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Basic SEO issues affected to CMS

Hello readers, Up till now, we have discussed about what to put and what not to put on your web page. Now i am discussing about some basic factors that might be affected to CMS. Make sure your CMS will be Search Engine Friendly. Let’s check each one.

  • Title tag customization & rules
  • Static, keyword-rich URLs
  • Meta tag customization
  • Enabling custom HTML tags
  • Internal anchor text flexibility
  • Intelligent categorization structure
  • Pagination control
  • 301 redirect functionality
  • Image handling and alt attributes
  • CSS exceptions
  • URLs free of tracking parameters & session IDs
  • Customizable URL structure

What is Sitemap.xml?

In simple terms, a Sitemap is an XML file that is full of your all webpage’s URLs. It’s like a list of every webpage in your website. This file should be easily discoverable in your site in order for search engine crawlers to trip over it.

A Sitemap is usually used to make the search engine crawlers follow all the links of your individual webpages so that it does not miss out anything on your webpage.


As the name implies, it is just a map of your site – i.e. on a single page you show the structure of your site, its sections, the links between them, etc. Sitemaps make navigating your site easier and having an updated sitemap on your site is good both for your users and for search engines. Sitemaps are an important way of communication with search engines.

Elements of an Audit : Auditing Existing Site

The following sections identify what you should look for when performing a site audit.

  1. Usability : Usability affects conversion rate, as well as the tendency of people to link to a site.
  2. Accessibility/spiderability : Be sure to make your site search engine spider friendly
  3. Search engine health check : Perform Site:Domain operation to check weather all your web pages appear in the index, Check Google cache pages and brand terms also
  4. Keyword health checks : Use keyword research tools to check which keyword(s) is targeted for your site
  5. Duplicate content checks : Use intitle: & inurl: to check  whether the url and title content are duplicate or not.
  6. URL check : Try to make your URL clean, short, descriptive and minimum or no unnecessary parameter appended to it.
  7. Title tag review : Make sure your each page title is unique & descriptive. Try to make it fewer than 70 characters long.
  8. Content review : Do the main pages of your site have enough content, use of proper header tags?
  9. Meta tag review : Check for a meta robots tag on the pages of the site.
  10. Redirect checks : Make sure to check that all the redirects used on the site return a 301 HTTP status code.
  11. Sitemaps file and robots.txt file verification : Use the Google Webmaster Tools robots.txt verification tool to check your robots.txt file. Also verify that your Sitemaps file is identifying all of your (canonical) pages.
  12. Internal linking checks : Make sure to have maximum 100 links on a page as per Google advice & the site makes good use of anchor text on its internal links.
  13. Avoidance of unnecessary subdomains : As the engines may not apply the full domain’s trust and link juice weight to subdomains, so avoid if it is not mandatory.
  14. Geolocation : Make sure to follow all the guidelines by Location for your site where you target, if your site is country specific.
  15. External linking :Check which kind of inbound links coming to your site. Use a backlinking tool such as Yahoo! Site Explorer, Linkscape, Majestic-SEO, or Link Diagnosis to collect data about your links.
  16. Page load time : Too long a load time may slow down crawling and indexing
    of the site. Make sure it may be less than 5 second to load.
  17. Image alt tags : The best way to make the crawler to see your image tag is to put alt tag.
  18. Code quality : Poor coding can have some undesirable impacts. Try to write code according to W3C validation.

Structural Decisions

A website concerns internal linking and navigational structures is a basic part of structural decisions.

Some factors that concerns with the above point:

  • Target keywords

What search terms do people use when searching for products or services similar to yours?

How do those terms match up with your site hierarchy?

Ultimately, the logical structure of your pages should match up with the way users think about products and services like yours. See the figure of Snapdeal in which “Mobiles & Tablets” category contains many other subcategories/products.

  • Cross-link relevant content

Linking between pages/articles that cover related material can be very powerful. It helps the search engine determine with greater confidence how relevant a web page is to a particular topic. This can be extremely difficult to do well if you have a massive e-commerce site. Now a days, almost every website does this.

  • Use anchor text

Instead of using “Click Here” and “More”, use a keyword rich anchor text in your internal links.

  • Use breadcrumb navigation

It is a way to show the user where he/she is in the navigation hierarchy. Figure of Snapdeal shows breadcrumb navigation example.

  • Minimize link depth

A page that is only one click from the home page is clearly important. A page that is five clicks away is not nearly as influential. In fact, the search engine spider may never even find such a page.

Standard SEO advice is to keep the site architecture as flat as possible, to minimize clicks from the home page to all important content.

What is Redirects : Redirects

There is mainly two kinds of redirects : 301 & 302

Actually Redirection is the process of forwarding one URL to a different URL.

A redirect is a way to send both users and search engines to a different URL from the one they originally requested.

301 Moved Permanently

A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect which passes between 90-99% of link juice (ranking power) to the redirected page. 301 refers to the HTTP status code for this type of redirect. In most instances, the 301 redirect is the best method for implementing redirects on a website.

301 redirects are particularly useful in the following circumstances:

  • You have moved your site to a new domain, and you want to make the transition as seamless as possible.
  • People access your site through several different URLs. If, for example, your home page can be reached in multiple ways – for instance, http://example.com/home, http://home.example.com, or http://www.example.com – it’s a good idea to pick one of those URLs as your preferred (canonical) destination, and use 301 redirects to send traffic from the other URLs to your preferred URL.
  • You are merging two websites and want to make sure that links to outdated URLs are redirected to the correct pages.

302 Found HTTP 1.1 OR Moved Temporarily for HTTP 1.0

Some of Google’s employees have indicated that there are cases where 301s and 302s may be treated similarly, but sometimes it is shown that the safest way to ensure search engines and browsers of all kinds give full credit is to use a 301 when permanently redirecting URLs. The Internet runs on a protocol called HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) which dictates how URLs work. It has two major versions, 1.0 and 1.1. In the first version, 302 referred to the status code “Moved Temporarily.” This was changed in version 1.1 to mean “Found.”

302 redirect is a poor substitute, as it generally will not pass the rankings and search engine value like a 301 redirect will. The only time this redirect is good alternative is if a webmaster purposefully doesn’t want to pass link juice from the old page to the new.

Process & Players of your site

First step before working on SEO project : Have to know the following 3 things about your Project/Site.

  1. Who your target audience is
  2. What your message is
  3. How your message is relevant & significant

Your SEO team should know every little and basic thing related to your project, consisting of the team manager, the technical team, the creative team, and the major stakeholders from marketing, advertising, and PR.

In a smaller organization, you may have to accomplish all these things yourself.

The team leader of every team wants to know :

  1. Who the target audience is
  2. What does marketing know about them?
  3. How did we find them?
  4. What metrics will we use to track them?

All of this is key information that directly or indirectly affects on the project’s technical implementation.

Advertising should have its messages well prepared & clear that can convert into specific action or transaction done by people : “what action are you compelling people to take?”

PR has to take your story to the media and attract them into writing and talking about it. What message do they want to deliver? You have to mirror that message in your content.

The technical and creative team is responsible for delivering the project. They collect analysis from marketing, advertising, and PR team on what needs to be accomplished but from there on out they have to put the information into place.

As the project reveals, marketing has to come back and say whether the target audience is being reached. Advertising has to come back and say the message is clear. PR has to come back and say the media likes what they see.

First Stages of SEO : The Major Elements of Planning

As SEO is not a static process, even before choosing correct CMS, a single title to a page & your site goes live, one should process site planning.

Regardless of when you start, you have to consider some of the following major elements to any SEO plan.

  1. Technology Choices
  2. Market Segmentation
  3. Where you can find great links
  4. Content Resources
  5. Branding Considerations
  6. Competition

Technology Choices

SEO have a strong effect major technology choices. Some platforms do not even allow you to put different titles and meta descriptions on each page, create hundreds
or thousands of pages of duplicate content, or make a 302 (temporary) redirect the default redirect you need to use. All of these things could make your website complex.

Market Segmentation

Another critical element is the phenomenon of the market in which you are competing. This tells you how competitive the environment is in general, and when you increase it with additional research, you can use this information to tell how competitive the SEO environment is. In some markets, natural search is highly competitive.

Where You Can Find Great Links

Acquiring third parties to link their websites to yours is a hectic task of SEO. Without inbound links, there is a rare chance of ranking for competitive terms in search engines such as Google, whose algorithm relies heavily on link measuring and weighting criteria. A tremendous process is identifying the great places to acquire links, as well as the types of content you might want to develop to encourage linking from other quality websites. Its worth getting 10 quality links rather than getting hundreds & thousands low quality links.

Content Resources

The quality and volume of your content drives any heavy-duty link. If your content is of average quality and covers the same information of other sites contained, it will not acquire many links. If, however, you are putting out quality content, or you have a unique tool that many want to use, you are more likely to get external links.
When you start any SEO project, you should look at the content on the site and the available resources for developing new & different content.

Branding Considerations

Companies which are heavily concerns about their branding have to know some basic factors & strategies according to their customers groups.


The strategy of your SEO can also be influenced by your competitor’s strategies, so understand some of the factors related to your SEO plan

  1. The competitor locates a unique, highly converting keywords.
  2. The competitor locates a targeted, high-value link.
  3. The competitor saturates a market segment, justifying your focus elsewhere.
  4. Weaknesses appear in the competitor’s strategy, which provide opportunities for exploitation.

Defining Your Site’s Information Architecture

To start your SEO project, one must define its site architecture, which divides into two parts :

Technology Decisions

Your technology choices can have a major impact on your SEO results. The following is an outline of the most important issues to address at the outset:

  • Dynamic URLs

Although Google now states that dynamic URLs are not a problem for the company, this is not entirely true, nor is it the case for the other search engines. Make sure your CMS does not end up rendering your pages on URLs with many complicated parameters in them.

  • Session IDs or user IDs in the URL

It used to be very common for your CMS to track individual users surfing your site by adding a tracking code to the end of the URL. Session Ids makes crawler confused for a same page with different URLs every time it visits.Make sure your CMS does not ever serve up session IDs.

  • Superfluous flags in the URL

Related to the preceding two items is the notion of extra junk being present on the URL. This probably does not bother Google, but it may bother the other search engines, and it interferes with the user experience for your site.

  • Links or content based in JavaScript, Java, or Flash

Search engines often cannot see links and content implemented using these technologies. Make sure the plan is to expose your links and content in simple HTML text.

  • Content behind forms

Making content accessible only after completing a form (such as a login) or making selections from improperly implemented pull-down lists is a great way to hide content from the search engines. So, do not use these techniques unless you want to hide your content!

  • Temporary (302) redirects

This is also a common problem in web server platforms or CMSs. The 302 redirect blocks a search engine from recognizing that you have intended to move content, and is very problematic for SEO. You need to make sure the default redirect your systems use is a 301, or understand how to configure it so that it becomes the default.

All of these are examples of basic technology choices that can adversely affect your chances for a successful SEO project.

Reference : The Art Of SEO : Mastering Engine Optimization By Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, Rand Fishkin, Jessie C. Stricchiola Foreword By: John Battelle

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