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February 18, 2009

SEO and CMS – SEM Synergy Extras

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Not long after I got into the Internet marketing business, I began hearing about the importance of utilizing a customizable CMS. So when the topic of content management systems came up on the editorial calendar of SEM Synergy, it seemed natural to address the need for an SEO-friendly CMS. When we recorded today’s episode a couple weeks ago, we talked about the fact that there was no SEO-friendly CMS currently available out of the box. We explained that there were, however, a number of factors to pay attention to when choosing the CMS that would be best for your online business.

It turns out we jumped the gun. Not two weeks after recording the episode, the industry welcomed a content management system that was created with search engine optimization in mind. Pixelsilk, a Web-based CMS, “allows full access and control of the HTML to implement a branded design, custom development, e-commerce cart or search strategy — while still being easy for those editing content”. Brought to us by our friends up in Bend, Oregon where all the cool kids live, the CMS debuted at SMX West last week to a crowd of happy conference goers.

Bruce has chimed in with his praise of an SEO-ready content management solution:

It helps you validate the content of each page and prepare it for SEO, and it does it for every page you create or revise. With high-quality SEO-ready content, Pixelsilk is going to make SEO just that much easier for you; it is terrific.

If at this point you’re still wondering, “What’s the big deal?” then here’s a list of suggested reading. No need to thank me.

Search-Engine Friendly Content Management Systems: Usability expert Shari Thurow explains a number of CMS issues on ClickZ. A spider-ready CMS will offer the ability to include keywords in simple URLs as well as the less-discussed capacity for links in graphic images as well as text.

SEO and CMS: Best Practices During Deployment (Part 2): Over at CMSWire, Randy Woods goes into great detail about system-wide considerations — such as W3C compliant code, site map generation, robots.txt and directory systems — and template-level considerations — like descriptive navigation and code clutter — as well as which content management solutions do the best job for each consideration.

The SEO Friendly CMS: Andrew Shotland of the Local SEO Guide explains the hang-ups behind building your own custom CMS. But he says that if you must build your own from the ground up, keep in mind the need for category management, on-page element management, redirect capabilities and XML Sitemap generation.

Before I wrap it up for the day, I want to thank my guests from Apogee Search, Bill Leake and Alissa Ruehl. They helped me gain a better understanding of Google Website Optimizer and what can be gained from testing. We also chatted about analytics and conversion tracking. WebmasterRadio.fm will be making the podcast available soon so check it out!

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