Content Management System (CMS) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

I’m working to optimize a website for the search engines (primarily Google, of course) using as a guideline an SEO audit I did of this site a month or so ago. The site is built using a content management system (CMS) and uses various templates for different sections of the site.

There are some good things about CMS:

1. It makes it easy for the customer/end user to go in and add pages, modify pages, etc.

2. Can’t think of any others.

There are some bad things about CMS from an SEO perspective:

1. It makes it very hard, for example, to add the canonical meta tag to all pages. Since the info is all in templates, I have to go in and modify the templates. But then all the templates would have the same canonical tag. Not good – those are supposed to contain the URL for reaching an individual page on the website. So we’ve had to go ask the CMS provider to add the canonical meta tag to this site, and allow us to modify each one on every page of the site. They want money to do this, even though it will improve their CMS system and allow them to figure out how to do this so they can sell it to other of their clients.

2. It makes it difficult to find and fix broken links. Are they in a template? Are they in content that is only in one page? When you are used to editing HTML by hand, as I am, it becomes a royal pain to have to figure out where the code actually resides (can be in one of 3 places) and then to find and fix it without breaking something else.

3. It’s difficult to set up a staging area where you can see changes before they go live on the site. Everything is live, as soon as you do it. So it’s unforgiving of any errors.

Other than that, it’s all puppies and sunshine.

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