The Keys to Website Redesign: CMS, SEO, SEM

What do all these acronyms mean to website redesign? Face it, we’re living in a fully digital world, and with that world a new language has emerged. Truthfully, all of these terms have been floating around for more than a decade but they have only recently become an integral part of every business. In this post I will define each of these acronyms and briefly outline why they are important to website redesign.


Content Management System (CMS)

What is it?

As it relates to a website, a CMS is the infrastructure used to manage your content, images, video’s, etc. A CMS will allow administrators to contribute to, share, and post data without having to rely on a website development firm. This means you can add, delete and edit web page content as easily as sending an email… no programming knowledge required! Most CMS’s utilize a WYSIWYG (apologies for the additional acronym, it stands for “what you see is what you get”) editor that mimics the tools in Microsoft Word, or most email systems.

*Not to be confused with a CRM. CRM is a tool used for managing your companies’ contacts, most often for sales purposes. Your CMS can be integrated with your CRM but that’s another conversation altogether.

Why should you care about a CMS?

1. It saves money – Content Management Systems usually require a little more financial investment up front but can save thousands of dollars down the road. In addition to the quick and easy changes like email addresses and phone numbers, CMS’s allow administrators to easily add pages, and there is generally no limit to the number of pages you can add for no additional charge.

2. Better SEO Handling – We’ll discuss what SEO means next, but what it breaks down to is a CMS allows you the ability to easily create more content-relevant web pages, which means you are more likely to end up toward the top of the listings on Google and other search engines.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

What is it?

The process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid search results.

Why should you care?

SEO is the name of the web game these days. In general, the higher on the page, and more frequently a site appears in a search results list, the more visitors it will receive; the more visitors a site receives, the higher it is ranked from the search engine…it’s kind of a vicious cycle. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search and industry-specific vertical search engines.

It’s impossible for anyone to guarantee you a certain spot in an organic search, so be leery of anyone who makes such promises. However, there are certain things that can be done to increase your Search Engine Optimization.  Some of which should be done by your developer, but a lot of the ongoing work can be done through your CMS…I told you they work together.  Updating content, writing blogs, adding news items or images, all of this will help your search engine ranking. We’ll write a more detailed blog about this topic at a later date.


Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

What is it?

A form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results through the use of search engine optimization, paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion. Generally, SEM is known as the part of SEO that you pay for.

Why should you care?

Paid search engine ranking is the only way to be guaranteed a spot at the top of the list.  Depending on your industry and the key search terms you want to rank in, that price tag can vary greatly.

Also, remember the vicious cycle I mentioned earlier?  Especially for a new business or website, paid search engine marketing such as pay per click on Google, can be a great way to build relevance.  Even though your website is listing in the paid column, the more legitimate traffic your website gets, the more attention and better ranking it will receive from Google organically.

These three elements work together to bring you more business.  Gone are the days of creating a website and then sitting back and waiting for the business to roll in.  Search Engines are expecting regularly updated content, and users are too.

Are you considering a web design or redesign?

The effort poses many questions: What will make my site better and more effective? What do I absolutely need to take into account for my end users? Are there serious SEO issues or new search engine rules that I should watch out for? The following free eBook answers the most crtical questions related to a successful web redesign project:

  • Key elements and features “must-haves” for your homepage.
  • Critical steps to protect your SEO and content during a site redesign.
  • Steps you can take to improve your site right now while the redesign project is underway.

What do you do to increase your online leads?