Category Archives: SEO

CMS Marketing Advantages and Trends

marketing

At this point in the evolution of the web, if a company doesn’t have a web site, there is a great deal of confusion on the part of the potential customer. Did I not spell the name correctly? Did they change their name recently? Did they go out of business? The possibility that a website for a particular brand, company (and in many cases, even individuals) doesn’t exist is simply unfathomable. Surprisingly, many small businesses – as many as half in fact – do not have a web site.

Even those that do have a web presence often view their website as more of a “check box” – we have a website and it has our contact information on it, so no need to ever update it again! If you happen to be Warren Buffet you might be able to get away with that, but for the rest of us, a well designed, frequently updated website is a key marketing initiative that will help garner new customers and provide specific information for current ones.

At Shift One Labs we work with clients to help them build a strong online presence. A website is only as useful as its CMS (a database application that provides website text, images, and multimedia content). A well-implemented CMS system is just like the person at work that everyone turns to for help. Their title or official role may not be lofty, but they are the ones that can get things done quickly and painlessly. CMS systems are vital to a company’s marketing efforts since they help create a consistent customer experience across an organization’s online properties, as well as provide internal messaging for employees. Allowing both customers and employees to have a consistent, specific concept of your company is one of the easiest ways to distinguish yourself from your competitors and build brand visibility.

One of the long-term trends that will continue to make a significant impact for customers and employees going forward is the increasing use of mobile devices to access information. Whereas not having a web site used to be an issue, the lack of a mobile-friendly site is increasingly becoming a red flag for potential customers. Over time, this trend will accelerate even faster with additional non-desktop options becoming more common – including tablets, wearable devices (such as the forthcoming Apple Watch) as well as embedded and “constantly connected” devices. Furthermore, younger generations are increasingly accustomed to accessing vast amounts of information via their phone and using desktops only for homework – Millennials, for example are the largest group of cell phone owners and the adaptation rate is still growing. In order to properly leverage all of these changes, small and large companies alike will need to create a powerful content management system that not only takes your current needs into account, but is designed with future technologies and uses in mind. Combined, these tools offer companies a powerful marketing outlet that will have a significant impact on your marketing efforts and help increase ROI. In essence – if a potential customer is looking for you, make sure you can be found.

The Weblog Blog

Creating a name for a blog, much like a company (to say nothing of naming a child), carries with it a great deal of weight. For a new blog, the name should indicate the key topics that it will discuss (such as web development and e-commerce for example), and, hopefully, add a bit of personality as well. At Shift One Labs, we are big fans of Arrested Development and in honor of the Bob Loblaw Law Blog we’ve decided to name our blog the “Weblog Blog.” Much like our namesake we take our job very seriously, and much like the Arrested Development series itself, we try to find the humor in any situation.

While ubiquitous today, blogging is a relativity recent development. Just a decade ago the word was so new that it was named the “Word of the Year” by Merriam-Webster. The term “blog” is actually an abbreviation of the term “weblog” which itself is a combination of two terms: “world wide web” and “log.” Log, in this sense, meaning a list of activities that have taken place. The earliest blogs were, often times, simply a sequential list of updates to a website, in some cases to help users find particular pages or information that may have moved. At the same time, with the rise of personal web publishing tools (many of which allowed users to create websites without in-depth knowledge of HTML) combined with greater access to the internet led to a boom in personal web publishing – the “online diary” that is still very common on sites such as Tumblr.

Blogging today has grown and expanded far beyond its humble origins. Today, there are hundreds of blogging and CMS platforms to choose from. Key players in the industry include WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal. Each has its own particular set of features. Determining exactly which system is best for your business depends on a variety of factors as well as your long-term goals. At Shift One Labs we have extensive experience assisting clients with these types of decisions, whether you are in the process of implementing a large-scale CMS system or simply creating a humble law blog. No matter your goals, we can help make them a reality.

With the rise of social media, some have wondered if blogging is still a viable option to help increase brand visibility. There is a very easy way to test this – the next time you search on Google, see how often a specific tweet or Facebook post appears in the results. Most likely, they will be ranked below websites and blog posts on the same topic. While social media should certainly be part of your online presence, a well-written, regularly updated blog is one of the best ways to communicate with current and potential customers and allows for a more expansive forum to discuss your brand and value proposition. We’d love to help you build the perfect platform to help expand your business, and if you need a good lawyer, we can help you there too.