CMS Requirements for SEO

Content Management Systems Requirements for Search Engine Optimization

Content Management Systems Requirement for Search Engine Optimization

In this post I'm not only talking about CMSs but also want to include all other Portals, eCommerce systems, Discussion Forums and many other Online Systems which are used for creating and maintaining websites. And as an SEO what I expect from these Systems to help in optimizing my websites from SEO point-of-view.

Nowadays, every business small or big is using some kind of CMS for their website(s). Some of the most popular CMSs are WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Blogger and SharePoint. Some are even using In-House CMS and even customizing the CMSs as per their requirements. A CMS makes it easy for non-technical users to add, delete & update the content on the website and this is one of the reasons why CMSs are so popular among website owners.

Title Tag

As one of the important factor in SEO, the CMS should provide the option to add/edit the Title tag and also notify in-case the website has duplicate title tags or if the Title tag is missing. If the CMS can provide a dashboard for these kind of issues on the website and an option to mass upload via CSV file to edit/update the Title tag, that would make life very easy.

Example: <title>...</title>

Meta Data

Same as the Title tag, if the CMS can provide the option to add/edit the Meta Description and Keywords tags, and also notify in-case the website has duplicate Meta Description or Meta Keywords With a dashboard for missing, duplicate and short or long Meta Description tag, and option to mass upload via CSV file to edit/update these Meta tags.

<meta name="description" content="xxxxxx" />
<meta name="keywords" content="xxxxxx" />

Additional Tags Adding Options inside <head>

If needed we should be able to add additional/extra tags on-page or across the website.

Example: Tracking Pixel Java Script code, Other Meta Tags (Robots NoIndex, NoFollow) etc.

Canonical Tag

The CMS should be able to add Canonical URL tag on each and every page of the website, and should be able to edit when required. This tag allows the webmaster to publicly specify the preferred version of a URL on the website to avoid URL confusion.

Example: <link rel="canonical" href="" />


Breadcrumbs are a clean, user friendly way to increase effectiveness of Content Siloing through internal linking, pass valuable keywords through anchor text (with HTML microdata format).

Example: Home > Cars > Ford > Mustang

XML Sitemap/RSS/Atom

The CMS should be able to generate/create XML Sitemap automatically at root level and every time a page is created or deleted the CMS should add or delete the page URL from the XML Sitemap. If a Checkbox options should be available while creating a new page (Add to XML Sitemap/RSS/Atom Feed).


Only Admin Level Access to edit the following files:

  • Robots.txt: Need access to edit/update the robots.txt file.
  • .HTACCESS: Need access to edit/update the .HTACCESS file.
  • JavaScript: Need access to edit/update the external JavaScript files.
  • CSS Style: Need access to edit/update the external CSS Style files.
  • Website Template Files: Need access to edit/update the Website Template files.
  • Favicon: Need access to edit/update the Favicon file.

Custom Error Pages (401, 403, 404, and 500 etc.)

A Custom Error Page is a placeholder for web pages that fail to load when a human visitor and/or a search engine spider tries to view a webpage.

  • Report with a correct respective Response Code (401, 403, 404, 500 etc.)
  • Robots META Tag 'noindex, follow'
  • Normal Crawlable Website Navigation

Auto 301 to parent level page on delete

If a page is deleted from the website, the CMS should set a 301 Permanent Redirect to its respective parent level page. And also delete the respective page URL from all internal links, On-Page Sitemap, XML Sitemap, RSS/Atom Feeds.

Website URL Structure

CMS should generate pages with the followings:

  • Lowercase URLs (Avoid Capitalization)
  • Descriptive URLs
  • Keywords in URL
  • Punctuated URLs
  • Avoid Special Characters
  • Avoid URL Encoding
  • Silo Directory Structure


Other Basic Features

  • Heading Tags (H1, H2, H3...)
  • ALT Tags
  • On-Page Sitemap (HTML Sitemap)
  • External JavaScript & CSS files
  • Social Sharing

There may not be any perfect CMS as of today which fulfills all the requirements for a business. Some of these features are there in most of the CMSs but not all, and for On-Page optimization elements most of the things depends on the website template code. If you have any suggestion or idea, you expect from your CMS please do share.

About the Author: Joydeep Deb

Joydeep Deb is a Senior Digital Marketer and Technical Marketer with 12+ years of experience in Digital Marketing, Lead Generation, Online Brand Management, Marketing Campaigns, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), PPC, eMail Marketing, Web Analytics, Web Technologies, Web Design and Development.

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