A content management system is a great way for a business to create and administer a website. A CMS makes it easy to update and monitor content online, which can significantly reduce the amount of time you need to invest in running a company website. However, even with all the ease a CMS brings, there are some pitfalls to fall into.
How To Manage A CMS: Simple Tips and Tricks To Keeping Your CMS In Shape
Pre-plan: It is best to create a detailed site map on your own before jumping right in. This allows you to think about what you want your users to get out of your website, which pages are more important than others, and how many layers are needed.
Links: Links are vital to the navigability of a web page, not to mention how SEO friendly it is. However, links require maintenance. Ensuring that links go to right web page, open up in the right window, and creating anchors all requires time. Since links come with a cost, it’s best to make sure they are useful. One way to create use out of a link is to use them body copy; allowing users to jump to related information. So say if in product X you mention product Y, it might be good to have a link allowing users to find more about product Y. This way links have a use to the user, instead of being merely navigation aids.
Build With SEO In Mind: When constructing a page, make sure it adheres to your SEO strategy. Does it have the right keywords, does it relate to your site, and does it have the right images/page titles? Going back at a later date to optimize each page can be a huge time sink, so planing your SEO before building is a way to save time.
Images: Text is easy to write in a CMS. However, text heavy pages tends to result in customers navigating away from it. You probably want enough text so that a customer could skim over it in 30 seconds and read it in 60. Besides text, rely on images to do the talking. Adding in a headline with the appropriate picture can mean that a potential client could get the jist of your service in a few seconds. Also, relying on buttons as call to actions is a clever way to reduce the amount of text.
Tables: Tables are a neat way of organizing content on a page. Instead of designing a template to allow for two columns of text, a table can be used with the same effect. Tables also have the advantage of keeping images stuck to one location.
HTML: While you don’t need to know HTML as a requirement to use a CMS, it is a good idea to learn a little. Learning how to identify a link, colour code, style formatting, line breaks, single line breaks, and build a table, will all be very helpful when building your website. There will also likely be cases of pages not doing what you want them to do, so going into the HTML text itself, can help to illuminate the source of the problem.
Keep A Website Simple: Probably the most important piece of advice. Many businesses have the tendency to put everything into the website. The problem is that a website can soon balloon to a full time job to maintain, instead of a project a marketing manager can take on as part of their other responsibilities. Keep the essential information on your website, and design it so that it encourages clients to contact you for more information. As a small example, don’t put all your brochures and company profile online. Instead have a button saying “Learn More.” Which will prompt them to contact you for more information on a product you sell.