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Choose an SEO-Friendly Content Management System

If you use a content management system (CMS) to build and run your Web site, you may have trouble optimizing your site content for search engines. However, if you have a dynamic Web site, you have no choice — you have to use a CMS. Fortunately, there are SEO-friendly content management systems available, and some are available for free.

A dynamic Web site is a site that is built using a template and a CMS that gives you control of how to define your Web page that pulls information from a database. This means that the pages don't exist until someone asks for them. If you have 10,000 products, you're not going to build 10,000 individual pages by hand. Instead, you use a CMS to build it dynamically on the fly. A CMS actually generates the page that a search engine spiders by taking the information in your database and plugging it into a template Web page, so the CMS is responsible for creating all of the tags, content, and code that search engines see.

The most important thing you need in order to have a dynamic site is an SEO-friendly CMS. Any CMS that supports SEO completely allows you to access and edit these tags as well as to set rules for generating tags that are SEO friendly. That means that you can focus on the content on your Web site. That content is what builds the page that the user sees. You need to be able to make changes to the H# tags and control the metadata on each page separately. Every element must be customizable.

If you cannot customize your current CMS, get a new one. End of story. If you can’t write a Title tag individually, you’re out of luck when it comes to SEO. If you can’t control your H1 tag, you’re out of luck. Chuck your inflexible CMS and get one that allows you to control page tags and content; otherwise, you really can’t do any SEO. PixelSilk from Smart Solutions is a low-cost CMS that was designed from the ground up to be SEO-friendly. For simple Web sites, you could use a blogging software like the highly customizable WordPress, which is a free and open source.

Keep this list in mind when searching for a good CMS. They must be able to

  • Customize HTML templates

  • Produce unique Title tags

  • Produce unique Meta description/keywords tags

  • Produce unique Heading tags (H#)

  • Categorize content by groups

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