Will using Adobe Enterprise Manager (AEM) help your search engine optimization? Yes. But, will implementing it in the wrong way cost you your SEO ranking, and undo everything you’ve already achieved? Absolutely.
Failing to invest the time, thought, and data into your transition can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in re-work. It can also cost you your indexation, authority, and organic search traffic. This takes months and thousands of dollars to recover.
The total implementation cost for AEM is over $2m USD. So it had BETTER move the needle forward, not push you back, right?
Here’s a look at the top mistakes that enterprise-level companies need to avoid when they’re transitioning to AEM.
Who is This Guide For?
We’ve aimed this guide at enterprise-level businesses that are in the process of transitioning to AEM as their content management system (CMS), or setting it up for the first time.
This guide may not be for smaller businesses, with static website pages that use a less complex CMS system.
1.Not Establishing and Documenting Best Practices
AEM is an awesome and powerful tool, but you still have to put in the time to learn how to use it properly and utilize everything. And you need to build procedures and put them in your own AEM bible.
Your developer(s) needs to set things up in a simple and intuitive way. That way, everyone in the organization is on the same page for your SEO strategy and is aware of how to structure new pages and URLs.
If your developer leaves the company or hands things to someone else for any reason, the person who replaces them needs to be able to see the rhyme and reason for the way things work. Have a guide of best practices on-hand to look things up.
Failure to do so creates a lot of re-work and scattered SEO results.
2. Not Creating Steadfast URL Policies for Content Creators
This is an extension of the last point. Anyone creating content for your site needs to know exactly how your company creates new pages and new URLs.
This ensures all of your new content will meet SEO best practices. But if people aren’t sure (or “sorta” sure) on how things are structured, each new page will create a confused web architecture, broken links and a bad user experience.
All of which hurts your SEO and wastes your time.
3. Creating Different URLs for Mobile Pages
Your multi-device support should be implemented using responsive website design, not dedicated URLs for mobile users.
This allows search engines to find only one unique address (URL) for each piece of content on the website.
- Reduce the complexity of the website
- Create a much greater unity of content
- Simplify things for search engines
- Increase your relevancy
Also the cost of maintaining an m. or useragent targeted mobile website is far greater than having one single responsive website.
4. Bad Redirects
When a URL is entered incorrectly or the content has been moved, you need to redirect a user using a server-side redirect . The default redirect option should use a 301 header.
Proper redirects (and freedom to create powerful dynamic redirects) is extremely important for any enterprise-level website.
Doing this well means you’ll avoid being deindexed. But doing this poorly means extensive 404 errors and loss of SEO equity.
5. Laxed Title Tag, H1 and Meta Description Structure
This also needs to be in your AEM bible and best practices for anyone who adds content to your site.
Three important tags for SEO are:
- Title tag <title>
- Primary Heading tag <h1>
- meta description <meta name=”description” content=”description here”>
Using these correctly in the content creation mechanism is important. Each page needs a unique title, primary heading and descriptive meta description.
6. Not Being “URL Aware”
Linking to a URL (current address of a page) is not enough for an Enterprise website to maintain internal link integrity over time. Enterprise websites should be aware of the page being linked to, not its current address (URL).
Let’s say you have a thousand pages internally link to a resource. Now let’s say that resource has its URL slightly changed. All of a sudden there are a thousand pages that need to be manually updated, or you’re taking a massive SEO hit with a thousand broken links.
Make sure those thousand links automatically change to the new URL, and no manual work/ re-work needs to be done.
7. Slow Site Load Speeds
How long does it take for your user to load your site; such a simple, but ignored fundamental. This is a huge SEO factor on both mobile and desktop sites.
AEM’s unique dynamic tag management and image compression presets are there to ensure your site loads quickly for all users, on all devices. But it’s up to your developers to utilize them and properly manage the presets.
Fast load times will not only help your SEO, but also your conversion rates.
8. Not Understanding the User’s Intent
You may think you know what your users want, but 90% of all companies have it all wrong.
If you don’t know what they truly want, you can’t give it to them. Your should-be customers will leave and look for what they want elsewhere. This kills your SEO with low click-through-rates and high bounce rates. Don’t think for one second that Google doesn’t notice your users leaving you and going to the “other guys.”
This disconnect is one of the most frustrating and costly mistakes you can make. A company thinks they know what their customers want, so when users don’t engage with the website, marketers will pump more money into the same broken system.
How This Can Help My Business Today
Enterprise-level businesses absolutely love AEM’s versatility and ability to control multiple sites. They also enjoy world-class now-support from Adobe. But one thing it is not is a magic SEO bullet. It’s still used by human beings, and human beings need to do the work.
Avoiding the above mistakes will cost you nothing more than the time it takes to do things the right way. And investing the time and resources to nail your presets and procedures the first time will save you 10x that money in re-work costs.
- Establish and Document Your Best Practices
- Create Steadfast URL Policies for Content Creators
- Use responsive design instead of mobile URLs
- Pay extra-close attention to redirects
- Be steadfast in Title Tag, H1 and Meta Description Structure
- Stay “URL Aware”
- Keep your site’s load time as fast as possible
If you want to learn more about what causes or kills SEO success, we invite you to download our SEO playbook for free!