Why is it important?
Choosing a Content Management System (CMS) is probably the most important decision when you build your website. There are a number of CMSs, including open source, license or proprietary systems. As you probably already discovered, most of the suppliers claim that their systems are Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) friendly. Unfortunately, very often the decision makers have a limited knowledge of SEO and would probably have difficulties validating their SEO friendliness.
We’ve seen many examples of modern websites built on CMSs that caused many headaches and subsequently turned the SEO process into an expensive nightmare.
What are the features of a SEO Friendly CMS:
Design and Content SEO Requirements
Custom meta description and page title tags
Custom page headings (H1, H2, H3 etc.)
Clean HTML template
Custom link text (anchor text)
Sitemap for users
Custom image attributes and tags
Custom meta tags templates (for large, database driven websites)
Duplicate content control
Social/sharing buttons integration
Technical SEO Requirements
Static, customisable URLs
Clean URLs with no additional name/value pairs
Handling 301 redirects
Simple directory structure
One version of a URL to reach a page
Custom 404-error page
Sitemap generator for search engines (XML)
Speed and page load
Does SilverStripe meet the above criteria?
Out-of-the box SilverStripe CMS is just a blank page and flexibility is one of its strengths. All of the websites we’ve built on SilverStripe CMS since 2009 are SEO friendly. The SEO effect was mainly achieved as a result of collaborative work between the web development team and our in-house SEO experts. We developed in-house processes to make sure each SilverStripe deployment meets all important SEO requirements.
UPDATE: 17/04/2012 - Read our announcement about the SilverStripe SEO module, which is designed to manage content optimisation to help you dramatically improve your SEO rankings.
Choosing the right CMS is half the battle. SEO objectives need to be considered from the outset in order to identify any potential SEO barriers that could crop up throughout a project life cycle from design to migration. Once deployed, focus needs to be on content and social aspects of marketing to encourage content sharing to attract links.
Do you have any comments or need help choosing the CMS? We would like to hear from you.