Work Smarter Not Harder: Customize Your CMS for SEO

By Amanda Sides | Jan 17, 2014
More Articles by Amanda


Whether you’re going to delve into SEO every single day or just want to be sure you’re getting the bare minimum done in the way of best practices, there are some simple tools for most content management systems that make this very simple or even automated, cutting out the guesswork and legwork for you.

Consider the following to make your life easier:

SEO Plugins

Depending on your CMS, there may be specialized or even all-encompassing plugins to make your life easier. For example, if you use ExpressionEngine and you just need the ability to customize title tags and your meta descriptions, try SEO Lite. On the other hand, if you want something to do more heavy lifting and you use WordPress, you’ll want to look into the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin. This plugin will allow you to customize the basics like title tags and meta descriptions, but also gives site owners the opportunity to automatically update your XML Sitemap as site content is added or updated. You may not need to use everything this plugin has to offer right off the bat, but it’s nice to have the option when the need manifests.

Customize Templates

Some content management systems make this more difficult than others (and this will also depend on the level of developer you have on your side), but customizing your templates for different types of content can help you make great strides in terms of SEO results. For instance, instead of updating each and every video with schema mark-up, you can adapt your CMS template for video content to automatically include the schema mark-up in the HTML. This saves you lots of time and can automatically generate the correct mark-up as new videos are added to the site.


Some other options you should look out for are plugins or modules that assist with 301 permanent redirects, anything with a bulk-upload option or any feature to make 301 mapping easier. Social plugins are great as well, for things like adding social sharing buttons or widgets on your site. A new beta was just released for WordPress called Google Publisher Plugin that allows you to do things like add AdSense ads to your site or verify your Google Webmaster Tools profile with one click, so that’s another tool to look into for more convenience.

No matter what CMS you use, you should do a little digging to be sure you aren’t missing out on a really simple plugin that could save you a ton of time and also help improve your SEO results. Don’t settle for what you get with your CMS, and don’t kick yourself just yet for choosing the wrong CMS then having buyer’s remorse; you might be able to easily find workarounds for some of the problems you’re facing.

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