We've worked with ExpressionEngine to build websites of all sizes for many years (more on that here). We also do a bit of SEO work for our clients - many of them realize that once you build a site, you need to continually optimize it so that it is easily found by users and search engines. The good news is ExpressionEngine comes with several features that are a dream for marketers. Here are 5 reasons that make EE a great choice for Search Engine Optimization.
1. Custom Meta and Titles
When it comes to on-page SEO, ExpressionEngine makes it a snap. Because ExpressionEngine allows you to easily create custom fields for each section (or “channel”), you can define custom meta descriptions, keywords, page titles and more. Going even a step further, EE allows for overriding default meta that allows for unlimited scale simply by modifying page templates. The result? Lots of flexibility to optimize "single" pages that many clients demand.
There are also several third-party add-ons listed on the unofficial add-on store devot:ee (that we created and maintain), including SEOLite, and NSM Better Meta. Both of these SEO add-ons can take EE's built in capabilities and expand upon them.
2. URL Structure
When used correctly, ExpressionEngine's core makes it easy to create static, semantic URLs that are search engine friendly. EllisLab (the creators of EE) decided that in order to do this, they needed to remove the use of query strings from the URLs. Most publishing systems use query strings, but search engines tend to frown upon them. This is mostly because (Google especially) prefers URLs that show hierarchy for the user. Query strings basically make that impossible. The goal by removing query strings is to make the URL structure of the site mimic a more traditional static website that
3. Sitemap Generation
Having a properly formatted sitemap is critical to being visible to search engines. Because of the flexibility of the system, ExpressionEngine is able to output an SEO ready XML sitemap. Or, you can use Sitemap Module to auto-generate this for you.
4. Easy Analytics/Tag Manager Integration
While some CMS platforms will make you utilize a plugin to setup Google Analytics or Tag Manager, EE has a very simple copy/paste integration that will have you up and running in minutes. ExpressionEngine is so flexible, there are any number of ways you can add your analytics code to your templates, such as pasting the code directly into a template, including the code in a layout, or storing it in a global variable. With Tag Manager's event tracking system, click/event tracking is a snap for even the non-technical marketer.
5. You Have Full Control
ExpressionEngine makes no assumptions about your content, which means it doesn’t automatically output any code or markup that a developer will have to manipulate or work around. You have complete control to add as much or as little search engine optimization as you want or need, whether you’re doing it yourself with native custom fields and template tags, or utilizing an SEO add-on.
Although there is no silver bullet to SEO, ExpressionEngine gives marketers and developers a solid platform on which to execute any search strategy.
If you're concerned that your EE site might be broken, you're lacking a sound SEO strategy, or would just like to talk about your website, definitely check out our ExpressionEngine Rescue.