New Feature: Playlist Center! Pick a topic and let our playlists guide the way.

Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

CMS Fundamentals
Illustration by

What is SEO?


From:

CMS Fundamentals

with James Williamson

Video: What is SEO?

Another term that you're likely to encounter again and again when working with content management systems is SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it is a method of structuring sites and site content in a way that improves a web site's relevance and visibility to search engines. Now theoretically this allows your site be listed higher in a search engine's result list, which is the goal of almost every site owner. In reality, SEO is one of the most abused terms on the web, with so many different marketing firms and vendors selling tools and strategies that the term has almost been diluted to little more than appear marketing cliche.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. What CMS means for this course
      1m 44s
  2. 22m 52s
    1. What is a CMS?
      2m 47s
    2. The evolution of CMSs
      4m 4s
    3. CMS types
      6m 7s
    4. Basic CMS capabilities
      5m 4s
    5. When is a CMS right for you?
      4m 50s
  3. 1h 23m
    1. Comparing CMSs
      4m 28s
    2. Core features to research
      4m 41s
    3. Commonly overlooked issues
      4m 12s
    4. Properly assessing needs
      4m 39s
    5. Knowing when to seek assistance
      4m 15s
    6. Choosing a CMS for designers
      4m 45s
    7. Choosing a CMS for organizations
      4m 12s
    8. The pros and cons of hosted solutions
      2m 58s
    9. Hosted solution examples
      5m 51s
    10. The pros and cons of open source solutions
      4m 36s
    11. Open source CMS examples
      7m 6s
    12. Proprietary CMSs
      7m 48s
    13. A closer look at Drupal
      5m 7s
    14. A closer look at Joomla!
      4m 0s
    15. A closer look at WordPress
      5m 33s
    16. Resources for comparing CMSs
      9m 2s
  4. 43m 58s
    1. What is an open source CMS?
      3m 4s
    2. What is a LAMP stack?
      2m 53s
    3. What are WebDAV and FTP?
      2m 39s
    4. What is MySQL?
      2m 24s
    5. WYSIWYG editors
      3m 56s
    6. Understanding users, groups, and permissions
      4m 12s
    7. What is metadata?
      5m 19s
    8. Understanding taxonomy
      3m 35s
    9. What is version control?
      4m 23s
    10. What are themes and templates?
      3m 30s
    11. What is SEO?
      4m 42s
    12. What are web analytics?
      3m 21s
  5. 36m 31s
    1. Content management as a process
      4m 38s
    2. Properly defining roles
      5m 3s
    3. Planning a content strategy
      4m 1s
    4. The importance of taxonomy
      5m 7s
    5. Controlling content lifecycle
      6m 22s
    6. Challenges for CMS migrations
      3m 45s
    7. Steps for migrating content
      4m 16s
    8. Avoiding distractions
      3m 19s
  6. 2m 24s
    1. Additional resources
      2m 24s

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
please wait ...
CMS Fundamentals
3h 11m Beginner Apr 06, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In CMS Fundamentals, James Williamson defines content management systems (CMSs) and explains their role in web site development. The course demonstrates the different CMS solutions available today, including WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla; reviews CMS terminology and best practices; and shows how to develop a content management strategy. Guidelines are also included for evaluating a potential CMS, whether hosted or self-hosted, open source or proprietary, and choosing a CMS based on a specific need or focus.

Topics include:
  • Defining and understanding a CMS
  • Understanding taxonomy
  • Assessing an organization or company's needs
  • Comparing content management systems
  • Planning a content strategy
  • Controlling content lifecycle
  • Migrating between CMSs
  • Understanding users, groups, and permissions
  • Using web analytics
Subjects:
Web CMS Web Foundations
Author:
James Williamson

What is SEO?

Another term that you're likely to encounter again and again when working with content management systems is SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it is a method of structuring sites and site content in a way that improves a web site's relevance and visibility to search engines. Now theoretically this allows your site be listed higher in a search engine's result list, which is the goal of almost every site owner. In reality, SEO is one of the most abused terms on the web, with so many different marketing firms and vendors selling tools and strategies that the term has almost been diluted to little more than appear marketing cliche.

Looking at the term practically, however, in order to optimize a site for search engines, you need to understand how those search engines work. Although most search engines guard their methodology quite closely, there are some almost universally accepted techniques that will assist in helping your site become more search engine friendly. First, your site should contain clean, well-structured HTML code that doesn't present any barriers to search engines indexing the site. Site content, including pages, should be tagged with metadata that extends the meaning of the content and explains the page's relevance.

Sites can also increase the amount of inbound and outbound links to make sure the links themselves use terms relevant to the subject matter. Finally, the site should focus on creating consistent, clear content that is relevant to the focus of the site. Now, oddly enough, you would think that that last point would take care of itself, but it's usually one of the techniques that organizations fail to stress when discussing search engine optimization. In the early days of content management systems, the SEO of CMS-managed sites was not really that great.

Links were automatically generated with numeric identifiers instead of relevant text. Page code was messy, non-standards compliant, or needlessly complex, and tagging structures didn't accurately reflect the focus of the site's content. While some systems still produce non- search engine friendly sites, for the most part these glaring errors are a thing of the past. There are, however, some things that you want closely monitor when choosing a CMS to make sure that the sites generated with it produce the best SEO results possible.

First, examine the HTML code the CMS generates as it creates pages. Make sure it uses clean, standards-compliant code that's not weighed down with extraneous markup. Also, make sure you can customize tags and categories to reflect your site's content and focus. Good taxonomies and consistent content tagging will go a long way to describing to search engines what your site's focus is. Second, check to see what level of URL customization you're allowed to perform. In some CMSs, when pages are dynamically generated, the page URL is created with numeric identifiers that does not describe the page content at all.

Being able to customize URLs so that a link contains descriptive text is very important to SEO. This is also true for CMS-generated internal links. Another thing to check out is how a CMS generates descriptive text for site media, like alt text for images. By making sure that you can control these, you not only create more accessible sites, but one that provides more information to search engines as well. Perhaps the biggest SEO problem regarding content management systems is the idea of duplicate content.

If a search engine finds more than one copy of content on your site, it generally decides which one is the most important one, indexes it, and then throws away the references to the other copies. In a CMS-driven site, blog posts, marketing campaigns, and related content frequently result in duplicate content. Now often, you can modify pages and links with attribute values, such as no follow or no index, to prevent this problem, but understanding how and when to use these requires a good bit of research into how search engines actually operate.

Due to these specialized nature of SEO site requirements, many content management systems have SEO tools either built in to the core of the CMS or available as plug-ins or extensions. When researching a CMS, check out what types of tools it offers and the type of control they give you over how your site is indexed and optimized. If SEO is critically important to you, you might want to consider bringing in an outside contractor to assist you. Just be really careful about the claims that some vendors make when promoting SEO.

Look for a reputable vendor who stresses site optimization over the page rankings. Regardless of whether you're using a CMS or not, this is a great document to read to make sure that all of your sites are structured properly for search engine optimization.

There are currently no FAQs about CMS Fundamentals.

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

join now Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed CMS Fundamentals.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.