What Is The Best Blog Platform For SEO Today?

March 6, 2017 by Nedim Talović

What Is The Best Blog Platform For SEO?

Blogging is an important part of every successful company because blog lets you reach lots of potential clients.

Some companies don’t even hire sales representatives.

Instead, they invest huge amounts of money in writing amazing content and SEO which literally drive traffic and, in the end of the day, leads and conversions.

The following chart made by Marketing Land shows us that even 52% top 100 blogs in the world use WordPress.

Blogging platforms

After that, 12% blogs use a custom solution, and 7% of the top 100 blogs use Drupal.

However, this is just about top 100 blogs, but let’s see which platforms top 1,000,000 websites use.

Now, you can see that Joomla is very used today, not in top 100, but in 1,000,000 absolutely – more than Drupal.

Wordpress vs Joomla vs Drupal

If we compare WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla on Google Trends, we can see that WordPress dominates today.

WordPress vs Drupal vs Joomla

It will dominate in the next years too.

Here, I want to explain and compare the following platforms:

  • WordPress
  • Joomla
  • Drupal
  • Blogger

The following photo shows a short overview of WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.

As you can see, WordPress and Drupal have strong SEO capabilities, while Joomla is not so SEO friendly.

There are ways of making Joomla SEO friendly as well, but I’ll discuss that later.

Themes

Since SEO is everything about providing great UX to your visitors, it’s reasonable to say that themes are an important part of SEO.

Obviously, WordPress has the largest collection of free themes, after that comes Drupal, and lastly, Joomla.

On the other side, if you take a look at commercial themes and one of the most popular sites – Themeforest – you’ll see that at the moment of writing this post there are:

  • 9,070 WordPress templates
  • 933 Joomla templates
  • 470 Drupal templates

The real question is: What makes a theme SEO friendly?

Here’s what:

  • Valid HTML
  • Responsive Design
  • Social media integration
  • Schema
  • Great UX & UI

Valid HTML is not a Google ranking factor, said Matt Cutts.

However, valid HTML code will make your every change on your site, and finally, it will make UX much better.

Again, keep in mind that everything about SEO leads to user experience (UX).

After Google announced that mobile responsivity is important Google ranking factor, it seems obvious that your theme should be mobile ready.

Mobile-Friendly Update Rolled

Even if mobile responsivity wasn’t a Google ranking factor, you should make your site mobile ready because people use mobile devices today like never before.

Adding Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social network buttons will increase the number of shares across different social networks.

According to the Moz research, there’s a correlation between search engine rankings and the number of social shares.

Moz Correlation Study Social

Implemented Schema.org helps Google to understand what your site is about.

Standard Results vs Rich Snippets vs Rich Cards

Have you ever been wondering how Google knows the number of reviews of some product?

Google knows it that thankfully to the implementation of Schema which helps search engines a lot.

Next, Parallax Scrolling is very popular in the last few years.

If you don’t know what does it mean, here’s the definition of Parallax Scrolling:

Parallax scrolling is a scrolling technique used computer graphics in which background images move more slowly than images in the foreground, creating the illusion of depth and immersion. It is often used in video games.

The problem is that this scrolling makes lots of people very nervous because it’s so slow, and actually makes horrible UX.

As for me, I’m not sure why some business owners implement this technique, but I’d suggest everyone removing it from the site.

SEO Capabilities

WordPress has strong SEO capabilities due to the various reasons.

Firstly, sites that use WordPress have great URLs thankfully to permalink settings. As you can see in the photo below, you pick the fifth option and your URLs will be SEO friendly.

Permalink Settings

Next, there are many SEO plugins for WordPress, and surely the most popular is Yoast which has amazing features, so I’ll focus on it.

Yoast SEO Plugin

Focus keyword and content analysis is the feature where you can set a keyword that you’d like to rank for.

After that, the plugin checks your blog post to see if the keyword is used enough, but of course, not too often.

The plugin also checks if you use the keyword in the title, meta description, and the URL.

Your text should be long enough because Google tends to rank those pages with +2,000 words better, says Backlinko study.

Content Total Words

If your text isn’t long enough the plugin will warn you.

As for other features, you can see configure robots.txt, set breadcrumbs, XML sitemap, measure readability and so on.

Now, I’d like to discuss Joomla SEO capabilities.

Joomla

Years ago, Joomla was known as the site that’s not SEO friendly.

Specifically, it was for the previous versions, but from Joomla 3.0 things has changed.

For example, in System – Global Configuration you can see SEO Settings section which lets you make your URLs SEO friendly.

Joomla SEO Settings

Next, when you start publishing a new article, you’ll have an option for entering meta description.

Article meta data

Keep in mind that meta keywords don’t have any impact on SEO rankings, so it’s better to avoid that.

Also, you can use different Robots.txt settings for the specific article.

For example, maybe you don’t want to make the specific article indexable.

What’s more, you can set alt tag and caption for article images, and helps Google to better understand your images.

Joomla article images and links

Now, let’s learn more about SEO capabilities for Drupal.

Drupal

Did you know that there’s Yoast SEO module for Drupal?

Honestly, I haven’t tried it since I don’t use Drupal, but it looks solid.

For example, you can also set a focus keyword which is used for content analysis. Basically, the same features as WordPress plugin has.

Unfortunately, it appears that it doesn’t have other Yoast SEO WordPress features, such as:

  • Canonicals
  • Breadcrumbs
  • XML Sitemaps
  • RSS enhancements
  • Edit of robots.txt and .htaccess

and so on.

But, there are other Drupal modules as well, and here are some of them.

Pathauto automatically generates URL/path aliases for various kinds of content (nodes, taxonomy terms, users) without requiring the user to manually specify the path alias.

For example, if you publish How To Write a First Blog Post article, the module will let you have an SEO friendly URL like blog/how-to-write-a-first-blog-post instead of /node/123.

As you probably know, SEO friendly URLs are an important part of a well-optimized page.

Another interesting module is Redirect.

This is very useful when you want to redirect an existing URL to another one which is great for avoiding 404 errors and keeping the ranking thankfully to 301 redirections.

Site Speed

One of the photos above claims that WordPress is great for small to medium sites, but doesn’t handle large amounts of content well.

This is partially true because you can make WordPress scalable also. One of the best examples are Techcrunch, The New Yorker, and BBC America.

According to SimilarWeb, Techcrunch has 36.30M visits per month.

TechCrunch

Next, site speed is an important part of SEO because Google tends to rank those sites that load very fast.

Checking website speed is available using tools such as Pingdom where you can see if your site is faster than other tested sites.

Jellymetrics Summary

Another great tool is Google PageSpeed Insights which will always tell you if there are some site improvements needed.

Suggestions Summary

For example, leveraging browser caching and optimizing images will definitely decrease the load time.

WordPress vs Blogger: Self-hosted vs Hosted Solutions

Bloggers and business owners sometimes don’t know what will happen to their Google rankings if their site goes down.

I think they are worried about that and sometimes that’s one of the reasons why they decide to go with hosted solutions such as WordPress.com and Blogger.com.

Matt Cutts, former head of Google webspam, has recorded and uploaded a YouTube video where he gives his opinions on this topic.

If my site goes down for a day, does that affect my rankings?

He said that if your site is offline for a day, then everything should be fine.

But, if your site goes offline for weeks, then there’s an indicator that your website is actually down, and simply said, Google won’t be interested in sending their users to your site.

In fact, I wrote a case study where I showed how it takes a minimum of 6 months to return your traffic back.

Period of being offline

Since WordPress.com has the same features as your self-hosted WordPress version, I won’t discuss it, but Blogger.com is the service I haven’t mentioned before.

It’s the solution from Google, but what’s interesting Matt Cutts recorded a video about this.

Is WordPress or Blogger better for SEO?

User “vicki2810” asked Matt Cutts that everyone tells her WordPress is superior for SEO, so she’s confused if that’s true.

Anyway, he says that if you want to do casual blogging then Blogger.com is a fantastic solution for you since everything is in the cloud.

You don’t need to think about patching and worrying will someone hack you. Google worries about that for you.

On the other side, WordPress (self-hosting) provides you amazing flexibility because you can do whatever you wish.

However, both can work very well in terms of ranking well for search engines.

Simply said, writing wonderful content and getting backlinks will skyrocket your rankings, and you can do that both in WordPress and Blogger.com.

Personally, I’d always suggest you download the source code from WordPress.org and upload it to your own hosting provider.

Conclusion

Every platform has its pros and cons and it’s very hard to decide which one to choose. But, if I need to pick one solution then it would be self-hosted WordPress because of its flexibility.

But not only that, there are so many WordPress plugins that make blogger’s life easier, but here you need to be very careful.

If you install too many plugins, it means too many JavaScript and CSS resources will be loaded in your frontend because every plugin has its files. In the end of the day, your site will become slower.

Never forget that everything about SEO is actually providing an outstanding user experience to visitors.

How can you provide an outstanding experience if you install 15 WordPress plugins and if they load 15 JavaScript and 15 CSS files? You can’t. Your site will become slower.

Comments

  • Nick Stamoulis March 20, 2017

    I also recommend WordPress to all of my clients. It’s the most user-friendly. Yoast is a great plugin but in some cases it’s recommendations don’t make sense. Sometimes it’s OK to have a shorter post, for example.

    • Nedim Talović March 21, 2017

      I agree, Nick! Sometimes you simply don’t have a reason for writing long posts.

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