Solving content management system (CMS) issues is one of the 10 most important points of SEO professionals need to learn. 9 issues that are the most important watch items when considering a CMS, as well as address some of the functionality that you should look for when evaluating the SEO-friendliness of a CMS.
- Customize Page Titles, Meta Data
When any one or we use any CMS, needs to customaries title tag , meta tag , heading tags , description etc. :
All of these fields should be able to be independent of one another if desired even if the default behavior does make them dependant. The option should be available to customize any of these fields without a character limitation. However, there should also be a capability to auto populate these fields based on custom rules in order to automate the population of these fields if necessary.
- URL Structure
Ensuring that your CMS system is capable of producing SEO-friendly URLs is a must. for example in WordPress permalinks option are present to set proper url.It is preferable but not required that you are able to create static, keyword focused URLs (for example http://www.domain.com/keyword1/keyword2/index.html).
However the biggest issue with CMS systems that must be considered is that they only produce one unique URL for any given page of content.
If your CMS produces multiple URLs for the same page of content, you may have a duplicate content problem. Also, avoid CMS systems that use session IDs or dynamic URLs that change every time they get a new visitor.
- XML Sitemap Creation
There are actually a number of ways to produce XML sitemaps so this isn’t a deal breaker if a CMS can’t produce an XML sitemap. However, it sure does make life easier if your system can automate the production of your site map.
- No Iframes tag
Search engines have a very difficult time understanding frames and can’t properly index iframe content CMS systems shouldn’t use frames or rely on frames or iframes for displaying content.
- 301 Redirects, Not 302
Make sure that any redirects produced by your CMS return a 301 header status code and not a 302 to ensure proper indexing. CMS systems should by default support 301 redirects and avoid 302 redirects or meta refreshes. 301 redirects are the only mechanism that transfers link connectivity metrics from the old URL to the new URL.
302 redirects do not transfer link connectivity metrics and may cause duplicate content problems. To check your redirects, enter a URL that has a direct into the tool on this page.
In order to consolidate link metrics across multiple product pages that feature the same type of products, it’s useful that your CMS system support the rel=next / rel=prev tags. For more information about the proper use and implementation of these tags.
- Custom Alt Tags
The ability to customize the text of all attributes is a mandatory requirement for your CMS. Search engines see non-linked image alt tags as page content which contributes to the keyword relevancy of the page that the image is hosted on.
Search engines see image alt tags that are links as a replacement for link text. They affect the pages that they are hosted on but have even more impact on the pages that their links point to.
Note that link title attributes on text links are useful for user experience but don’t impact search.
- Breadcrumb Navigation
CMS systems should support the customization of breadcrumb navigation. Breadcrumb navigation is very important for user experience as well as link connectivity for pages not found in the Global navigation template.
- Avoid Flash
Small Flash elements can be useful in augmenting the appearance of a website, but avoid using Flash to display important content, especially navigation menus, as search engines still don’t index Flash that well.
I have had numerous experiences where someone’s entire site was built in Flash and they have asked me why they don’t show up in search. When I show them Google’s text cache for their homepage and they see a blank page, that’s when the light bulb usually turns on.