In our latest blog, we answer the burning question of what is the best CMS for SEO. If you’re a small business and looking for the best SEO-friendly Content Management System (CMS) for your website, what should it offer and what do you want to get out of it?
When my clients search for something like small business SEO services, it’s nearly always because they don’t have the expertise or deep understanding of SEO to do it themselves. Similarly, they also don’t have the time, training or inclination to design their own website – but they do nearly all want to have a high level of control after the website is built to add new content (such as blogs and videos) and edit their site whenever they choose to.
What is a CMS?
A content management system (CMS) is software that’s used to build websites and create published content on the internet. Typically, a CMS enables you to design and build a website without writing any complex code.
Back in the early days of the web, you had to know HTML in order to code a website and publish your content online. That was a difficult way to do things, but CMS platforms have made it considerably easier. So, instead of writing your website code from scratch, now the CMS software does that for you.
CMS platforms like Wix, Shopify and GoDaddy may look ok on the surface to the untrained eye, however, despite these platforms being created so end users can design their own websites, most people still end up having to pay someone to develop it in the first place.
Why not take full control of your content and design with WordPress? It has numerous themes to pick from and is compatible with a mind-boggling number of plugins and features, many of them free.
Since it was released back in 2003, WordPress has just continued to grow in both popularity and capability. As a matter of fact, it now powers a staggering 34% of the web! That’s an amazing statistic considering all of the other CMS platforms out there.
WordPress 5.3 (released in 2019) has already had well over 8 million downloads! So, why is WordPress so popular and why do we at OMG think it’s the best CMS for SEO?
There are numerous reasons why it can be considered as the best CMS overall…but for the nuts and bolts of this article, here’s the single most important one that stands out from Online Marketing Group’s perspective:
Because WordPress is the best for SEO – especially if you’re a small business.
Here are 10 reasons why you should choose this as your CMS:
- WordPress Focuses on User Experience
As I mentioned earlier, WordPress has thousands of themes and a huge array of plugins, which all work together to make websites professional, user-friendly, and attractive – both for desktop and mobile versions.
What does this mean exactly? Visitors enjoy the experience they get on a WordPress site, meaning they stay longer, decreasing your overall bounce rate. If you want to improve your site’s SEO ranking affordably, this is good news for you. Google wants to reward websites that provide a great user experience.
Remember; Bounce rate is very important!
According to SEMrush, bounce rate is the 4th most important ranking factor (or signal) on SERPs. However, Google doesn’t use bounce rate in its algorithm metrics, according to Google themselves, but they do admit that what it signifies is highly important.
As of 2016, RankBrain was the third-most important ranking factor of Google’s algorithm.
RankBrain’s main purpose is to improve users’ search results by better understanding their ‘search intent.’ When a user clicks on your page, but leaves without any interaction, that may well signal to RankBrain that your site isn’t what they’re looking for.
It makes it look like your result doesn’t match their search intent well. As a result, RankBrain thinks, “Maybe this page shouldn’t rank as high in the results.”
- WordPress Allows You to Create Attractive Permalinks (URLs)
With WordPress, it’s really easy to edit your website’s permalink (or slug) to what you want it to look like. Instead of having a very long URL full of ugly-looking characters, you get something like this that’s clean and includes a search term:
The great thing about being able to edit your page / blog permalinks is you can insert your keyword into the URL.
This means your permalink doesn’t only look clean, easy to read and informative, it can help with your search ranking as well.
- WordPress Enables Easy to Manage Metadata & SEO Titles
SEO titles and metadata improve how search engines decipher the relevance of your site. Metadata helps search engine crawlers understand what your pages are really about.
When you add those all-important keywords to your metadata, your site becomes more likely to rank for those keywords. So how does WordPress help you with metadata?
When you use WordPress, you can install a free plugin such as Yoast SEO that simplifies where your information is contained. This plugin allows you to add metadata to all of your pages and posts in seconds.
- Optimising Images for SEO is Easy in WordPress
Images are essential to your pages or blog posts. Four or five of them, used wisely in the right context, adds visualisations to your text and breaks it up into interesting, more digestible sections.
Search engines such as Google don’t view images as we do. They only see what we have optimised those images to be in the form of alt text.
However, images don’t only entice readers into the beating heart of your text. They’re also powerful assets for SEO, especially when you use WordPress and that’s why I think it’s the best for SEO.
Here are three ways WordPress can optimise your images for better SEO ranking:
- WordPress allows you to write ‘alternative text’ (which we call alt text in SEO circles) for each image you use. This means you can input your keywords as image descriptions that will be picked up by search engine crawlers.
- With WordPress, you can use a plugin that automatically creates alt text for your images.
- You can re-size your images so they don’t slow down your page load speed.
- WordPress Sites Generally Make it Easier for Users with Fast Load Times
Page speed is a direct Google ranking factor, which means it’s vital to get this right. If your site is slow to load, it’ll frustrate your users as well as send you lower on Google rankings. This indirect effect on rankings, will cause a double hit by increasing the bounce rate and reducing dwell time, which also sends strong signals to Google’s algorithm to lower your rankings.
The positive news is that WordPress has superb plugins that will help with site and page speed. For example, there’s Asset CleanUp: Page Speed Booster. This plugin allows your website to load faster by preventing specific scripts and styles from loading.
Another amazing plugin for site speed optimisation is WP Rocket…but this does depend on your servers. This is a highly powerful caching plugin that’s used to improve the speed of your WordPress site.
- WordPress Is Already Optimised for Mobile Users
Mobile usage has grown exponentially in the past few years. In fact, for some years now, Google considers mobile sites more important than desktop sites; they look at your mobile site first.
If you’re a small business trying to gain traction online, this means your website must be optimised for mobile use above all.
The good news is if you’re already using WordPress to drive your site, you don’t need to do anything additional to make your website accessible on mobile devices.
Why is this? Because the majority of WordPress themes are already optimised for mobile users. Yet another reason why it’s perhaps the best CMS.
- WordPress Helps You Integrate Seamlessly with Social Media
Social media is a juggernaut today, and it’s one of the best channels for marketing your brand. What’s more, success and engagement in your social media campaign will also indirectly improve your SEO ranking.
What this means for you as a small business is you should use social media to go hand-in-hand with your SEO and online marketing campaign, but many of you will know this.
And WordPress is there to help you do that, too. With WordPress, you can create customised social media buttons for your blog posts so it’s easier for readers to share your content.
You can even add a social media feed to your site and automate your social media campaigns!
- WordPress Features Fantastic Plugins Made Specifically for SEO
When you use WordPress, optimising for higher ranking becomes easier by having some of the SEO contained in one place. All you need is to install the right plugins.
Here are some of the best SEO plugins for WordPress.
Yoast SEO has had millions of downloads worldwide because it makes it easier to store some of your main elements in one area.
What can Yoast SEO do?
- It helps you centre the content you write around your focus keyword.
- It assists you in creating content that’s readable for both humans and search engine spiders.
- It provides SEO title and meta description templating.
Google XML Site Maps
Using this plugin, creating complex XML site maps becomes simple. These maps make your site’s structure easy for search engine crawlers to understand.
As an added bonus, every time you publish a post, this plugin ‘alerts’ search engines that you have fresh content to crawl and index.
Google Analytics by Monster Insights
WordPress’s Google Analytics plugin is easy to use and will help you analyse your data generated by Google.
Here are three features of this plugin:
- You don’t need to leave your WordPress dashboard to view your Google Analytics reports.
- You can see which pages stand out on your site with detailed stats.
- You can view how many clicks your banner ads and outbound links get.
The beautiful thing about SEO plugins for WordPress is, there’s no need to be a coder or even understand code.
- WordPress Is Easy to Integrate with Other Software Tools
We’ve already discussed how easy it is to integrate WordPress with Google Analytics and Yoast. But they’re far from the only software tools you can incorporate seamlessly with WordPress.
Here are some others:
- ConvertKit (for email campaigns, landing pages and web forms).
- G Suite (for documents, spreadsheets, and emails).
Using these software tools and integrating them with your site can boost engagement further, which will also help to improve your SEO ranking.
- Many WordPress Themes are SEO-Friendly
Keywords, SEO titles and metadata are far from the only elements search engine spiders score you on for relevance.
Another hugely important aspect they look for is good webpage design and a strong user experience (known as UX design).
When you use WordPress, you never have to worry about optimising the chosen theme for your site design. Simply choose a theme that you like and that’s well supported, and you’re on your way getting your website up and running.
Dominate SERPs with WordPress
It’s easy to find the most complete CMS overall for SEO. With WordPress, you already have a platform that’s bursting with SEO-friendly plugins, themes and tools.
For even more inspiration, just take a look at our Online Marketing Group site onlinemarketinggroup.com.au which uses WordPress as its CMS.
When you combine all of WordPress’s powerful SEO features, you’re definitely on the right track to get closer to the top of Google’s SERPs.
Not all users or even web developers love WordPress, but it does tick a lot of the right boxes and – as long as you choose a reliable theme that is still fully supported – you can do so much with one of these sites, and it’ll look great too.
See more of our SEO blogs here.