The SEO Friendly CMS Checklist and Infographic

Some of the most important technical restrictions and challenges in a SEO process are caused by the content management system in use: From its code cleanliness, flexibility to optimize specific elements, the options to organize its structure, to its scalability.

This is why the selection of a CMS that effectively provides a solution to the site present and possible future needs, depending on its characteristics while making sure that it is also SEO friendly, is fundamental.

Of course, beyond the capacity of the CMS itself, the knowledge about what to optimize is vital, otherwise you would end up having a great platform that you just haven’t effectively configured -which unfortunately also happens a lot-.

To avoid these problems I have compiled a list of the most important SEO aspects to take into consideration when choosing a CMS, which will help you make your day-to-day optimization tasks far more easy. I have created the following infographic – checklist so you can easily download, print and share it:

The SEO Friendly CMS Checklist

You can also take a look at the text version of the most important SEO aspects to take into consideration when choosing a CMS:

What are the criteria to choose a SEO Friendly CMS?

Crawlability & Indexability

  • Web Standards: Has clean, layer based HTML code, with externalized CSS and JS and easily allows to use Microdata with Schema.
  • Format: Avoid Flash, Frames or Javascript to show relevant content.
  • Canonical Tag: Lets you include and configure canonical tags in pages to avoid duplicated content.
  • Robots.txt: Allows to create and edit the robots.txt archive to control search engines access to the site.
  • Meta Robots: Lets you add the meta robots tag in pages head to disable indexing and following links.
  • Sitemap.xml: Automates the sitemap.xml generation and update it with the site content (text, images, video, mobile, news, geo).
  • RSS: Generates RSS Feeds automatically for new pages.
  • Size & Speed: Optimizes and minimizes code, requests and images and allows caching to improve speed and site performance.
  • Redirections: Lets you easily 301 redirect pages, avoiding content duplication or cannibalization issues.
  • Security: Provides security features to protect from web spam attacks.

Relevancy

  • Title Tag: Allows to personalize and optimize the title tag for each page and to set rules to automatize its content with patterns.
  • Meta Description: Lets you personalize the meta description information for each page and set rules to automatize it with patterns.
  • Heading Tags: Includes heading tags for each page that you can modify and optimize.
  • Text Content: Allows to include enough unique text content for each page.
  • Images: Lets you set a relevant, personalized alt description, caption, archive name and size.
  • UGC: Allows you to easily enable comments, Q&A or reviews in post or articles, great to update pages with fresh content.
  • Multilanguage Support: Lets you enable different language versions with a relevant, optimized URL structure and hreflang attribute.

Web Architecture & Internal Linking

  • URLs: Editable, relevant, descriptive, user friendly, hierarchically organized URLs, in the same language of the page content.
  • Internal Linking: In the content and text based menu with hierarchical links (with customizable anchor texts) to relevant pages.
  • Categorization: Features a consistent, hierarchical organized, customizable categorization system for the site content.
  • Pagination: Allows to control pagination to avoid content duplication and adds the rel=next and prev attributes.
  • Content Duplication: Shows each piece of content through only one URL.

Additional Functionalities

  • Code Customization: Easily allows to edit the pages code.
  • Look & Feel: Enables you to modify and personalize the look and feel through WYSIWYG editors and CSS.
  • Analytics: Lets you add Web analytics code and tags to measure site activity.
  • Social: Includes social buttons and features to share content in external communities and platforms.
  • Backups: Lets you perform frequent and schedulable backups.
  • Update: Provides frequent platform updates with fixes and new features.
  • Export: Allows you to easily export site content and configuration.
  • Plugins & Extensions: Features a rich plugin and extension ecosystem to easily extend the site features.

Which are the most popular SEO Friendly CMS?

Some of the most popular content management systems that include most of the previous aspects that let you optimize your site are:

Wordpress - SEO Friendly CMS - Guides and Plugins

WordPress

Easy to use and very flexible WordPress is more than just a blogging platform. Some of the most complete SEO guides for WordPress are this one from Yoast and this other from Viperchill.

You can also take a look at some of the best SEO plugins for WordPress in this list from Michael Gray and this from Designmodo.

Joomla

Joomla SEO Friendly CMS - Extensions and Guides

Also very popular, Joomla has a very good list of SEO guides, such as this one from Search News Central, and this other from Hobo.

There are also handy SEO extensions for Joomla, that will ease the optimization tasks, take a look at this list and this other.

Drupal

Drupal SEO Friendly CMS - Guides and Modules

A bit more complex but powerful and with many resources, Drupal has also good SEO guides like this one from I Can Localize and this other from DIY SEO.

You can also find a great list of SEO modules for Drupal in this table and this post.

What other aspects do you take into consideration to choose a SEO friendly CMS?

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This post is also available in: Spanish

  • Spook SEO

    Hi Aleyda!
    I believe that we really need to take into consideration when choosing CMS, which can help us make our day to day optimization tasks more easy. Thank you for compiling a list of the most important SEO aspects to take into account. You have also created a wonderful info-graphic checklist that we can easily download, print and share.

  • Excelanto

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  • http://www.kateideas.com/ Kaitlin R. McMichael

    Hi Aleyda, do you think these CMS platforms are also the best for international SEO? Or do you have other favorites for sites that want to scale globally? Thanks.