate CMS with advanced functionality potential - but needs a very capable dev or the results are truly awful (seen it). Might look nice but the page code can be the pits. A good dev makes all the difference.

Thanks for the input. However, hiring a developer is not an option as my client does not want to spend anymore money that what they are paying me. And while I agree on your assessment of the best application for use of Umbraco my client chose it because it was free, because one of their partner recommended it and because there hosting company had a person with enough knowledge of it to help them build their website. Their main concern is overall page ranking and searchability. Beyond link building (which they are not fans of no matter how much they are told of the importance) and metatags which I have already done, I am wondering what else I can do on my own to improve overall SEO. For instance, I would like to include an RSS feed from the info that comes out of Microsoft who is the maker of the only product they sell. I know there is an RSS feed plug in for Umbraco but I do not know where to find it or what is required to add it to the overall website. I am sure the hosting company can do the install but I would like to be able to explain the process to the client and what the benefits are. Any info on this?

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Their main concern is overall page ranking and searchability

So it looks as if they know that for results (ie revenue increase), they'll need good SERPs positions?

If this is the case then targeting that should be the #1 task. I see SEO as two things - a quality improvement process that has all-round benefits for the enterprise, and something that puts money in the bank.

You need to be at #1 to #4 for your keywords or nothing's happening. Other issues are surely of minor importance until that is resolved. You need good content and links to make that happen - no magic bullet there. If the budget is insufficient to compete on big keywords, then try for less-competitive ones first.

I just can't see how anything else is relevant at present :)

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So it looks as if they know that for results (ie revenue increase), they'll need good SERPs positions?

If this is the case then targeting that should be the #1 task. I see SEO as two things - a quality improvement process that has all-round benefits for the enterprise, and something that puts money in the bank.

You need to be at #1 to #4 for your keywords or nothing's happening. Other issues are surely of minor importance until that is resolved. You need good content and links to make that happen - no magic bullet there. If the budget is insufficient to compete on big keywords, then try for less-competitive ones first.

I just can't see how anything else is relevant at present :)

As I said in my original post, I already have addressed the keywords in both the metatags and the page content, which has helped with page rank. I am now looking for SEO at the next level.

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I am now looking for SEO at the next level.

Well, I would think that the next level would include such things as: rewriting Titles and Descriptions to enforce your "keyphrase rich" content, playing around with you alt and title attributes, renaming webpages and graphics logically, developing you internal navigational system to be more anchor text friendly, tweaking the content, crafting new content and webpages, perhaps even building something outside the domain to do some fancy cross-linking (maybe do some blogging) ... I don't know .. I guess the list can go on and on.

I'd think too that you should spend some time really analyzing your market competitors. Concentrate on evolving your project into something more unique, more important and more credible than your keyphrase rivals.

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