Seeing your website go live is great. But what if potential customers still can’t find you? Search engine optimization is your key to success which focuses on three main ranking factors: content, technique, and authority. This makes SEO the #1 priority for most content managers and makes that developers also have an important role to play in your organization becoming visible online. Discover how the MODX CMS can help you get found online, so you can attract more visitors to your platform and increase the chance of turning them into leads and customers.
In this blog, you’ll learn:
- What SEO is
- 5 key takeaways for SEO
- How MODX helps content managers with SEO
- How MODX allows developers to optimize for SEO
Being visible online is crucial in this digital era. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) helps you optimize your online platform so you improve the user experience. It allows you to help search engines better understand your content. Since search engines like Google are one of the users you’re optimizing for, they can in return present your organization better in their search results.
There is an enormous amount of ranking factors Google uses to sort their search results. Still, you can divide all of these factors into roughly three categories that are inextricably connected: content, technique, and authority.
Sharing interesting and relevant content could possibly be one of the most critical factors to rank your website. Besides it allowing you to get noticed by search engines, it also helps visitors to instantly decide whether they should stay or go. And when your content is really great, they even want to try their best to attract even more visitors to your page.
Content comes in all shapes and sizes. From long and extensive pillar pages to specific landing pages. Content is web texts, blog articles, case studies, forums, infographics, reports, review pages, and even social media posts. Newsletters and mailings can also be seen as content, but you can only use them to improve your ranking when publishing it for the public by turning it into a web version.
When you want to score with content, it’s essential to know who your audience is and what they are searching for. In every step of the experience journey. Discover which questions, problems, or opportunities they have in each step of the experience journey. Find out which keywords they use to get their questions answered, and create content accordingly. Keep in mind that more knowledgable people search for different things than someone recently interested in it.
Our experience journey framework helps you create the right content for each step of the customer journey. Download it here.
Try creating new content and offer the one thing no one else offers. That doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch. Try creating your own unique content and don’t blatantly copy-paste someone else’s content onto your website. Always add your own twist to a story and, with that, create your own content. Doing so even stops you from creating duplicate content and preventing Google from penalizing you because of it.
After you’ve finished creating your awesome text, structure it by adding headings and links. Doing this allows your visitors to quickly navigate to and through the page, so you help them get to the right piece of content in an instant. Lastly: always optimize your search result by using the meta title and description.
The findability of your website improves when it is more technically put together. Because ‘content is king’ for search engines, everything between <html> and </html> has to be taken care of with the utmost importance.
Help search engines understand what a web page is all about by using semantic code and the right ‘site markup’. Search engines use this information to present your content in the most useful way possible in their search results. Like a featured snippet. This in turn helps your organization to attract more visitors.
Besides making your code readable, readable URLs are also invaluable for your website to get found. So don’t use URLs like:
Instead, use actual words so the URL is more descriptive and understandable:
Besides it improving your findability, URLs are also shown in Google’s search results. So, creating readable URLs is essential.
Talking about technical SEO, speed is also a crucial part of it. Smart and light code allows Google to quickly crawl and index your website. On top of that, optimizing images - the heaviest element on a web page - makes loading pages faster and prevents interesting visitors from leaving.
So make sure that your website functions on every device, keep your code light, use semantic coding language, and remove any unnecessary code. That’s how you create fast, secure, user-friendly, and - of course - findable platforms.
Authority is all about popularity. How many websites link to your site and how relevant are these links? This helps search engines and other users consider your organization trustworthy.
Getting external websites to your website isn’t an easy task. Still, we have a few tips and tricks that help you build authority for your website:
- Create relevant content: Like we said, creating relevant content is essential to become findable. Not just for users and search engines, but for other content creators alike. They can use the most exciting parts of content on their own website and in return link back to your platform.
- Build a healthy link profile: Don’t just throw links left and right without knowing if they are trustworthy and relevant. A lot of the time, Google will penalize you if you do that. Or worse: this page or even your whole domain will no longer be indexed, resulting in you not being visible in Google’s search results. The key takeaway here is: go for relevance and not for spam (quality over quantity).
- Use relevant anchor text: When linking your text, you can set anchor text that describes the page you’re linking to. When you’ve multiple links linking to the same page using similar anchor texts, this page has a higher chance of ranking for these words. Just be mindful of using the exact same anchor text over and over again. This can result in being seen as unreliable.
We can all conclude by now that SEO is MASSIVE. But being mindful of your code, creating structured content, and being relevant helps you become findable for people that are looking for what you have to offer.
SEO goes deep, and Google continuously changes its ranking factors. You won’t find a complete guide on how to become #1 in its search results (sorry!). Still, there are a few takeaways that help you keep your head above the water:
- Never stuff your content with keywords. Place these with moderation: texts should always stay readable for both Google and your visitors.
- Keep your content structured. Place a descriptive title at the top of the page set as heading 1 which you can only use once. Followed by subheadings and sub subheadings (H2 & H3) that can be used multiple times throughout the page.
- Create readable and understandable URLs.
- Use light and smart code when building your website and try to minimize inline styling. MODX allows developers to use semantic HTML5 so the code is both relevant for search engines and users.
- Write content that is relevant and concise.
When you think about it, people will probably benefit more from these improvements than search engines. And that’s something you always have to keep in mind: in the end, people are the ones buying whatever you have to offer. Not search engines. So make your platform relevant and findable while focusing on your audience.
MODX & SEO
MODX has always been optimized for search engines. It is a true SEO CMS, both on the technical and the content aspect of SEO. Great MODX SEO Extras and scripts help content managers to get your meta content and links right, and improve your site’s page speed by compressing images. Besides that, MODX gives developers complete control over every element and tag within the websites and allows them to develop the website using semantic HTML5/CSS3 code. This makes your code more relevant, which scores better in search engines.
MODX makes SEO for content managers a lot easier by making content management super easy, give tips on how to improve your meta content, automatically create 301 redirects when changing the page URL and compressing images.
SEO Suite 2.0
For all MODX content managers, we’ve create a handy-dandy all-in-one MODX Extra: MODX SEO Suite 2.0. This Extra combines earlier MODX Extras SEO Pro, SEO Tab and SEO Suite, so MODX helps you structurize texts, check SEO criterium, influence indexing, and shows you a preview of your search result.
Learn about this powerful SEO Extra on this SEO Suite 2.0 page.
Within the CMS, you can easily edit the meta title and meta description. With the help of focus keywords, SEO Suite checks if you’re using these in your meta title and description. The character count, on the other hand, warns you if cross the maximum length. That’s how you make sure your search result is looking great.
Define which pages need to be indexed by Google and added to your sitemap. This way, you can publish multiple pages containing almost the same content, without getting penalized for duplicate content. Since you’ve told Google to index the page you use for organic visitors and skip the other one used as a landing page for paid visitors (SEA).
Every time you move a page within your website, rename it or unpublish it, it gets a new URL and visitors will go to a 404 page when visiting your website through the old URL. With SEO Suite 2.0 this is a thing of the past. This Extra automatically creates a 301 redirect when you change a URL. And if you move or unpublish the page, SEO Suite will immediately find a similar page and create a 301 redirect. If it found multiple identical pages, SEO Suite lets you decide which one you’re redirecting to. That’s how visitors always get to the right content. At the same time, you won’t lose all SEO value and authority built on a specific page. This value is automatically transferred to the new URL, with a minimum lost (+/- 10%).
MODX scripts for page speed
Besides our awesome MODX Extra, we’ve also created multiple scripts that benefit your findability. A few examples of these are: automatically changing any uploaded image to Google’s image format WebP. This file extension automatically compresses images and will, therefore, improve your site’s loading speed. An important ranking factor of Google. This script allows you to upload images in any file format and will automatically change to this smaller format.
Another script we created is a script that automatically optimizes images for responsive web design. Uploaded images aren’t ever fully optimized. Not even when using photo editing software like Photoshop. This script checks all images every hour and automatically optimizes them in the best way possible.
Within MODX, you have 100% control over every element and tag inside a page. That’s how you will never crowd your site with unnecessary code, and new SEO techniques can quickly be added. Because this smart CMS will never be overloaded, search engines can easily crawl your site and will get to the most important criterium in no-time: the content.
How do you influence your site’s speed and how can MODX help you with that? Discover it in our blog about MODX and speed
Since every MODX platform is developed using semantic HTML5/CSS3 code, your site’s backend is a lot more relevant than websites built in old CMSs filled with unlogic, non-semantic code.
Even if you’re using MODX, SEO will always be a difficult task. But MODX does make it a lot easier! Both at the front end for content managers by making content management a breeze, allowing you to manage links, and giving you tips to improve. And on the backend by helping our developers create custom websites, so we can always build a website fully customized to the target audience of our clients. Want to learn more about this powerful CMS? Download our MODX guide or request a MODX demo.