A CMS or Content Management Solution is an online program that you pay a monthly fee for that makes it easy and fast to build, update and add content to websites. Using a CMS makes it much easier than hand coding or using traditional website building software like Dreamweaver, etc.
There are currently hundreds of different CMS’s available online, and to the unsuspecting visitor, you may not have any idea of which one is the best.
At the end of the day your SEO will be the most important element of your website. Think about it, if your website was up today, and it looked beautiful, unless you had some magnificent, and highly informative and unique content, you would not get any traffic. So it doesn’t matter what it looks like, if no one can see it.
A CMS program is like riding a bike that is on training wheels, you only have so much control over your website, your site, technically, resides within the CMS.
What exactly should you look for when searching for a good CMS to use? Search engines need to “see” your website, so see if you can find samples of websites and use a search engine spider simulator (just Google it) and that will show you exactly what that site looks like to a search engine. You should see lots of copy, text and links to interior pages. If you don’t, don’t use that CMS.
You also need to be able to control some basic functions that relate to SEO from within your CMS. You will need to be able to make edits to “meta tags”, this means you need to be able to change a page title, enter keywords for that page and a description. If you can’t do that, or if it is hard, don’t use that CMS.
Your website will get better rankings if it has search engine friendly URL’s. This means that instead of a webpage looking like this: “http://www.mywebsite.com/id23?mod_56784522.html”, it should look like this: “http://www.mywebsite.com/my-web-page.html”>http://www.mywebsite.com/my-web-page.html”, with your keywords showing in the URL.
Search engine spiders also recognize headings or h1 tags. A headline can be created on a webpage in different ways, font size, use an image or other ways. If your CMS uses a wysiwyg editor that allows for correct formatting, heading 1, heading 2, etc. you may get better rankings in the search engines.
Finally, there are some CMS’s out there that Google just has a hard time with, they are hard to see, they have a lot of clutter and makes it harder for Google to index your site accurately. Lastly, make sure that editing is easy. Whether you are editing your basic content or some SEO features, it has to be easy. If it is too cumbersome or complicated changes are you won’t do it and your rankings will pay the price.
WordPress continues to be a great CMS for SEO and is the largest one right now. You pretty much can’t go wrong with it. There are also plugins that will extend the functionality of it as much as you like.
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