What to Look for When Choosing a CMS for Your E-commerce Store

Using a content management system might be more convenient but there are still many elements to look at, especially when choosing a CMS for your e-commerce store. Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

Shopping cart: Is your shopping cart secure and easy to use? This is the most important part of keeping track of your orders and making sure that you have enough goods in stock. Security and ease is also a part of it, which is why most e-commerce site owners use an e-commerce shopping cart from Yahoo!, Google Checkout, PayPal or plugins that enable these. Other popular alternatives include Magento, Shopify and many other WordPress plugins.

Easy to use backend: Do you plan on having a lot of different products? Make sure to choose a CMS that lets you easily name (and change if necessary) a page name. Your store should be structured into specific folders and sub-folders for easy navigation and organization. Many custom CMS allows different users with different editing abilities so that you can’t accidentally erase an existing product/page.

Design: Don’t be fooled by the limited, generic templates available on WordPress. Using a CMS doesn’t mean that your site has to look like hundreds of other online stores. There’s always a way to edit or customize an e-commerce site design to your specific wants and needs. Just like with any other website, it also doesn’t hurt to think about display options for mobile. Perhaps, responsive website design is an option for your site.

Customization: It all comes back to customization and what you need for your e-commerce store. Some owners will put up all the products they need at once and just update the quantity. Other stores might have new additions every month or have a different rotating stock of merchandise based on seasons. Although content management systems like WordPress have custom fields, they might not be customized enough to your specific needs. Especially when it comes to pricing, product details and everything that is important to an e-commerce store that wouldn’t be a concern for a normal site.

There’s a lot more to a content management system and managing an e-commerce site than meets the eye. If you have any more questions about the flexibility of a custom CMS, feel free to contact us for more information.

SEO Plugins for WordPress

Before we take a look at some helpful SEO plugins for WordPress, here are some impressive statistics about the content management system and view the detailed infographic here:

– WordPress is responsible for 14.7 percent of the top million websites worldwide representing small, medium and big business.
– An average day sees about 500,000 new posts and 400,000 new comments on WordPress.com
– 48% of the top 100 blogs, as ranked by Technorati, currently use WordPress as their CMS
– 22 of every 100 new domains created in the US are running WordPress
– WordPress boasts the biggest market share when it comes to content management systems (53.8%)

There are many benefits of using a CMS, and there are a variety of WordPress plugins that you can help optimize your website for maximum exposure. Here are a few:

SEO Rank Reporter
This plugin provides an easy way to track Google rankings of specific keywords based on 3 day intervals. The data is presented in easy-to-read graphs so that you can see your progress and areas that you need to work on.

Premises
Need a hand with landing pages? This plugin provides effective templates with different features that makes it easy to customize content for a main landing page or any content page.

WordPress SEO By Yoast
This highly rated plugin is widely used for a good reason. There are many features including: meta data analysis, XML sitemaps, social sharing, analysis of onsite SEO and much more. Try it for yourself!

Author hReview
This is any easy way to integrate star ratings and other useful reviews into your pages that will show up in rich snippet previews of your site. This is extremely useful for increasing your credibility as well as your click through rates.

Sharebar
This plugin makes it easy to directly post your content onto different networking sites for maximum social visibility. You can customize the boxes and buttons of your liking and chose the most relevant ones to your business.

There are so many plugins for different business needs, so you can try a variety to see which ones are most helpful. Don’t forget to utilize plugin ratings to see which ones are most helpful to other people. Let us know which are your favorite plugins and why!

What are the Benefits of a SEO Friendly CMS?

Now more than ever, good content is a critical part of effective search engine optimization. Having a content management system (CMS) will help make this process easier – meaning that you can update your site more often with relevant content.

From a user standpoint, a CMS is very user-friendly and easy to use. But it’s time to look behind the scenes and see just how you can find the right SEO friendly CMS to help your search efforts.

Custom URLS – It’s important that you choose a CMS that gives you the option to create your own URL. SEO friendly URLs are tailored towards users and are more likely to have a higher click through rate. Sometimes, dynamic URLs can look spammy or relevant and lead to more problems in the future, especially if you are dealing with a website redesign.

Custom meta elements – An effective CMS should give you easy fields where you can fill out fields for title, description and keyword tags. Each page should have a unique Title tag that accurately reflects the content on that page. Did you know that aside from the content itself, page titles are (arguably) considered the most important element? Beware of a CMS that duplicates meta elements on each new page if you don’t customize it. I’ve come across sites that have hundreds of pages with of duplicate meta elements – not a good thing in Google’s eyes!

Speed and Usability – The main reason for using a CMS is that it is easy to use and that you can do it yourself if you need to. Older content management systems aren’t as user-friendly or practical to use. I recently had to use a CMS that took at least 5 minutes to save before you could view your edits. And of course, if you need to make more changes, that’s another 5 minutes just to preview! A CMS is meant to save you time and hassle, not make a bigger mess for you to deal with!

Affordability – When you have a website, there are multiple aspects that you have to consider including: web design, web copywriting, paid and organic search. Choosing the right CMS also means that you should see how it fits into your budget. If you “splurge” on a fancy/expensive CMS that you never have time to use, what’s the point? It could also take up the majority of your resources so that you don’t have anything left over to devote to a truly effective campaign.

A SEO CMS can help make website management an easier process and your organic search campaign more effective. Feel free to comment or give us a call (323) 340-4010 if you have any questions on a CMS for your small business.