In recent weeks many of our clients and associates have been receiving an onslaught of emails, offers, and unsolicited marketing messages boasting of the search engine friendliness of new CMS Tools.
In reviewing these new CMS Tools and working with several of the most popular CMS Tools on a regular basis, we have yet to find a truly "SEO Friendly" CMS Tool. The marketing claims and "PR Hype" touting the SEO capabilities of CMS Tools is most deceiving and spinning out of control of late.
If you are considering moving a website to a new CMS Tool understand that despite all of the sales rhetoric from CMS developers, a vast majority of CMS tools lack core SEO principles in their design structure and thus still require the highly specialized dynamic-database SEO skills sets of a proven search engine optimization firm. If you plan on moving your website to a new CMS platform, also plan on engaging a skilled organic SEO company to fully optimize the dynamic website and CMS powered page templates and url renderings in order to achieve and maintain keyword ranking success in the search engines.
The list of qualified dynamic, database-driven search engine optimization specialists is actually quite small. Only a very tight circle of less than (10) established seo firms have the technical skill sets required to execute and provide the complex database optimization skill sets required to "open-up" the content(s) of CMS powered websites to the major search engine spiders.
Here are just a couple of topline SEO requirements, proven SEO principles and SEO Best Practices that many CMS Tools have overlooked and fail to accomodate:
SEO Shortcomings of Many Content Management Systems - CMS Tools.
URL Naming Conventions: many CMS Tools produce URLs that are either query-laiden or meaningless. Why even publish a page containing: ID=, Session IDs, or using generic URL names like department8.xml ? The URLs naming convention should at least attempt to indicate the content theme of the page whenever possible. Many CMS Tools populate pages with meaningless url names. If the only difference in your URL names is a number you are in for a long, steady, uphill climb, and roller-coaster results in the search engines.
W3C HTML Code Compliance and Validation: although many web and CMS developers beg to differ, it is essential that code validation principles and standards be adhered to for favorable Search Engine Placement. Invalid HTML page code is a contributing factor and can be directly tied to both securing and maintaining strong natural keyword placement. Many CMS tools publish error-filled page code that chokes spiders and potentially interrupts full page delivery.
"Loose" Content Management Systems: that refresh often can create tremendous confusion with search engines, resulting in "Content Trust" and site/URL fluctuation factors that prevent websites from attaining top keyword placement. Loose CMS Tools that "refresh" often can miminize search exposure and reduce reach on qualified, in-market users searching on keywords that define the company and brands. CMS powered websites programmed to dynamically update and change regularly are 'Red Flags' to the search engine spiders. Loose CMS Tools often leave "backdoor links" that conflict and compete with many "front-door" links on the same site.
These are only a limited number of the topline site design elements that often keep CMS powered websites from performing well in the search engines on in-market keyword search phrases that drive new business. Conducting a comprehensive keyword analysis with (real search data from Google) PRIOR to converting to a new content management system or CMS Tools is also a great idea.
Marketing Managers, IT Directors, Webmasters, and Internet Publishers must consider proven Search Engine Optimization principles and SEO Best Practices before making any moves to convert to Content Management Systems and CMS Tools.
If you plan on moving your website to a new CMS powered dynamic platform, also plan on engaging a proven dynamic database-powered site optimization firm to fully optimize the CMS-powered website in odrer to secure and maintain premium keyword positions on popular keywords that best define your industry.