Are You Using Your CMS Wrong?

cms wrong

Many marketers look at their website and the CMS system it’s built with and marvel at everything these powerful systems make possible. But it’s not what your CMS lets you do that makes it so powerful – it’s what it lets you NOT do. Here’s why.

Yes, it’s great that you can add and update content at a moment’s notice without having to pass that content through the hands of a technical team. Most CMS systems are so simple that if you can use a web browser, you can manage your site’s content.

That ability is an important part of maintaining a website as an effective marketing tool. Human audiences and search engine spiders both love fresh content. And the ability to add that content hassle-free makes it more likely to happen.

The Power to Do More

The real power of the CMS lies in being able to do more with the same content. Typically, this relies on the categorization abilities that nearly all CMS systems – including WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla – have built in that can be customized to fit your needs.

Here’s an example. Your website might have a “Services” section where, in a series of pages, you outline the different services you offer clients. If you’re a lawyer that might include litigation services, commercial contracts, and real estate transactions. If you’re a digital agency, it might include web development, content marketing, and social media.

Keep that in mind for a moment while we talk about another section your website has, or should have – The Knowledge Center. The Knowledge Center might simply take the form of a blog, or it might include content like white papers, case studies, infographics, and so on. Everything in this section is a content element that provides information of value and use to your audience while also illustrating your expertise and experience. (No overt selling, though.)

If you’re a savvy marketer, every item in the Knowledge Center is aligned with one or more of the services you offer. The CMS, properly configured, gives you two related and powerful ways to take advantage of this alignment.

  • First: Each time you load a new piece of content to the Knowledge Center, you click the appropriate checkbox and that content is assigned to the category. So an article can be about web development, say, or content marketing, or even both.
  • Second: The CMS can automatically display the Knowledge Center content alongside the appropriate Services page content. This is typically in a sidebar or a block titled, “You May Also Be Interested In …” or something similar.

The Advantages

Hopefully, the advantages here are obvious. You save a ton of time and avoid errors of omission by not worrying about whether you’ve added your content to two (or more) places on your site each time you add a new article.

More importantly, you are bringing content to your audience that is likely to interest them. They don’t have to go searching your site for other articles on their topic. You’ve brought all the relevant information together for them – and that’s a powerful marketing tool.

These automated features work like a landing page gathering everything together of interest to a particular audience segment.

That feature alone is a huge contributor to improving your site metrics – page views, time on site, lower bounce rate – increasing visitor engagement, and moving visitors along your sales funnel from interest to exploration to commitment.

If that’s not how you’re using your CMS, you’re using it wrong and it’s time to change your approach.

Florist Photo via Shutterstock


Andrew Schulkind Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: What does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured? A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms encourage profitable engagement with their audience. He holds a degree in Philosophy from Bucknell University.

2 Reactions
  1. For CMS, I rely on WordPress. It’s easy to use and it has so many features. It also has a loyal community that helps improve it. And with so many users, I know that I can depend on it and it is here to stay.

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