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SEO and Content Management System


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Content management systems are a key technology for updating your site or blog. A CMS is also key for optimizing your site for search engines. However, there are some overlooked features that are essential for selecting the right CMS for your efforts. This presentation is a checklist of those SEO features.

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SEO and Content Management System

  1. 1. Content Management System SEO Checklist<br />Features and functionality your site’s content management system needs for site optimization<br /><br />@dknewmedia<br />
  2. 2. Robots.txt<br />What it does: It let’s the search engines know what directories to crawl and which to ignore (eg. Your administration pages)<br />Why is it important? You can block the search engine from pointing to directories you don’t want the search engines to list. You can also direct the search engine to your XML Sitemap (next slide!)<br />How to check: Go to your site’s root directory and look for a text file at:<br />How to implement: You can upload a text file yourself! Details at:<br />
  3. 3. Robots.txt Example:<br />Viewing a robots.txt file<br />
  4. 4. XML Sitemaps<br />What it does: It let’s the search engines know exactly where your pages are, their priority, and when they were last changed.<br />Why is it important? Rather than waiting for a search engine to find a new post or page on your site, the sitemap rolls out the red carpet and let’s them know exactly where it is!<br />How to check: Go to your site’s root directory and look for an XML file… usually at:<br />How to implement: Your CMS should have an extension or plugin to implement sitemaps. The path to your sitemap should be listed in your robots.txt file.<br />
  5. 5. Sitemap.xml Example<br />Viewing an XML Sitemap in the View Source option of your browser<br />
  6. 6. Ping<br />What it does: Each time your sitemap is published, your CMS submits your sitemap to the search engines automatically so the search engine returns and immediately crawls your site.<br />Why is it important? Your content is immediately ‘discovered’ by the search engines, the pages crawled, and your content indexed by the search engines.<br />How to check: Contact your CMS documentation or install the appropriate extension or plugin to enabled. <br />How to implement: WordPress: YoastSEO Plugin<br />
  7. 7. Ping Example<br />Be sure to check the options to ping all the search engines<br />
  8. 8. Meta Descriptions<br />What it does: Properly utilized, a meta description will be the content that is displayed below the page title on a search engine results page (SERP).<br />Why is it important? If a meta description doesn’t exist, the search engines will take random text from your page and display that. This will result in lower click-through rates (CTR) when your site is in a search result.<br />How to check: View the advanced properties on a page or blog post to see if a meta descriptions field exists. <br />How to implement: WordPress: YoastSEO Plugin<br />
  9. 9. Meta Descriptions Example<br />Yoast provides a UI to actually preview the SERP entry<br />
  10. 10. Meta Keywords<br />What it does: It really doesn’t do anything.<br />Why is it important? It’s not that important. Search engines have largely been ignoring the meta keywords tag because they were largely unreliable and overused.<br />How to check: Don’t bother<br />How to implement: WordPress: YoastSEO Plugin<br />
  11. 11. Meta Keywords Example<br />The Yoast Plugin… even it will advise you to leave it unchecked<br />
  12. 12. Canonical URLs<br />What it does: In most CMSs, content can be displayed across multiple pages that appear exactly the same. Links to your site (backlinks) may also have campaign codes appended. Canonical URLs point to the exact page you want the search engines to point at.<br />Why is it important? Backlinks matter. Canonical URLs direct all backlinks to the appropriate page to ensure those are the pages that are indexed and ranked. <br />How to check: Look for a Canonical URL element in your page source:<link rel="canonical" href="" /> <br />How to implement: Check the documentation for your Content Management System<br />
  13. 13. Canonical URLs Example<br />Viewing the page source and seeing the Canonical URL link.<br />
  14. 14. Template Editor<br />What it does: It allows you to properly structure your page – title, layout, headings and subheadings.<br />Why is it important? Search engines pay attention to content near the top of the page. With a template editor, you can ensure your important content is displayed first and keywords are utilized properly throughout your page.<br />How to check: Look for a template editor where you have full control over moving elements, setting titles, headings, body, sidebar, etc.<br />How to implement: Use a tool like SEOmoz Pro Tools site grader to help you better construct your page.<br />
  15. 15. Template Editor Example<br />The WordPress Template Editor<br />
  16. 16. Content Editor<br />What it does: It allows you to use subheadings, bold/strong, and emphasis/italic tags within your titles, URLs and content. These are elements that search engines pay attention to.<br />Why is it important? Search engines pay attention to keyword usage throughout your content. With a content editor, you can ensure keywords are utilized properly throughout your page.<br />How to check: See if you have the ability to edit the page title, the words in your URL and edit your content with bold or italic tags.<br />How to implement: Select a CMS that allows you to edit your content and add these formatting elements.<br />
  17. 17. Content Editor Example<br />The WordPress Content Editor<br />
  18. 18. Redirects<br />What it does: If you ever move content from one site to another, one page to another, a redirect won’t just redirect your visitors, they’ll also redirect the search engines!<br />Why is it important? Search engines don’t like to see a lot of page not found (404) errors. Moving your content and letting search engines know with a redirect (301) will provide the search engines with the new location.<br />How to check: Use Google Webmasters to discover any Not Found (404) errors.<br />How to implement: Select a CMS that allows you to add or edit 301 redirects. If you’re migrating to a CMS, be sure to redirect all the old page paths to the new ones!<br />
  19. 19. Redirects Example<br />Google Webmaster will assist you in identifying pages that are not properly redirecting.<br />
  20. 20. Douglas Karr @douglaskarr<br />Blog:<br />Book:<br />Business:<br />You can find us on Facebook, too!<br />About<br />