A Content Management System (CMS) is web-based software that allows users, managers and administrators of a website to create, publish, edit and manage content. In addition to the content on your website, a Content Management System will also allow non-technical users to easily have control over administrative changes for the website.
Content Management System’s have been around for a long time and there are several options to choose from when selecting the right solution for your website. Whatever your decision, ensure that you choose an SEO friendly option. My favorite CMS is WordPress. Some of the must-haves in a typical CMS to ensure functionality and search friendliness are:
- Ability to adjust and customize all content on webpages such as title tags, meta descriptions, H tags, alt tags and body copy. Basically, all On-page Optimization techniques.
- The capability to organize and customize the navigation of the site. Navigation of a site is very important to search engines since it determines how they index pages.
- Allowance for breadcrumbs is another important element which allows users to navigate pages of your website. In addition to this, it also helps search engines in the way of creating anchors text and hierarchy of the site and site architecture.
- Does your CMS create SEO friendly URL’s? These are essentially clean URL’s, meaning they appear well. example.com/product-productname as opposed to the gross version www.example.com/439128?=10102283
- Capability to create an XML sitemap- An XML sitemap helps search engines find the pages on your site as well as find the preferred version URL. In additional to an HTML.
- The ability to customize Alt tags is very important to have in a CMS. Alt tag tells search engines what an image is about.
- Make sure your CMS does not use Flash. Search engines are getting close to but still not able to index flash.
- Does your CMS allow for rel=canonical tags? These tags help webmasters avoid duplicate content.
9. Integrate social media channels, share buttons and like buttons without having to hard code on the site. Social media accounts are strong signals to search engines, having the ability to link to your site allows for strong signal.
11. Publishing blog posts. Search engines are always looking for fresh content, having the ability to publish fresh content will enhance your overall visibility.
We could probably continue with many more reasons to have a CMS versus not, finding the right CSM that fits the type and size of your site can be overwhelming. But doing so will have a big impact on how well you rank on search engines and your SEO strategy.