Developing a SEO Friendly Backend
Developing a SEO friendly backend for a website from scratch is a tremendous undertaking and typically there is little reason to ever do such. There are a plethora of SEO friendly Content Management Systems (CMS) that are already developed and customised to adhere to the best practices outlined by the major search engines. Developing one from scratch, unless the intent is to develop a business that sells a CMS is a poor use of capital.
Taking the aforementioned into account and since most companies are focused on creating a new website or improving their existing one, this piece will detail the components a CMS should possess if it is truly SEO friendly. There are a wide range of content management systems on the market and this article does not delve into inventory management or the other modules that a CMS might possess, rather the focus is on the pieces needed for a site to rank highly in the search engines.
A CMS with a search engine optimisation friendly backend will allow an individual to easily enter header information for webpages. Certain header components no longer carry much weight in helping a site obtain top search rankings. However, all of them are still important to certain degrees and are vital to a CMS that takes SEO into account. The keyword tag is virtually worthless in helping a page’s search rankings, but if used improperly can harm a webpages search results. Only include keywords that are within the text of the page to avoid any misinterpretations. The description tag can play a slight role in SEO, but more importantly influencea Click Through Rates (CTRs). This is one area a website owner can use to signal the desired description to disaply in the SERPs.
The Title tag is still of significant SEO importance and even Google acknowledged such as recently as 2012 on their webmaster blog. Thus carefully selecting the keywords to include within the Title tag is one of the more influential on-page components that a webmaster can make to their website. An SEO friendly backend that allows full control of the Title tags for each individual page within a website is thus of critical importance.
Any SEO friendly CMS should give users the ability to use a keyword rich and canonical URL with each webpage. Using The Web Showroom’s site as an example, an ideal URL for a page on search engine optimisation would look similar to http://www.thewebshowroom.com.au/seo/ one that is not ideal and will not aid in SEO may look similar to /productid?4502884. Notice that in the former example there are no keywords within the URL and thus if another website links to the page using the URL then the link will not contain relevant anchor text. Those reading this carefully may wonder why the example above contains a URL ending in /seo/ rather than /search-engine-optimisation/. The example is utilised to illustrate that one page may target multiple keywords phrases and thus a webmaster must decide on which phrase to use in the URL since creating a separate page for each keyword is not practical nor provides a positive user experience. The Web Showroom elected to use /seo/, but /search-engine-optimisation/ is an equally friendly alterative. The primary takeaway is that a backend should allow the webmaster to specify the exact structure of the URL rather than assigning an arbitrary identifier.
Allows H1,H2,Hx Tags
The <H1>, <H2>,<H3>, etc. tags are another item that any SEO friendly backend should easily allow to exist within a site’s webpages. These are key heading tags and the major search engines still place meaningful weightings on such when determining what a webpage is about. Consider these tags as an outline of the page or a table of contents. A clearly defined table of contents makes it much simpler for search engines to spider and understand the meaning of a page. Should no table of contents exist then it makes it that much more difficult for a search engine to determine the contents of a webpage. Thus any SEO friendly backend should allow for easy implementation of <Hx> tags.
Other Factors in an SEO Friendly Backend
These are only a few of the components involved in an SEO friendly backend. There are numerous other factors, such as allowing well defined image names when pictures are uploaded to the system. There is also more complex coding that includes microdata markup as specified by schema.org. However, any CMS that cannot even provide the basic requirements listed within this article then one should rightfully question if it truly SEO friendly.
This article is intended to help business owners and webmasters avoid a few of the more costly and common SEO mistakes when promoting a web property. The online marketing landscape is filled with information to assist beginners and experts alike. However, one of the more difficult aspects is determining the validity of the information provided. There are a plethora of websites that provide tips on search engine optimisation techniques. Many times the details in one guide conflict with those in another. Distinguishing between truly valuable insights versus guidance that could result in a penalty from Google is akin to navigating a minefield. Listed above are a few of the more common SEO landmines to avoid when optimising a website.
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