Search Engine Optimization | SEO CMS

Learn why your search for the ultimate SEO platform is over.

By Ryan Thrash  |  Updated: June 6, 2018  |  5 min read
Search Engine Optimization | SEO CMS

Looking for a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) CMS?

The world is transitioning from bricks and mortar to bits and bytes, and savvy site owners agree that Search Engine Opitmization, or “SEO”, is a key consideration when building a website. Better search ranking means more visitors, and opportunities to engage with or buy from you online. With MODX Revolution, your Content Management System doesn’t impair current or future SEO efforts.

Since “Content is King” for search engines, everything between <html> and </html> should be handled with the utmost care. Seemingly insignificant ways of handling your site markup, for instance, can have a huge impact on how search engines index your website.

MODX Revolution helps you build sites that perform well in search engines—in fact, we think it’s a great SEO CMS. Human readible URLs that Google loves is part of the reason, and allowing you to build tight, semantic HTML5/CSS3 sites also plays a role.

Typically, sites with minimal code/markup compared to the actual words on the page fare better in the search game. Since MODX gives you 100% control over every element and tag on your page, you can always be at the forefront of SEO techniques and trends. Lean, semantic HTML5/CSS3 sites gives the words more “relevancy” compared to sites built on top of outdated CMSes with loads of non-semantic markup leading to bloated sites.

SEO tips

A few rules of thumb that work well over the long haul and should keep you out of hot water with Google:

  • Don’t go overboard with “keyword stuffing”, use techniques intended solely to influence site ranking, or other such nonsense.
  • Make your page title content shown in your browser tabs mirror succinctly the content of your pages.
  • Use light semantic HTML5 code that puts the important content as close as possible to the body tag, and get rid of inline styling.
  • Have a headline that elaborates a bit on the content of the page near the top of your page in an H1-tag and only use one H1 per page. Secondary and tertiary headlines (or lower) should get H2 and H3 tags respectively, and there can be multiple of each on pages.
  • Write compelling, succinct copy that’s topically relevant.

When you think about it, humans probably benefit even more from the above guidelines than search engines. Following them ensures page authors think and refine their message. And after all, it’s the people paying the bills typically, not the search engines – even with Adsense sites as bad copy means more people bail out and don't click your ads.

Implementing these key tips in MODX Revolution, a true SEO CMS

MODX Revolutions makes creating sites that search engines love as close to automatic as it gets. What you put in our CMS, and however you want it to look and behave, is exactly what you’ll see. No restrictions or crazy workarounds required.

Write semantic HTML code

Start by putting the most important content as close as possible to the <body> tag. MODX Revolution doesn’t force a cumbersome template language or “block” or “3-column” or “channel” or “Bootstrap” or “insert-favorite-term-here” template system, though you can certainly use or emulate those. In fact, creating a template in MODX Revolution is as simple as taking a static HTML prototype and replacing a few key areas with things like [[*pagetitle]], [[*longtitle]], [[*content]], [[*sidebar]], [[menu]] and [[$footer]]. That means you can build a super-clean HMTL5/CSS3 driven site that uses the minimum amount of code so search engines have nothing but your content to think about.

Make URLs that people can read and Search Engines love

The way your browser’s URLs return are also important in the Search game. Opinions vary about how URLs should be written, so that’s why MODX and NGINX web rules or mod_rewrite via .htaccess files let you do it however you prefer. You can create URLs manually or dynamically in several formats:

  • (or .cgi or .jsp or .aspx or .php or .cfm or .anythingyouwant)
  • (no extension)
  • (manually created)
  • (automatically created from the page title)
  • (uses site hierarchy and allows for duplicate aliases in different pages)
  • any combination of the above

Meta Content Management

MODX Revolution also provides several ways to manage the meta content on every page. While Google long ago effectively dropped any use of Meta Keywords in considering your site’s ranking, descriptions can still be used. You can use to create sets of meta content, or optimally use Template Variables (TVs) that help to automate larger sites, or dedicated Extras like SEO Pro and SEO Tab to help you structure, check and preview your search results.

Serve Sites Quickly and Securely

All things being equal, a site that’s served more quickly and/or over a secure connection will perform better in search. MODX Revolution makes it easy to work in both cases.