With a wide range of content management systems available on the market as well as free website builders, you will need to be aware that not all are created equal in the eyes of search engines. Here we highlight the considerations to make when deciding on a new web platform.
1) FREE website Hosting/Website Builders
Unfortunately free or cheap web hosting packages which often come with CMS’s built on such as WIX, Go Daddy’s Website builder often have no trust in Google’s eyes. Think of it a bit like a neighborhood. Are you in the best neighborhood with other reputable sites on a shared server or a free one where anyone can place a site, get it burned and start again
Often you will find with some CMS’s there isn’t the function to edit two important factors the SEO title tag and the meta description tag. (these are the snippets of text that appear when you do a Google search.) Google prefers unique tags for each page. Labelling all your pages by your brand, company name or at worst “Home” is not going to tell Google or visitors what is it you actually do.
3) Search Engine Friendly URL’s/Duplicate Pages
If you are visiting a site what would tell you instantly what a page is about http://www.acme.com/garden-chairs or http://www.acme.com/sessionid=5+contentid=4. Google works in the same way. Often with CMS’s such as WordPress or Joomla you can easily change these to make them as user and search engine friendly as possible with a simple plugin
4) Site Speed
With websites getting quicker and quicker, and a user’s appetite for websites that load instantly (especially on mobiles), site speed is an important factor. Instead of you having 7 seconds to capture a visitor, these days you only have around 3 seconds max before the may make a decision to go elsewhere.
5) Mobile Friendly/Responsive
Along with site speed, the increasing use of mobile devices makes it paramount that your site is both mobile friendly and responsive according to the device used. Make sure you choose a CMS that offers this functionality, as since April’s mobile friendly update, this is becoming more and more of a factor on where your site is ranked in Google’s search engine results pages.
6) Not Built in Flash Or Frames
According to Neil at Web Design Company ESP Projects said “Never let a web designer advise you should build your site in flash or frames. Whilst Flash can be attractive, Google will not be able to crawl or rank your site effectively.”
Often with CMS’s and especially eCommerce sites, you will often be able to get to the same content vs different pages. Say for example our garden chair example. You may be able to get to the page via http://www.acme.com/garden-chairs, http://www.acme.com/garden-furniture/garden-chairs or http://www.acme.com/search/garden-chairs. This falls into the realms of thin or duplicate content. The most search engine friendly way around this the canonical URL. Some CMS’s are not sophisticated enough for a solution here and you can seriously damage your sites rankings. This is solved via the Rel=”canonical” tag.