Every week, one of our superheroes tells you about a new feature of the new version of OnPage.org. That’s OnPage’s Eleven! This week, you will learn more about custom fields and how you can use them effectively.
In the previous articles, Christoph gave you an overview of the new modules, Kathi explained how the new reports can be useful, and Johanna gathered tips on the indexability report. In this article I will present the most powerful new features of OnPage.org Zoom: The custom fields.
The custom counts and fields can be found in Project settings >> Snippets
Figure 1: Custom counts and fields in project settings
Custom counts: Counts the number of the times an element appears on a URL. Ideal if you want to count the number of times specific HTML elements, such as comments, appear on a URL.
Custom fields: Reads the contents of an HTML element and outputs these as text such as categories, number of comments or reviews, etc.
With the custom counts and fields, you can view specific information, such as category names, prices, reviews, or even specific text elements, and use this as a dedicated report in Zoom. You can even have these grouped in each report or presented in the table as an additional filterable column.
Figure 2: Grouped overview of the custom field in the indexability report
The custom counts and fields support the following selectors:
Xpath, CSS Path, and Regex, which in turn support the following functions:
If you are already familiar with Regex, Xpath, and CXX Path, you can skip the next step. This shows you how you can use these to create appropriate selectors with just a few clicks and successfully extract your data.
Learn how you can successfully create a selector using Google Chrome (or Firefox + Firebug):
1. Start with requesting the respective URL, e.g., from the category you want to extract.
2. Choose the corresponding element (e.g., T-shirt), right click, and select "Inspect".
Figure 3: The first step in creating a selector
3. The chosen HTML element should now be preselected in the open inspector. Next, right click on the element, select "Copy" and then "Copy XPath".
Figure 4: How to copy an XPath
In order to make sure that the copied XPath really works, it is advisable to first test it. To do this, go to Project settings >> Snippets >> Test a selector. Add the URL and XPath and click on test:
Figure 5: The selector test shows if the XPath is functional
The next step entails setting the tested XPath as a custom field. To do this, click on "Custom field", add the XPath, and select "Xpath: Get text only":
Figure 6: Set XPath as a custom field
Before you start the crawl, you should check all settings again, particularly if you have multiple custom fields. To do this, click on Crawl setting >> Test settings, add any URL, and click on "test".
Figure 7: The category was successfully read from the URL
For you to now see your data, you can either wait for the next automatic crawl or initiate it manually. To do this, click on the top right icon next to "Crawl settings".
Once the crawl is done, you can view the custom report under Content >> Custom fields >> Selector name (Category).
Figure 8: The ideal report for the custom field
At the very top (1), you can see the number of times your custom field was found. Since not all of the examined URLs have a category, it is perfectly normal if nothing is found on some of the URLs.
The next section (2) shows you an additional overview of all the categories found. The number below the category name shows you how many URLs were found in the respective category. If you wish to select either one of them, simply click on the respective category.
The table below contains a list of all the URLs that were found, including their OPR and category names.
As you can see, it is also possible to easily create custom fields even if you are not familiar with Regex or XPath. The new report options in OnPage.org also allows you to add each custom field as a column or overview in every report and then filter.
The following is an example: We have filtered out the category called "Jacket" in Word statistics >> No. of words report in order to check whether the product text is missing anywhere for this category.
Figure 9: Text length of the analysis of all URLs in the category "Jackets"
Since you now know how easy it is to create custom fields, I would like to show you some examples of applications that you can also realize on your own.
CF = custom fields
CC = custom counters
Analysis of the average words per author:
Word statistics >> No. of words report + Author's name (CF)
Poor internal linking of old content:
Links >> PageRank distribution or Click path + Publication date (CF)
Identify popular article:
Content >> See the custom fields + No. of comments (CF) or Count comments DIV (CC)
Content quality based on page types:
Required report + Content Type Identifier (CF)
Identifying the mobile version
//link[contains(@media, '640') and @href]/@href
Picking out the email address
Use of IFrames
As you can see, it is quite easy to create custom fields and effectively use them in OnPage.org Zoom for different purposes. Try it yourself to e.g., get the prices of your online shop in order to obtain important information. You can also extract the number of reviews or the reviews themselves and view them in OnPage.org Zoom. Experiment with the various options of the custom fields and discover new applications. We look forward to hearing about your experiences as you successfully use this powerful feature.
The following articles have been published in this series so far:
OnPage.org starts OnPage’s Eleven - Welcome to the V3 Dashboard
OnPage's Eleven No.2 – The various modules and their use
OnPage’s Eleven No. 3 – Improved report view
What is indexable? - Report: Check if web content is indexable
OnPage's Eleven No. 6: Files (static content)
OnPage's Eleven No. 7 – PDF Exports
Published on 02/09/2016 by Stephan Walcher.
Who writes here
Stephan Walcher is a SEO specialist who has been active in the online marketing field since 2007. He has worked as an in-house SEO specialist for MSN and Bing, as head of SEO consulting at Catbird Seat online marketing agency, as senior SEO manager at 1&1 Mail & Media GmbH, and later as Head of Product Management at Ryte. In January 2017, he joined the One Advertising AG in January as Team-Leader Travel SEO.
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