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Content Management Software & SEO

February 8, 2008      (Updated from our previous March 6, 2002 article)

A lot has been said about Content Management Systems (CMS) in the past. Since search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimisation (SEO) are now such a growing part of the main marketing objectives for companies of all sizes, extra attention and caution must be used before the purchase of any such CMS software or programs.

When people today are looking to buy a certain product or service or need information on a specific subject, most use the power, speed and flexibility of Internet search engines. However, in the last two years, some companies have been developing their web sites and creating new or additional content with some of those so-called CMS packages. Some of the CMS programs available today may in fact negatively affect the visibility of your web site in the SERP�s (Search Engine Results Pages).

The main reason for that is some of them were not designed with search engines in mind. They were designed for what they are supposed to do: to help manage the contents of certain documents! That said, how can a company that has made extensive use of such CMS software reasonably insure itself that their site will do well in the search engines?

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Some well-designed CMS solutions that give good attention to search engines when they were designed could possibly contribute to SEO work by standardizing its presentation, labelling of content and to a certain degree, its structure which is crucial to most search engines when evaluating how a particular page or site section should rank in the engines.

If a CMS package was truly designed with search engines in mind, it could be helpful for updating and some maintenance chores of certain dynamic sites, but even with some of these features present, there could be certain areas where it can still negatively affect some of the best SEO strategies. Rank for $ales advises caution in using them in such instances. Some CMS software packages can cost a lot of money, so be careful when shopping around and don�t be afraid to ask pointed questions, especially as it pertains to search engine visibility.

Whatever CMS software package you are analyzing, make certain that none of them create their own title tags, which are almost always off-topic. A good example to this would be the steel products manufacturer that is trying to use a CMS program that writes title tags such as: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, etc. Such title tags are completely useless to search engines. In this particular example, if the CMS program is well-designed for the engines, it will let YOU write informative and useful title tags such as: steel staircases, steel shelves, steel accessories, etc.

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This detail may seem like negligible to some people, but it is very significant information for the engines and will make a drastic improvement in the results. An additional benefit to such standard SEO techniques is it will make the maintenance of the site much easier and faster. One problem with some CMS vendors is they don�t realize all of this as being their concern. Some don�t identify it is as even being a problem.

It would be almost effortless for a CMS designer or vendor to make its product search-engine friendly, as all the technology and the proper resources are already there. Some of the actual problem stems from the fact that the real needs are not being communicated effectively by most of the end-users and customers of some of the CMS programs.

PPC and Paid for Search
Today, the PPC and paid for search industry is growing rapidly. It basically offers businesses and companies a results-driven, value-added complement to search engine marketing techniques. PPC (Pay-per-Click) services allow web sites to bid for keywords and key phrases to be posted as sponsored links next to results pages. Companies can also pay to have their sites included in search-engine catalogues. In using such a formula, web sites that are of the dynamic type don�t have to make too many modifications to its basic structure, and can still yield a significant ROI.

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As stated previously, there could be some benefit and some advantages to using certain, selected CMS products. However, when it comes to today�s major search engines, make certain you choose a product that will be truly �search engine compliant�. Additionally, always remember that some of them might still pose some problems, as far as SEO is concerned.

In light of all this, it is clear that CMS vendors, search engines, web site owners and professional search engine optimization companies must work together to make the whole process as rewarding it can be and in the most diligent fashion.

Article written by Serge Thibodeau,
President & CEO,
Rank for $ales
Copyright (c) Serge Thibodeau 2002

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