What is a CMS?
CMS is short for Content Management System, and the term itself is pretty self-explanatory. A CMS is used to create and manage the content on your website, and usually comes with extra tools which are useful for SEO. Over 68 million websites are built using a CMS, and they’re an integral part of any SEO strategy.
A CMS will be by your side from start to finish when creating your website, so there’s little to no coding involved at all. It’ll also help you to easily upload and edit content on your site, meaning your website will be dynamic and easy to update. There are lots of CMS platforms out there, so there are a few things you should look out for when choosing an SEO-friendly CMS.
What to look for in an SEO-friendly CMS
For your website to run smoothly, you’ll need a system in place that redirects users from any broken or deleted pages. A 301 redirect will take users to a new URL when the original page is unavailable.
For example, if a blog post has moved from one category to another, its URL will change. This means that existing backlinks or bookmarks for the page will now bring users to a dead end. A 301 redirect prevents users from encountering a 404 page by redirecting them to the new URL of your updated blog post. This way, you can rearrange your website without losing traffic to your pages.
Analytics tools are key for assessing the performance of your SEO strategy. Metrics such as leads, keywords, inbound links, and organic traffic are all important indicators for how well your website is performing. Therefore, you’ll be missing a trick if your CMS doesn’t allow you to track metrics. Choosing a CMS that has an analytics dashboard will let you easily see and understand which parts of your SEO strategy are performing well and which parts need improvement.
Blogging is an important tool for SEO that allows you to utilise your keywords. But it’s not just your SEO content that’s valuable. Most good CMS programs will come with tools and templates specifically for hassle-free blog creation. Drag-and-drop editors are a helpful tool for adding in images, videos, and call to action buttons.
Customisable page elements
On-page SEO is one of the best tools for ranking higher on Google. Page elements such as meta descriptions and alt text make it much easier for Google to crawl and rank your page. As such, it’s paramount that your CMS allows you to make these edits so that you have an SEO-friendly website.
Internal linking is another important aspect of SEO that will improve user experience as well as your ranking. Even though you can manually create and update your internal links, some CMS tools come with built-in internal linking tools. These can help to automate the process and make it much easier for you to keep on top of.
Taxonomy and navigation menus
If your site covers a range of topics, chances are you will need to categorise them. A CMS will usually let you categorise each post as they go live, which will help with the upkeep of your site’s structure. You’ll also be able to go back and change categories, and add or delete any later. These categories will then be organised on your site into a navigation menu, which will let users select the category they want to view.
Mobile devices have been shown to generate roughly half of all global website traffic. To avoid missing out on 50% of your potential reach, your CMS should be optimised for mobile searches. It’s important to choose a CMS that has mobile-optimised themes and templates for you to use.
Everyone values privacy, and it’s important to build trust with your customers so they know that their data is safe. SSL certification means that visitors’ passwords and private information are safe when visiting your website. Google also considers SSL certification when ranking websites, and will prioritise those that its algorithm judges as safe.
Sitemaps act as a map for all of the contents of your website, allowing Google to easily search, crawl and rank your website. It’s extremely important for SEO, therefore you should choose a CMS that creates sitemaps for you. Although it’s possible to create your own, this can be time consuming and requires a lot of coding.
The best CMS platforms for SEO
WordPress is by far the most popular CMS on the internet, and it’s currently used by over 34 million websites. It’s fairly easy to use, but if you want to learn more about this CMS, feel free to read our helpful guide to uploading through WordPress. WordPress offers lots of different plugins for all your SEO needs, meaning you can add any extras to optimise your site as you please. Some key benefits of WordPress are its responsive themes that adapt to different devices, and the ability to enhance your on-page SEO.
Similarly to WordPress, HubSpot offers blogging tools and responsive themes, as well as built-in SSL certification. What’s especially useful for those with little coding experience is the auto-generated sitemap that comes with HubSpot. This CMS also features an ‘Optimise’ tab that allows you to see how your blog post scores for SEO practices such as alt text and word count.
Wix places its emphasis on quickly and easily launching a website from scratch. It features a simple drag and drop method of building which is perfect for freelancers or small businesses who are just starting out. It also has an extra feature called SEO Wiz, however this isn’t as advanced as some of the other big CMS programs.
Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce site platforms. It contains essential SEO tools that allow you to control alt text, XML sitemaps, redirects, and more. If you want to create an online store, Shopify is a great CMS that balances SEO with ecommerce features.
Need some help with utilising SEO features to boost your website? In which case, our SEO team are here to help. If you have any questions about our SEO services, or want to learn more about our other marketing teams, contact us today for more information.
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