What Does CMS have to do with SEO?

10thAug. × ’10

CMS does not equal SEO

I see an increasing number of companies specializing in websites for insurance agents that claim to provide search engine optimization (SEO) with their service.  But almost none of them are really are.  More website providers, maybe most at this point, include what is called a content management system (CMS).  CMS allow regular business users, with limited to no technical expertise, to manage and update their own websites.  Using a CMS, you can add content like images and video, add or edit web pages, and importantly you can control key page elements that search ranking algorithms use to determine page rank relevance.

And while there are differences between the various CMS options out there, most all of them remind you to include those key page elements by providing blanks for page title, meta description, meta keywords, and so on.  But including reminders through a CMS is not the same thing as delivering SEO.  In fact, it’s not even close.  To give you an analogy, think about what it takes to fulfill your tax obligations with the IRS, and at the same time, minimize your tax burden.  It’s easy enough to go online and download a Form 1040, and all the blanks are there.  But possessing a blank tax form does not automatically fulfill your tax obligation, the same way having a CMS with all the web page elements for you to fill in does not mean you have search optimized your website.

Obviously, there are advantageous ways to legally complete your tax forms.  But it requires a bit of knowledge about what is both legal and advantageous to complete your tax forms in such a way as to minimize your tax burden.  And the same is true for your CMS:  a bit of knowledge (and fore planning) are required to fill in your page elements in such a way that your web pages get ranked by Google and the other search engines.

Does it matter which CMS you select?  That question can best be answered by a quote from a recent Marketing Sherpa article, “Overwhelmingly, good search engine optimization with a CMS is really more about how you implement the CMS and not necessarily which CMS you select.”  So, in order to make the leap from CMS to SEO requires a plan and effective implementation of that plan.  A good CMS can be tremendously helpful in implementing many SEO plan elements, but CMS without a plan is no more useful than a blank tax form.

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