December 12 2012 Sitefinity and SEO: What You Need to Know Selecting a content management system is a big decision. One important consideration should be how the CMS is compatible with SEO strategies. The Telerik Sitefinity CMS is a powerful content management system for several reasons, but it is particularly helpful to the SEO strategist and companies with natural search engine optimization goals. Here’s why: Control Your URLs Page URLs are customizable: Page URLs and directories can be edited easily and renamed to include targeted, high-performing keywords. Vanity URLs: You can set vanity or branded URLs (e.g., yourdomain.com/MarketingCampaign) that are shorter, more user friendly and have the added bonus of being SEO friendly. 301 redirects are a snap: Sitefinity makes it easy to set up a 301 redirect (permanent redirect) from an old URL to a new URL. This ensures Google will continue to follow your links. SEO Must-Haves SEO tag fields are easy to use: In a single screen, Sitefinity developers or SEO strategists can input title tags, meta descriptions, meta keywords and header tags. There is even a basic built-in spell check feature to keep you honest and your English teacher proud. Keyword-rich image tags: Sitefinity templates make it easy to add/edit ALT tags to appeal to search engines (and, of course, assist screen readers and the overall user experience). Descriptive link tags: Setting up links to your own content and others’ is critical to enhancing your search engine credibility and ranking. Sitefinity’s user friendly link tool allows you to easily add and edit links to your own in-site content or others’. Clean back-end code: Sitefinity’s out-of-the-box back-end code is compliant with SEO best practices, which makes your job a lot easier from the get-go. You also have the ability to add your own code, but make sure your developers are familiar with the “do’s and don’ts” of SEO. Block pages from search: Sometimes you have a page you don’t want a search engine to scan or that won’t have any search engine value, such as a form confirmation page. Sitefinity offers a built-in ability to block pages from being crawled by simply checking a box. Development Considerations Manage social property content: With the recent search engine algorithm updates (e.g, Google’s Penguin and Panda updates), your search engine marketing strategy demands valuable, sharable content. Sitefinity’s ability to publish content and integrate it with your social media properties greatly improves your SEO. Publish your content to Facebook or Twitter, or manage a blog, all from one CMS. Responsive design: Sitefinity is one of the only CMS’s that incorporates responsive design into the content management experience. Designing your site responsively means your site fluidly adapts to all devices and platforms at all times. This is great for user experience and SEO. How? Well, Google just happens to love responsive design and recommends it because it allows for a single URL for your site (read: increased traffic for your URLs = increased credibility to Google). With That Said… It’s crucial to work with a web design/development firm that understands SEO so that SEO is a primary component from the beginning of the design. A beautiful site is not necessarily an SEO-friendly site. Choose your vendor wisely. The content on your pages is critical to improving your search engine ranking, so enhance your site with valuable, fresh content - all of the time. Want to learn more about the Sitefinity content management system and how it helps you achieve your SEO goals? Contact ZAG Interactive, a platinum Sitefinity partner staffed with certified Sitefinity developers. Sitefinity posted by ZAG Interactive Staff Writer Share this article ZAG Interactive is a full-service digital agency in Glastonbury, CT, offering website design, development, marketing and digital strategy to clients nationwide. See current job openings.