How to Choose the Right CMS Platform in 6 Easy Steps

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Marketing Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Marketing pros

Monday, October 26, 2020

Your CMS is a crucial tool to present your content in the best possible manner, but how do you know the platform you choose will meet your needs both now and in the future?

Article 4 Minutes
How to Choose the Right CMS Platform in 6 Easy Steps

Choosing the right content management system (CMS) is a crucial decision for businesses, especially when you consider the potential impact that a poorly thought out choice can have on meeting your future goals.

According to research from BCG, poor web design and poorly-presented content by businesses could reduce the effectiveness of marketing spend by up to 20%, causing lost visitors to websites that could potentially have become paying customers. Therefore, it's  essential to make sure your CMS delivers everything it needs to.

The role of a properly-optimized and considered CMS is to enable you to manage, edit and present content to your audience in the best possible way. It should offer a high level of customization, allowing you to present different forms of content easily, while also being simple to use and swift to make changes without the need to contact a developer.

There's plenty of CMS options out there, but how do you choose the right one? Follow these six simple steps and you'll be well set to maximize the impact of your website and to wow prospective leads.

1.  Consider your business' needs

When it comes to making the right decision on your CMS, you need to consider the ultimate goal of your online content. Are you trying to drive traffic to your pages, do you need to present your content in multiple formats, do you need the CMS to integrate with existing tech?

Other considerations should include:

  • What essential features do we need, i.e. customizable layouts, embed different forms of rich content, fast loading times, etc
  • Do we need a platform that works in multiple languages
  • Will the platform still be relevant in five years' time

Answering these questions will narrow down your list of options and leave you only with platforms that’ll help to meet your business' goals.

2. Think about SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) has been the cornerstone of content marketing campaigns for many years, so ensuring you include an element of SEO within your CMS is important.

There are a number of features a CMS should offer to deliver improvements in SEO, such as:

  • Flexibility in categorization of content
  • Personalizable meta descriptions
  • Easily configurable URLs
  • No URL duplication
  • Integration with analytics tools

3. Make security a top priority

Data security should undoubtedly form part of the decision-making process when considering what’s the right CMS for you. If an individual platform offers all the functionality you could ever desire but it lacks the necessary safeguards to stop unscrupulous individuals from infiltrating your service, then that simply won't do.

As such, careful research is required to examine vendors' past security issues and to examine the specific security protocols of each CMS option. Without due diligence at this early stage of the process, you may end up with a CMS platform that leaves gaping holes in your own site's defenses.

4. Consider the cost of setup/upkeep

A key consideration for every business is cost and when selecting the right CMS, there are two main concerns you should factor in when deciding the best option for you: cost to set up and cost to maintain.

A large upfront cost to implement a CMS that’ll be functional and scalable for the next ten years may be advantageous over a less expensive option that requires regular updates. Understanding the long-term running and maintenance costs of each CMS option is therefore essential and links back to understanding exactly what a business is likely to need from the platform both now and in the future.

5. Is the platform scalable?

Businesses change over time and your CMS needs to be able to change with you. As a result, scalability should be a factor in choosing the right platform, as being able to quickly increase or decrease your capabilities depending on your needs is a must.

Linked to this, one aspect to seriously consider when choosing a CMS should be the ease with which new features can be added, as the cost of development work to update a platform that no longer serves its purposes can be steep. It's better to recognize these potential costs in terms of time, money and resource at an early stage and factor this into your final decision.

6. Focus on analytics

Finally, it's crucial to understand how your content is performing if you want to be sure you’re optimizing your reach and attracting (and keeping) the attention of potential customers.

As such, analytics that can tell you how much time is being spent on specific pages of your website, as well as show important metrics like CTRs, pageviews, bounce rate and unique visitors, are crucial. Ensure you have a CMS that’s able to effectively track crucial metrics.

We understand that implementing a new CMS can be a daunting task, but by considering each of these points and how they relate to your specific business and its needs, you can be sure that the CMS you pick provides a lasting, profitable solution for managing your content.

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