Is There an Optimally SEO’d CMS & Ecommerce Platform?

Automating SEO Writing and Attributes within CMS's and Ecommerce Systems
Thomas Jefferson’s copy machine: Is CMS-SEO much better these days?

No, there isn’t.

It amazes me that, given the huge benefit of having a CMS and ecommcerce system automate SEO, no pre-built solution does so optimally.

DISC has reviewed many of the top candidates, and while some are better than others, and most can be coded for much better SEO, none has completely seized this huge opportunity to help businesses implement SEO programmatically.

This post won’t review the candidates, for that would take too many words. I can tell you that CMSs purporting to be ideal are not. A CMS that allows you to edit meta-tags and URLs is not close to enough. An SEO’d CMS should automate these and other SEO attributes, while allowing manual override. A site with several hundred or thousands of pages needs to automate SEO as much as possible, so that you don’t have to manually enter all SEO attributes. (Of course body text must be written manually – though there are ways to automate some body text SEO by using database pulls into SEO’d footer taglines and small paragraphs of recurring, product-variable text on each page). To get an introduction to principles of CMS-SEO, please see my two Visibility Magazine articles at /about-us/press-and-media/visibility-magazine/cms-and-database-seo-guide-part-1/ and /about-us/press-and-media/visibility-magazine/cms-and-database-seo-guide-part-2/. These articles are about four years old, but the principles remain sound, while only a few details are dated.

DISC is currently building an SEO’d CMS based on osCommerce. This platform has the advantage of years of proven infrastructure, a large community, and some SEO modules that, properly adjusted, enable close to ideal SEO for e-commerce and large websites. True, like all platforms, osCommerce has some drawbacks, but accusing osCommerce of deficiencies is like accusing HTML of deficiencies: it’s not the platform so much as how you wield it.

DISC has SEO’d other content management systems and ecommerce platforms — the choice of platform depends in large part on your particular needs. All in all, we’re finding osCommerce best for SEO in most cases.

I’d be grateful for your comments and suggestions regarding CMS-SEO platforms. Have you found a CMS that is great for SEO? Are you developing one that you’d like DISC and other firms to consider? Let’s chat (right here on this blog or via or 413-584-6500).

There’s still an enormous opportunity for a firm to market an optimally SEO’d CMS and ecommerce system. DISC is building one now, but if anyone has one or soon will, I’d love to consider it, and perhaps review it here.

In SEO, How Much Should You Plan vs. Implement?

Planning SEO vs. Implementing SEO
Planning SEO vs. Implementing SEO

As SEO options proliferate, and as websites and their web marketing intricacies proliferate, an ever greater percentage of time should be spent assessing and prioritizing. Just plunging into this or that tactic may seem to save on overhead, but it can waste plenty more time than you’d spend in proper planning. This is especially true in SEO troubleshooting.

Contemporary SEO entails many parts, such as:

  • about 15 SEO technical tests;
  • about 30 CMS-SEO rules;
  • social media SEO, including blog and video SEO;
  • SEO keyword research and copywriting;
  • ROI reporting and subsequent optimization;
  • And much more.

What should you do first?

This planning time is especially important when troubleshooting sudden declines in organic traffic, such as many businesses suffered under Google’s new Panda regime. In troubleshooting, you must audit thoroughly, and since you must completely eliminate one after another of the possible causes of your losses, you must redress each possible cause 100%. If you do only 75%, then you’ll remain haunted by the suspicion that your continuing organic losses could have been solved by one of the tactics that you decided to only partly address in the interest of saving money.

Let’s consider and an example pertaining to database-driven websites. Software that mimics search engine spiders often finds problems in multiple URLs leading to identical end-pages. Although Google’s spiders are very smart and may overlook such issues, the cause of the website’s loss of organic traffic may be related to what the spider software found. Resolving problematic results of spider test can be expensive, and meanwhile other issues may be either primary or accessory culprits, like excessive intra-site links, or too much SEO writing, or a pattern of slow loading. (Often declines are due to several negatives, with one or two main problems pulling the lesser weaknesses into the vortex of Google’s demotion tipping point.) Each of the tasks in a troubleshooting list can take a lot of resources if they are to be treated 100%. Again, which should you tackle first?

This situation means that you can easily spend 40% of your budget running tests, estimating time and costs to fix each issue, multiplying costs by the probability that the weakness is indeed a cause of decline, and delegating who does what within the final prioritized list. While working on each item, people must keep good, time-stamped, detailed notes of what was done, so that, if more troubleshooting is needed in the future, people can double-check what was and was not done.

Success in business (and in society as a whole) is all about allocating capital efficiently. Planning your SEO assiduously will lead to such success.