Why You Should Use A Content Manager for Your Website
My daughter-in-law has been struggling with the creation of a couple of new web sites, one for her boss' business and one for her seasonal wreath business she shares with her mother.
She's been doing all the design using a graphics program, then writing the content and doing page layouts - for more than a month now.
Last week I sat her down beside me and created her wreath site for her - in about 1/2 hour from start to finish.
OK - to be sure, it was nothing like what she thought she wanted but then again, it was up, running, submitted to the search engines and available for her to chop and change and add content from anywhere on the internet she could log in from. She didn't have to have the page layout software on the computer she used - in this case borrowed from her mother - so was not tied in time or place. A standard web browser enabled system was all - and I know she has one at home because she loves the Linux system I gaver her earlier this year but that's another story.
Anyway, she loves it!
Krys loved it because it really did what she wanted to do - got on the web and got her information out in a format that was both pleasing and readable - and in a way that made the long-term task of keeping the site fresh and increasing the product mix easy and painless.
She was so taken by the CMS that she showed her boss and now he's getting his new web site done the same way using the same software.
I've been using content managers for many years. I've written about them in my own blog, the Digital Rag, so you should take a look if you want to know the whole story on where they came from.
The bottom line is that we here at P-Zip subscribe to the long-term methods of marketing on the internet - not the short-term gain for long-term pain ones that many of the so-called SEO firms use. The short-term methods play with the search engines' ever-changing foibles regarding links and key words and repetition - and the search engines turn around and invalidate such methods as fast as they can. Of course by that time the SEO company has your little web site "top of the list for your search terms" that week or month and as far as you're concerned they've earned their money.
The problem comes when you stop paying them and they stop fiddling with the search engines and it comes down to relying on what you actually have in the way of content, long-term links and real traffic. At that point your site's rank can fall from #1 to #10million in a matter of days.
In point of fact you're sometimes better off in the long run to just put up a basic site and let the cards fall where they may - but there is a better long-term strategy. That's where the Content Managed System (CMS) comes in.
In the past I started putting up sites using a CMS just so my customers could do some of the work of doing minor updates themselves rather than paying me or someone else to do them. I've always been a value concious consultant, it's in my nature. Having an employee able to add new email addresses and contacts and even products to a pre-existing page without them having to know anything at all about web made all the difference. The pages got updated faster and the information was both more relevant and more accurate. In some cases the format of the information was not exactly right and I or one of my staff had to go in and fix it, but in the grand scheme of things this simply does not matter to the search engines - and that is what it's all about!
It's about getting the search engines to come to your site frequently, see changes, see the site is fresh and relevant to your chosen product offerings, and grow your site's ranking "organically" instead of with the fertalizer called "BS"
In the past - a long time ago in internet time, like maybe 5-10 years ago - just being able to put up fresh content was a big thing. With the CMS this could be done by in-house people - the same ones who did your snail-mail newsletter and other marketing blurbs.
Today there is even more of a reason to use one of today's crop of content managers for your site - customer interaction and social networking. The current generation (generation Z) is so internet literate that they want to interact with you and your company via your web site - and if they can't do it with your web site they'll do it somewhere else that you have no control over.
Today you WANT internet feedback from your customers - it's the only way some of them will interact with you either prior to or after the sale, and the proportion of the purchasing public that is this way is growing daily. Today there are lots of Generation X (50-60 year olds) who spend a lot of time on the internet - something they didn't do as little as 3 years ago. Along with them is the increasing population of Generation Y (25-50 year olds) who have grown through the microcomputer revolution and into the internet and of course the Gen Z (5-25) who mostly have never known a day without microcomputers and have spent the last 15+ years on the internet constantly.
But there are other benefits to having a CMS - benefits that enable you to take better advantage of this fast-paced world we now live in.
For example you can very easily create a new "landing page" for each and every marketing initiative you do whether it is traditional (newspaper, billboard, truck signs, etc.) or internet (adsense and other online ads) - a landing page that will tell you which of the marketing tools you use does the best job, provides the fastest return on investment, or sells the most product.
In a "traditional" web site you have to ask your webmaster to ad any new page - and they'll have to add it to menus and such so it can be found - and it might cost you from a few dollars to many hundreds. If you're trying to measure the effectiveness of a $50 ad in the local newspaper such a cost simply is not justified - but then you'll never know if the ad was really useful, will you?
In a CMS you can create a really basic landing page in a few minutes - it doesn't even have to have any specific text or pictures on it - it can simply do a redirect to another pre-existing page. The point of the exercise is simply to count the number of hits the ad creates.
We'll get to interpreting this "hit" count in another article, but basically you'll want to keep track over time of the ad content/method and the number of hits it generates - and change your ads to reflect the information you get on their effectiveness to increase the overall response.
Now we get to the point of this - P-zip does content managed websites - they're really the only ones we do from scratch. We'll help you manage your current site and convert it to a CMS - and we'll consult with you on what CMS you can or should use. We have our own favourites and we'll probably push you in that direction but we're open too. The web world is fast becoming the pivot of the marketing of any and all goods and services. If you're going to be in business for any length of time - and we all expect to be - then the sooner you start with a CMS the better. You certainly don't have to get in and change pages daily, or even weekly/monthly at first - but you need to start somewhere.
And we'll help you - for less than many SEO companies want just to push your current site, and with better long-term effect - and probably pretty close to similar short-term effect.