When CMS Met SEO - Using the Power of Content Management Systems
Posted on December 8, 2004
By Gobala KrishnanSearch Engine Optimization revolves around providing useful, unique content on your website and making sure that search engines can find and understand it easily. 'Organic SEO' as it is called, puts emphasis on optimizing hundreds of keyword rich content pages as 'spider-bait' for search engines, with Google being the most popular target.
While organic SEO in itself boils down to a few simple techniques and a lot of hard work, the most tedious of those is always adding and managing content. If you're a webmaster lost in a world of dead links, missing pages, distorted images and a site structure that beats any maze, you're not alone. Such is the nightmare that many Dreamveawer-and-Notepad type of webmasters hide.
What is CMS?
CMS, or Content Management Systems, is a great alternative to using manual WYSIWYG HTML editors, website builders, and all the others kinds of expensive website tools in the market. CMS applied solely to the purpose of creating and managing websites are also knows as Web Management Systems. A short excerpt from StepTwo.com on the definitions of CMS:
" A content management system (CMS) supports the creation, management, distribution, publishing, and discovery of corporate information. It covers the complete lifecycle of the pages on your site, from providing simple tools to create the content, through to publishing, and finally to archiving. It also provides the ability to manage the structure of the site, the appearance of the published pages, and the navigation provided to the users."
Advantages Of Using CMS for Your Website
Here are a few often overlooked advantages of using CMS for your web project, from a search engine marketing point of view:
1) Easily Create, Publish and Manage Content
With page editors that resemble a word processor program, adding content with a CMS interface is simple and fun. Most CMS software also allows you to change the location of your content pages and links easily, while the back end processes takes care of updating the links throughout your site.
Done manually, reorganizing a website's content, particularly a large one, can cause a webmaster some pretty restless nights.
CMS also allows the website owner to outsource content remotely from willing contributors. With built in access level hierarchies, users can register as Authors and start submitting articles and news. This is then automatically sent to the next in line, the Manager, and on to the Editor and finally the Publisher or Administrator, and then it can be automatically published on the front page as new content.
And SEO specialists know that search engines love new content, above everything
2) Create a Solid Website Structure
While search engine spiders can maneuver your website like a human being can't, they too are fond of websites with good structures and easy-to-find content. Most CMS software can automatically create menus and navigation from categories that you set. Once you create a new category or subcategory, you can instantly publish it on all your pages, with the click of a button.
According to popular SEO wisdom, search engines spiders do not index pages more than 3-4 levels deep on your website structure. In response to this, some CMS software also allows you to put all your content on the first level, for example "http://www.yoursite.com/article236.html". However, using the CMS' control panel, you will still be able to see all content within their respective folders and subcategories.
3) Search Engine Friendly Capabilities
This is perhaps the most significant development in Content Management Systems. As more businesspeople and SEO begin to dig deep into CMS, the need for spider-friendly pages has taken center stage. Recent advancements have enabled CMS users to install modules (sometimes already built in) to make it appealing to search engines. The latest CMS software can create keyword rich pages, titles, meta tags and even anchor text.
That, coupled with advanced search engine spiders being able to go deep into databases to index pages, is set to turn Content Management Systems into the next big organic SEO tool. In fact, search engine friendly CMS even makes organic SEO specialists, sad to say, sort of 'obsolete'.
Make CMS Work for Your Web Business
Most content management systems are available for free, or at a minimum costs, under the GNU General Public License (http://www.gnu.org). While there are literally hundreds of available CMS out in the market, these websites are a good guide for choosing a right one for your website or internet business:
Compare various CMS:
Try a CMS:
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