As we live in a content-driven society, content marketing is considered an extremely important factor for many businesses. Whether you are part of a small- or large -scale business, you have to come up with fresh information to connect with your employees and customers. This is where an efficient Content Management System (CMS) comes in really handy.
Basically, a CMS is for creating, managing and optimising your customers’ overall digital experience. It enables businesses (even for people without any knowledge of HTML) to manage the content of their webpage efficiently.
That said, it doesn’t matter how great your content is, if your CMS can’t manage it properly, it won’t help you much as it is supposed to do.
So what do you need to consider when choosing the right CMS for your business? What features should you look for?
Here are the top ten features to have in mind while choosing a CMS platform to drive great results for your business.
Built-in SEO tools
SEO is the main area to focus on as Google continuously updates the algorithm to provide the best results for users.
A website can improve its SEO with a well-chosen CMS as it has a direct impact on your SEO ranking and site performance. More specifically, a CMS with built-in SEO tools will help you optimise your content for searches and enhance the chances of ranking highly.
A CMS should offer SEO recommendation tools that enable you to add meta descriptions, page titles, keyword phrases, sub-topics and tools such as Google Sign-In and Bing Webmaster.
It’s especially good if your CMS has the following features as well:
Platform Performance and Site Speed Optimisation
- Optimise images
- GZIP components
- Minimise HTTP requests
- Minify JS & CSS
- CSS validation
- HTML validation
- Link checker / internal links
- XML sitemap (images, video)
- Canonical tags
Social media engagement
More than 45 million people are active users in social media, making it a key platform to interact with your audience. To increase traffic to your site, your CMS should have integrated social capabilities. This will allow you to schedule and publish posts on social media. You can add social media sharing buttons for the most important platforms to any page or piece of content – vital for getting your message out there.
For example, a good CMS can:
- automatically format your articles as Twitter Cards
- append your Twitter username to any piece of shared content
- use Open Graph Meta Tags to optimise the display of shared content on Facebook
- schedule and manage Instagram posts
- track audience growth and post engagement level
The Admin Dashboard is at the core of any CMS, managing all the activities related to contents. Content workflow can be managed within a single piece of software where everyone can have access appropriate to their level of responsibility.
Key admin functionality includes:
- Keeping track of scheduled content and related assets
- Monitoring threats
- Tracking user activity
- Installing modules and plugins
- Reviewing performance analytics
- Managing multiple sites and platforms if necessary
This feature offers a great way to save time and make the content management process easy. Different CMS platforms offer a range of templates from which you can choose according to your requirements. Templates can set up the basics for any necessary repetitive pieces instead of starting afresh every time, so you don’t have to create a post or page each time you want to publish new content.
More than just simplifying your content publishing process, templates provide a consistent look and feel (colours, fonts, sizes and layout) across your site.
For instance, you are choosing a template and want to add a product to an e-commerce site. A good template can help you to:
- Create a drop-down list of categories
- Generate a meta description from your product description
- Adjust your image size to the right specs on the page
- Add customisable content sections
- Allow a sticky sidebar and a grid layout
Just use the templates you need according to your requirements and then use them over and over again!
Excellent publishing tools
Publishing tools remain as a paramount feature to reach and interact with your key audience. A powerful CMS will be able to create and publish different types of content – everything from blog posts to landing pages with embedded documents. It will also add images, videos, CTAs, forms and more from within the publishing interface.
Regarding content, you should be able to move articles around when needed. For instance, you may want to deliver seasonal content and be able to keep content to be renewed and updated next year.
Publishing controls are important! It’s not necessary that a single person should take charge of publishing all the content. You might have assigned members solely for crafting drafts, reviewing content and, of course, for scheduling and publishing them.
Allowing different roles and levels of access establishes a smooth workflow for creating, approving and publishing a variety of content. In WordPress, there are separate roles like Super Admin, Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor and Subscriber. Each role has a different set of capabilities.
Another thing to look for in a CMS platform is the security of your website. Maintaining maximum security on your website not only protects your data but also saves your customers’ security and brand reputation.
How to secure your CMS:
- Use strong and secure passwords
- Always back up your CMS
- Ensure your CMS has a content delivery network to prevent DDoS attacks
- Protect against SQL injections
- Get an SSL certificate
- Analyse static code and potential vulnerabilities
By doing this, you make your site a safer place.
You can ignore this feature if your company has exceptional in-house IT skills to fix issues associated with CMS.
Most of the organisations with CMS providers do not have a Customer Service department that you can contact if you encounter difficulties. But popular systems (like WordPress) offer extensive documentation and have an engaged user community who run large-scale wikis and forums. Though open-source communities can be a reliable source of information to fix problems by yourself, you can’t always depend on this resource, especially if you need a really quick solution. If your site isn’t working properly and you can’t discover why a proprietary CMS that offers live support would be ideal.
Another feature that can have a very positive impact on your website is having detailed analytics.
Your CMS should be able to determine where the target audiences are based, what devices they’re using, how they’re interacting with content on various platforms and what type of content is most likely to engage users so that you can further refine your content strategy.
Integrate your CMS with Google Analytics or any other popular analytics program so that you can track your Key Performance Indicators right from your Dashboard.
When it comes to choosing a CMS, you need to make sure that in addition to the above features, your platform offers add-ons and integrations. Say, for example, Drupal has over 44,000 highly customisable modules available in its directory. This enables site owners to take control of the functionality of their sites. Customisable modules can add responsive dropdown menus to your Drupal site or customise meta tags, depending on the browser language.
Content management is paramount in this digital world. The ten features I’ve covered in this article should enable you to develop and manage a site that attracts, engages and entertains your visitors. So dedicate some time and resources to select the one that works perfectly for you!