I am doing some SEO work for the first time on a Web site generated using .NET version 4 on an IIS 7.5 SHARED server account provided by a Web hosting company. The URL Rewrite extension has already been installed. Since my previous SEO work has all been done on HTML pages hosted on an Apache server, I need some advice. Iíve read quite a few posts on WebmasterWorld and elsewhere, but most assume that you have access to the IIS server admin control panel, which we donít.
My objective is to rewrite the URLs so that the visitor requested URL can look something like: http://www.example.com/holiday-widgets/super-deluxe-widget/ and http://www.example.com/everyday-widgets/standard-widget/
Would appreciate answers to these questions along with links to detailed explanations where appropriate. I am working with a capable .NET programmer who can do the coding, but he is not an SEO specialist so needs some guidance in this area. It seems likely that we will not get the hosting company to make custom setting changes for us in the IIS 7 admin for our shared hosting account, so weíll have the make the changes within the web.config file and other files to which we have access via FTP.
1) With this type of set up is there a way that we can eliminate the file extension in the URL requested by the visitor?
2) Is there a way that we can force the addition of a trailing slash mark to a URL submitted without one?
3) Can we split the URL rewriting so that: A) some of them are simply rewritten according to rules that pull data from the underlying URL and CMS data page (most product URLs for example), while B) URLs for other pages are hand entered directly by me into a look up file ( the main holiday widget page for example)?
4) Once we have rewritten the URLs, must links within the Web site be modified to point to the new SE friendly URLs or can they be left linking to the original underlying .aspx URLs without reducing search result rank?
i'm not an expert on this but i'm pretty sure that in order to do some of what you are attempting with URL Rewrite you will need access to IIS Manager. i assume you mean "IIS Manager" when you refer to "the IIS server admin control panel".