How To Install and Use IIS Search Engine Optimization Toolkit (IIS 7.0)

We think the IIS Toolkit is absolutely awesome!

This post will provide a step by step guide on how to install the powerful IIS 7.0 toolkit from Microsoft, and show you some of the many cool features which can open up a whole new world for extracting information from a website (we are talking about a Xenu link sleuth beater here!).

Please note: IIS 7.0 is only compatible with Windows Vista or Windows 7

The program is quite simple to install but it certainly isn’t one of the most obvious, and when you need a helpful guide there isn’t much about, so here’s something to help get you started…

1. Install Web Platform Installer 2.0

By downloading and installing the Microsoft Web Platform Installer, the set up process of IIS Toolkit becomes a lot easier, so this is a good starting point.

2. Install ‘Search Engine Optimization Toolkit’

Once the web platform installer has downloaded and installed, navigate over to the Microsoft SEO Toolkit page and click on ‘install using web platform installer’ in the download extension box in the right hand column:

Install IIS Toolkit Using Web Platform Installer

Or alternatively here is a direct download and install link for IIS toolkit.

Once the download has begun, the Microsoft web platform installer will take care of the rest and install the required components to set up IIS Toolkit on your computer.

3. Activating IIS Toolkit

Now this is the section which isn’t that clear, once the download and installation process has been completed, on the majority of occasions (unless you are one of the lucky few – if so, then IIS toolkit will appear within ‘All programs > IIS 7.0 Extensions > Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Toolkit’ ready to use) you will need to active the software.

To do this, perform a search on your computer for ‘Turn windows features on or off’, or go to ‘Start > Control Panel > Programs > Turn Windows features on or off)’

Turn Windows Features On or Off

Once located a dialog box will be displayed, and under ‘Internet Information Services > World Wide Web Services’ double check that the check boxes have all been selected (see below screenshot for further guidance).

Windows Features Dialog Box

Once selected hit ‘ok’, and you are ready to launch IIS Toolkit.

Go to: Start > All Programs > IIS 7.0 Extensions > Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Toolkit 1.0

Using Microsoft’s IIS Toolkit

Now it’s time to let the fun begin. Once you have opened the program click on the ‘create a new analysis’ link underneath ‘Site Analysis’, and add in the details of the website you are looking to examine:

New Analysis

Clicking ‘ok’ will start the site crawl.

If you have used Xenu link sleuth you will immediately notice how much quicker and cleaner it is to crawl a website. Once the crawl has been completed you will be presented with a report overview with an indicator on the number of links crawled and errors encountered:

Site Analysis Report Summary

You can take a look in a lot more detail at the errors encountered within the violations tab (*cringes at the thought of posting this* If anyone asks it is not for seogadget!):

IIS Toolkit Violations Summary

The summary provides a fairly detailed analysis of the types of errors (or potential errors) encountered and the number of occurrences of each type of error.

The Violations section also provides details on:

  • Pages with the most errors
  • Error levels picked up (number of errors, warnings and information)
  • Categorises the errors (SEO, content, web mark up etc)

But the IIS Toolkit analysis doesn’t finish there, content, performance and links sections all contain their own extensive report data. Here are some bullet points summarizing these 3 sections of IIS toolkit:

  • Content
    • Host summary
    • Directory summary
    • Content types summary
    • Status code summary
    • External links
    • Duplicate files
    • Duplicate titles, descriptions and keywords
    • Duplicate keywords
    • 404 errors
    • Large content areas
    • Broken links by page
  • Performance
    • Slow pages
    • Slow pages by directory
    • Slow pages by content type
    • Pages with many resources
  • Links
    • Pages with most links
    • Most linked pages
    • Redirects
    • Links blocked by robots.txt
    • Internet protocols
    • Link depth

You can then export all of this data into a single Excel file where you can hone in even further on the data, and Richard’s post last week on finding orphaned pages from your sitemap.xml using IIS toolkit is just one example on how to use this powerful piece of kit.

Now I have always been a Xenu link sleuth fan, but after using IIS SEO toolkit, let’s just say ‘times they are a-changing’.

Image credits: Lumaxart



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16 thoughts on “How To Install and Use IIS Search Engine Optimization Toolkit (IIS 7.0)

  1. OMG – SEOgadget has a few 404′s…. I’ve got the images on the share server if you fancy fixing the old gal :-)

  2. Ian says:

    Will check it out at the weekend. I like simply having OSE top pages, then using Xenu to grab the latest status codes, then a few Vlookus up.

  3. Hi Daniel,

    great post i was looking at this a few months back but never figured out how to get it set-up. 1hr later its installed and i have run a report plus now have some points to action. The info is gives is way better than xenu, if only i wasn’t using XP in the office!

  4. Thanks Daniel!

    I didn’t have all the IIS boxes checked in “windows features”…. maybe I’ll have some additional functionality now!?!?

    I love the IIS toolkit. The reports are perfect to show to those who say, “we don’t need SEO”!

  5. danielbutler says:

    Great to hear you got it up and running ok! Unfortunately for XP, this is a story I have heard many times.

  6. danielbutler says:

    Yes, without the check boxes selected you will not be able to use the functionality of IIS toolkit properly – it certainly isn’t very clear when first installing.

  7. Hi Daniel,

    just thought i would give a quick update. Since reading the article and running the tool it has given me plenty of places to look to fix various things on sites. I have also found it really useful to get a quick insight into simple things to fix. Its even enabled me to find a link that was pointing to a virus!

    i could not be more pleased with tool i think that even though i am not really using it as a power user yet it offers great possibilities.

  8. SEOp says:

    Thanks for sharing this stuff, Daniel, very useful tool.

  9. Avisra says:

    As much as IIS constantly drives me nuts, I love the Rewrite module that is often downloaded alongside this toolkit. If you haven’t used it – go get it.

  10. Iflexion says:

    Great tool for site’s analys. Tried it on Iflexion web development company site’s. Found a lot of errors :( Will be repaired ASAP :)

  11. serge says:

    This tool looks great. It will also be cool if we can cross data with logs, and particularly from search engine crawlers (google, bing,…). id like to create my own categories too, with regex for instance, because directory structure is not always the best way to categorize a site.

    Thanks for this tuto and sorry for my english.

  12. Jone says:

    I can’t find Start > All Programs > IIS 7.0 Extensions > Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Toolkit 1.0

  13. Jeroen says:

    Would it be possible to have it installed on a usbstick?

  14. Adrian Land says:

    I had this for a while. Couldn’t work it out as I thought I had it as I had the manager installed. So, I use the installer, and searched inside there for “SEO” and the extension came up. Installed that (very small updates) and then it was there.

    In short – I couldn’t find it as I hadn’t actually installed it!! Then it appears as a whole section in the manager programme.

  15. Digital Marketing Pro says:

    Awesome tool and I use it extensively. However, usually face problems with reports when working for clients with large websites( with half to a million pages).

    CSV exports for large sites does not include all the URLs that the tool finds. As a result data is incomplete & not useful. Does someone knows how to get around this?

  16. Hi there, you can set the number of URLs to restrict the crawl to within the initial set up (its default is 20,000). 500,000+ URLs though is going to be pretty tricky for any site crawler, and managing the data export is going to be way too heavy for something like Excel. You should really only be looking to use these tools to help spot common patterns within page templates – perhaps combining with other tools like the SEOmoz crawl and WMT would help to pin point crawl errors.

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