Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Content Management System: How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

Content Management Systems, aka CMS, are wonderful little creations that take your website from soap box derby to Indy 500. How? Let me count the ways.

1. A content management system allows you to update your website more FREE-ly; pun intended. Many of my clients, scratch that, all of my clients are on a budget. They are small businesses and nonprofits that must mind every penny. To pay a web developer to update their hours of operation or add an upcoming fundraiser to the calendar is not a good use of resources.

A CMS provides a dashboard that lets even a non-techy login and add or change text, insert pictures etc. In fact, I had a volunteer call me from one of my not-for-profit clients recently to confess "I haven't even looked at [the tutorial] since you sent it, but this is easy!"

2. Updated content increases the relevancy of your content. So now that you aren't letting your website collect figurative dust and you're updating it on a regular basis, the content will stay fresh. Search engines love fresh content.

So when potential customers are searching for your service, search engines are more likely to show you with a higher ranking because your content is up-to-date, and therefore more relevant, than your competitors.

3. Your site is now scalable. That doesn't mean it needs to be put on a diet. Quite the opposite, you can make it bigger.

Scalability is the ability to increase the scale, or scope, of your website. You can increase the amount of content, the content categories and how your information is organized and displayed in phases rather than all at the same time.

I have a couple of clients that are both small B2Cs. Each rolled out with their initial product for the first phase of the project and added products over time. This allowed them to stay on budget for phase one and scale up as their cash flow improved.

There are many reasons to appreciate a good content management system. These are just a few of my favorites.

Jann Mirchandani is the principal and creative engine behind Marketing Cafe, formerly Mirchandani Consulting. Jann is an award- winning designer specializing in helping small and mid-sized businesses and nonprofits in Westchester and outlying counties to understand and leverage online marketing tactics and tools.

Via Marketing Cafes eMarketing Bootcamps series, Jann leads in-person and on-line workshops that teaches how to develop a soup-to-nuts online marketing strategy for business growth.

She can be reached at, @JannMirchandani on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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