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OU Insights

OU Insights is a module that runs reports on search engine optimization (SEO) strength, accessibility compliance, spelling, and links for an OU Campus site. It provides both overall scores for the site, as well as breakdowns for each type of issue and reports on a per-page basis. Insights reports can be scheduled to run daily, weekly, or monthly. Because Insights checks your live website and not the staging server, Insights can scan pages that aren't managed by OU Campus. However, pages not managed by OU Campus won't be editable in OU Campus, even if scanned by Insights.

This video was recorded in OU Campus v10. While the interface may have a slightly different look, the platform functionalities did not drastically change in the OU Campus 11 release.

When purchased and activated, the OU Insights module is available from within the Reports menu to level 9 and 10 administrators by default, though lower-level users can be granted access through Setup > Groups. Level 9 and 10 administrators will always have access to Insights, regardless of whether they belong to the group configured in Setup > Groups. Any report in Insights can be shared with any other user who has access to Insights.

Configuring InsightsLink to this section

Once Insights has been purchased, it must be turned on for the site or sites it is meant to scan, as follows:

  1. Navigate to Setup > Sites.
  2. Click the site name.
  3. Navigate to "Optional Features."
  4. Select the "Insights" checkbox.
  5. Click Configure to set up the following:
    • Frequency: Select a radio button for how often you want Insights to scan your site.
    • Run Every
      • For frequency "Daily" or "Weekly," type a number to specify the interval at which you want Insights to scan.
      • For "Monthly," specify a day of the month for the scan to run.
        • If you use a day of the month higher than the number of days in a specific month, (e.g., 31), then the scan defaults to running on the last day of that month.
    • Access Group: The group that can view the Insights module.
      • This group also receives an email report from Insights each time it scans the site.
      • Users levels 9 and 10 always have access to Insights regardless of this setting, but won't receive the email reports if they're not part of the access group.
    • Directory Index: Type to tell Insights what your index pages are called (e.g., index.htmlindex.phpdefault.aspx).
      • Add multiple comma-separated values inthe field to allow for multiple directory index values.
        • Insights looks for pages in the order the values are written. For example, if index.html,index.php is entered, Insights first searches for files ending in index.html, and if it doesn't find index.html in a given directory, it then searches for index.php.
      • This setting tells Insights what to add to a URL that ends with a /, such as http://gallena.edu/academics/. When browsers request these links, the server returns a page based on the directory index configuration (e.g., http://gallena.edu/academics/index.html).
  6. In the "Insights Configuration" box, click Save.
  7. In Setup > Sites, click Save.

Insights scans all sites between 7 PM and 2 AM Pacific Time, so if you have just configured your module you won't see any results from a scan until after that time. It scans first that night, and then runs on the interval you have specified. This first scan is the most intensive, as it must fully index your entire site, and takes from hours up to a day to run.

If you are a self-hosted customer, you may need to open additional ports on your server to allow Insights to make outbound connections. Please coordinate with OmniUpdate staff or contact the helpdesk for more information.

Scanning PagesLink to this section

OU Insights automatically scans every production page managed by OU Campus. In addition, an optional file named insights.txt can be generated on the production server at the top level of the site. This file serves to supplement the list of scanned pages with other URLs that you may want scanned.

All pages that return a valid response from the server (e.g. an HTTP Status Code of 200) can be included. To add more pages to the list, edit insights.txt and add the full URL of each page that needs to be scanned. Save and publish the file. When Insights runs its next scan, the new files should appear in the reports. Do not rename or move insights.txt, as Insights won't find the list of pages to scan otherwise.

In addition, URLs can be added to insights.txt to exclude them from the scan. To indicate a URL is to be removed, add a "-" before it. For example, this excludes the path to an individual page:

-https://domain.edu/path/to/page.html

The text below excludes everything in the folder (including all sub-folders):

-https://domain.edu/path/to/folder/

Folder exclusions must include a trailing slash at the end to indicate it is a folder.

When a page or folder is excluded, it isn't scanned by Insights even if other pages link to it.

Example

Below is a sample of what insights.txt might contain in the fictional Gallena University:

-https://gallena.edu/_resources/
-https://gallena.edu/_archive/
-https://gallena.edu/biology/internal.html
-https://gallena.edu/english/internal.html
https://cfa-gallena.edu/calendar.html
https://cfa-gallena.edu/contributors.html

The above entries result in the following:

  • Because Insights is installed in gallena.edu, all pages under that domain are scanned with the exception of those in the _resources and _archive folder.
  • In addition, the internal.html pages in the biology and English folders are not scanned.
  • The specified pages on the external domain cfa-gallena.edu are also scanned.

Comments can be included by prefacing them with # or //. These lines will be ignored.

ReportingLink to this section

Insights scans your site according to four metrics: SEO, Accessibility, Links, and Spelling. You can also view reports on individual pages that combine these aspects. The higher the number, the better the score.

Go to Reports > Insights to view the Site Summary report. This section shows consolidated information for the site, including an overall Site Score and section scores for the four main sections of Insights: SEO, Accessibility, Links, and Spelling. You can also view the sitemap.xml and robots.txt files from this view, and navigate to the individual reports.

A screenshot of the Insights dashboard. It shows a site score of 86, and scores for SEO, Accessibility, Links, and Spelling.

 

Every time Insights scans the site (the frequency of which can be configured in Setup > Sites), an email is sent out to the users who belong to the Insights group (Setup > Groups). This email gives a basic summary of the site score information that is found on the Site Summary report. If Insights fails to run a scan, an error email will be sent to users determining the cause of failure (such as "no insights.txt file found").

Reports, whether the site summary, section reports, or page reports, can also be shared between users as OU Campus messages. Share a report by clicking the Share Report link. Type to choose a user, and if necessary, edit the subject and message. You can also choose to send a copy of the message to the recipient’s external email address.

When a report is shared with another user with access to Insights, the message contains basic information about the report and a link for the user to view the report within Insights. Messages can be sent to an individual user, multiple users, or a defined group of users in the system (such as "Administrators Only").

Site Score

Click the Site Score for an average of the four section scores found inside Insights; those sub-scores are calculated using an internal algorithm based off of the number of errors/issues that Insights has identified across the site. 

A score that shows 92 out of 100 on a circular graph, as well as a blue line chart that shows the increase in score over time.

In the Site Summary menu, click the name of each section for the full results of that report, e.g, opening the Spelling report shows all misspelled words in the site. The results also indicate which pages need to be edited to solve the issues.

Section Scores

In the summary of each section, click the name of an issue to view the details. Click to edit the page or view the full page report (see the section below). Pages not managed in the site being scanned, and pages that were last published before Insights was installed, won't have the Edit Page link.

Use a site publish using "Last Publish Version" to assign an Edit Page link to any pages in your site that are missing one.

Because Insights scans the page on your live website, it may turn up errors that do not actually appear on the corresponding page in OU Campus, but instead on an include or other file that is incorporated into the page content on publish.  For example, if Insights shows a broken link on every single page in your site, it's extremely likely that broken link is in the site header or footer. To fix errors like this, you have to modify the include or other file, not the page. 

Once you fix an error, the reports won't reflect that change until the next time Insights scans your site.

SEO

SEO, or search engine optimization, has four subsections: Titles, Descriptions, Heading Tags, and Keywords.

Titles

Underneath Titles, there are four reports. Each report at the top shows the total number of all titles that fit the report criteria as well as the number of pages affected across the site. Each title is listed with affected pages grouped underneath.

  • Duplicate Titles: All pages that have the same title as one or more other pages in the site.
  • Missing Titles: All pages that don't have a title.
  • Long Titles: All pages with titles longer than seventy characters, with the exact character count of each title and the offending characters highlighted in red. By general web standards, 70 characters is considered the upper limit for the full page title to be visible in a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). 
  • Short Titles: All pages with titles shorter than ten characters, with the exact character count of each title. Short titles potentially deprive people using search engines of useful information. 
Descriptions

Underneath Descriptions, there are four reports. Each report lists the total number of descriptions that fit the criteria and the number of pages affected across the site:

  • Duplicate Descriptions: All pages that have the same description as one or more other pages in the site, grouping pages by the shared description.
  • Missing Descriptions: All pages that don't have a description. Page descriptions are important for gaining user click-throughs from a SERP.
  • Long Descriptions: All pages with descriptions longer than 160 pages. The offending description is shown in full with all characters exceeding 160 highlighted in red. Descriptions longer than this may not be fully displayed in a standard SERP.
  • Short Descriptions: All pages with descriptions shorter than seventy characters. Short descriptions potentially deprive people using the search engine of useful information.
Heading Tags

There are two reports in the Heading Tags section. They both relate to the hierarchy of heading tags (i.e., <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, etc.) that are in the source code of the page. Each report lists the total number of affected pages at the top, as well as the individual results.

  • Duplicate H1 Headings: All pages that have the same content wrapped inside an <h1> tag as one or more other pages on the site, grouped by shared header. It is not considered a best practice to have multiple pages in the site with the same content wrapped in an <h1> tag.
  • Missing H1 Headings: All pages that don't have any <h1> tags.
Keywords

Keywords lists all keywords found in the site. This report doesn't show pages in the results, just the number of times each word is used. Keyword for pages are edited under page parameters.

Accessibility

Accessibility has two subsections, Known Problems and Likely Problems. It uses the accessibility standard set in account settings to review pages. In the reports, each problem is listed along with a repair and the page(s) that contain that problem.

Known problems are issues with the page HTML that are verified to be currently causing an accessibility issue. Each known problem is listed in its own box and shows the specific problem, the repair for that issue, and the list of offending pages. The list of pages contains links to each page for editing, as well as a link to each page's Page Report within Insights. Click the problem name to see more detailed information about the issue.

Likely problems are issues that commonly cause accessibility issues, but need review to be confirmed. Each likely problem is listed in its own box, showing the problem, repair, and list of affected pages.

If you have accessibility check exceptions, the excepted problems won't appear in the report.

Links

The Links section contains the Broken Links Report, which lists all broken links found in the site. Click to view and edit the page or view the full page report.

Spelling

The Spelling section contains the Misspelled Words Report, which lists all the misspelled words found across the site. Click to view and edit the page or view the full page report.

Click +Add to Dictionary to add words to the custom dictionary When a word has been successfully added, the "Add to Dictionary" link will be replaced with a checkmark icon and the word "Added."

Page Reports

Page Reports runs detailed reports on a single page, listing all issues found in that page, as follows:

  1. In the Site Summary menu, click Page Reports.
  2. Click a folder name to open it and see the files inside.
  3. Click a page name to view the report for it.
  4. If the page is managed in OU Campus, click Edit Page to directly edit the page.
  5. Click the "SEO," "Accessibility," "Links," and "Spelling" tabs to see results for the page.