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Is your Content management System (CMS) search engine optimised (SEO)?

Here is a short check list to help you answer the question:

1. URL Rewriting
Long gone are the days where there was gibberish in the web addresses or the URLs. Funnily enough all content management systems still work with those long and complex URLs. The smart CMS-es today have a built in URL Rewriting. What does it do? It changes your URL from the gibberish looking long one to something that looks like http://domain-name/page-title. It is nice to read to both the search engine and to human. It is also memorable as opposed to the long strings of numbers and symbols. When used properly, by placing the search keywords in the parts of the URL like the domain name itself and the title of the page, a great search engine optimisation results are achieved.
2. Dynamic Title Tag
Title is a HTML tag of a huge importance in relation to the search engine optimisation of each of your page. Notice the word ‘each’ here highlighted. Since there is very little sense in having two pages on the same web site with the same title. If your CMS does not let you create the unique title tag to every single page, your web site will not be very well optimised.
3. Dynamic Meta Tags
Meta Keywords and Meta Description are the two met tags important for the search engine optimisation. As well as the title tag, if your CMS should allow the author to define the both Meta Keywords and Meta Description uniquely for each page. Note that search engine often use the Meta Description as a description of your page displayed next to the link in their search engine results pages. Therefore it is vital to write a Meta Description ‘inviting’ the surfer to click on your listing.
4. H1, H2 Styles
Search engines assign ‘higher importance’ to words used in the top highlighted styles on the page. Placing your main keywords in those styles is crucial part of the onsite search engine optimisation. If your CMS does not let you control what text gets displayed in what style your web pages will not be well optimised for the search engines.

The list actually goes on and on. Image names and Alt Tags of the images, link structures of the internal links are also very important. The problem with the content management systems is really in drawing the line between the features that will help the user in using them quickly and easily, and allowing the user to control the code of the web site. That line is hard to place, and the result is that most of the content management system simply fail since they do not find the way how to give a lot of control to the end user, while making the user interface and the usage in general easy to learn and to use day by day. From the SEO perspective, there should be as much control as possible of the final code, but from the usability point it is the opposite. A good user interface for the CMS should be easy to use and let you control the above points easily as well.


  • crowen

    May 12, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Nice article. What open source CMS would you recommend?

  • SEO Consultant (admin)

    May 13, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    I see you use Drupal. I have a limited knowledge of Drupal from the SEP perspective, but WordPress is the one I can certainly recommend without much reservation.

    With any CMS you are going to run into the wall. They all have their limitations. WordPress has a long list of them, but that list is in general shorter than a list of any other CMS I have seen so far.

  • العاب

    October 26, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    thank you for your post
    but, in h1 and h2 i think are good but if you put inside url you will lose it imporanty
    url tag
    it’s true or false ?

    thank you

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