A content management system (CMS) represents the backend of your site, which allows you to add or remove pages, edit content and manage comments left by visitors. A simple Google search will show you that you can choose from many different platforms. But which one is the best for your website? In this article, we will show you how to choose a SEO friendly CMS.
Why Is a SEO Friendly CMS Important?
As a small and medium sized business owner, you are probably managing your company website on your own. You do not have the budget to hire a developer or an agency to maintain and update your website.
This means that you must ensure that your site is properly optimised to rank in organic searches. You may know the basics of SEO, or even more detailed information (especially if you are following our blog). But you still need assistance to make sure that each page on your website is fully optimised. This is what a SEO friendly CMS does: it gives you predefined fields where you can add SEO related information, such as:
- The page title
- The meta description
- ALT tags for images on your site.
At the same time, a SEO friendly CMS allow you to ensure that your website meets the latest ranking criteria set by Google.
What Are the Features of a SEO Friendly CMS?
As you start comparing CMS platforms, you should look for the following features:
1. Ability to Customise Pages
As explained just above, the CMS should allow you to add and modify the page title, meta descriptions and other types of content where you can add your keywords. You can technically do that in all content management systems.
However, you do not want to spend time learning pieces of code to add to each page. You are looking for a user-friendly platform, which offers you a simple text field to fill in.
2. Ability to Customise URLs
When you create a new web page, its standard URL is your domain name, followed by a series of letters and numbers. This is not SEO friendly at all. You should be able to rename it, following the structure you have created for your site. For instance, a product should have the URL: www.mysite.com/products/product-name.
A SEO friendly CMS will allow you to edit the URL as you are creating the page. Thus, when you actually publish it, it has the SEO friendly URL.
3. 301 Redirect Function
301 redirect is a very useful function for websites. You may have pages with outdated content that are valuable for SEO (backlinks, high traffic rate). In the meantime, you have created a new page, with fresh, current and relevant content.
The 301 redirect function allows users to be automatically transferred to the new page when they click on or type the URL of the old page. A SEO friendly CMS should allow you to set up a 301 redirect quickly and without any specific coding knowledge.
4. Creating XML Sitemap
The XML sitemap is very useful for the Google bots when they start indexing a website. It gives them an idea of the order and depth of going through the pages in your website. While you can install a sitemap plugin, it is much better if you choose a SEO friendly CMS that automatically creates the XML sitemap of your website.
5. Ability to Create a Clear Hierarchy for the Web Pages
A well organised website is easy to navigate. And users love this. They want to reach the information they want quickly and be able to go from page to page, and then back to a previous page without getting confused.
A good navigational structure starts with a SEO friendly CMS that allows you to create a clear hierarchy for the pages. When you add a new page, you should be able to set its position in the site structure (main category or subcategory) simply by clicking on the respective option.
6. SSL Security Certification
Website security has been one of the main ranking factors since 2014. Google does not want to bring users to a website where their devices may be infected with a virus or which attempts to scam them.
Thus, a SEO friendly CMS must provide SSL security certification as a standard feature. Hosted CMS platforms usually do that, so you do not have to waste time maintaining and renewing the certificate for your website each year.
7. Responsive Themes
All websites should have a responsive design, i.e. they should offer optimal browsing experiences on any device: desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone. A SEO friendly CMS allows you to use a responsive theme for your website and even offers bundles of such themes to choose from.
8. Blogging Tools
Finally, you should be able to create a blog section attached to your website, with all the necessary functions:
- Add, edit and delete blog articles
- Respond to comments
- Monitor comments before posting to remove spam.
A SEO friendly CMS saves you a lot of time and allows you to optimise and manage your website on your own, without paying a programmer or SEO specialist. The right platform gives you the confidence that you are doing the right things, without spending too much time learning how to use it.
Some of the most popular SEO friendly CMS platforms you can choose from are: WordPress, Magento, Joomla and Shopify.