Of the many benefits of an open source content-managed website platform, like Joomla, easily the most obvious - and powerful - is that it takes the power out of your agency's hands, and puts it back into yours.
Simply put, this is because the ease-of-use of a CMS platform means that you are no longer tied to your agency's whim when it comes to making changes. Now, you can make the changes yourself.
The greatest advantage of being able to do it all yourself, is quite obviously the reduced external vendor cost. Equally as important though (and hugely important for search engine indexing and optimisation), is that you are quickly able to add fresh content, keeping your site relevant and exciting - extending your potential digital marketing reach.
So what goes into a great CMS website, and how can it make your digital marketing efforts easier to manage - and help you return better results?
Structure your main article content well
On every website page, the main piece of copy-written content is generally referred to as the article. It's so important in fact, that the entire CMS system is built around it. So, for example, if you unpublish the article the page itself won't appear on the website anymore - even if the menu link is still visible.
The article layout and structure is also important for a number of other reasons, like the mobile version of your website.
Is your site good to go for mobile users?
Any good Joomla or CMS template will come with built-in mobile website (mobisite) versions, usually with distinctions for tablet devices, iPhones, Blackberrys and other smartphone browsers and rendering engines.
This is really important to understand, because, very often, the only content that will appear on your mobisite is what's contained in the articles - and with approximately 70% of our population limited to mobile internet access, knowing what will and what won't appear on your mobisite version is crucial to ensuring that you get your message across when current and potential clients find their way to your site.
Another really relevant reason for getting the article information and structure right is how it integrates with your social media platforms.
People visit their social media sites almost daily
This is vital to understand when it comes to marketing your website. Even your most faithful fans won't visit your website regularly, but they will visit their social media almost every day.
By simply including 'like', share and tweet functionalities on each page of your site, you get to reach people who aren't actually visiting your site, without having to create new content.
So, if you're in a rush and you need to update your social media, you can simply pop on to your site and share a relevant page that you want to promote. Another great benefit of this is that any interested traffic will be directed back to your site to read the content advertised, upping your traffic numbers once again.
In addition, the 'like', share and tweet functionalities give you the added benefit of people being able to 'like' your page, and share it themselves, helping you grow by word of mouse.
Do your SEO back-to-front
Search engine optimisation (SEO), when done well, can return huge rewards for any business. The key, though, is ensuring your content and copy is structured well for SEO.
The real art to this is to identify your keywords first, and then craft your copy around these keywords - ensuring that adequate keyword density is attained.
Then, you simply have to keep an easy-to-understand list of the keywords relevant to each page handy, so that identifying your potential Google AdWords becomes a breeze. This way, you are always sure that the Google AdWords you have chosen really do match the relevance of your page, and that your campaign is much more likely to return great results.
Use fresh content and dedicated landing pages
The more fresh content you add to your site, the more regularly it will be crawled and indexed - so use this strategy to your advantage.
If you write an article, post it on your site. If you have a special offer, post that on your site. Anything that you can do to add new and relevant content to your site will help increase your traffic numbers. And, when you post these links to your social media portals, they will link back to your site, where the content itself will be read, upping your traffic numbers, and over the long term, how you return in search results.
In addition, the use of dedicated landing pages not only makes your site more search engine friendly, it makes it more people-friendly too!
When people don't have to search for information, and they can easily find what it is they came there looking for in the first place, they're more likely to stick around.
What's more, because the amount of information on each dedicated page is limited to what's really relevant, they're not likely to get overwhelmed by reams of content and navigate away.
Most importantly though - because the website is content-managed - it's really easy for you to do this for yourself, and on a well-designed site, it really shouldn't take you more than 10 or 15 minutes to set up a dedicated landing page, or even a contact form.
In conclusion, a well thought-out and carefully built CMS website is a crucial foundation for any of your digital marketing efforts. It will make managing your other digital media platforms much easier, and help you drive the traffic you're after in our competitive and cluttered digital marketing space.
Chemory Gunko is the MD and creative director of Dsignhaus, a B2B marketing services agency with in-depth and specialist knowledge in the field of digital marketing. For more, go to www.dsignhaus.co.za, email her on or follow @dsignhaus on Twitter.
There are two separate points here, one is regarding anyone using Joomla, and the other regarding content. Thankfully, I have two hats, one as a design and UX expert, the other as head of a content unit - I comment here as the designer, not the media professional.
Firstly, the content. I couldn't agree more, keep your content relevant, think about your keywords, think about your target audience, make sure you track your pages and analyse the data! Then react to that, it's an ongoing process, and it needs to be across all of your digital platforms - start with your brand proposition and what content your users are currently engaging with, then develop strategies for what content you want and how to seed it.
Secondly, I urge people to NOT just use Joomla by themselves! I don't use CMS systems to code my sites, I do them by hand (crafted), but even with my knowledge I'd leave it to the pros. This is why we have such a vast amount of bad websites - just because you can use Joomal / wordpress etc, that does not make you a designer! Designing a website is an art and an expertise, there's so much to consider, but unfortunately most websites are not done properly. That will always reflect badly on your brand, so tread carefully. Posted on 13 Aug 2012 18:41
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