Whats the difference between a Website and a CMS platform? I need an online presence and will it affect my chances of getting a page rank with a CMS?
Not really, no. Websites were terms used in the 1990s for people who wanted online brochures. People needed a way to advertise their presence without having to send out printed company information. This hasn’t changed but how you get a page rank has. Before Google, there were search engines like Yahoo, Netscape, Altavista and Webcrawler. These engines sent out ‘bots’ to index your website and there was a time you needed to do this manually by submitting your domain name to the search engine. Some still do, like Microsoft Bing, you can submit an invite to the resident SEO bot to spider your site and find relevant information. When Google came along with their fancy algorithm, it changed the search landscape. The criteria had to be met before you could be ranked. It started out as all search engines did, badly. Like aged cheese from a farm, it got better over the years and finally people came to trust a search engine to go through their entire site.
You can build e-commerce sites with a CMS. That’s how sophisticated a CMS is these days.
Content Management Does Wonders to your Site
For the record, I use to hand code a site. My first real crush came in the form of Pagemill, which made visually based designing a boost. I use to envy those people who had a SGI workstation to play with as they could churn out websites on the fly without you knowing how to code. Today, we have the all empowering CMS or content management system. CMS just another fancy name for a web hosting platform. In the old days, websites were only updated during a continental shift. Then people saw the need to manage these once updates were more frequent. Having a web design company do it for you meant that it cost you a lot of money and time so why not do it yourself with a CMS?
In the past, CMS systems were very costly to implement and some even developed their own from scratch. When Netizens started to realize that they needed something to manage their content with more frequency, they turned to blogging platforms and overtime, WordPress became the defacto standard for CMS today. There are others like Joomla and Drupal but let’s not complicate things by talking about them. Some might want to give Tumblr a shout out too. By default, it is the most popular blogging platform ever created with its no frills approach to posting content. But the right term for a CMS is it should do many things, and not just host blogs. For that, WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are kings of the hill.
CMS platforms take away the pain of having to code your site. Posting and updating are made more user friendly with drag and drop features—making the very act of content creation a whole lot easier. These days there are dozens of content hosting platforms and each are specifically designed for different groups of people from IT experts to tech retards.
CMS for Content Searching
Social media engagement these days is part of the Google Page Rank criteria. If you have a post, people should be allowed to share it, and if you have an even, or offer knowledge via a FAQ, then it should be circulated for the benefit of all. No one should lock it up with a password and hope for a top level page rank. A CMS has all the tools to meet those requirements and more. It can serve up Google Adwords, manage your comment box, show links to other media sites, etc. In short, Pictures, videos, graphics and the written word are all classified as content. Searches are performed in a variety of ways under different guises.
Feedburner, feedspot and Digg all go through great lengths to provide for content indexing but these are still based on tags or keywords. A tag is a keyword used to determine your content and grouped with similar type content just like the ubiquitous hash tag used on Instagram post. All CMS platforms provide for this and those like WordPress go even further to ensure your content gets picked up by RSS readers, Web readers and shared socially via Tumblr and Blogspot. Another way of doing it to use the right Categories and Tags to describe your blog subject and content. This makes your content searchable not only by search engines but also by the community of other users who you happen to take up virtual residence with.
All CMS platforms have this ability to use tags to describe your content. If you can’t find it, then it must be buried somewhere in menu which you have yet to discover. Ignore it and chances are your content won’t be found by others.
I want to be picked up by Search Engines, so where do I start?
Good question. Let’s see, have you got anything to share that is worth something? It’s not the sales pitch spiel you find on spam sites, that’s not content, that’s a sales pitch. Meaningful content is about subjects that will help people, and these are not blatant snake oil sales pitches. If you really don’t have content worth sharing other than that product description, try starting a FAQ list. Not all search engines use the same criteria as Google to perform searches, Bing and Yahoo still use the dumbed down keyword searches so you’re still safe with them if you happen to be content challenged.
WTF is a FAQ?
Frequently Asked Questions. If you don’t have one then it’s time to put one up. Some of you out there have no idea where to start. Well let’s start by changing the roles of the game. Pretend you’re the target audience and as an interested surfer to your website, what would be the first question he’d ask about the product or service that you offer? Can I have that modified to fit 9mm ammo? Will my dog learn to play the piano after taking it? Could my biceps be allergic to Viagra? The list goes on.
Make a list of questions and if you can’t think of any, ask someone within your circles to dream up some pertinent question for you to answer after showing off your spanking new website. The list doesn’t need to be long, you can add on to it as you go along. This FAQ has become hugely important for Hummingbird SEO. Don’t matter if you are starting a porn site or selling arms to Silkroad users. Each FAQ has to be carefully crafted and updated to reflect the times.
When you have a FAQ, then you may consider opting for a blog site if you happen to have more to share. People need to know and you need to help them connect these surfer folks to your site. So let’s take this first step before you jump into writing a blog. I have seen thousands of blog site fail because they run out of stuff to write about and you can tell if it’s not been getting any attention from the time/date stamp.