BrightHaus Digital Marketing Agency

Why Your Coding May Be Killing Your SEO

December 3, 2013

CMS or Content Management Systems have come to rule the roost when it comes to modern web-design. With websites considered a must for any business and one-person companies flourishing online the number of people looking to build sites for themselves is only going up and in order to keep up with trends in web-design, coding and security more and more people are seeking out Content Management Systems to help. Content Management Systems include everything from the ubiquitous, such as WordPress, Joomla and Megento, to the very niche template provision sites that serve very specific clientele.

Most major CMS come complete with a host of SEO plugins and optimization options to make sure that your site is in line with current best practice with a minimum of work. Some, however, are far less accommodating. I recently worked with a site that was presented through an extremely niche CMS that served template sites to businesses of a certain type in a certain area. The content management system did not allow for Robots.txt file or sitemap editing, meta-data was locked to site-wide entries and rich data snippets could not be implemented at all. A dedicated off-site and social media campaign was able to overcome many of the initial difficulties and the site has seen good progress but the process was made much, much harder by the limitations of the CMS.

AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) is another example of a web-development SEO pitfall. AJAX is a common set of programming techniques in Java and XML that some CMS and many web-developers use to create fast-loading interactive web pages for dynamic sites. The problem is however that many AJAX sites are completely un-indexable to Google. Yes, you read that right. If you have an AJAX site Google might be completely unaware of any of the content on your site, even if you have Google Analytics on every page and Google Webmaster tools installed.

There are a few things you can do to check. Firstly, run a “site search” for your domain, like this:

Type “” into the Google search bar. If all is well you should see something like this:

Google Site Search Example

If you don’t see all the pages of your website showing up then that could mean that your site is not being indexed properly. The best way to know for sure is to make sure you have Google Webmaster tools installed and that you have uploaded a sitemap. Check the index status of your site and make sure that all your content is being reported as indexed. If your CMS or site coding setup will not support Google Analytics/Webmaster tools implementation, then chances are it’s not SEO friendly.

But don’t despair, in most some cases tweaks and updates can be made to coding instances to change them, make sure to speak to your web developer or contact an SEO company who can have their programmers help you. If you are locked into an unfriendly CMS then there are still a host of things you can try. Quite often a dedicated off-site link building and social media campaign can still make all the difference, especially for local businesses that can leverage Google and Bing’s local listings functions as well as the map listings of a host of other search engines and directories.

SEO can become incredibly involved and more than a little esoteric as you begin to investigate the upper echelons of what is available and how it interacts with search engines and their robots. Before looking at any of that though it is always important to check the basics and make sure that your site is setup for success.