In my fourth post in this series on copywriting & content, I discussed the importance of highly relevant, “link-worthy” content on websites for engaging your target audience and driving demand for your products and services. In this post, I’ll address the challenges of creating, posting and keeping content fresh and exciting for your website visitors. This is the realm of the CMS (Content Management System) — and deciding whether you should invest in such a system and what features are going to have the greatest impact on your bottom line is a huge (but very worthwhile) undertaking.
A well-built CMS can significantly reduce the cost in resources of managing your website, especially in terms of making small content changes on an ongoing basis. However, it is unlikely that this alone will offset the investment in development, implementation and technical maintenance (more stakeholders managing a larger website will likely realize a larger cost savings). Fortunately, a CMS also brings many qualitative advantages which can lead to big gains in your website’s demand generation performance.
The ability to post and update website content often by distributing the responsibility to more stakeholders is key. This blog, for example, is made possible by WordPress and its excellent content authoring and management system. YouTube, Facebook, and Wikipedia all owe some of their success to a CMS distributing the ability to contribute and publish content. The web is evolving toward transparent, user-generated content, and your visitor’s expectations are following this trend. An older web page filled with brand messaging and static information will be marginally effective compared to a page updated every two weeks with recent success stories from actual customers.
The right CMS functionality can also have a big impact on how effectively your website presents relevant content to each of your target markets. Your visitor’s web browser, for example, can inform your CMS what content to serve up based on their past behavior on your website, latest click-path, what keywords they searched on, and many other factors. Take it one step further, and encourage your visitors to create a log-in. This will enable you to provide an even more engaging customized experience, and will also give you vital insight into your potential customers’ behavior.
So how do you determine if a Content Management System should be part of your website optimization strategy? Ask yourself and your marketing/web design team the following:
- Do you need to update your website frequently? Is there a growing amount of out-of-date content that you lack the internal resources to manage?
- Are you challenged with controlling the quality of the content being published and produced by your internal marketing or web development team? Are you often finding layout errors, broken links or other less-than-optimal conditions on your live site?
- Would giving multiple departments and individuals the ability to produce and publish content improve the website experience for your visitors?
- Would your customers or potential customers benefit from a more customized website experience, possibly behind a log-in?
- Are you looking to optimize your website to promote cross-sell and up-sell opportunities?
If you aren’t using your CMS to create a more engaging, relevant experience for your visitors, you aren’t using it to its fullest or maximizing your ROI. In the next post of this series, I’ll discuss the importance of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software integration, and how it can be leveraged to improve your website’s demand generation performance.
Note: This is post seven of a nine-post series entitled, “Is Your Website Optimized for Demand Generation?” To read more of Justin’s series, just follow the links below…
For more information on website optimization, check out Nowspeed’s eight chapter eBook “Is Your Website Optimizated for Demand Generation and High ROI?”