A content management system (CMS) is one of the most important decisions any digital marketer will make for their customers. Even if you’re a hands-on type of business owner, this article is for you too. If you’re a company or agency looking to build a website, what’s most important is to find a CMS that will best fit your workflow and processes both now and in the future.
A CMS (Content Management System) is the platform that a website is built on and helps you do many things, including posting content on your site, managing posts and pages, and helping improve and optimize your website from an SEO perspective.
Not all CMS platforms are made the same. Although they have similarities, there are significant differences that may be ideal for you. The best CMS for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) are usually those which provide you with advanced features you can use. Google web crawlers look for specific criteria from websites and then add them to Google rankings as they see how good they meet the ranking factors.
What CMS Features Matter For SEO
“What features?” you may ask. If you do not have advanced technical knowledge in SEO practices, these are things you want to look for. Here are some features you should look for before choosing a management system.
Customizable Page Elements
This is imperative because you have to be able to edit and customize the title, meta descriptions, image alt texts, and other content that helps improve your SEO rankings.
Content strategies put a premium on blogs because of the media and content you can put on them. Blogs are an important aspect of optimizing a website. This may also integrate SEO tips, Google analytics, and how you can improve some aspects like editing meta descriptions, canonical URLs, and page title tags.
You should have a descriptive URL to help search engines find your website better. CMS platforms and your website builder choice should have this feature. This is a unique SEO feature you should pay attention to avoid any SEO issues.
Google has added user experience and user friendly-features to the most important criteria in crawling websites on its SERPs. A content management system should have this feature for search engine crawlers to find your website and see what you offer to your audiences.
An analytics tool may be one of the most important features for any digital marketer looking for the best CMS for SEO. With this on your CMS platform, you can plan a strategy to increase organic traffic, gain leads, use keywords better, and make your website a lot better overall. It is one of the best tools to help you rank better on the Google search console.
Which Platform Is The Best CMS For SEO?
If you are looking for the most SEO friendly CMS platform, look no further than WordPress. It is a proven system because it is used by about 40% of all websites. Most likely, your site will have a website structure that uses this CMS.
Using WordPress allows you to gain access to a wide variety of options of free and paid WordPress themes. You can also get WordPress plugins to help increase your site speed. You will enjoy the variety and options to choose from. There are thousands of responsive themes available to make your site a nice-looking website.
You can use this CMS to add a blog to your site, change the settings on the permalink, and manage how you can navigate the menu. You can use it to add internal links and check XML sitemaps. You can also use the integrated Yoast SEO to help you nail the SEO best practices for your page.
SEOPress is the plugin we use in almost all of our projects on WordPress websites. This has advanced SEO features and allows you to check the readability of the blogs and content you post on your site. It has an easy-to-use interface that even beginners can understand. This helps with checking SEO fundamentals and even some technical SEO, like canonical tags, business profiles, schema, and a ton more. The plugin has a pro version with a basic SEO checklist to ensure that your SEO efforts pay off.
An interesting thing about Shopify is that it has always been primarily an eCommerce platform first. Not everyone considers it a popular CMS for SEO because its main features are eCommerce templates and not a lot of SEO functions.
But somehow, they did manage to improve it to be a solid CMS hub as well using traditional drag and drop sections and blocks. Unlike the more known CMS platforms, Shopify is not as easy to use. However, you can use a third-party browser extension or an app, but that can be fairly limited on what you can do. When Shopify introduced sections, it gave people a vastly better user experience. Blocks extended the functionality of sections by allowing them to create a group of fields that can be copied and repeated.
In the last 5 years, this mega eCommerce platform has spent a lot of time developing more SEO settings in each page and product, which can actually get great results. This CMS can achieve some great results in ranking pages and products, but it’s limited to very basic on-page optimization and image alt tags, but is hindered by a slightly messy code structure.
If you watch a lot of YouTube videos, you may have come across Squarespace, either by their own ads or paid ads on your favorite channel.
Squarespace is a simplified CMS. Utilizing the power of simplicity, many users switched to it because it offers pretty much everything on its platform. This also lends itself to making the website mobile search friendly because of the lightweight property of the templates they provide.
The drawback to their approach has always been the limited SEO focus. We noticed in 2018 that Squarespace started introducing some cool on-page features, like meta information and alt tags. We were thrilled at the progress, but SS still has a long way to go to get Google to recognize their structure and actually train users on how to best use their search engine optimization features.
This limitation, coupled with their very vanilla, cookie-cutter template designs make this CMS more fitting for students, bloggers and beginners just looking to throw any website up on a temporary basis. Since they made it so simple for users, advanced web designers may find it lacking the customization they want. For one, you can’t really install search optimization plugins, enable caching, or have editable on page elements.
Wix is actually a more SEO-friendly CMS, mainly because the company has been around so long and a lot of their processes and structures have forced Google to pay attention to all the websites built on this budget-friendly system. Much like Squarespace, this platform is great for people looking for a fast way to build a website.
However, the similarity ends there. Wix SEO capabilities are notable as advanced users can transfer content fast and easily. It also differs from other content management systems by using AI. Wix focuses on the ease in which you can edit your meta description, title tags, headings and add images to your blog page using their platform.
This drag and drop editor can help you craft SEO friendly URLs, XML sitemap, and edit important factors like meta tags, meta descriptions, and title tags to help you rank better on the Google platform, making it one of the best CMS for SEO, especially those who need to create multiple websites in a hurry.
However, be prepared to pay for the service if you want to have a great experience in developing an SEO friendly website. You can install some SEO plugins. But know that too many plugins can slow down page speed which can deter mobile traffic. In effect, people may be turned off, and that can affect your ranking altogether.
GoDaddy Website Builder
GoDaddy jumped on the same ship and has offered a website building platform to its users. GoDaddy is one of the most popular sites to purchase a domain name. So, they also offered a one-stop service where you can build a website complete with CMS for SEO and social integration.
While all these look well and good, you still have the limitation of a template-based design unless you have the technical know-how.
This CMS, for SEO is where it ends. GoDaddy has tried their hand at SEO over the years, only to constantly fall short. This is our vote for the worst CMS for ranking simply based on our testing, we notice the settings are really there for looks, and don’t actually do much. Think of this builder as a last ditch option in a pinch, where their SEO has a mere placebo effect.
GD has a systematized approach, putting money and trust in machines will never compare to a human being analyzing and optimizing a website’s search engine optimization.
The last one on our list is quite possibly one of the earliest content management systems for on page SEO.
Weebly has built in SEO tools available in its dashboard. You can do the basics like, edit page titles and meta descriptions, set up page permalinks and personalize URLs, update header and footer codes, and you can even manage canonical tags. Google Analytics is also available on the CMS.
However, that’s the most you can do in this platform. Schema configuration, sitemaps and any other advanced SEO options will require third-party plugins, which may cause a lag to your website. Any slow down to your website load speed is a no-no if your goal is mobile optimization.
The best CMS for SEO is WordPress, by a long mile. If you enjoy using the platform, you’re on currently, then know that you can always find creative ways to make your website a lot more optimized for Google.
You can create and optimize your website or online store for both visitors and search engines with the help of content management systems equipped with the appropriate features and extensions. This is a crucial step in setting up your website’s search optimization. You can increase your organic traffic and visibility in SERPs by investing in a platform that works with your long term on page SEO strategy.