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5 Ways to Leverage your CMS for SEO

Chris Osterhout SVP of Strategy
Published on April 22, 2014

Learn how you can use the built-in features of your CMS to increase your site's SEO.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a major, ongoing concern for any website, and making sure your site is structured and formatted correctly in order to receive the best search rankings is incredibly important. Luckily, if your site utilizes a Content Management System (CMS), you can utilize its built-in features to make sure you are following SEO best practices. Here are five ways you can leverage your CMS’s features to make sure your site is receiving the best rankings:

1. Control the URL for Every Page

The automatic URL that a CMS creates for each page on your site won’t always be formatted in a way that tells search engines what the page contains. However, a CMS will also allow you to manually define the URL for each page, so you can be sure that the URL contains specific keywords for the page’s actual content. This will help search engines understand the context of the webpage, which will better inform how it should be ranked.

2. Define Metadata

It’s important to define the meta tags for each page’s content, including the title, keywords, and description, since this data tells search engines what the page contains. A CMS provides the capability to define this metadata, either manually on each page, or automatically, following rules defined by the site’s developers.

3. Set Up Redirects

A CMS provides the capability to create redirects from one URL to another, making sure that anyone trying to access a page which has changed its URL will be sent to the correct location. This is especially helpful following a site redesign, which often necessitates new URLs for old content. Setting up redirects from a page’s old URL to the new URL will make sure search engines don’t find any broken links and penalize your site in the rankings.

4. Broken Link Reports

One helpful feature that CMSs provide is a report of any broken links within the site. Links to pages which have moved or changed can inadvertently hurt search rankings, so regularly consulting this report and resolving any issues with broken links is essential to make sure you are getting the best SEO value.

5. Dynamic Site Map

A site map is a page which lists and links to every page on your website. This is an essential tool for helping search engines index your site’s content. A CMS provides the functionality for automatically creating and updating a dynamic site map using XML or HTML. By utilizing this feature, you can ensure that search engines are always able to access your content and understand your site’s structure.

By utilizing these features provided by your CMS, you can easily ensure your site is following SEO best practices without a great deal of effort, allowing you to focus on creating quality content and engaging your audience. Do you have any questions about how you can use these features of your CMS? Please contact us, or leave a comment below.