By Chris J. Everett, Principal & Founder
Captivate Search Marketing
I've worked with Exponent CMS in a variety of roles since 2007, from being
merely a user/customer of OIC Group, Inc., to becoming a project manager for
OIC Group, and now as a SEO consultant for my own business in Atlanta.
While Exponent CMS doesn't have the community following of Wordpress,
Joomla, Drupal, etc., I've had experience with all of these top CMS platforms,
but Exponent is always the one I come back to.
In terms of SEO friendliness, Wordpress has several plugins that work quite
well for optimizing websites, but what I love about Exponent CMS is that the
markup is highly flexible and all of the SEO tools needed for to optimize your
website are built in – no plugins necessary.
Over the last several weeks, I've been working with the lead developers on the
Exponent CMS project – Phillip Ball and David Leffler– on enhancements to the
CMS that make Exponent even more SEO friendly than it already was.
In the coming weeks, we'll be adding even more features that I personally
believe will make Exponent the most search engine friendly CMS platform in
the open source marketplace.
So, aside from being
able to control basic
Meta Data on a
page by page basis,
what are some of
the other builtin SEO friendly
When you're working with a CMS that allows for dynamic content publication
and display, you're going to run into problems with long, nasty URL strings that
include parameters for views, actions and sources that aren't friendly for either
users or search engines.
Such is the case with most of
the dynamic content modules
within Exponent CMS such as
news, portfolio, blog,
ecommerce, etc. Luckily
for SEO enthusiasts such as
myself, Exponent has built in an
awesome feature called Router
Maps that allows you to clean
up that nasty URL strings with a
cleaner, more search engine
friendly version of the URL.
For example, the dynamic blog module URL below is performing the “Show All
By Tag” action, where a user can view every blog post that is labeled with that
specific tag. The Exponent CMS site will dynamically pull up and display each of
these posts, which is essential functionality for a blog, but as you can see the
URL isn't exactly user friendly:
By configuring the Router Map function in your Exponent theme folder with
the appropriate rule, you can change that nasty URL to a cleaner one such
Since SEF (Search Engine Friendly) URLs were integrated into Exponent in
2007, they've evolved to become more and more flexible for SEOs.
The benefit of SEF URLs:
• easy for users to read
• SEOs can craft custom optimized URLs with keyword inclusion to make their
clients' websites more friendly for organic search.
assign a variety
their SEF URL
field such as
.html, .php, .htm,
etc., based on
Historically, all pages within Exponent CMS would display URLs at the root
Recently though in Exponent's 2.2.0 stable release, the SEF URL field has
become even more flexible. The system now allows for nested URL structures
that are preferred by some SEO consultants that allow URLs to look like this:
The flexibility of how SEOs can execute their URLs within our system makes
Exponent a very powerful platform for websites focused on SEO and search
Another new feature added in the 2.2.0 stable release is support for
Rel=Canonical URLs on a page by page basis.
For SEOs dealing with large websites that have potential duplicate content
issues (having the same exact content appearing in multiple places on your
website, or if your site is receiving syndicated content), the Rel=Canonical tag
configuration allows SEOs the ability to easily assign credit to a preferred
source URL in the event that duplicate content needs to be avoided.
Rel=Canonical tag fields have been integrated throughout the system in the
page manager configurations, and in specific dynamic module types such as
Exponent's news, portfolio, blog, and ecommerce modules.
The final feature that makes Exponent CMS a SEO friendly CMS that I'll
discuss in this post is related to Exponent's file manager and attachable files
Certain modules within the system utilize “attachable files” functionality to
display images in certain views/layouts.
For example, Exponent's ecommerce, blog, portfolio, and news modules use
attachable image files to display images related to that product/portfolio
The SEO friendly
feature related to
this functionality is
how the image is
Rather than simply inserting image files into the WYSIWYG editor for display on the
website as you would using a text module, you can assign your Image Alt Text and
Image Title tags for attachable files within Exponent CMS' file manager.
So as you've optimized your attachable file, your image Alt text and Title tags
will show up in the HTML markup just as if you had inserted your image into a
WYSIWYG editor and optimized the image that way:
As the CMS continues to evolve, I've made it my personal mission to ensure
that we work in every SEO friendly feature possible into Exponent CMS.
In future releases, we'll be working on such enhancements as allowing
administrators to configure “No Index, No Follow” type robots tags on a page
and post level.
We also plan to enhance the Exponent CMS tagging system so administrators
will be able to assign unique SEO friendly meta data on a tag by tag basis, as
well as add link title attributes to the Exponent CMS link manager module
If one thing is for certain as we
continue to make Exponent CMS
more and more Search Engine
Friendly, it's that our system is
incredibly powerful and its future is