Before talking about how to buy a web content management system, let’s take a quick look at two important questions.
What is a WCM solution and how does it differ from a CMS? A WCM is a solution that makes it easy for your employees to make changes to your website, while offering templates and other features to maintain consistency.
There are fine points of difference between a WCM and CMS, but most solution providers offer a combination of both: every CMS has most of the features that you’d find in any WCM product.
Another important question: do you really need a WCM? Let’s take a quick look at the features and facilities offered by most WCM solutions to try and answer this question.
- WYSIWYG editor
- Drag-and-drop editing
- Authoring templates
- Collaboration capability
- Scheduled publishing
- Security and workflow controls
- Site navigation and URL customization
- Previewing and pre-rendering
- Staging for separating content locally
- Access control and permission for different users
Digital marketing and web analytics features
If you feel that these features will help you better manage your ecommerce store or business website, you need a WCM solution. The core function of a web CMS is to enable users with little technical knowledge to administer websites. Most WCM products have templates that simplify this task.
For example, Microsoft’s Sitecore or Sitefinity CMS come equipped with all the features that you’d find in a WCM solutions and a CMS.
Now, let’s take a look at what points you must consider while shopping for a WCMS (web content management system).
# 1. Central Features and Functionality
Let the choice of the WCMS be dictated by your wants. For instance, if you have a nice ecommerce website selling only a dozen types of products, you may not require too much customization with text or images. In such a case, a simple WordPress solution may be more than enough for your needs.
On the other hand, if you are managing a website with thousands of service or product pages – where you have different structure for different kinds of pages – you may have to invest in a high-end WCMS that offers more features. Other features like digital marketing, versioning, multi-website support and support for different languages also come into play in case of complex websites.
# 2. Communication and Collaboration
For large business organizations that have a large number of stakeholders, the following questions are significant:
- Will your employees use the WCMS to collaborate and create documents?
- Do you need a feature that enables a number of people to work on a document at the same time or at different times?
- Do your sales people need a feature that allows them to communicate with different departments, employees and customers?
- Will you be using it for email marketing? Do you need a feature that allows you to segment recoupments?
If you need all these facilities, you will have to shop for a system that provides modules for in-depth collaboration and communication.
# 3. Asset Management
While most web CMSes will have fantastic features of editing information, many of them do not offer enough facility for managing assets. If you are running a website that has a large number of images and other files, you need powerful asset management features. If the system is not designed to handle large quantity of web assets, it can lead to a lot of time waste and heartburn. Check what features a web CMS has for managing and displaying PDFs, images and other kinds of files.
#4. Access Control, Roles and Permissions
For smaller business, where just a couple of people are in charge of implementing web changes, there is no need for access control, but if dozens of people contribute to the website and make changes, you need to set up clear roles and permissions. So, it becomes imperative to choose a web content management system that simplifies the process of assigning roles and permissions to different sets of users.
#5. What kind of web content management system do I need?
The answer to this question will be clear after you have found an answer to the above questions. The most popular open-source systems –WordPress, Joomla, Drupal – pack a lot of punch, and these are good enough for most small business. However, if you are running a large ecommerce website, or require an enterprise-level solution, you may need to give it a little more thought.
You have two broad options 1) customize an open-source software and make sure that it is capable of fulfilling all your needs, or 2) Choose a propriety solutions that is most suitable to your existing website and your specific requirements (you may need customization here too). For instance, if you have an ASP.NET website and most of your employees are conversant only with MS tools and technologies, you might choose to go for Sitecore or Sitefinity CMS that offer a gentler learning curve.
As you can see by looking at the above points, your choice of web CMS will be dictated by what your website and your employees need. If you are unsure of what is the right choice, it may be a good idea to consult your IT manager, or take advice from a friend whose business is already using a WCMS. After you have all the information in hand, it will be easier for your decide whether you want a simple a proprietary off-the-shelf web CMS, an open-source solution or a customized solution.
About the author:
Kinjal is working as a digital marketer and blogger with 5 years of experience. She is full time employee with Cygnet Infotech expert in delivering complete ecommerce solution. She is always happy to share her passion for ecommerce and mobile technologies. Follow Kinjal on Twitter @adeshara_kinjal or connect with her on Google+, Facebook or Linkedin
Photo credits: Thos Ballantyne
Search engine optimization has been around since the very early days of the world wide web. Having said that, it’s gone through many changes over the years. In fact, SEO in 2014 may be unlike anything that has come before. While the basics still apply – like quality over quantity – there are a lot of other things that are necessary in order to compete. Rather than another boring 2014 predictions post, we thought we’d get out the time machine and make some long range predictions for the SEO industry.
SEO in 2050
This is not your grandfather’s SEO by any means. Here’s a peek at some of what might be happening in the SEO world in 2050 and beyond.
SEO Robots – While ‘bots exist online now, in the future Google and other companies will likely let real life robots loose into the world. Whether it’s their car that drives itself or something else they invent with all the robotics companies they’re buying up quickly, there’s a good chance that Google’s index will start to invade the “real world” before 2050.
Real Names – Anonymity on the web – truly being anonymous – is becoming more difficult with each passing year. By 2050, there’s a good chance that the only SEO that will work will be tied to a verifiable human. Perhaps Google’s army of robots will actually come to your house to make sure you are who you say you are online – and then rank you appropriately.
SEO Hobbyists – In the very early days of search engine optimization, it was easy for anyone who spent a little time studying to be able to see results on their own. That has changed over the years, however. Today, many SEO professionals have concentrated on one single area. The era of a jack of all trades SEO approach is over as it takes a team of dedicated people to get anything done.
Search Engine Wars – By 2050, there’s a good chance that the search engine wars will finally be over, with one company – probably Google – being the sole survivor. By this time, Google may have swallowed Microsoft and other companies to become a massive monopoly on a scale never before seen on the planet. Sound crazy? Wait and see what happens. Remember Demolition Man.
No one can know the future for certain, but it’s a lot of fun to make predictions – especially so far into the future. We’d like to get your input as well – something that will be very important for SEO in 2050. So leave your thoughts below and share your predictions with the rest of us. Depending on how old you are currently, you may be around long enough to come back in 36 years to see if we were correct or not.
When it comes to SEO, business professionals like Leonard Albanese are constantly learning about new methods and techniques. This helps him and others make sure their professional image online isn’t tarnished at all.
About the author:
Adam Prattler is a consultant for search engine optimization ny and has been working since the last 6 years. With a degree in engineering and a graduation in design, he believes he has the ability to look at from every aspect, be it technology, content or design. You can connect with Adam on LinkedIn, Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter.
Content marketing professionals are continually trying to find the most effective strategies for reaching their target audiences, building brand authority and establishing a strong presence on the Web.
Many digital marketers rely on tactics like search engine optimization (SEO), traditional blog posts, articles, case-studies, videos and Podcasts to disseminate their messaging and earn the attention of their potential customers. The purpose of these tactics is to provide your audience with useful information that they could not find elsewhere.
However, with so many organizations turning to content marketing, it has been increasingly difficult to stay ahead of the curve and keep the attention of your target audiences.
One creative way to avoid this growing problem is to conduct your own high-quality primary research. This strategy takes effort and time, but it could be the determining factor that raises your brand’s authority over that of your competitor. By conducting original market research, you have a way to provide unique information that is relevant to your customers and is not available elsewhere. This primary research not only has the potential to earn social shares and links, it also holds the promise of building your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness within your market.
Janna Finch, Managing Editor at Software Advice, a company that researches marketing software applications and trends, recently published an article that provides four quality examples of companies who have successfully implemented this strategy. Here is a short summary of Finch’s report:
“2013 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study”
Silverpop is one of the premier marketing automation platforms on the market. It helps marketers personalize their mobile, email and social interactions with their customers. Silverpop is already considered one of the most authoritative and trustworthy brands in its market, but its “2013 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study” helped solidify its leadership. This report analyzed all the email correspondence sent by 2,787 brands in 40 countries. The report looks at important email marketing metrics like click-through rates, open rates, message sizes and list churn metrics.
Silverpop not only calculated the averages, their team also included mean, median and quartile states by industry and region. This breakdown of their data made it easy for marketers to benchmark their own performance. By publishing an in-depth study on key marketing metrics, Silverpop is providing a clear signal to their customers that its brand is an authority in the market, and that it can be trusted. The company’s report also earned a great detail of social and Web exposure. The report was linked to 206 times on 48 different domains.
“2013 Search Engine Ranking Factors Survey”
For over a decade, Moz.com has been an authority on all things SEO. Their customers have come to expect high-quality research and content on a regular basis. Moz recently undertook a primary research project to help maintain its reputation and leadership in the SEO community. The team at Moz surveyed more than 120 search marketers and collected their responses on more than 80 search engine ranking factors. This survey helped build a comprehensive picture of what characteristics were most likely (or not likely) to affect the ranking of a URL on a search engine results page.
Moz presented its findings in easy-to-read graphs with filtering features that help digital marketers easily digest their research, and share their findings. They also provided easy-to-understand written summaries to further make the survey easily accessible. Moz’s report was well-executed and provides digital marketers with content they could not easily find on their own. This made it an extremely popular report that was shared extensively over the Web and social media. The Moz report earned 693 links from 199 different root domains, and more than 3,000 social shares. This level of coverage helped reinforce Moz’s authority with search marketers, and helped keep the brand at the top of its market.
“2013 Digital Marketing Optimization Survey Results”
Adobe helps digital marketers measure and optimize their content at every step of the process. It is essential that its brand distinguish itself as a leader in the marketing industry. Adobe’s report “2013 Digital Marketing Optimization Survey Results” is a great example of how their team used primary research to build their brand’s authority.
The report analyzed the responses from over 1,858 digital markets from North America, Asia and Europe. Their report highlights what digital markets think are essential to achieving success in their field. Adobe’s findings were consolidated into easy-to-read graphs and narrative summaries.
This survey was spread extensively on the Web and social media, which helped promote the brand’s authority and trustworthiness. According to a LinkedIn case study, Adobe’s report had a profound impact on its reputation with marketers. The case study found that after reviewing the report, marketing professionals were “50 percent more likely to agree that Adobe is shaping the future of digital marketing.” This case study provides great evidence that primary research can be an effective branding tool, and can help raise your company’s market leadership above the competition.
These three examples help showcase how primary research is an effective content marketing and branding tool at the disposal of marketing professionals. Undertaking a high-quality primary research project is not an easy task, but it could be what separates your brand from the rest of the pack.
Have you ever used primary research to build your brand’s authority and trustworthiness? Please leave a comment below and share your experience with us.