The Benefits of a Discoverable CMS

Rachael Cristine Woody

Rachael Cristine Woody

January 20, 2021

This is our third and final post for the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) miniseries. So far, we’ve covered what SEO is and the role it plays to assist discovery, and how to test and improve the SEO of your museum CMS. This week we’re bringing it home by outlining the benefits of a discoverable museums CMS as well as providing links to additional resources and reading to help get you started on your SEO journey!

The Benefits of a Discoverable CMS

In the first part of this miniseries, we described the many ways SEO plays a part in the discoverability of the museum collection online. SEO can be a powerful tool, but it requires constant monitoring, tweaking, experimenting, and staying up to date on the latest SEO trends. This means you may have to do some educating with your peers, boss, and other museum influencers in order to receive the necessary support to prioritize good SEO for the museum’s online collections. With that in mind, here’s a description of how SEO benefits the museum and a list of benefits to reference in order to help make your case:

SEO is what helps digital visitors make their way to the museum’s collections online. Content tags, headlines, permalinks, clear navigation, inter-linking, and accurate page descriptions all work together to deliver digital visitors to the correct spot within the museum’s collection.

Benefits of a Museum CMS with Good SEO:

  • Improves museum collection visibility online; AKA more “Googleable”.
  • Increases digital visitor traffic to collections online.
  • Helps new audience members discover the museum and its collections.
  • Delivers higher quality digital visitors to the most relevant (to them) parts of your collection via the search engine results.
  • Supports “browse mode”, a mode that the majority of visitors engage in vs pinpointed or advanced searching.
  • CMS statistics offer a way to track and see what visitors are finding easily versus what pages appear to be invisible to the search results.
  • Improving the museum CMS experience and discoverability leads to an increase in the ability of the CMS to support museum income streams.

Additional Resources on Museum SEO

There are a lot of resources out there for SEO, but the most helpful ones will be museum-centric in their focus. A museum CMS is a complicated database with complex directories and the potential for thousands of pages of items for search engines to grapple with. There are unique challenges and opportunities when considering SEO for the museum CMS, and I recommend you prioritize resources that speak directly to museum online collections. Here are two resources I recommend you start with:

MuS.E.O. Search Engine 101 for Museums via Cuberis

SEO for Museums in 2020 via MuseumNext

Additional Reading via Lucidea’s Think Clearly Blog

Additionally, there are a few blog posts that include SEO in their discussion of related topics, such as: how to improve collection discovery and the user experience, the impact of mobile devices on how we access the museum CMS, and how the CMS (and its SEO ranking) can support a museum’s income streams.

How to Improve Collection Discovery in the Museum CMS

5 Methods to Improve the Museum Digital Experience

The Future is Here: Why Your Museum CMS Must be Mobile

Museum Online Presence: Critical to Income Stream

Museum Challenges and How a CMS Can Help – Part 1

Museum Challenges and How a CMS Can Help – Part 2

And Don’t Forget

If you’re looking for more support, there are SEO tools and companies that can audit your SEO and provide an analysis on museum content online and where it ranks in terms of good SEO.


And that’s a wrap for this SEO miniseries, so let me leave you with this: The internet is always evolving and our experiences and expectations will evolve with it. This means that what works for today won’t be the same as what works for tomorrow. Additionally, SEO is a continual practice in what works for you and your museum collections. It takes analyzing, tweaking, experimenting, staying up to date on the latest trends, and always being mindful of good SEO hygiene when constructing and maintaining content online. Investing in and maintaining good SEO for your museum CMS should be incorporated into routine maintenance of the CMS itself.

Rachael Cristine Woody

Rachael Cristine Woody

Expert Rachael Cristine Woody advises on museum strategies, collections management, and grant writing for a wide variety of clients. In addition to several titles published by Lucidea Press, Ms. Woody is a regular contributor to the Think Clearly blog.  Click here to enjoy her webinar, “Increase Your Audience with a Discoverable Museum CMS”. And learn about Lucidea’s Argus solution for powerful and innovative museum collections management.

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