Websites aren’t one-size-fits-all. In today’s web-dominated era, a website essentially serves as a first impression, giving you a way to introduce yourself and your business to web users from around the corner to around the world. What you say and how you say it makes a huge difference to consumers, and a majority of shoppers create an impression of a company within seconds of visiting a page. A poor user experience, uninspired content, and an out of date appearance all send the wrong message, turning customers away almost immediately.
A big part of ensuring your site hits all the right notes involves choosing the right content management system, or CMS. An all-in-one solution for website content creation and management, the right SEO-friendly CMS can ensure your site looks and functions its very best.
What Is a Content Management System?
A content management system is a platform that exists to help with the management of digital content, generally in the form of a website or blog. An easy option for those who do not feel capable of or do not want to build, maintain, and host a website from scratch, content management systems are used by businesses of all sizes.
There are hundreds of CMS options out there, giving users plenty of opportunity to consider the options. However, all CMS platforms have pros and cons, and choosing the wrong one can negatively affect your Google rankings — and, subsequently, the customers you can attract on the web. A CMS that isn’t SEO-friendly will result in a site that can’t stay competitive, hurting your business significantly.
What Makes a CMS Wrong for Search Engine Optimization?
The importance of a site that adheres to modern SEO standards is well-known, but understanding how a CMS affects search engine rankings is a little more complex. When considering different CMS platforms, watch out for these SEO red flags:
- No title tag customization: The inability to customize title tags eliminates the opportunity to provide site-specific HTML that can guide search engine crawlers.
- No meta tag opportunities: Meta titles and descriptions are important for categorizing websites and influencing how sites are listed on Google.
- No custom HTML tags: Custom HTML links, no follow links, and other headlines should be customizable for best results in the SERPs.
- No 301 redirects: Without the ability to redirect links, problems may arise with expired content, duplicate content, changes to URLs, and anything else that results in a change in site linking.
- No flexibility of internal anchor texts: Anchor text, or text that drives internal links, should be customizable to best guide both search engine crawlers as well as site users.
- No RSS pinging: RSS pinging can be a good way to drive traffic to a blog or other feed, so a lack of functionality can diminish effectiveness.
- No customizable navigation: User experience can vary from one company to the next. Without the ability to customize navigation, it’s possible to find yourself stuck with a less-than-stellar final product. A CMS that only offers one single page that scrolls on forever without individual pages for menus and services, for example, is also a problem businesses should strive to avoid.
- No image alt tags: Image alt tags serve as anchor texts for images for SEO purposes, so a lack of alt tags means less information search engines have available.
The Top Five Website CMS options for SEO
There’s no way to guarantee a win in the rankings based on CMS choice alone, but starting with the wrong platform can put you at a competitive disadvantage before you so much as get started. There are plenty of platforms out there, so always do your research before making a decision. These are the top five CMS options for SEO purposes.
The dominant name in the industry, and for good reason, WordPress is arguably the best and most sophisticated CMS option for any purpose. With a robust interface, countless plugins that enhance functionality, and significant opportunity for a customized user experience, WordPress can provide a great website without cutting corners or compromising SEO. WordPress allows for a great deal of flexibility as well. Small businesses can use pre-made templates to set up a simple, streamlined site, while companies with a focus on online visibility can partner with a custom WordPress shop like RivalMind for a truly professional end product.
An e-commerce powerhouse, Magento provides a great platform for companies with wares to sell online. While plenty of standard CMS options can handle online sales, Magento is seen as one of the leaders in the industry with a focus on a great user experience. Like many other platforms, Magento offers many SEO-specific plugins to make it easier for e-commerce sites to succeed on the web.
Wix is known for being extremely user-friendly, allowing virtually anyone to set up a clean and sophisticated website in next to no time. While this is an advantage, particularly for businesses without the resources to sink a significant investment into content management and website design, it can mean sacrificing functionality. Despite the ease of use, Wix lacks some of the more advanced features provided by the competition, making it a lesser choice for those focused on the ultimate in marketing opportunities.
Joomla is a popular and easy to use CMS with a clean, streamlined dashboard and many third-party add-ins and elements to consider. This allows for great versatility in achieving SEO goals, ticking all of the must-have boxes for an SEO-friendly CMS. The learning curve is a little higher with Joomla than sites like Wix but for those patient enough to learn, the benefits can pay off.
One of the best open-source CMS platforms available on the web, Drupal is a favorite for many businesses with sights set on creativity and flexibility. Its wide range of capabilities make it a good fit for those who know exactly what they want and what it will take to achieve both user experience and SEO goals. However, due to the nature of the platform itself, using Drupal often requires a higher level of technological savvy than many of its competitors.
A good CMS can’t save a bad site but making the right choice can have significant influence on your SEO abilities. Using a CMS like WordPress can make a big difference, providing a solid foundation for success online. If you want the perfect WordPress resources for your business, RivalMind is happy to help. Please contact us today to learn more!