Whether you’re in the market for a content management system (CMS) or you’re already using one, it’s important to make sure that it is SEO friendly.  You should always go back and analyze the tools you’re using as the web continues to evolve, and because SEO has changed so frequently over this past year it’s important that your CMS system is keeping up.

What is CMS Software and How Is SEO Involved?

A CMS is a software that companies use to control different aspects of content on a website. This includes publishing schedules, the layout and format of content, search functions, and more. It’s all about management and delivery.

Unfortunately, a CMS tends to fall by the wayside because it is just such a big part of a website, and for the most part content management systems will continue to work. In fact, many people don’t even realize that there are other CMS besides WordPress and Drupal. However, that doesn’t mean that what you are using is fit for your company and its SEO goals. You have to make sure you’re using something that is SEO friendly, and if it’s not, make a change entirely or make a small change to your software to make sure you’re moving in the right direction.

Features that Add to an SEO Friendly CMS

Your first step is going to be to decide the goals of your company so that you know what features are most important to you when choosing the right software. Once you have a good handle on what you need, consider the three following things to keep in mind when it comes to SEO considerations that software is so often missing:

Make sure subcategory features are available.

Navigation is something that Google takes seriously when it comes time to crawl your website and then rank it on a SERP. People should be able to freely move from one page to the next and not get lost in your website. This can be helped by using breadcrumb plugins, internal links, and then of course subcategories.

Not all CMS systems offer the subcategory option, which can make your website confusing. This means you would have to lump all of your content under just a few categories, which will start to get confusing for everyone (including you) as you grow your content collection.

Who will be using the CMS? Consider this when thinking about built-in SEO features.

You will want to ask yourself who will be publishing content most often. Will you just have one editor, or multiple editors? When asking this question, think about the future. If you’re planning to keep all of the content on your blog in-house with one article per day, one editor might work; however if you think you may ever allow guest posts or hope to publish more content on your website, you have to consider that multiple people may be using your CMS.

So why does this matter for SEO? When publishing content, some CMS systems have SEO functionalities built-in, such as Meta Data, keyword density information, etc. This is ideal if you have more than one editor working with your content or you plan to hire new editors often. You don’t want SEO to slip through the cracks, so find a CMS with this functionality that all but forces someone to include it.

Many SEO plugins will also help you simply alter your current CMS system if that works best for you. Visit this article to see some of the best WordPress plugins.

Avoid software that creates more than one URL per page of content.

Believe it or not, some old CMS software will create multiple URLs for one page of content, which many companies might not even realize at first. If you haven’t already heard, this causes duplicate content issues, which will get your site penalized.

Extra Tip: If multiple URLs are not being created and you’re still getting a duplicate content penalty, something could be stealing your content. Learn solutions and more here.

A Few CMS Software Options

WordPress is the most popular CMS software, but there are many other choices if you’re looking for something different to accomplish your goals. I recommend checking out Capterra for a list of options with descriptions for each. It might seem overwhelming at first, so be sure to go into your research with a few goals in mind. Sort through the list based one or two keywords and you’ll be surprised and just how many options are a fit for your growing business.

In the end, WordPress is going to work for a good chunk of companies, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to help make that system as SEO friendly as it can be. Utilize their subcategory feature, install SEO plugins, and check to make sure your URLs are not being duplicated. It’s easy to use WordPress and avoid these little facts, but they make a big SEO difference in the end.