Choosing the right CMS has significant implications on virtually every aspect of your website—especially your marketing potential. Here at Post Launch, we spend a lot of time helping local businesses with SEO. One of the biggest issues to crop up time and again was the website itself. In most cases, we traced the problem back to the limitations of their content management system (CMS).
The truth is not all content management systems are created equal. In fact, most of them are downright dreadful when it comes to SEO capabilities. As a business owner, wouldn’t you want to use the best CMS and ensure you meet your SEO needs? Your business website is an integral part of your digital marketing strategy, and picking WordPress as your CMS will help you build a foundation for proper SEO.
So, what are the top reasons why WordPress is the best CMS for SEO?
WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world and powers 60% of the sites that use a CMS on the Internet. In fact, WordPress powers many notable websites including USA Today, TED, CNN, Fortune, and TIME. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for all of us.
Wouldn’t it be great if your website was SEO-friendly out of the box? That’s reality with WordPress. Using it gives you several advantages in the SEO game. Some of these benefits include:
Can your theme choice affect your SEO? It sure can. Choosing a high-quality theme will help ensure your website uses proper HTML markup, thus covering a lot of your technical SEO. However, a well-designed theme will also make your site look professional and aesthetically appealing, which can influence whether or not visitors will stick around on your site (or click the back button) and how long they’ll stay.
Considering that bounce rate and code quality are metrics Google uses to influence your rankings, theme choice is a vital and often overlooked piece of the SEO puzzle. Thankfully, WordPress has a library of thousands of themes across every industry and niche for you to choose from, all of which have passed their rigorous quality guidelines.
In addition to the wealth of features that come standard with WordPress, there are also thousands of plugins you can install to further improve its SEO capabilities or add new functionality. Yoast, the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress, adds a gamut of features including a detailed breakdown of on-page optimization for every page and blog post on your site, an XML sitemap, the ability to edit your robots.txt file from the dashboard and a lot more. There are also plugins to help optimize your images, easily create 301 redirects, integrate with Google Analytics, and more.
In 2010, Google announced they would begin using website speed as an indicator of quality (also known as a ranking signal) to ensure the best possible user experience. WordPress is no slouch in this area and usually loads much faster out of the box than the more resource-intensive content management systems like Magento and Joomla.
However, if misused, WordPress sites can get a bit slow. Ensure you’re getting the best performance by using a high-quality theme, a good web host and by following WordPress speed optimization best practices. Optionally, free and paid plugins are available to help increase page speed such as W3 Total Cache and WP Rocket.
It’s no secret that mobile devices have changed how we browse the web. Last year, mobile devices accounted for nearly 60% of Google searches. Automattic, the development team behind WordPress, kept a close eye on this mobile trend and optimized WordPress for mobile in pretty much every way conceivable. Not only are all themes in the WordPress library now required to be mobile responsive, but Automattic has introduced a mobile-friendly admin dashboard, responsive images and even a mobile app that lets you manage your site right from your phone.
One of the best ways to flush your hard earned rankings down the drain is to get penalized for spamming, infecting your visitors with malware or doing other nefarious deeds on your website. Of course, harming your visitors is far the mind of most website owners but, unfortunately, it’s not always up to you.
Your site can still get penalized if it gets hacked, and there are plenty of shady individuals out there looking to do just that. Thankfully, WordPress is very secure, its safety continually monitored and improved. Furthermore, the WordPress security team does a great job of staying on top of security vulnerabilities and send out immediate security updates (which WordPress will apply automatically).
As important as ranking high in search engines is, organic traffic isn’t everything. Google is not your only source for website visitors. Social media gives you access to millions of Internet users around the world and, for that reason, it’s a best practice to integrate social sharing into your site from the get-go.
WordPress makes integrating social media easy with plugins like JetPack, Sumo, and Monarch. How does social media help with SEO? Search engines like Google use social media as a ranking signal. The means the more your website gets shared on sites like Facebook, Twitter and other platforms, the better your chances of appearing in Google’s search results.
Another important reason WordPress is the best CMS for SEO is that it follows an open-source model. Because of this model, any developer in the whole world can create a theme or plugin and contribute it to the WordPress community. Thus, the capabilities of your WordPress site are nearly endless. Furthermore, unlike the other CMS options which may spend months or years of playing catch up, WordPress’ continuous updates help your site stay on top of Google’s suggested best practices.
The community is the real reason WordPress is the best CMS for SEO. The WordPress community is massive and an excellent place to draw knowledge and resources. If you ever run into problems, there’s probably already a solution just a Google search away, or you can ask your peers on the WordPress support forums to help you out.
The Internet is also full of websites and articles that can teach you all you need to know about WordPress SEO, such as the Yoast blog, WP Beginner, and others. Lastly, because WordPress is so popular, you can easily find developers to customize your site or nerdtastic digital marketers who are familiar with the platform.
As long as search engines are one of the top traffic sources for businesses online, SEO will remain vital to your success. If you want to rank high in search, you’ll need to build your site on a platform that can help you get there. WordPress has done a lot of the years to improve its SEO game and has matured into the perfect content management system for SEO and building websites that rank well. If your goal is to make it to the front page of Google, WordPress is your best bet. Contact Post Launch to learn more about our content marketing and WordPress services.
Do you know any other reasons why WordPress is the best CMS for SEO? Do you disagree with our assessment? Let us know in the comments below!